United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. RUSSELL, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Benjamin Waters'
Complaint (ECF No. 1), filed under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1) (2018), and Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis (ECF No. 2). For the reasons that follow, the Court
will grant Waters' Motion and dismiss the Complaint.
overview of Waters' previous litigation history is
necessary for preliminary review of this action. Waters has,
on three prior occasions, filed lawsuits in connection with
his pretrial detention in Baltimore, Maryland. The first
suit, Waters v. Warden, et al. (Waters I),
No. BPG-16-3238 (D.Md. filed Sept. 23, 2016), is an ongoing
civil rights action for damages against the Baltimore City
Booking and Intake Center (“BCBIC”), Warden
Dionne Randolph, and BCBIC employees J. Francis, M. Fortcham,
P. Jackson, D. Williams, N. Mars, and T. Brown. In Waters
I, Waters alleges that the defendants denied him meals
on multiple occasions, physically assaulted him, and
conducted inappropriate body searches. (2d Am. Compl. at 2,
ECF No. 19, Waters I). The Court appointed counsel
to represent Waters in that case. (Dec. 17, 2017 Order, ECF
No. 55, Waters I).
second suit, Waters v. City of Baltimore, et al.
(Waters II), No. GLR-17-1113 (D.Md. dismissed July
31, 2017), on June 8, 2017, the Court dismissed without
prejudice Waters' allegations of malicious prosecution,
assault by officers at the time of his arrest, and the denial
of affordable bail to permit the filing of a separate action
limited to those claims. (June 8, 2017 Order at 3, Waters
II, ECF No. 3). The Court also granted Waters twenty-one
days to supplement his Complaint with regard to his claims
against Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center
(“CTPHC”) personnel, in which Waters alleged that he
was wrongfully held at CTPHC and forcibly medicated pending
adjudication of his criminal charges. (Id.). On July
31, 2017, the Court dismissed without prejudice Waters'
claims against CTPHC because he failed comply with the
Court's Order to supplement the Complaint. (July 31, 2017
Order, Waters II, ECF No. 4).
third suit, in Waters v. Randolph, et al.
(Waters III), No. GLR-17-2960 (D.Md. dismissed Jan.
9, 2018), on October 5, 2017, Waters sued BCBIC, Warden
Dionne Randolph, and four BCBIC officers, alleging violations
of his civil rights while detained at BCBIC. (Am. Compl. at
3, Waters III, ECF No. 3). Waters also named as
defendants Baltimore City Mayor, Catherine Pugh, and
Baltimore City Assistant State's Attorneys, Shari Greene
and Tracy Varda, who participated in his 2016 criminal
prosecution on charges of first- and second-degree assault
and wearing or carrying a deadly weapon with intent to
injure. (Id.). On February 10, 2017, the
State's Attorney placed Waters' criminal case on the
stet docket and Waters was subsequently released from
detention. (Jan. 9, 2018 Mem. Op. at 4, ECF No. 5, Waters
January 9, 2018, the Court dismissed Waters III.
(Jan. 9, 2018 Order, ECF No. 6, Waters III). The
Court dismissed Waters' claims against the BCBIC
defendants because they were before the Court in Waters
I. (Jan. 9, 2018 Mem. Op. at 5). The Court dismissed the
claims against Mayor Pugh because she had no supervisory role
over BCBIC operations. (Id. at 5-6). Finally, the
Court dismissed Waters' malicious prosecution and false
imprisonment claims against Greene and Varda for failure to
state a claim. (Id. at 6-7).
April 5, 2018, Waters filed the instant Complaint against
Defendants BCBIC Warden Dionne Randolph, Shari Greene, and
Tracy Varda. (ECF No. 1). In this Complaint, Waters
again brings claims against Randolph, this time alleging that
she “operated” BCBIC and “allowed the
officers to illegally detain” him from February 10,
2017 through February 13, 2017 after the court had ordered
his release on February 10, 2017. (Compl. at 4, ECF No.
Waters also alleges that BCBIC “refuse[d] to provide
[him] with his preexisting medication when he was first
admitted to the jail” and “after many attempts .
. . to receive his medication, he was ultimately denied
several months later.” (Id. at 4-5).
“Due to the denial of medical treatment, ”
Waters' health “was compromised.”
(Id. at 5). Additionally, Waters again brings claims
of malicious prosecution and false imprisonment against
Greene and Varda. (Id. at 4). Waters seeks money
damages, injunctive relief, and an apology from Defendants.
(Id. at 6).
Standard of Review
filed his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1) (2018),
which permits an indigent litigant to commence an action in
federal district court without prepaying the filing fee.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court is required to
review civil complaints filed in forma pauperis to determine
if the plaintiff alleges cognizable claims. Upon review, if
the Court concludes that a claim is “frivolous or
malicious, ” “fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted, ” or “seeks monetary
relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief,
” the Court must dismiss the complaint. 28 U.S.C.
Court is mindful, however, of its obligation to liberally
construe pro se pleadings, such as the instant Complaint.
See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). In
evaluating such a complaint, the Court assumes that the
factual allegations are true. Id. at 93 (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56
(2007)). Pro se complaints are entitled to special care to
determine whether any possible set of facts would entitle the
plaintiff to relief. Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5,
9-10 (1980). Nonetheless, “[w]hile pro se complaints
may ‘represent the work of an untutored hand requiring
special judicial solicitude, ' a district court is not
required to recognize ‘obscure or extravagant claims
defying the most concerted efforts to unravel
them.'” Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. for
Balt., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990) (quoting
Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1277
(4th Cir. 1985)).
Waters does not state under which law or laws he is bringing
suit. Given that he alleges that his “civil liberties
were trampled, ” the Court construes his Complaint as
bringing claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2018).