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Doe v. Brown

United States District Court, D. Maryland

October 31, 2014

JANE DOE, Plaintiff.
v.
NATHAN BROWN, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: DISMISSAL

MARVIN J. GARBIS, District Judge.

The Court has before it Defendant's Response [Document 9], which the Court finds to be a Motion to Dismiss, Defendant's Motion to Add Defendant [Document 11], and the materials submitted relating thereto. The Court finds that a hearing is unnecessary.

A. Dismissal

Defendant Brown seeks dismissal on the grounds that:

1. The Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims.
2. The Court cannot exercise personal jurisdiction over him because Plaintiff's claims are based upon illegally seized evidence.
3. Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

The Court shall address the contentions made by Defendant Brown in turn.

1. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

"In order to provide a federal forum for plaintiffs who seek to vindicate federal rights, Congress has conferred on the district courts original jurisdiction in federal-question cases - civil actions that arise under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Servs., Inc. , 545 U.S. 546, 552 (2005); see 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Here, Plaintiff presents claims in Counts I and II under federal statutes, i.e., 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A, 2255. Therefore, this Court has subject matter jurisdiction. See Smith v. Husband , 376 F.Supp.2d 603, 607 (E.D. Va. 2005) ("Plaintiff sues invoking a federal statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2255, that specifically authorizes a civil suit for the victim of any of several statutes prohibiting child molestation, exploitation, and pornography. Accordingly, the Court has subject matter jurisdiction based upon the existence of a federal question."); see also Arbaugh v. Y & H Corp. , 546 U.S. 500, 503 (2006).

2. Personal Jurisdiction

Defendant Brown contends that the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over him because the Plaintiff's claims are based upon illegally seized evidence. Defendant Brown does not provide any authority - and the Court is aware of none - supporting his position that an illegal seizure of evidence by law enforcement would adversely affect a court's ability to exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant in a civil action brought by the victim of that individual's alleged criminal actions. Cf. Townes v. City of New York , 176 F.3d 138, 145 (2d Cir. 1999) ("The fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine cannot link the unreasonable seizure and search to Townes's conviction and incarceration because this evidentiary doctrine is inapplicable to civil § 1983 actions. The fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine is an evidentiary rule that operates in the context of criminal procedure." (citations omitted)).

3. Failure to State a Claim

To avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim, a complaint need only contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (alteration in original) (citations omitted). "[O]nly a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). "Determining whether a complaint states a ...


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