United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Russell, III United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant’s, Baltimore
City Police Department (“Police Department”),
Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 20) and Defendants’,
Baltimore City Circuit Court (“Circuit Court”)
and the State of Maryland (“the State”), Motion
to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment (ECF
No. 21). The Motions are unopposed and ripe for disposition.
Having considered the Motions and supporting documents, the
Court finds no hearing necessary. See Local Rule
105.6 (D.Md. 2014). For the following reasons, the Court will
grant the Motions.
Abraham Goode is a federal inmate who is currently housed in
the Federal Correctional Institution, Allenwood in
Pennsylvania. In Baltimore, Maryland, Goode was arrested in
1972 and convicted in 1973 for murder and other charges. The
conviction was subsequently overturned on appeal, and after a
second trial on remand, he was acquitted on June 17, 1977.
Goode alleges that records of the arrest, conviction, and
subsequent acquittal have severely restricted his life over
the course of more than forty years. He states the conviction
has resulted in missed employment opportunities, family
problems, and emotional distress. Goode initiated this action
in the United States District Court for the Middle District
of Pennsylvania on July 10, 2015, alleging, inter
alia, claims for malicious prosecution and defamation
and seeking $10, 000, 000 in damages. (ECF No. 1). The case was
transferred to this Court on September 9, 2015. (ECF No. 6).
December 2, 2015, the Court dismissed Goode’s claims
for false imprisonment, false arrest, and defamation
regarding the BOP’s November 19, 2014 inquiry, and
dismissed Defendants Baltimore County Board, Baltimore City
Probation Office, Baltimore County Probation Office, United
States Department of Justice, United State Department of
Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons, United States Probation
Office, and United States of America because Goode failed to
specify allegations against them. (ECF No. 11).
Standard of Review
complaint fails to state a claim if it does not contain
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2), or does not state “a plausible claim for
relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007)). “Threadbare recitals of the elements
of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Though the plaintiff is
not required to forecast evidence to prove the elements of
the claim, the complaint must allege sufficient facts to
establish each element. Goss v. Bank of Am., N.A.,
917 F.Supp.2d 445, 449 (D.Md. 2013) (quoting Walters v.
McMahen, 684 F.3d 435, 439 (4th Cir. 2012)),
aff’d sub nom., Goss v. Bank of Am.,
NA, 546 F.App’x 165 (4th Cir. 2013). Pro se
pleadings, however, are liberally construed and held to a
less stringent standard than pleadings drafted by lawyers.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citing
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976));
accord Brown v. N.C. Dep’t of Corr., 612 F.3d
720, 722 (4th Cir. 2010). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion, the court must construe the complaint in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff, read the complaint as a
whole, and take the facts asserted therein as true. See
Harrison v. Westinghouse Savannah River Co., 176 F.3d
776, 783 (4th Cir. 1999) (citing Mylan Labs., Inc. v.
Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993)).
matters outside the pleading are presented to and not
excluded by the court, the [12(b)(6)] motion shall be treated
as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in
Rule 56.” Laughlin v. Metro. Wash. Airports
Auth., 149 F.3d 253, 260-61 (4th Cir. 1998) (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d)). Under Rule 56(a), the Court must grant
summary judgment if the moving party demonstrates there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court must draw
all justifiable inferences in the non-moving party’s
favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 255 (1986) (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress &
Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)). Once a motion for
summary judgment is properly made and supported, the opposing
party has the burden of showing that a genuine dispute
exists. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). “[T]he mere
existence of some alleged factual dispute between
the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported
motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be
no genuine issue of material fact.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48.
“material fact” is one that might affect the
outcome of a party’s case. Id. at 248; see
JKC Holding Co. v. Wash. Sports Ventures, Inc., 264 F.3d
459, 465 (4th Cir. 2001) (citing Hooven-Lewis v.
Caldera, 249 F.3d 259, 265 (4th Cir. 2001)). Whether a
fact is considered to be “material” is determined
by the substantive law, and “[o]nly disputes over facts
that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing
law will properly preclude the entry of summary
judgment.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; accord
Hooven-Lewis, 249 F.3d at 265.
party opposing a properly supported motion for summary
judgment ‘may not rest upon the mere allegations or
denials of [his] pleadings, ’ but rather must
‘set forth specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial.’” Bouchat v. Balt.
Ravens Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 525 (4th Cir.
2003) (alteration in original) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)).
The court should “view the evidence in the light most
favorable to . . . the nonmovant, and draw all inferences in
[his] favor without weighing the evidence or assessing the
witness’ credibility.” Dennis v. Columbia
Colleton Med. Ctr., Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 644-45 (4th Cir.
2002). The court must, however, also abide by the
“affirmative obligation of the trial judge to prevent
factually unsupported claims and defenses from proceeding to
trial.” Bouchat, 346 F.3d at 526 (quoting
Drewitt v. Pratt, 999 F.2d 774, 778-79 (4th Cir.
rely on exhibits to their motion, consisting in part of
authenticated copies of Goode’s criminal docket.
Because the Court will consider Defendants’ exhibits,
the Court must convert the Circuit Court and State’s
Motion to one for summary judgment.