United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. TITUS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
March 3, 2017, the Plaintiffs, Deandre Simmons and Darius
Green, IV (collectively Plaintiffs), filed a Complaint in
this Court against Apple Inc. (“Apple”) for
claims arising out of an incident at one of Apple's
stores on June 17, 2016. ECF No. 1 ¶ 17. Plaintiffs
allege six counts against Apple, including racial
discrimination in violation of (1) the Contracts Clause of 42
U.S.C. § 1981; (2) the Equal Benefits Clause of 42
U.S.C. § 1981; (3) 42 U.S.C. § 1982; (4) the
Deprivation of Rights and Privileges Section of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1985; (5) State Government Article, § 20-304,
Annotated Code of Maryland; and (6) the torts of negligent
hiring, training, retention, and supervision. ECF No. 1 at
6, 2017, Apple filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State
a Claim. ECF No. 8. To date, Plaintiffs have not filed a
response, and the deadline to do so has long ago passed. On
July 10, 2017, Law Clerk for the undersigned advised the
secretary for Plaintiffs' Counsel that no response has
been filed, and the Law Clerk also left a message on the
voicemail of Plaintiffs' Counsel informing him of the
same and inquiring as to the status of the case. To date,
Plaintiffs' Counsel has neither returned the Court's
call nor filed any response electronically. The Court's
patience is not endless. Accordingly, the Court will now
address the merits of Apple's Motion, which is unopposed.
Background Facts from the Complaint
17, 2016, Plaintiffs visited Apple's store at 4860
Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. ECF No. 1 ¶ 17.
While waiting in line for assistance, “Plaintiffs were
subjected to constant stares and glares by Apple Store
employees.” Id. When called to the purchasing
counter, Plaintiffs purchased two iPhones for $793.94 each.
Id. ¶ 18. They allege that, sometime during
their time in the store, “Apple Store employees called
911 to report two suspicious black men at the store and
summoned the local police department to the location.”
Id. ¶ 10. “Upon opening the store door to
exit, the Plaintiffs were accosted by two uniformed
Montgomery County Sherriff's Department officers who
detained them for almost an hour in front” of the
store. Id. ¶ 19. Plaintiffs claim that
“Apple Store and its employees profiled the Plaintiffs
as either shoplifters or as persons committing fraud or other
crimes of deceit, causing them to be unlawfully detained by
Montgomery County Maryland Sheriff's Department.”
Id. ¶ 11. The Plaintiffs were not charged with
any criminal offense related to the incident. Id.
¶ 19. Plaintiffs allege that, as a result of Apple's
actions, they “have suffered irreparable loss and
injury, including but not limited to deprivation of civil
rights protected by the Constitution, economic loss, mental
anguish, feelings of distrust, public humiliation and
denigration, loss of sleep, and loss of enjoyment of life and
daily activity.” Id. ¶ 22.
Motion to Dismiss Legal Standard
moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6) for failure to “allege facts sufficient to
state any claim as a matter of law.” ECF No. 8 at 1. A
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure tests the sufficiency of a
complaint. Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d
231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). To survive a motion to dismiss,
“a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted)
(citation omitted). “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.” Id.
“Thus, ‘[i]n reviewing a motion to dismiss an
action pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). . . [a court] must
determine whether it is plausible that the factual
allegations in the complaint are enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level.'” Monroe v.
City of Charlottesville, Virginia, 579 F.3d
380, 386 (4th Cir. 2009) (quoting Andrew v. Clark,
561 F.3d 261, 266 (4th Cir. 2009)).
motion to dismiss, courts must accept “all well-pleaded
allegations of the complaint as true, ” Albright v.
Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 268 (1994), and “must
construe factual allegations in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff.” Harrison v. Westinghouse Savannah
River Co., 176 F.3d 776, 783 (4th Cir.1999). Courts,
however, “are not bound to accept as true a legal
conclusion couched as a factual allegation.”
Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986). Rule 8
“requires a ‘showing, ' rather than a blanket
assertion, of entitlement to relief.” Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 n.3 (quoting
Motion appears to be meritorious. For the reasons described
below, the Complaint will be dismissed in its entirety.
Count I Alleging a Violation of the Contracts Clause of 42
U.S.C. § 1981
Contracts Clause of § 1981 requires that “[a]ll
persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall
have the same right in every State and Territory to make and
enforce contracts. . . as is enjoyed by white
citizens.” 42 U.S.C. § 1981(a). The statute
defines the phrase “make and enforce contracts”
as “the making, performance, modification, and
termination of contracts, and the enjoyment of all benefits,
privileges, terms, and conditions of the contractual
relationship.” 42 U.S.C. § 1981(b).
preliminary matter, the Court finds that this Count must be
dismissed because there is nothing in the Complaint
demonstrating how Apple interfered with either the making or
performance of a contract. The contracts at issue between
Apple and each Plaintiff were made when Apple agreed to sell
each Plaintiff an iPhone. See ECF No. 1 ¶ 18.
The parties performed on the contracts when Plaintiffs
exchanged $793.94 for each iPhone and Apple provided
Plaintiffs with said phones. See Id. Accordingly,
there was no unlawful interference with Plaintiffs'
ability to make and enforce contracts in violation of 42
U.S.C. § 1981, and this Count will be dismissed.
See, e.g., Baltimore-Clark v. Kinko's
Inc., 270 F.Supp.2d 695, 699-700 (D. Md. 2003) (42
U.S.C. § 1981 not violated where plaintiff entered
store, purchased services, and left with purchased
product-even when plaintiff alleged that the employee's
comments humiliated plaintiff and undermined enjoyment of
Count II Alleging a Violation of the Equal Benefits ...