United States District Court, D. Maryland
January 14, 2015
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
J. FREDERICK MOTZ, District Judge.
Emmanuel Nwankwo has filed this pro se action under the Federal Tort Claims Act. He asserts claims for negligence, "breach of contract of bailment" and conversion. He alleges that ICE officers detained and lost artwork that he was carrying in his suitcase when he was arrested at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on October 22, 2009. Defendant has filed a motion to dismiss.
Defendant's motion will be granted. Plaintiff was advised to file a FTCA claim by a United States district judge during a sentencing hearing held in August 2013. During the course of the hearing an ICE officer admitted that ICE could not locate plaintiffs paintings.
Plaintiff filed a FTCA claim promptly after the sentencing hearing. However, he knew that his artwork was missing on April 25, 20 II, at the latest. The FTCA has a two year statute of limitations, and the present action was not filed until December 17, 2013, more than two years after April 25, 2011. Moreover, the FTCA does not permit "[a]ny claim arising in respect of... the detention of any goods, merchandise, or other property by any officer of customs or excise or any other law enforcement officer." 28 U.S.C. 92680(c). This provision includes a claim resulting from negligent handling and for storage of detained property. See Kosak v. United States, 465 U.S. 848, 854 (1984).
A separate order is being entered herewith granting defendant's motion and dismissing this action.