United States District Court, D. Maryland
BRANDON J. MARTIN, pro se Plaintiff
STATE OF MARYLAND, et al. Defendants
J. MESSITTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Plaintiff Brandon J. Martin has filed a lawsuit against
the State of Maryland; the Maryland Department of Motor
Vehicles; the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
(“MVA”); former MVA Administrator Milton Chaffee;
MVA Administrator Christine E. Nizer; Chief Judge John
Morrissey of the District Court of Maryland; Administrative
Judge Karen Christy Holt Chesser of the District Court of
Maryland for St. Mary's County; State's Attorney
Richard Fritz of St. Mary's County; Assistant State's
Attorney Michael Kane of St. Mary's County, Maryland
State Troopers Robert Geyer; David Coppedge; and Doe #6321
(who the Government identified as Brian Tenorio); and St.
Mary's County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth
Flerlage in connection with three traffic stops. He
purports to bring three claims for Trespass and two claims
for Trespass on the Case, alleging that the State of
Maryland, its agencies, and its employees exceeded their
jurisdiction and violated his constitutional rights.
have filed an Omnibus Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, for Summary Judgment (“Motion to
Dismiss”), ECF No. 10; and Martin has filed a Motion
for Stay of Execution, ECF No. 16, a Motion to Restrain, ECF
No. 17, and a Motion for Default Judgement (sic) or in the
Alternative Jury Trial, ECF No. 18. For the reasons that
follow, the Court GRANTS WITH PREJUDICE the Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss and DENIES Martin's Motions for Stay of
Execution, to Restrain, and for Default Judgement (sic) or in
the Alternative Jury Trial.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
indicated, Martin's claims stem from three different
30, 2015, Trooper Tenorio pulled Martin over on Route 235 for
not wearing a seat belt. ECF No. 1 ¶ 7. Martin was
issued citations for “Operator Not Restrained by
Seatbelt” and “Failure to Display Registration
Card Upon Demand by Police Officer.” Id.
Apparently Martin did not contest these citations in court
such that his driver's license was suspended on July 6,
2015 for failure to pay penalties associated with these
citations. ECF No. 10-2 On December 16, 2015, Martin was
stopped on his way home from church by Trooper Geyer, because
a rear taillight on his car was not working properly. ECF No.
1 ¶ 9. When Trooper Geyer ran Martin's driver's
license information, he determined that Martin's
driver's license was suspended. Id. Trooper
Geyer told Martin he could be arrested for driving with a
suspended license, but instead gave him a citation.
Id. He also gave Martin a “must repair
order” for his broken taillight. ECF No. 1 at 4.
around December 24, 2015, Martin received a summons to appear
in the District Court for St. Mary's County regarding the
December 16, 2015 traffic citations. ECF No. 1 ¶ 10. The
summons listed three violations: (1) Person driving motor
vehicle on highway or public use property on suspended
license and privilege, (2)Person driving motor vehicle while
license suspended, and (3) Driving a motor vehicle on highway
without required license and authorization. Id.
Martin avers that this was a threating communication, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 876. Id.
appeared before Judge Chesser of the District Court for St.
Mary's County on February 5, 2016, where he apparently
contested the citations. ECF No. 1 ¶ 11. Judge Chesser
entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf and scheduled a
trial. Id. Martin refused to consent to the
jurisdiction of the District Court for St. Mary's County
and attempted to remove his case to the Circuit Court for St.
Mary's County. ECF No. 1 ¶ 15.
he attempted to remove the case to the Circuit Court, Martin
received another summons to appear in the District Court
before Judge Chesser on June 8, 2016. ECF Nos. 1 ¶ 16,
18. On June 8, Assistant State's Attorney Michael Kane
allegedly offered Martin a plea deal, which Martin declined.
Id. Although the Complaint is not entirely clear,
Martin states that he continued to dispute the court's
jurisdiction and, again, the case appears to have ended up
back in the Circuit Court. A check of the electronic records
indicated that all the citations issued during the December
16, 2015 stop were resolved by the entry of a nolle
prosequi on December 5, 2016. ECF No. 1 ¶ 19.
5, 2016, Martin was pulled over a third time by Trooper
Coppedge and Sheriff's Deputy Flerlage for failing to
wear a seatbelt. ECF No. 1 ¶ 20. Martin disputed the
officers' authority to pull him over, ECF No. 1 ¶
20, but Trooper Coppedge ordered him out of his car and
attempted to open the right side door of the car.
Id. When Martin refused the order, Trooper Coppedge
apparently told him he was under arrest and asked him for
identification. Id. Martin invoked his “Fifth
Amendment right” to remain silent, did not comply, and
asked to speak to Trooper Coppedge's supervisor.
Id.¶¶ 20-21. According to Martin, Trooper
Coppedge responded by saying “he gonna lock you up
too.” ECF No. 1 ¶ 21. Trooper Coppedge then told
Martin he could get out of the car and be arrested or they
would break his window and arrest him. Id. Martin
was arrested and his car was towed. Id.
alleges that Trooper Coppedge lied in his “Statement of
Probable Cause” for the arrest when he wrote that
“[t]he driver then begin (sic) to read off a piece of
paper stating that he was not going to provide me with his
license and registration because it was against his
constitutional right, ” and that he refused to get out
of his car. ECF No. 1 ¶ 23. Martin also alleges that
Trooper Coppedge falsely accused Martin of resisting arrest.
Id. ¶ 24. The District Court records indicate
that on December 13, 2016, a nolle prosequi was also
entered as to all nine charges arising out of the June 5,
27, 2016, Martin filed his Complaint in this Court alleging
that, with respect to all three stops, Defendants
“exceeded [their] jurisdiction” and
“deprived [him] of his constitutional freedom, ”
by enforcing Maryland's traffic laws because the Maryland
Code (and the traffic laws contained therein) is
unconstitutional as it applies to a citizen traveling in a
personal vehicle and not engaged in commerce. ECF No.1 ¶
2. He further avers that the Department of Motor Vehicles,
the MVA, and Nizer were and are engaged in extortion by
deploying cameras to take pictures of traffic violations. ECF
No. 1 ¶ 30.
filed an Omnibus Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative,
for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 10. Martin filed a response,
ECF No. 14, and the Defendants replied. ECF No. 15.
February 21, 2017, Martin filed three Motions: a Motion for
Stay of Execution, ECF No. 16, a Motion to Restrain, ECF No.
17, and a Motion for Default Judgement [sic]or in the
Alternative Jury Trial, ECF No. 18. The first two motions
asked the Court to intervene in (unspecified) proceedings in
the Circuit Court for Charles County. The last ...