United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. Bredar, United States District Judge
Emmanuel Uzoechi initiated this action against Dr. David
Wilson, Dr. Kevin Banks, Mr. Seymour E. Chambers, Morgan
State University, and Ms. Stacie Sawyer on December 13, 2016
(ECF. No. 1), alleging a violation of Title IX of the
Education Act of 1972, negligence, and malicious prosecution.
Defendants move for dismissal of all claims (ECF. No. 15).
Plaintiff moves for Summary Judgment (ECF. No. 12). There is
no need for a hearing to resolve the matter. See
Local Rule 105.6.
Motion to Dismiss (ECF. No. 15) will be GRANTED by
accompanying order. Defendants' motion for Leave to File
their late response to Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment
(ECF. No. 22) will be DENIED by accompanying order, and as
such the Court has not read Defendants' proposed response
to Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF. No. 23). As
the Plaintiff has failed to state claims upon which relief
can be granted, his Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF. No. 12)
is moot, and it is DENIED by accompanying order.
Plaintiff's complaint is succinct, and it contains few
explicit factual allegations. Ordinarily, in reviewing a
motion to dismiss, the Court is confined to the allegations
and supporting information set out in the complaint in
assessing the adequacy of its contentions. However, the Court
may extend one step further and consider documents attached
to the motion to dismiss that are “integral and
explicitly relied on in the complaint… [if] the
plaintiffs do not challenge [their] authenticity.”
Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc. v. Severstal Sparrows
Point, LLC, 794 F.Supp.2d 602, 611 (D. Md. 2011)
(quoting Am. Chiropractic Ass'n, Inc. v. Trigon
Healthcare, Inc., 367 F.3d 212, 234 (4th Cir. 2004)
(first alteration in the original). Thus, the motion to
dismiss will be considered in the context of not just the
facts alleged in the complaint but also those set out in a
document labeled “OFFICIAL NOTICE OF DECISION AND
SANCTION(S)” which is attached as Exhibit 13 to the
motion to dismiss (ECF No. 15-2) and which is integral and
relied upon in the complaint.
further allegations and statements of fact contained in his
Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF. No. 12) as well as those
set out in his response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
(ECF. No. 20) are not properly considered at this stage.
See Southern Walk at Broadlands Homeowner's
Ass'n, Inc. v. OpenBand at Broadlands, LLC, 713 F.3d
175, 184 (4th Cir. 2013) (“It is well-established that
parties cannot amend their complaints through briefing or
Plaintiff alleges as follows: At some point in early 2015,
the Plaintiff (who apparently was then a student at Morgan
State University), was charged with a criminal offense under
Maryland law. He was jailed for a period of 6 months,
beginning on February 25. (Compl. III.) On April 21 or 28,
2015, a hearing was held at Morgan State in regard to
Plaintiff's conduct that had resulted in his detention.
(Compl. III (stating that the date of the hearing was April
28); Def.'s Mot. Dismiss Ex. 13 (stating that the date of
the hearing was April 21).) Plaintiff was unable to attend
the hearing because he was incarcerated. (Compl. III.1.) The
result of the Morgan State hearing was that the University
found, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the Plaintiff
had been in a “young lady's room, ” and
“did not comply with her wishes not to engage in sexual
activity and . . . penetrated her.” (Def.'s Mot.
Dismiss Ex. 13). As a result of the University's handling
of this matter, the Plaintiff's immigration status was
affected, he was unable to transfer to Towson University, and
he worried for his safety. (Compl. III). Furthermore,
Defendant Seymour Chambers, who worked for Morgan State,
“tampered with evidence surrounding the allegation,
” an act that impaired Plaintiff's ability to
properly defend himself in criminal court.
proceeds pro se and the Court, holding
Plaintiff's complaint “to a less stringent standard
than pleadings drafted by lawyers, ” Osei v.
University of Maryland University College, 202 F.Supp.3d
471, 480 (D. Md. 2016), has deduced the following claims: (1)
a violation of Title IX by Defendants Seymour Chambers and
Morgan State University; (2) a claim of Negligence against
Dr. Kevin Banks, Seymour Chambers, David Wilson, and Morgan
State University; and (3) a claim of malicious prosecution
against Assistant States Attorney Stacie Sawyer.
Standard of Review
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) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
Facial plausibility exists “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. An inference
of a mere possibility of misconduct is not sufficient to
support a plausible claim. Id. at 679. As the
Twombly opinion stated, “Factual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” 550 U.S. at 555. “A pleading
that offers 'labels and conclusions' or 'a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.' . . . Nor does a complaint suffice if it
tenders 'naked assertion[s]' devoid of 'further
factual enhancement.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557).
Although when considering a motion to dismiss a court must
accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint, this
principle does not apply to legal conclusions couched as
factual allegations. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Court will construe all pleadings “so as to do justice,
” Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(e), and “as the case law
makes very clear, the district court is obligated to make a
determined effort to understand what the pleader is
attempting to set forth.” 5 Charles A. Wright &
Arthur R. Miller, Fed. Prac. & Proc. Civ.
§1286 (3d ed.). Pleadings written by a pro se
litigant are especially liberally construed, but “the
court cannot ignore a clear failure to allege facts that
support a viable claim.” Osei, 202 F.Supp.3d
at 480-81 (citing Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990)).