United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
March 7, 2016, Kevin Garcia filed this pro se
Complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. (ECF 1).
Maryland State Police Corporal Richard Lee Hagel and PFC
Kissinger have filed separate motions to dismiss pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (ECF
12, 18). Detective Edwin Pauley has filed a Motion to Dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), or in the Alternative, Motion for
a More Definite Statement pursuant to Rule 12(e). (ECF No.
14). Garcia filed a Reply to Pauley and Hagefs dispositive
motions. (ECF 16). For reasons to follow, Defendants Hagel
and Kissinger's Motions to Dismiss (ECF 12, 18) will be
GRANTED. Detective Pauley's Motion to Dismiss, or in the
Alternative, Motion for a More Definite Statement (ECF No.
14), treated as a Motion for a More Definite Statement, IS
GRANTED. Garcia SHALL FILE more definite statement of his
claims against Detective Pauley on or before June 9, 2017.
Court accepts as true the facts alleged in the Complaint.
See Asiz v. Alcolac, Inc., 658 F.3d 388, 390 (4th
Cir. 2011). This Court also recognizes that Plaintiff is
pro se and accords his pleadings liberal
construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
alleges that on November 17, 2015, he was walking to Germania
Circle. He saw a navy blue jeep with a tinted
window, but paid no further attention to it. Garcia stopped
at a friend's house to ask for a ride. (ECF 1 at p. 4).
The friend was unable to offer Garcia a ride, so Garcia
walked on a path toward First Street where a blue jeep cut
him off. Garcia claims he was scared because he could not see
who it was and began to run. Id. He also alleges the
vehicle was an unmarked car. Garcia alleges that as he ran
"they" jumped out and chased him. Id.
Garcia asserts that he heard them say on their walkie-talkies
that he was coming down First Street and turning on to West
Main Street. Garcia says he saw a navy blue jeep driving fast
up West Main Street and that did not slow down as it turned.
Garcia says as vehicle turned toward him on First Street, he
became scared, stopped running, and put his hands up. Garcia
claims he was struck by the vehicle on West Main Street and
flew six to ten feet in the air and injured his leg, elbow,
and ankle. Garcia was placed in handcuffs and arrested.
Id. Garcia claims "they said I should of [sic]
never ran and they try to lie and say it was a padestrian
[sic] that hit me." (ECF No. 16-1).
was reported as possessing a handgun and distributing drugs.
Garcia alleges that the "people involved" were Gang
Task Force Officer Hagel and Officer Kissinger. Id.
Garcia subsequently amended the Complaint to allege that
Detective Edward Pauley "was the one that hit me with
the car." (ECF 7). Garcia requests $20, 000 in damages
for his mental and physical injuries, dismissal of Criminal
Case No. 1H00079731, (Dt. Ct. of Maryland for Wicomico
County) and "no contact" with Hagel or
Kissinger because he is in "fear" for his
life." (ECF 1, 16).
April 13, 2016, Garcia entered an Alford
to possession of a firearm by a felon and was sentenced to
five years of incarceration based on the November 17, 2015
incident in Criminal Case No. 22-K-15-000730 (Cir. Ct. of Md.
for Wicomico County). See
detailLocODYCRIM; see also ECF 14-1.
MOTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM PURSUANT TO RULE
Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a
complaint must contain a "short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes the dismissal of
a complaint if it fails to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. The purpose of Rule 12(b)(6) is "to test
the sufficiency of a complaint and not to resolve contests
surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses." Presley v. City of
Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir. 2006).
Supreme Court's rulings in Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), "require that
complaints in civil actions be alleged with greater
specificity than previously was required." Walters
v. McMahen, 684 F.3d 435, 439 (4thCir. 2012) (citation
omitted). Twombly articulated "[t]wo working
principles" that courts must employ when ruling on Rule
12(b)(6) motions to dismiss. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
While a court must accept as true all the factual allegations
contained in the complaint, legal conclusions drawn from
those facts are not afforded such deference. Id.
(stating that "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of
a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements,
do not suffice" to plead a claim). In the context of pro
se litigants, however, pleadings are "to be liberally
construed, " and are "held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers."
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94 (citation omitted);
accord Brown v. N.C. Dept. of Corr., 612 F.3d 720,
724 (4th Cir. 2010).
a pro se complaint must be dismissed if it does not
allege "a plausible claim for relief."
fqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (recognizing no pro se
exception to the requirement to plead a "plausible claim
for relief"). Under the plausibility standard, a
complaint must contain "more than labels and
conclusions" or a "formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action." Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555. Although the plausibility requirement does not
impose a "probability requirement, " id.
at 556, "[a] claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678; see also Robertson v. Sea Pines Real Estate
Cos., 679 F.3d 278, 291 (4th Cir. 2012) ("A
complaint need not make a case against a defendant or
forecast evidence sufficient to prove an element of the
claim. It need only allege facts sufficient to state elements
of the claim." (emphasis in original) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted)). In short, a court
must "draw on its judicial experience and common
sense" to determine whether the pleader has stated a
plausible claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
Finally, "[w]hile pro se complaints may 'represent
the work of an untutored hand requiring special judicial
solicitude, ' a district court is not required to
recognize 'obscure or extravagant claims defying the most
concerted efforts to unravel them.'" Weller v.
Dep't of Social Servs. for City of Baltimore, 901
F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990) (quoting Beaudett v. City
of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1277 (4th Cir. 1985),
cert denied. 475 U.S. 1088 (1986)).
MOTION FOR A MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT PURSUANT TO RULE
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a
pleader to provide "a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Pleading requirements are intended to ensure that an opposing
party receives fair notice of the factual basis for an
assertion contained in a claim or defense. Twombly,
550 U.S. at 545. When a party has not complied with the
requirements of Rule 8, the opposing party may file a Motion
for a More Definite Statement under Rule 12(e). Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(e) ("A party may move for a more definite statement
of a pleading to which a responsive pleading is allowed but
which is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot
reasonably prepare a ...