United States District Court, D. Maryland
JOSEPH L. YOUNG Plaintiff
CITY OF BALTIMORE, DETECTIVE DANIEL SANTOS, and DETECTIVE MICHAEL BOYD Defendants
L. Russell, III United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant City of
Baltimore's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 9) and Motion to
Strike Plaintiff's Surreply (ECG No. 18),  and Plaintiff
Joseph L. Young's Motion to Appoint Counsel (ECF No 12).
The Motions are ripe for disposition, and no hearing is
necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2016). For
the reasons outlined below, the Court will grant City of
Baltimore's Motion to Dismiss, grant City of
Baltimore's Motion to Strike, and deny Young's
Joseph Young is a federal inmate incarcerated at United
States Penitentiary-McCreary in Pine Knot, Kentucky. He
alleges Defendants Daniel Santos and Michael Boyd, both
detectives with Baltimore City Police Department, improperly
arrested him for a shooting. (Compl., ECF No. 1). Of
particular import here, Young alleges that the City of
Baltimore failed to train and supervise the detectives
involved in his arrest and thereby contributed to, and
proximately caused, the constitutional violations he alleges.
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)) (internal
quotation marks omitted), aff'd sub nom.,
Goss v. Bank of Am., NA, 546 F.App'x 165 (4th
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)).
to Appoint Counsel
states he is unable to afford counsel, the issues involved in
the case are complex, he has limited access to the prison law
library, and he has limited knowledge of the law.
Id. A federal district court judge's power to
appoint counsel under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) (2012) is a
discretionary, and may be considered where an indigent
claimant presents exceptional circumstances. See Cook v.
Bounds, 518 F.2d 779, 780 (4th Cir. 1975); see also
Branch v. Cole, 686 F.2d 264, 266 (5th Cir. 1982). Upon
careful consideration of the Motions and Young's previous
filings, the Court concludes that Young has the ability to
either articulate the legal and factual basis of his claims
himself or the means to secure meaningful assistance in doing
so. There are no exceptional circumstances present that
warrant the appointment of an attorney to represent Young
under § 1915(e)(1). Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint
Counsel will be denied without prejudice.
City of Baltimore argues the Court should dismiss Young's
claims because the Baltimore City Police are not controlled,
managed, or supervised by the City of Baltimore and
therefore, as a matter of law, Young can prove no set of
facts entitling him to judgment against the City of Baltimore
for the conduct alleged.
claim against the City of Baltimore is one of supervisory
liability under Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs, ,
436 U.S. 658 (1978). In suing a municipal government and
agency under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiffs must prove two
elements. First, he must establish the existence of a
constitutional violation on the part of the police officers.
See Los Angeles v. Heller, 475 U.S. 796, 799 (1986)
(jury's finding that a police officer inflicted no
constitutional injury on the plaintiff removed any basis for
municipal liability against city and members of police
commission); Temkin v. Frederick Cty Comm'rs,
945 F.2d 716, 724 (4th Cir. 1991) (Section 1983 claim of
inadequate training or supervision requires a constitutional
violation by the person being supervised); see also
Dawson v. Prince George's Cty., 896 F.Supp. 537, 540
(D.Md. 1995). Second, plaintiffs must show that any
constitutional violations were proximately caused by a
policy, custom, or practice of the defendants. See Monell
v. Dep't of Social Servs. of N.Y., 436 U.S. 658,
691, 694 (1978). Municipal policy arises from the following: