United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. RUSSELL, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Martin Rugamba's
Amended Complaint (ECF No. 18), filed under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1) (2018), alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. §
1983 (2018) and Maryland tort law. For the reasons that follow,
the Court will permit Rugamba's § 1983 claim to
proceed but dismiss his state law claims.
The Original Complaint and Appeal
December 24, 2015, Rugamba filed the original Complaint (the
“Original Complaint”) in this case. (ECF No. 1).
In the Original Complaint, Rugamba raised several claims,
including claims under § 1983, and invoked this
Court's jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (2018).
(Compl. at 1, ECF No. 1).
Court screened Rugamba's Original Complaint pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) (2018). The Original
Complaint's allegations are wide-ranging and nonsensical
at times. First, Rugamba discusses alleged incidents
occurring over the seven years he worked as a substitute
teacher in the Los Angeles, California Unified School
District. (Compl. at 1-2). Next, Rugamba generally discusses
abuse and assaults he experienced while substitute teaching
at a number of schools in Maryland. (Id. at 2). In
his statement of facts, however, Rugamba discusses alleged
attacks he experienced riding on Defendant Rockledge Bus Tour
Inc.'s (“Rockledge”) private bus line on
December 21, 2014. (Id. at 3). Rugamba also alleges
that he experienced “[s]imilar attacks” while
riding on a Maryland Transit Administration
(“MTA”) train and bus. (Id.). Rugamba
attributes these attacks to a “conspiracy” that
began after he filed a lawsuit in New York “about
assault and battery involving . . . HIV.”
respect to the specific allegations in the Original
Complaint, Rugamba states that in March of 2015 he was asleep
on an MTA train when an MTA police officer (“MTA Police
Officer 1”) “woke me up to see my ticket, ”
then “ordered me to step out of the train because I was
sleeping on the train.” (Id.). Rugamba alleges
that the officer “yanked forcefully” at a bag
“tethered” to his wrist, which “caused a
strong pain” in his wrist, yelled at him to get off the
train, “dropped [his] bag on the ground, ” and
began to interrogate him. (Id.). Rugamba implies
that the bag dropping on the ground resulted in cracks to his
laptop's screen. (Id.). Rugamba pleads that MTA
Police Officer 1 demanded and took his identification card
and MTA day pass. (Id.). Rugamba states that she
returned his identification card, but refused to return his
MTA day pass. (Id.). A second MTA police officer
threatened to arrest him after she ordered him to leave the
station premises, and he instead requested his MTA day pass.
(Id.). Rugamba states that he walked away without
his MTA day pass and with “pain in my wrist.”
(Id. at 4).
then alleges, on unspecified dates, that an MTA bus driver
and train operator somehow caused pain in his arm “like
a bee sting or needle injection.” (Id.). As to
the train operator, Rugamba pleads that the MTA police
involved in the March 2015 incident “arranged”
for the train operator to “irritate” him
“by acting up the pain in my arms in contemplation of
an arrest should I [ ] antagonize him.” (Id.).
next discusses incidents at public high schools occurring in
Spring 2014, when he was demeaned by school staff.
(Id.). Rugamba goes on to relate an alleged incident
at ¶ 7-Eleven convenience store, where he pleads that he
was embarrassed when an employee accused him of stealing a
“First Cause of Action, ” Rugamba alleges that
MTA Police Officer 1 violated his rights under the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution by
“unreasonably hurt[ing]” him and confiscating his
day pass without due process. (Id. at 5). He accuses
the officer of engaging in an “arrest-fishing
expedition, ” states that her actions deprived him of
sleep, and that she was “playing her one-time part in a
sleep deprivation campaign orchestrated by other stalker
officers and their minions.” (Id.). He seeks
the value of his day pass, $3.50, $100.00 to repair his
laptop, and $20, 000.00 in emotional distress damages.
“Second Cause of Action, ” Rugamba pleads that
Rockledge and its employees “committed aggravated
battery, when they inflicted pain similar to the needle
injection while I was asleep on the bus they operate.”
(Id.). He further alleges that they “neglected
to inform me if the HIV virus was involved in the battery in
violation of public policy.” (Id. at 6). He
requests $50, 000.00 in damages for “negligent
infliction of emotional distress.” (Id.).
“Third Cause of Action, ” Rugamba accuses Amtrak
agents of taking pictures of him at their facilities and
“stealing ad hoc pictures I stored on my computer and
smart phone.” (Id.). He prays for declaratory
relief indicating that the agents “are members of an
underground unofficial cabal in the law enforcement.”
January 11, 2016, the Court granted Rugamba's Motion for
Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis but dismissed the Original
Complaint without prejudice for failure to comply with
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. (ECF Nos. 3, 4). Rugamba
appealed. (ECF No. 5).
28, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit dismissed Rugamba's appeal, finding that it did
not have jurisdiction because “the deficiencies
identified by the district court may be remedied by the
filing of an amended complaint.” Rugamba v.
Rockledge Bus (Tour), Inc., 667 Fed.Appx. 61 (4th Cir.
2016). This Court's decision, therefore, was
“neither a final order nor an appealable interlocutory
or collateral order.” Id. On July 27, ...