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Grant v. Prince George's County Dept.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

July 17, 2017



          DEBORAH K. CHASANOW United States District Judge

         Presently pending and ready for resolution in this civil rights case is the motion to dismiss filed by Defendants Jonathan Hill (“Detective Hill”) and Prince George's County (“the County”) collectively, (“Defendants”). (ECF No. 47). The issues have been briefed, and the court now rules, no hearing being deemed necessary. Local Rule 105.6. For the following reasons, the motion to dismiss will be granted.

         I. Background

         A. Factual Background

         Unless otherwise noted, the facts outlined here are set forth in the complaint and construed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that while unconscious during a medical procedure on or about February 18 or 19, 2012, she was sexually assaulted by the staff at Doctor's Hospital Inc. (“Doctor's Hospital”). (ECF No. 16, at 10). In September 2012, Plaintiff reported the alleged sexual assault to Detective Hill in the Prince George's Police Department, who contacted Doctor's Hospital. The hospital informed Detective Hill that Plaintiff was “knocked out” for a pelvic exam and had awoken before the doctors could start the second part of the exam. (Id. 3). Detective Hill declined to conduct an investigation.

         Plaintiff filed a grievance against Detective Hill. (See Id. at 5). In November 2012, Sergeant T. Nalley contacted Plaintiff in response to her grievance. Plaintiff alleges that Sergeant Nalley asked “where are you from?” when asking for her personal information and said that he would look at her medical record and make a decision. (Id.). He subsequently closed her grievance.

         In December 2012, Plaintiff met with Lieutenant Webster regarding her complaint against Doctor's Hospital. Plaintiff informed Lieutenant Webster that “several crucial pages of information for the time interval of the sexual assault” were missing from the copy of Plaintiff's patient record in Lieutenant Webster's possession. (Id.). Plaintiff gave Lieutenant Webster an updated copy of her medical record. (Id. at 6). Upon Lieutenant Webster's inquiry, Plaintiff disclosed that she had spoken with a lawyer but was unable to pay for legal services. Plaintiff alleges that Lieutenant Webster and another officer “exchanged glances” and Lieutenant Webster refused to investigate the sexual assault. (Id.).

         In July 2014, Sergeant B. Selway informed Plaintiff that he was investigating her grievance against Detective Hill. Plaintiff gave Sergeant Selway a copy of her medical files. Plaintiff alleges that at a later meeting, Sergeant Selway's “face became angry when Plaintiff [spoke] about her meeting with [Lieutenant] Webster.” (ECF No. 16, at 7). Plaintiff alleges that the County's personnel interfered with her grievances and investigation since then. Plaintiff received a letter from Captain Rodriguez stating that her grievance against Detective Hill was closed. In November 2014, Sergeant Dillingham contacted Plaintiff regarding a letter Plaintiff had sent to a United States Senator's office. He informed Plaintiff that her complaint for sexual assault would not be investigated because it had already been closed by Lieutenant Webster. According to Plaintiff, the County was “tracking, monitoring, and intimidating Plaintiff . . . in order to keep the sex[ual] assault case and subsequent cover-up from being exposed.” (Id. at 9). Plaintiff asserts that she was re-victimized, treated as “an inferior class person, ” and “suffers from [a]nxiety, sleeplessness, violation of her privacy, and violation of trust in the public institution whose mission [it] is to enforce the laws equally.” (Id.).

         B. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint against Detective Hill, Prince George's County Police Department (“PGPD”), Doctor's Hospital, Tisha S. Hillman, and Erik R. Tyrone on August 17, 2015. (ECF No. 1).

         The operative amended complaint was filed on September 30, 2015, and asserted violations of: 18 U.S.C. § 242 against Detective Hill and PGPD (Count I); 42 U.S.C. § 1981 against Ms. Hillman and Mr. Tyrone (Count II); the Fourteenth Amendment against Detective Hill and PGPD (Count III); 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2)-(3) against all Defendants (Count IV); 42 U.S.C. § 1986 against PGPD (Count V); 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Detective Hill and PGPD (Count VI); and 18 U.S.C. § 241 against Doctor's Hospital, Ms. Hillman, and Mr. Tyrone (Count VII). (ECF No. 16). Plaintiff seeks monetary and injunctive relief.

         Detective Hill moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process (ECF No. 13), and PGPD moved to dismiss on the ground that it is not a legal entity that can be sued (ECF No. 25). The other Defendants also filed motions to dismiss. (ECF Nos. 19; 30; 32). Plaintiff was provided with a Roseboro notice after each motion was filed. See Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309, 310 (4th Cir. 1971); (ECF Nos. 20; 27; 31; 34). On June 29, 2016, the motions to dismiss filed by Doctor's Hospital, Ms. Hillman, and Mr. Tyrone were granted. (ECF Nos. 41; 42). PGPD's motion to dismiss was denied, and the court construed Plaintiff's claims as being against the County. (ECF No. 41, at 15-16). Detective Hill's motion to dismiss was construed as a motion to quash service and was granted. (ECF Nos. 41; 42).

         On October 12, 2016, Detective Hill and the County filed the instant motion to dismiss (ECF No. 47), and the Clerk sent a Roseboro notice to Plaintiff (ECF No. 48).[1] Plaintiff filed a response in opposition to the motion. (ECF No. 49). Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiff's claims on the ground that Plaintiff lacks standing or, in the alternative, has failed to state a claim.

         II. ...

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