United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
are self-represented Plaintiff Kevin Garcia's
correspondence filed in response to this Court's Order to
file a more definite statement of his claims and Defendant
Edwin Pauley's Renewed Motion to Dismiss for Failure to
State a Claim and Supporting Memorandum. (ECF Nos. 24, 25).
Garcia was provided the opportunity to file a Reply, but has
not done so. (ECF No. 26). For reasons to follow, this Court
WILL GRANT Pauley's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to
State a Claim (ECF No. 25) and DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE
Garcia's claims against Pauley.
plaintiff Kevin Garcia filed suit against Detective Edwin
Pauley and three other Defendants, the Gang Task Force,
Corporal Hagel, and PFC Kissinger, claiming he was hit by a
vehicle incident to his arrest on November 17,
2015. Garcia claims in correspondence filed
after he submitted the Complaint that his attorney said
Pauley was driving the vehicle that hit him. (ECF No. 7).
Garcia, however, provided no additional details.
Id.Garcia requests monetary damages and
injunctive relief. (ECF No. 1). The facts Garcia alleged are
summarized in this Court's Memorandum Opinion filed on
May 9, 2017, which is incorporated herein by reference. (ECF
9, 2017, this Court granted dismissed the Gang Task Force,
and granted Hagel and Kissinger's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF
No. 21). Court granted Defendant Detective Edwin Pauley's
Motion for a More Definite Statement (ECF No. 21), and
granted Garcia until June 9, 2017, to file a more definite
statement of his claims against Pauley, to include what
federal laws or constitutional provisions, if any, he alleged
were violated by Pauley and to provide supporting facts.
granting the Motion for a More Definite Statement, this
Court, mindful of Garcia's pro se status, noted that he
might be attempting to allege claims under federal law,
although the threadbare allegations presented were
insufficient to state a Fourth Amendment or other
constitutional claim, much less provide sufficient
information for Pauley to frame an answer. On June 9, 2017,
this Court granted Garcia's request for an Extension of
Time to File a More Definite Statement. (ECF No. 23).
5, 2017, Garcia submitted one handwritten paragraph,
accompanied by an exhibit, composed of a copy of a Maryland
State Police Report (“Police Report”) and a
Maryland State Police Gang Enforcement Unit Debriefing Form
(“Debriefing Form”) of the incident, which
appears to represent his efforts to provide a more definite
statement of his claims against Pauley. ECF No. 24, 24-1.
Portions of Garcia's handwritten correspondence are
unintelligible. ECF No. 24.
requirements are intended to ensure that an opposing party
receives fair notice of the factual basis for an assertion
contained in a claim or defense. Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 545 (2007). Rule 8(a)(2) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a pleader to
provide “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes
the dismissal of a complaint if it fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted. The purpose of Rule
12(b)(6) is “to test the sufficiency of a complaint and
not to resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of
a claim, or the applicability of defenses.” Presley
v. City of Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir.
Supreme Court's rulings in Twombly, 550 U.S. 544
(2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009),
“require that complaints in civil actions be alleged
with greater specificity than previously was required.”
Walters v. McMahen, 684 F.3d 435, 439 (4th Cir.
2012) (citation omitted). Twombly articulated
“[t]wo working principles” that courts must
employ when ruling on Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. While a court must accept as
true all the factual allegations contained in the complaint,
legal conclusions drawn from those facts are not afforded
such deference. Id. (stating that
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice” to plead a claim). In the context of pro se
litigants, however, pleadings are “to be liberally
construed, ” and are “held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94 (citation omitted);
accord Brown v. N.C. Dept. of Corr., 612 F.3d 720,
724 (4th Cir. 2010).
pro se complaint must be dismissed if it does not allege
“a plausible claim for relief.” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 679 (recognizing no pro se exception to the
requirement to plead a “plausible claim for
relief”). Under the plausibility standard, a complaint
must contain “more than labels and conclusions”
or a “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause
of action.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Although
the plausibility requirement does not impose a
“probability requirement, ” id. at 556,
“[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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678;
see also Robertson v. Sea Pines Real Estate Cos.,
679 F.3d 278, 291 (4th Cir. 2012) (“A complaint need
not make a case against a defendant or forecast evidence
sufficient to prove an element of the claim. It need only
allege facts sufficient to state elements of the
claim.”) (emphasis in original) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted)).
one paragraph correspondence is unresponsive to this
Court's Order. Garcia fails to identify what federal laws
or constitutional provisions were allegedly violated by
Pauley. Garcia states in his correspondence that he
“circled” the Debriefing Report where it said
that “I ran into the covert police car correct, and on
my report they say I ran into a moving vehicle.” ECF
No. 24. Garcia alleges “they were trying to keep Edwin
Pauley hiding from me.” Id. Garcia adds,
“They kept him covert, as he saw me he never
tried to hit the breaks [sic].” Id. He adds
“[I]f I ran into the vehicle how did I have time to
guard my face with my hand. Also I have scars in [sic] my
hand from hitting the windshield.” Id.
Police Report states that Garcia was under police
surveillance on suspicion of possession of a handgun and
drugs. Garcia observed the officers, started to flee, and ran
into a moving vehicle. Garcia sustained injuries as a result
of striking the vehicle and was observed lying on the ground.
ECF No. 24-1. The Debriefing Report reads: “The subject
ran directly into the path of responding covert police
vehicle that was turning from West Main Street on to First
Street.” ECF No. 24-1. Garcia circled the words
“covert police vehicle” in the report.
Id. at ...