United States District Court, D. Maryland
TAWANDA JONES, et al. Plaintiffs,
NICHOLAS DAVID CHAPMAN, et al, Defendants.
Lipton Hollander United States District Judge.
Memorandum resolves the "Joint Motion for Fed.R.Civ.P.
59(e) Relief & Motion To Unseal The Court's Three (3)
'Telephone Status Conferences' With Request For A
Hearing & Expedition" (ECF 75), filed by William C.
Bond, who is self-represented. Mr. Bond, who is not a party
to the case, asks the Court to reconsider its Memorandum and
Order dated August 5, 2016 (ECF 71; ECF 72), denying his
request to intervene in the underlying action. In addition,
he asks the Court to unseal records pertaining to three
telephone conferences. See ECF 75-1 at 2,
The motion is supported by a memorandum. ECF 75-1
(collectively, with ECF 75, the "Motion").
the parties has responded to the Motion. No hearing is
necessary to resolve the Motion. Local Rule 105.6. For the
reasons stated below, Mr. Bond's Motion shall be denied.
underlying case is rooted in the unfortunate death of Tyrone
A. West, Sr. ("Mr. West" or the
"Decedent"), who died at the age of 44 on July 18,
2013, while in the custody of the Baltimore City police.
Tawanda Jones, as Personal Representative of the Estate of
Tyrone A. West, Sr.; Nashay West; Tyrone West, Jr.; and T.W.,
a minor child, by Mary Agers, as Guardian and next friend of
T.W., plaintiffs,  have filed a civil rights action against
multiple police officers alleging, inter alia, that
Mr. West's death was caused by the use of excessive force
following an unlawful traffic stop, in violation of Mr.
West's constitutional rights under federal and state law.
See ECF 33, Amended Complaint. Suit is predicated,
inter alia, on 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging
violations of the Decedent's rights under the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. Plaintiffs also
allege violations of Articles 24 and 26 of the Maryland
Declaration of Rights, and assert tort claims under Maryland
defendants are eight Baltimore City police officers; Kevin
Davis, Commissioner of the Baltimore Police
Department; David Lewis, a police officer with the
Morgan State University Campus Police ("MSU
Police"); and Lance Hatcher, Chief of the MSU Police.
ECF 33 at 1-3. All defendants were sued in their official and
individual capacities. ECF 33, Amended Complaint, at 1-3;
id. at 25.
allegations pertinent to the underlying case are set forth at
length in the Court's Memorandum Opinion dated July 24,
2015 (ECF 28), and are incorporated here. According to
plaintiffs, Mr. West was subjected to an illegal traffic stop
on July 18, 2013 (ECF 33, Amended Complaint, ¶ 12),
thereby violating his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the United States Constitution, and was then
"assaulted and battered . . . ." Id.
¶ 3. Plaintiffs aver that, "[a]s a result of the
unconstitutional use of force by Defendants, Tyrone West
received multiple severe injuries about his body, experienced
severe pain and suffering, and mental anguish resulting in
death." ECF 33, Amended Complaint, ¶ 37.
April 14, 2016, Mr. Bond filed an amended, limited motion to
intervene in this case (ECF 59), describing himself "as
a concerned member of the public." Id. at 1;
id. at 1 n.2. In particular, Mr. Bond asserted that
the case is "an example of bad lawyering" by
plaintiffs' counsel, id. at 2; he maintained
that Mr. West "was not murdered by the police"
id.; the suit is "frivolous, "
id; and it is "wasting" taxpayer money.
Id. In addition, Mr. Bond expressed his desire
"to relay to the court public interests & events of
which it may not be fully aware." Id. at 3. No
party responded to that motion.
indicated, the Court denied Mr. Bond's motion to
intervene, for the reasons set forth in ECF 71. However, as a
courtesy, I permitted Mr. Bond to remain on the docket of the
case, so that he would be notified immediately of any
filings. See ECF 71; ECF 72. This Motion followed.
is ongoing. See Docket. During a telephone
scheduling conference with counsel on October 13, 2016
(see docket), the Court scheduled a trial date,
commencing July 10, 2017. The schedule is set forth in the
Court's Order of October 14, 2016. ECF 90.
Motion, Mr. Bond asks the Court to reconsider its ruling
denying his motion to intervene. He explains that he sought
limited intervention under Fed.R.Civ.P. 24 to bring to the
Court's attention the "widely-shared belief that
plaintiffs have filed "a completely frivolous
lawsuit" and are "attempting to extort money from
the City and State based purely upon an invented and phony
narrative of victimhood." ECF 75-1 at 2. In Mr.
Bond's view, the Court's ruling as to his motion
"presents a clear error of law and manifest injustice. .
. ." ECF 75, ¶ 2.
Motion, Mr. Bond maintains that the Court "ignored any
analysis mandated under the Fourth Circuit's pro
se precedent." ECF 75, ¶ 2. He asserts:
"And while the court may be 'technically'
correct that movant's action did not precisely fit into a
Rule 24 constrict [sic], the court did zero analysis of what
constrict it could fit into." ECF 75-1 at 6.
Suggesting that it is the Court's burden to formulate a
valid basis to justify his request for intervention, Mr. Bond
contends: "[T]he court could have, and should have, if
they were dissatisfied with movant's purported Rule 24
vehicle, restyled movant's action into one of a
simple 'Letter, ' or a 'Notice to the Court,
' and/or some other title that would satisfy the
court as to what movant was attempting to accomplish. Movant
believes that the court committed clear error and perpetrated
manifest injustice by not even attempting this pro
se analysis of his action." Id. at 7. In
Mr. Bond's view, the Court's ruling "is chilling
to the public and their efforts to become more involved in
public policy litigation." Id.
Bond relies, inter alia, on Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) to
support his Motion. Rule 59(e) is captioned "Motion to
Alter or Amend a Judgment." It states: "A motion to
alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later ...