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Young v. Santos

United States District Court, D. Maryland

March 30, 2018



          George L. Russell, III United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendants, Detective Daniel Santos and Detective Michael Boyd's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 27). Defendants renewed their Motion in response to Plaintiff Joseph L. Young's Amended Complaint (ECF No. 30). (ECF No. 31). The Motions are ripe for disposition, and no hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2016). For the reasons outlined below, the Court will grant Defendants' Motions.[1]


         Young is incarcerated in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and confined to McCrary Penitentiary in Pine Knot, Kentucky. He states that on February 28, 2012, Officer Lane was dispatched to 307 N. Payson Street in Baltimore, Maryland for a report of a shooting. (Compl. at 4, ECF No. 1). Shortly thereafter, Detective Michael Boyd responded to the scene and assumed control of the investigation. (Id.).

         Boyd testifies that Raylanair Reese voluntarily contacted the Baltimore Police Department and provided information implicating Plaintiff in McFadden's shooting. (Boyd Aff. at 2, ECF No. 27). Based on the information provided by Reese, Boyd prepared a photographic array that included Plaintiff's picture and presented it to McFadden on March 4, 2012. (Id.). At that time, McFadden positively identified Plaintiff as the shooter. (Id.). Young adds that the array featured six Black men, one of whom was him, and agrees that the eyewitness identified Young as the shooter. (Compl. at 5). Santos testifies that he witnessed McFadden's positive identification of Plaintiff as the shooter from the photographic array prepared by Boyd. (Santos Aff. at 2, ECF No. 27). Santos further states that Reese continued to provide information regarding Plaintiff before and after his arrest. (Id.).

         Based on the information provided by Reese and McFadden's identification of Young, Boyd states that a warrant was issued on March 5, 2012 for Plaintiff's arrest.

         (Id.). Plaintiff was found and arrested at 3011 Normount Court; the premises were searched pursuant to a search and seizure warrant. (Id.).

         On March 2, 2012, Santos and Boyd charged Plaintiff with attempted murder and handgun violations. Young asserts that Defendants obtained fraudulent search and seizure warrants, which were then executed at Young's residence in Baltimore. (Id.).

         Young states that the case against him unraveled quickly because the shooting victim was unable to identify him as the shooter and “recanted his statement.” (Id. at 6). In addition, Plaintiff alleges that the “anonymous state witness positively stated that Plaintiff was not the person she had seen.” (Id.). Young also pleads that there was no warrant issued at the time of the search of his house, and there was evidence that Raylanair Reese, a witness for the State, had been coerced to provide a statement. Plaintiff alleges that there was evidence of 458 text messages from Defendant Santos to Reese suggesting what she should say. (Id.).

         On January 8, 2014, the case against Young was dismissed. Young states that this was due to Defendants using perjurious statements to affect an arrest. (Id.). Young brings claims based on false arrest, defamation of character, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, and emotional distress under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2018). As relief, Plaintiff seeks damages of $500, 000. (Id. at 3).

         In his Supplement to the Complaint (ECF No. 30), Plaintiff reiterates the same allegations raised in the Complaint and adds as Defendants the State of Maryland, [3]Baltimore City Police Commissioner Kevon Davis, Sgt. Fried, Detectives Maurice Ward, Krauss, Addi, Brooks and Garrett. Young adds a claim that Ward participated in coercing Raylanair Reese in giving a statement implicating Plaintiff in the shooting. (Id. at 7). He alleges that “the actions of Boyd, Santos, Krauss, [4] Addi, Brooks, Fried, and Garrett” were unlawfully unreasonable “and without probable cause.”[5] (Id. at 10). He asserts that Police Commissioner Davis is responsible for the policies of the Baltimore City Police Department and the actions of the employees of the department. (Id. at 11). Plaintiff further pleads that Davis had a duty to intervene and his failure to do so “ratified” the actions of the police officers involved in Plaintiff's arrest and the search of his property. (Id. at 12). None of the additional Defendants have been served with the Complaint.


         A. Standard of Review 1. Motion to Dismiss

         “The purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is to test the sufficiency of a complaint, ” not to “resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses.” King v. Rubenstein, 825 F.3d 206, 214 (4th Cir. 2016) (quoting Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243-44 (4th Cir. 1999)). A complaint fails to state a claim if it does not contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), or does not “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Though the plaintiff is not required to forecast evidence to prove ...

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