United States District Court, D. Maryland
VINCENT E. JUNE. JR., Plaintiff,
OFFICER E. THOMASSON, Defendant.
L. Russell, III United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Vincent E. June's
Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment (ECF No. 45). As of January
2016, the Motion was fully briefed and ripe for disposition.
The Court held a hearing on July 6, 2016. (ECF No. 49).
Following the hearing, the parties submitted supplemental
briefs. Having reviewed all the briefs, the Court finds no
additional hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md.
2016). For the reasons outlined below, the Court will grant
September 2011, Defendant Officer E. Thomasson arrested June
in connection with an assault against victim Antonio Goodwin
in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. (Compl. ¶ 14, ECF No.
1). In March 2012, the State of Maryland dismissed the
criminal charges against June after he successfully asserted
an alibi defense. (Id. ¶ 16). In July 2014,
June sued Officer Thomasson under 42 U.S.C. §§
1983, 1985, and 1988 for malicious prosecution in violation
of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. (Compl.).
discovery, Officer Thomasson obtained affidavits from Goodwin
and his mother Brenda Goodwin (“Mrs. Goodwin”).
(See ECF Nos. 27-3, 27-4). These affidavits are hand-written
“statements” comprising a series of questions and
answers. (Id.). They state that they were taken by
Jay Creech, co-counsel for Officer Thomasson. (Id.).
affidavit, Mrs. Goodwin asserts that when the police came to
the Goodwin residence to take a statement from her son,
Goodwin stated that “Vincent” was involved in the
assault. (ECF No. 27-4 at 2). She then explains that the
police returned a day or two later with a photo array and
Goodwin identified an individual in the array as someone who
attacked him. (Id. at 3). Officer Thomasson
maintains Goodwin identified June in the photo array, and
June does not dispute that Goodwin signed beneath June's
photo. (See Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J at 7, ECF No.
27-1); (see also ECF No. 27-5) (photo array).
April 1, 2015 affidavit (“Goodwin's First
Affidavit”), Goodwin confirms his mother's account
of his interaction with the police during the investigation.
Goodwin asserts that a day or two after the assault, he
dictated a written statement in which he identified June as
one his attackers and he picked June's photo out of an
array when asked to identify someone who assaulted him. (ECF
No. 27-3 at 1-2). Goodwin also declares that the police told
him neither what to write in the statement nor which photo to
pick. (Id.). The name “Antonio Goodwin”
or the initials “AG” appear next to all eighteen
answers in Goodwin's First Affidavit. (Id. at
1-3). The affidavit is signed, and Goodwin does not deny that
the signature is his. (Id. at 3).
Thomasson produced Mrs. Goodwin's affidavit and
Goodwin's First Affidavit to June on April 13, 2015. (See
ECF No. 45-4). On May 7, 2015, June notified Officer
Thomasson that June would depose Goodwin on May 21, 2015.
(See ECF No. 35-3 at 1-2). But June cancelled the deposition
on May 20, 2015 -- the day before it was supposed to occur.
(See Id. at 3). The parties did not depose Goodwin
or his mother during discovery.
ended on May 26, 2015. (See ECF No. 20 at 2). On June 23,
2015, Officer Thomasson moved for summary judgment. (ECF No.
27). Officer Thomasson supported his Motion with Mrs.
Goodwin's affidavit and Goodwin's First Affidavit. On
July 10, 2015, June filed his opposition to Officer
Thomasson's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 28).
June supported his opposition with a second affidavit from
Goodwin (“Goodwin's Second Affidavit”). (ECF
No. 28-7). June secured Goodwin's Second Affidavit on
June 12, 2015 -- almost three weeks after the close of
Second Affidavit, Goodwin contradicts almost every factual
assertion in his First Affidavit. Indeed, Goodwin states that
he “never brought up . . . June's name or even said
Vincent to the police;” rather, it was the police that
first mentioned June. (Id. at 3). In fact, Goodwin
asserts, the police asked about June so many times that
Goodwin finally agreed that June was present for the assault
because Goodwin thought the officers must have possessed
evidence inculpating June. (Id.). Goodwin then
states that he signed his name next to June's photo after
the officer “asked [him] if [he] generally recognized
anyone, not if [he] recognized anyone involved in the
assault.” (Id.). Goodwin further states that
the police made him believe that they would not leave him
alone until he identified June as one of the assailants.
(Id. at 4). As for his First Affidavit, Goodwin
asserts that it is “not valid” and he
“revoke[s]” it because he “did not
knowingly sign, nor did [he] understand what [he] was
signing.” (Id.). Finally, Goodwin declares
that he does not believe June participated in the assault and
the police intentionally led him to believe June was
23, 2015, Officer Thomasson moved to strike Goodwin's
Second Affidavit. (ECF No. 32). On November 18, 2015, the
Court granted Officer Thomasson's Motion to Strike on two
alternative grounds. First, the Court concluded Goodwin's
Second Affidavit was a sham (Memo Op. at 8-9, ECF No. 40).
Second, the Court found that a Rule 37(c)(1) analysis
militated in favor of excluding Goodwin's Second
Affidavit as a sanction for June's failure to timely
supplement his discovery responses. (Id. at 10-11).
Relying on Goodwin's First Affidavit, the Court then
concluded as a matter of law that Officer Thomasson had
probable cause to arrest June. (Id.). Thus, the
Court granted Officer Thomasson's Motion for Summary
Judgment and directed the Clerk to close the
December 16, 2015, June filed a timely Motion to Alter or
Amend Judgment under Rule 59(e) (ECF No. 45). Officer
Thomasson filed an Opposition on December 21, 2015 (ECF No.
46), and June submitted a Reply on January 7, 2016 (ECF No.
47). After reviewing the parties' briefs, the Court held
a motions hearing on July 6, 2016. (ECF No. 49). Following
the hearing, the Court issued an order reopening discovery
for the limited purpose of resolving June's Motion to
Alter or Amend. (ECF No. 50). The Court gave the parties
forty-five days to take depositions regarding any facts that
would have been discoverable had the parties taken
Goodwin's deposition during discovery, including, but not
limited to, the circumstances surrounding the creation of
Goodwin's First and Second Affidavits. (Id.).
the renewed discovery period, the parties deposed Mrs.
Goodwin on August 2, 2016, but they did not depose her son.
Officer Thomasson explains that he attempted to subpoena
Goodwin for a deposition, but Goodwin refused to attend.
According to 2006))). Second, the Court found Officer
Thomason would be entitled to qualified immunity because it
also found as a matter of law that Officer Thomasson had
probable cause to arrest June. In his Motion to Alter or
Amend, June asks the Court to reconsider whether the Court
erred in finding probable cause. Because the Court's
conclusion on qualified immunity was predicated on its
analysis of probable cause, the Court finds no reason why it
would be foreclosed from reconsidering probable cause. For
that matter, there is nothing barring the Court from
reconsidering qualified immunity, either.
Thomasson, Goodwin called Officer Thomasson on July 28, 2016
to tell him that he would not travel to Maryland from
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he temporarily resides,
because he has an outstanding arrest warrant in Maryland.
(See Suppl. Def.'s Opp'n Pl.'s Mot. Alter or Am.
J. at 1-2, ECF No. 55). Officer Thomasson did not move the
Court to enforce the subpoena or hold Goodwin in contempt.
September 6, 2016, Officer Thomasson supplemented his
Opposition to June's Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment.
(ECF No. 55). June responded on September 16, 2016 (ECF No.
56), and Officer Thomasson replied on September 29, 2016 (ECF