Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Owen-Williams v. State

United States District Court, D. Maryland

July 25, 2018

ADOL T. OWEN-WILLIAMS, Jr., pro se, Plaintiff,
v.
THE STATE OF MARYLAND, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Richard D. Bennett United States District Judge

         Pro se Plaintiff Adol T. Owen-William's (“Plaintiff” or “William”) brings this Complaint against the Defendant State of Maryland (“Defendant” or “the State”), asserting claims for “false arrest and detention, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, defamation, and intentional infliction of the emotional distress.” (ECF No. 2.) Currently pending before this Court are Plaintiff's Motions to Remand (ECF Nos. 11, 14)[1]and Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 8). The submissions have been reviewed and no hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motions to Remand (ECF Nos. 11, 14) are DENIED and Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 8) is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         In ruling on a motion to dismiss, this Court “accept[s] as true all well-pleaded facts in a complaint and construe[s] them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Wikimedia Found. v. Nat'l Sec. Agency, 857 F.3d 193, 208 (4th Cir. 2017) (citing SD3, LLC v. Black & Decker (U.S.) Inc., 801 F.3d 412, 422 (4th Cir. 2015)). Further, as a pro se Plaintiff, this Court has “liberally construed” the pleadings and held them to “less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Alley v. Yadkin County Sheriff Dept., No. 17-1249, 698 Fed.Appx. 141 (4th Cir. Oct. 5, 2017).

         Plaintiff Adol T. Owen-Williams asserts that he is a duly elected member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee (“MCRCC”).[2] (ECF No. 2 at ¶ 1.) He claims that Michael L. Higgs, Jr. (“Higgs”), an employee of the State of Maryland, engaged in various acts to have him removed from the MCRCC and requested that Owen-Williams be given a “No Trespass Notice” at the MCRCC headquarters. (Id. at ¶¶ 7-8.) On October 17, 2016, Higgs called Montgomery County Police and requested that Owen-Williams be arrested for trespassing, breaking and entering, and malicious destruction of private property. (Id. at ¶ 9.) Three days later, on October 19, 2016, Owen-Williams was arrested when he attempted to enter the headquarters. (Id. at ¶ 10.) He alleges that he was then “falsely convicted” on or around January 31, 2017 of two of the three charges-trespassing, breaking and entering, and malicious destruction of private property-and given a two-year sentence. (Id. at ¶ 14.) The conviction was “based primarily on the testimony of Higgs, ” including “Higgs' Perjury and Slander.” (Id. at ¶¶ 14-15.) Subsequently on April 11, 2017, “upon a factual review of the false statements made by Higgs, ” an appellate court dismissed the charges. (Id. at ¶ 16.)

         On November 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed this action in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, which Defendant timely removed to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441 based on federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. (ECF Nos. 1, 2.) The Complaint asserts various state-law tort claims related to his arrest and detention, with references to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, “United States Constitution, ” and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Therefore, this Court liberally construes Plaintiff's Complaint as asserting a claim under § 1983 for violation of Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful arrest and detention. See Owen-Williams v. Kwarciany, No. PX-17-1112, 2018 WL 1316228 (D. Md. Mar. 13, 2018) (construing identical claims as brought under § 1983).

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         I. Motion to Remand

         A defendant in a state civil action may remove the case to federal court only if the federal court can exercise original jurisdiction over at least one of the asserted claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a)-(c). Once an action is removed to federal court, the plaintiff may file a motion to remand the case to state court if there is a contention that jurisdiction is defective. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The party seeking removal, and not the party seeking remand, bears the burden of establishing jurisdiction in the federal court. Johnson v. Advance America, 549 F.3d 932, 935 (4th Cir. 2008). On a motion to remand, this Court must “strictly construe the removal statute and resolve all doubts in favor of remanding the case to state court.” Richardson v. Phillip Morris, Inc., 950 F.Supp. 700, 701-02 (D. Md. 1997) (citation omitted).

         II. Motion to Dismiss

         Under Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes the dismissal of a complaint if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). In reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court “‘must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint'” and must “‘draw all reasonable inferences [from those facts] in favor of the plaintiff.'” E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Kolon Indus., Inc., 637 F.3d 435, 440 (4th Cir. 2011) (citations omitted); Hall v. DirectTV, LLC, 846 F.3d 757, 765 (4th Cir. 2017). However, a court is not required to accept legal conclusions drawn from those facts. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Further, a pro se plaintiff's pleadings are “to be liberally construed” and are “held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Alley v. Yadkin County Sheriff Dept., No. 17-1249, 698 Fed. App'x 141(4th Cir. Oct. 5, 2017). However, even a pro se litigant's complaint must be dismissed if it does not allege a “plausible claim for relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.

         ANALYSIS

         This Court begins by noting, as recently noted in Owen-Williams v. Kwarciany, No. PX-17-1112, 2018 WL 1316228 (D. Md. Mar. 13, 2018), that “Owen-Williams is clearly a vexatious litigant.” 2018 WL 1316228, at *6. He has brought at least thirteen suits including this action in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland in the last ten years, all of which were remanded, dismissed, or ended in summary judgment for the defendant.[3] In fact, as a result and at the request of the defendants in Kwarciany, this Court ordered that “prior to filing any new action in [this Court] arising from or related to OWEN-WILLIAMS' October 2016 arrest, ” Owen-Williams must meet various requirements including attaching a “sworn affidavit that the pleading is not frivolous, in bad faith, or intended to harass or vex the defendants or any other person.”[4] (PX-17-1112, ECF No. 22.) While Plaintiff's Complaint relates to his October 2016 arrest and he has not filed a sworn affidavit, he initially filed this action in state court. Therefore, this Court addresses the merits of his claims and again finds that dismissal is appropriate.

         I. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.