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Williams v. Baltimore County Government

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 27, 2018



          James K. Bredar Chief Judge.

         Pending before the Court are several motions filed by Plaintiff Lamar A. Williams. All are without merit and will be denied.

         ECF No. 121: Rule 12(f) Motion to Strike the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgement (ECF No. 104)

         Williams says “the controlling law and the amount of facts, entitles [him] to have the defendant's Motion for Summary Judgement stricken from the record.” (Pl.'s Mot. Strike 1.) He also complains about the County's conduct before and after he filed suit, and he further complains about the conduct of an attorney who briefly represented him as well as of attorneys who represent the County. (Supp. Mem., ECF No. 124.) He presents to the Court no meritorious basis for striking the motion for summary judgment.

         ECF No. 122: Motion to Seal

         Williams requests the Court seal the entirety of the County's motion for summary judgment, its supporting memorandum, and all of its exhibits. (Mot. Seal 1.) He complains that they contain confidential information, but never directs the Court to specific parts of the County's filing that supposedly contain information that should be sealed. The Court has previously explained that sealing a court record must be justified under the governing standard, as expressed in Va. St. Police v. Washington Post, 386 F.3d 567 (4th Cir. 2004). (Mem. & Order, Mar. 23, 2017, ECF No. 15.) Williams has failed to satisfy that standard. His motion has no merit.

         ECF No. 123: Motion for Relief

         In this motion, Williams asks “the Court for a retroactive Order, forbidding the deposition of [Williams] to be submitted or from being admissible before this Court, and granting relief . . . due to Mr. Mayhew's violations of my rights to not give the defendant a deposition and Mr. Morris' failure to file a protective order or at best advise [him] of [his] rights to not give a deposition if [he is] ‘pro se' and without counsel.” (Mot. Relief 1.) According to Williams,

On November 21, 2017 Mr. Mayhew demanded to depose [him] on November 30, 2017 despite his knowledge that [Williams] was without counsel and his full knowledge that not only did [Williams] not have to give a deposition without counsel present but it is [Williams's] understanding, that the deposition could be inadmissible in Court if [Williams] or [his] counsel had submitted a Protective Order if the Notice of Deposition was less than 14-days of the deposition date and the Protective Order was still pending while the deposition was being taken.

(Id. 1-2.) Williams cites Rule 32(a)(5) and Rule 26(c)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as giving him the right not to be deposed. He is mistaken. No motion for protective order, as required under Rule 32(a)(5), was filed before November 30, 2017, to prevent the County from deposing Williams on that date. Rule 26(c)(1) specifies the potential bases for requesting a protective order, but does not support Williams's argument because no motion for the same was filed. Williams proceeded pro se in this case from its inception on January 9, 2017, until John Morris, Esq., filed his notice of appearance on November 28, 2017. Furthermore, Mr. Morris represented Williams at the deposition. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 1, Dep. Williams, p. 55, ECF No. 104-3.) This motion is without merit.

         ECF No. 126: [Motion for] Leave to Amend Operative Statement of Claims

         In this motion, Williams asks the Court to accept an amended statement of claims. It seems that Williams wants to add a claim for punitive damages of $31 million, to add a claim against defense counsel for defamation, to delete some prior allegations, and to add allegations about the County's and defense counsel's conduct before and after Williams filed suit.

         A motion for leave to amend pleadings filed beyond the deadline set forth in the scheduling order will only be granted if it satisfies both the “good cause” standard of Rule 16(b)(4) and the standard of Rule 15(a)(2) for allowing amendment of pleadings. See Moses v. Cowan Distrib. Servs., Inc., Civ. No. JKB-10-1809, 2012 WL 527657, at *2 (D. Md. Feb. 16, 2012). See also Nourison Rug Corp. v. Parvizian, 535 F.3d 295, 298-99 (4th Cir. 2008) (noting tension between Rule 15 and Rule 16; not reaching district court's Rule 15(a) finding of futility because it affirmed district court's Rule 16(b) application of “good cause” standard); Odyssey Travel Center, Inc. v. RO Cruises, Inc., 262 F.Supp.2d 618, 631 (D. Md. 2003) (“once the scheduling order's deadline for amendment of the pleadings has passed, a moving party first must satisfy the good cause standard of Rule 16(b); if the moving party satisfies Rule 16(b), the movant then must pass the tests for amendment under [Rule] 15(a)”).

         Williams has failed to show good cause for amendment. As to presuit allegations, Williams has not explained why he was unable to include those earlier. As to postsuit allegations, those do not relate back to the occurrences at issue in the case, which pleads violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”); consequently, they do not belong in the case. This case has proceeded past discovery and the County's filing of a motion for summary judgment, which is not yet resolved. The case will be either resolved on the evidence of record by summary judgment or, ...

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