United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pending and ready for resolution in this civil rights case is
the motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary
judgment filed by Defendant Prince George's County. (ECF
No. 14). The issues have been briefed, and the court now
rules, no hearing being deemed necessary. Local Rule 105.6.
motion is confusing, to say the least. While counsel has
purported to articulate the proper standards for either a
motion to dismiss or for summary judgment, the memorandum is
hopelessly jumbled. The discussion meanders from failure to
ALLEGE something, to inability to PROVE something. It is not
this court's role to parse the arguments in this fashion.
counsel did little better in pleading and arguing
Plaintiff's case. The complaint was not a “short
and plain statement of the claim, ” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2), but rather a long and unwieldy document which failed
appropriately to explain the events giving rise to
Plaintiff's claims. Although counsel recognized the
applicability of Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(d), they failed to file the
Rule 56(d) affidavit. In several instances, counsel advances
arguments in response to Defendant's motion that
contradict the complaint. Counsel would be well advised to
file an amended complaint.
the deficiencies on both sides, the pending motion will be
treated as a motion for summary judgment in its entirety. It
will be granted as to the state law claims but denied as to
the federal claims.
Factual History 
George's County Police Department hired Plaintiff NaRica
Hamilton in 2006. At all relevant times, Plaintiff was the
only female in her unit, and her immediate supervisor was
Sergeant Gerald Manley, a male. Prior to November 12, 2015,
Plaintiff always received satisfactory or better on her
performance reviews. (ECF No. 17-3 ¶¶ 1, 3, 4).
While under Sergeant Manley's supervision, [Plaintiff]
was routinely subjected to verbal harassment. This harassment
included berating [her] in front of other members of [her]
squad and/or [her] superior officers . . . . and sharing
private information that should have only been shared with
[her] supervising officers, and referring to [her] by [her]
first name only[.]
(ECF No. 17-3 ¶ 5). The parties also agree that Sgt.
Manley listened to radio shows at work which were offensive
to women and minorities. (ECF No. 14-1 ¶ 74). On October
7, 2015, Plaintiff expressed her concern about the
discrimination she was experiencing to her Lieutenant, Lt.
Popielarcheck. On October 8, she emailed a union shop steward
about the discrimination. On October 15, at a squad meeting,
Sgt. Manley mocked and humiliated Plaintiff for asking a
question. He did not treat anyone else that way. On October
22, Plaintiff filed a formal complaint with the police
department. (Id. ¶¶ 6-10).
October 26, Plaintiff found out she was pregnant, and her
doctor told her that she needed to be placed on light duty
because of complications from the pregnancy. Plaintiff
requested an accommodation to ensure she did not have to a)
stand for long periods, b) drive more than 30 miles each day,
or c) lift more than twenty pounds. The request was granted
on November 2, and Plaintiff was transferred to the Records
Department. Even though Plaintiff was not supposed to drive
other than from home to work and back, she was ordered to
drive to the station on November 10, 11, and 12. (ECF No.
17-3 ¶¶ 12-14).
found out that she had had a miscarriage on November 14 and
underwent a related surgical procedure on November 15.
Plaintiff was on leave from November 15 until December 30.
When she returned, “Sergeant Manley continued to make
offensive and derogatory comments to [her] and continued to
treat [her] in a discriminatory and hostile manner.”
(ECF No. 17-3 ¶ 19). She was then granted a transfer
request to a patrol assignment and involuntary reassigned to
the night shift. (Id. ¶ 20).
23, 2017, Plaintiff filed suit in the Circuit Court for
Prince George's County, Maryland, against Prince
George's County and the Prince George's County Police
Department. (ECF No. 2). Plaintiff brought 16 claims under an
assortment of federal and state laws alleging discrimination
on the basis of sex, pregnancy, disability and related claims
of retaliation. On August 11, Defendant Prince George's
County removed the case. Defendant Prince George's County
moved to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment
on September 15. (ECF No. 14). Plaintiff responded (ECF No.
17), and Defendant replied (ECF No. 20).
State Discrimination Claims
Prince George's County Police Department
brought claims against the Prince George's County Police
Department. Although Defendant has not raised this issue,
Fed.R.Civ.P. 17(b)(2) states that a corporation's
capacity to be sued is determined by the law under which it
was organized. Pursuant to state law, the Prince George's
County Charter mandates that the corporate name of the County
is “Prince George's County, Maryland, ” and
that the County shall be designated as such in all actions
and proceedings touching its liabilities and duties. Prince
George's County Charter § 103. Thus, a claim against
the “Prince George's County Police
Department” should be brought as a claim against the
county itself. See Hines v. French, 157 Md.App. 536,
573 (2004). Where the county is already named in the suit,
claims against the Prince George's County Police
Department are properly dismissed. See, e.g., Dodson v.
Prince George's Cty., No. JKS-13-2916, 2016 WL 67255
(D.Md. Jan. 6, 2016); Stewart v. Prince George's
Cty., No. AW-01-302, 2001 WL 759890 (D.Md. May 23,
2001). Accordingly, the claims against Prince George's
County Police Department will be dismissed with prejudice.
Local Government Tort Claim Act
IX through XVI of Plaintiff's complaint assert state law
claims. (ECF No. 2 ¶¶ 109-187). Defendant argues
that Plaintiff's state law claims are barred because she
failed properly to provide notice as required under the Local
Government Tort Claims Act (“LGTCA”). (ECF No.
14-1, at 15). Compliance with the LGTCA is necessary to
effectuate a waiver of immunity for local governments in
Maryland. Plaintiff contends that her claims are not subject
to the LGTCA and that even if the LGTCA applied, she complied
with the notice and timing requirements by reporting the
incidents to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights. (ECF
No. 17-1, at 20-21).
cites to Md.Code, State Gov't § 20-903, to argue
that Defendant cannot assert immunity. (ECF No. 17-1, at 20).
Section 20-903 provides, “The State, its officers, and
its units may not raise sovereign immunity as a defense
against an award in an employment discrimination case under
this title.” Defendant is a county, and Section 20-903
of the State Government Article of the Maryland Code does not
apply to counties. See Md.Code, State Gov't
§ 1-101(b), (e) (defining county and state); see
also Prince George's Cty. v. Silverman, 58 Md.App.
41, 51-52 (1984) (explaining Defendant's status as a
charter county pursuant to Article XI-A of the Maryland
Constitution). Therefore, the waiver of sovereign immunity
cited by Plaintiff does not apply.
LGTCA applies to suits against Defendant, White v. Prince
George's Cty., 163 Md.App. 129, 141-144 (2005), and
it applies regardless of whether an action is a common law
tort, constitutional tort, or a statutory cause of action.
See Md.Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. §
5-304(b)(1) (“[A]n action for unliquidated
damages may not be brought against a local government or
its employees unless the notice of the claim required by this
section is given within 1 year after the injury”)
(emphasis added); Rounds v. Maryland-Nat. Capital Park
& Planning Comm'n, 441 Md. 621, 636 (2015)
(“[W]e hold that, generally, the LGTCA notice
requirement applies to both state constitutional ...