United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. Grimm United States District Judge
Jean-Baptiste filed his Complaint in this lawsuit on January
13, 2017, along with a Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis,
ECF NO.3. Because he appears to be indigent, Plaintiffs
motion shall be granted. For the reasons that follow, the
Complaint must be dismissed.
asserts that this Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. S 1331 and 28 U.S.C. S 1332(c)(1). Compl. ¶ 1.
Section 1331 provides that "[t]he district courts shall
have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under
the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United
States." 28 U.S.C. S 1331. The federal district courts
also have original jurisdiction over actions where the matter
in controversy is more than $75, 000 and none of the
defendants is a citizen of the same state as any plaintiff.
28 U.S.C. S 1332(a)(1)-(2).
Under the "well-pleaded complaint" rule, the facts
showing the existence of subject matter jurisdiction
"must be affirmatively alleged in the complaint."
Pinkley, Inc. v. City of Frederick, 191 F.3d 394,
399 (4th Cir. 1999) (citing McNutt v. Gen'l Motors
Acceptance Corp., 298 U.S. 178 (1936)). "A court is
to presume, therefore, that a case lies outside its limited
jurisdiction unless and until jurisdiction has been shown to
be proper." United States v. Poole, 531 F.3d
263, 274 (4th Cir. 2008) (citing Kokkonen v. Guardian
Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). Moreover, the
"burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction is
on ... the party asserting jurisdiction"" Robb
Evans & Assocs,, LLC v. Holibaugh, 609 F.3d 359, 362
(4th Cir. 2010); accord Hertz v. Friend, 599 U.S.
77, 95 (2010); McBumey v. Cuccinelli, 616 F.3d 393,
408 (4th Cir. 2010).
Naselnik v. Ideal Hyundai Buick GMC, No.
RDB-16-3034, 2016 WL 7474519, at *1 (D. Md. Dec. 29, 2016);
see also Williams v. Holley, No. DKC-16-623, 2017 WL
550034, at *3 (D. Md. Feb. 10, 2017) ("As the party
invoking the jurisdiction of this court, Plaintiff bears the
burden of proving the existence of subject matter
jurisdiction"" (citing Piney Run Pres.
Ass'n v. Cnty. Comm'rs of Carroll Cnty., 523
F.3d 453, 459 (4th Cir. 2008))).
alleges state-law claims of "Loss of Consortium,
Negligence, Defamation of character, Conspiracy in wrongful
Malicious prosecution, and Reckless Destruction of Property,
" as well as "actions against plaintiff in
violation of State, Federal Laws, Statute 18 U.S.C.A. S
912." Compl. 1. Certainly, Plaintiff cites a federal
criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. S 912, which provides that it is
a punishable offense to "pretend to be an officer or
employee acting under the authority of the United States or
any department, agency, or officer [of the United
States]" and thereby "demand]] or obtain any
money, paper, document, or thing of value." But, this
statute cannot provide the basis for this Court's
jurisdiction in this civil action, because Plaintiff cannot
institute criminal charges or insist on criminal prosecution
of a third party. See Linda R. v. Richard V., 410
U.S. 614 (1973) (private citizens lack a judicially
cognizable interest in the criminal prosecution of another).
He does not identify any other federal laws that Defendants
allegedly violated. Because the remainder of the claims are
state-law claims, this Court does not have federal question
jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. S 1331.
appears that Plaintiff names both SAP, National Security
Services, Inc. ("SAP") and Corporation Trust, Inc.
as Defendants. Compl. 1. However, he does not allege that
Corporation Trust, Inc. engaged in any acts for which it
would be liable to him. Rather, he simply asserts that
Corporation Trust, Inc. is SAP's resident agent.
Id. ¶ 4. Consequently, he fails to state a
claim against Corporation Trust, Inc. under any cause of
action. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). In any event,
if Corporation Trust, Inc., a Maryland-based company, were a
defendant, Plaintiff could not invoke this Court's
diversity jurisdiction, because he also is a Maryland
citizen. See Id. ¶¶ 2, 4;
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) (providing that the lawsuit must
be "between ... citizens of different
States" for diversity jurisdiction to exist). Therefore,
any claims asserted against Corporation Trust, Inc. will be
dismissed. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), (6).
asserts that "Defendant SAP is a private Corporation
with its headquarter[s] in Waldorf, Germany, " and
"there is diversity of citizenship and an amount in
controversy greater than $75, 000." Id.
¶¶ 1, 5. Even if SAP, the only
Defendant listed on the Civil Cover Sheet, ECF No. 2-3, and
the only Defendant discussed within the body of the
Complaint, is the only Defendant Plaintiff is suing, such
that diversity jurisdiction exists, Plaintiff nonetheless
fails to state a claim against it.
asserts that he is suing Defendants under respondeat
superior for the actions of "Defendants'
Executives Vernon A. Bailey, Vikki Jean-Baptiste, Robert B.
Laurence, Laura Carmack, Patricia Lavan, Patrick Rafferty,
and Mark Testoni, " all of whom worked for SAP. Compl.
1 & ¶¶ 9-13. In 2015,
Plaintiff filed a complaint raising claims similar to those
alleged in the pending case. See Jean-Baptiste, et al. v.
SAP, National Security Services, et ah, Civil Action No.
PJM-15-187 (D. Md.). That complaint was dismissed on February
2, 2015. See Mem. Op. & Order, ECF Nos. 3 and 4
in Jean-Baptiste, PJM-15-187. Plaintiff did not file
an appeal of this Court's dismissal. In dismissing the
complaint without prejudice, this Court reasoned as follows:
Plaintiff Henri Jean-Baptiste is suing his ex-wife's
employer because he claims employees of SAP National Security
Services ("SAP") conspired with her to falsely
charge him with domestic violence and, subsequently, with
violating an order of protection resulting in his
incarceration and loss of his businesses in 2012. He further
claims the purpose of this conspiracy was to cover up an
extramarital affair his wife was having with her boss and to
prevent him from reporting their misconduct which would have
resulted in the loss of a large contract they were attempting
to win for SAP. Records submitted with the Complaint as
exhibits indicate that Plaintiffs wife alleged he beat her,
emotionally abused their children, and threatened to kill her
as a result of Plaintiff's unmedicated bi-polar illness.
The Complaint asserts that federal criminal statutes were
violated in the process of having Plaintiff charged with
domestic violence and failure to obey the order of
protection. All of the claims of misconduct involve acts of
alleged misconduct committed by Plaintiffs ex-wife and her
supervisor. Plaintiff asserts Defendant SAP is liable under a
theory of respondeat superior. He claims negligence,
defamation of character, reckless destruction of property,
and wrongful prosecution. ECF 1. Plaintiff provides no
evidence that his criminal conviction has been overturned on
appeal or otherwise expunged. See State of Maryland v.
Jean-Baptiste, Case No. 4D00278324 (D. Md. for Mont.
. . . .
While a corporation may be sued for the tortious conduct of
its employees, that conduct must have occurred within the
scope of their employment. See Southern Management Corp.
v. Taha, 378 Md. 461, 480, 836 A.2d 627 (Md. 2003). In
the instant case, all of the alleged tortious conduct
involved allegations of domestic violence in the context of
Plaintiff s marriage and his bald assertions
that Defendant's employees conspired with her to file
criminal charges against him. In order to be considered
conduct within the scope of employment, "the act must
have been in furtherance of the employer's business and
authorized by the employer." Id. at 481, citing
Sawyer v. Humphries, 322 Md. 247, 255, 587 A.2d 467
(Md. 1991). Authorized does not mean "authority
expressly conferred, but whether the act was such as was
incident to the performance of the duties entrusted to the
employee by the employer." Ennis v. Crenca, 322
Md. 285, 294, 587 A.2d 485 (Md. 1991).
Plaintiffs claims that his ex-wife was having an affair with
her boss and was then encouraged or cajoled into pursuing
domestic violence charges to hide the affair, is not conduct
attributable to the ...