United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
above-captioned case, filed August 7, 2017, seeks both
Petitioner's release from incarceration and monetary
damages of 5.5 million dollars. ECF I at pp. 2 & 5.
Petitioner moves for leave to proceed in forma pauperis; the
motion shall be granted. ECF 2.
Raymond Gill is committed to the custody of the Federal
Bureau of Prisons and currently confined in the United States
Penitentiary-Hazelton. The named Respondents are detectives
with the Baltimore County Police, Bank Robbery Task Force who
were involved in Gill's arrest on August 27, 2013. ECF I
at p. 2. Gill states he was indicted by the State of Maryland
on September 30, 2013, on charges of armed robbery, robbery,
and use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime.
Ultimately a disposition of Nolle Prosequi was entered on all
pending State charges. Id. Gill then alleges that he
"never received an arrest warrant from the Federal
Government at any time, he received a Federal Indictment on
10/23/2013, 23 days after his State Indictment."
Id. The remainder of the petition are legal
conclusions and arguments without reference to any alleged
facts to support Gill's conclusion that he is entitled to
5.5 million dollars or release from incarceration.
Id. at pp. 2-4. In a section entitled
"conclusion"' Gill states that no detainer was
tiled with Baltimore County Detention Center by the federal
government and raises vague allegations regarding his
arraignment date in this Court and the date that an attorney
first entered his appearance in the case. Id. at pp.
4 - 5.
self-styled petition is Gill's fifth attempt to file a
suit for damages and simultaneously claim that there were
constitutional defects in the criminal case against rum in this
Court. See Gill v. Podlesni, et al., Civil Action
RDB-16-4475 (D. Md.); Gill v. Ciambuschini, et al,
Civil Action JFM-17-32 (D. Md.) (dismissed with
"strike"" January 11, 2017 (ECF 3)); Gill
v. United States Marshal's Service, Civil Action
JFM-17-34 (D. Md.) (dismissed without prejudice pursuant to
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994)),
Gill v. Ahfeldt, Civil Action JFM-17-143 (D. Md.)
(same). The instant petition does not state a claim upon
which relief may be granted.
purposes of a damages claim under 42 U.S.C. §1983, Gill
has not stated any claims against Respondents Morano and
Hamilton.The mere fact that these two officers
arrested Gill does not give rise to a civil claim for
damages. Conversely, Gill's conviction in this Court is a
strong indication that these two Defendants are entitled to
avail themselves of a qualified immunity defense.
"[G]overnment officials performing discretionary
functions generally are shielded from liability for civil
damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly
established statutory or constitutional rights of which a
reasonable person would have known." Harlow v.
Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982). "In
determining whether a government official is entitled to
qualified immunity, 'we must (1) identify the right
allegedly violated, (2) determine whether the constitutional
right violated was clearly established at the time of the
incident, and (3) evaluate whether a reasonable offic[ial]
would have understood that the conduct at issue violated the
clearly established right.'” Henderson v.
Simms, 223 F.3d 267, 271 (4th Cir. 2000) (quoting S.
P. v. Tacoma Park, 134 F.3d 260, 265 (4th Cir. 1998));
see also Valhekan v. Prince Georges Cty, 154 F.3d
173, 179 (4th Cir. 1998).
order to state a claim under § 1983 for false arrest,
Gill must show that his arrest was made without probable
cause. See Street v. Surdyka, 492 F.2d 368, 372-73
(4th Cir. 1974). Probable cause exists if "at that
moment the facts and circumstances with [the officers]]
knowledge and of which they had reasonably trustworthy
information were sufficient to warrant a prudent man in
believing that the petitioner had committed or was committing
an offense." Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89, 91
(1964) (citation omitted). A probable cause determination is
governed by a totality of the circumstances test. See
Illinois v. Gales, 462 U.S. 213, 241 (1983); United
States v. Garcia, 848 F.2d 58, 59-60 (4th Cir. 1988).
Whether probable cause to arrest exists is based on
information the police had at the time of the arrest.
Id at 261.
Gill alleges nothing more than he never received an arrest
warrant for the federal criminal charges against him. Even if
Gill's allegation is true, the unassailable fact is that
an arrest warrant was issued in his case on October 23, 201,,
the same date the federal indictment was issued. See
United States v. Gill, Crim. Case RDB-13-577 (D. Md.) at
ECF 3. The alleged failure of any party responsible for
providing Gill with a copy of the arrest warrant does not
state a constitutional claim.
extent Gill challenges the validity of his current
incarceration, the proper vehicle for doing so is a Motion to
Vacate or Set Aside Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 92255,
which is filed in the criminal case. Gill has such a motion
pending in the criminal case. See Gill, Crim. Case
RDB-13-577 at ECF 119. The instant petition, to the extent it
is a challenge of Gill's conviction, shall be dismissed
separate Order follows.
See United Stales v.
GUI, Crim. Case RDB.13-577 (D. Md. 2013).
Baltimore County Detention Center
and the United States of America are not properly named
parties for purposes of a civil suit for damages under §
1983. The statute provides a civil remedy for constitutional
violations committed by "any person" under
color of law. The Detention Center and ...