United States District Court, D. Maryland
THEODORE D. CHUANG, JUDGE
Antoine Poteat has filed this action against Defendant Lee
Gibson, a detective of the Charlottesville, Virginia Police
Department, for unlawful seizure and deprivation of liberty
in violation of his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the United States Constitution. Pending before
the Court is Gibson's Motion to Dismiss pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), 12(b)(3) and
12(b)(6). Having reviewed the submitted materials, the Court
finds that no hearing is necessary. See D. Md. Local
R. 105.6. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion will be
18, 2013, Poteat, who was living in Charlottesville,
Virginia, was the victim of a burglary at his home. The
masked intruders shot Poteat in the leg and ankle and stole
money from his residence. Poteat called 911 when the burglars
left, and officers from the Charlottesville Police Department
arrived at Poteat's residence. When asked to identify the
burglars, Poteat told the police that he was unable to
observe their faces and did not know who they were. However,
the police continued to question Poteat and even refused to
let emergency medical personnel into the home to treat
Poteat, who was bleeding, because he had not identified the
perpetrators. At some point after the questioning, the
officers conducted a warrantless search of the residence and
brought a drug-sniffing dog to the premises, but they found
no drugs. During this search, however, the officers
discovered a firearm. Poteat was not arrested at that time.
November 2013, Poteat and his family moved to Maryland. Then,
on February 25, 2014, Gibson requested a warrant from a
Virginia court for Poteat's arrest for illegal possession
of a firearm and controlled substances on June 18, 2013, the
day that Poteat's residence was burglarized. At that
time, Poteat was unaware that the warrant had been issued.
17, 2014, Poteat was pulled over by a police officer while
driving in Maryland. Based on the outstanding Virginia arrest
warrant, of which Poteat was still unaware, the officer
arrested him. Poteat was jailed for 12 days in Maryland
before he was extradited to Virginia to face the charges.
Poteat remained detained in Virginia until July 10, 2014,
when the charges against him were dismissed. Poteat alleges
that Gibson obtained the warrant even though he knew the
charges were false, because Poteat's firearm was lawfully
registered in his name and the officers had found no drugs
during their search of Poteat's residence on June 18,
filed his Complaint in this Court on July 10, 2017. Poteat
asserts claims against Gibson under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
violating his Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment
rights. Specifically, Poteat alleges that by obtaining a
warrant based on false allegations, Gibson violated his
rights to be free from an unreasonable seizure and to due
process of law.
Motion to Dismiss, Gibson asserts that this Court must
dismiss the case (1) under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(2), because it lacks personal jurisdiction over Gibson;
(2) under Rule 12(b)(3), because the District of Maryland is
not the proper venue; and (3) under Rule 12(b)(6), because
Poteat's claims are barred by the statute of limitations.
first asserts that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction
over him because he has insufficient contacts with Maryland.
At the pleading stage, the plaintiff must make a prima
facie showing that the defendant is properly subject to
the court's jurisdiction. See Mylan Labs. Inc. v.
Akzo, N.V., 2 F.3d 56, 59-60 (4th Cir. 1993). In
evaluating the plaintiffs showing, the court must accept the
plaintiffs allegations as true, and it must draw all
reasonable inferences and resolve any factual conflicts in
the plaintiffs favor. Id. at 60. The court may
consider evidence outside the pleadings in resolving a Rule
12(b)(2) motion. See CoStar Realty Info., Inc. v.
Meissner, 604 F.Supp.2d 757, 763-64 (D. Md. 2009).
a police officer in Charlottesville, Virginia, asserts that
his contacts with Maryland are insufficient to allow this
Court to exercise personal jurisdiction over him. A district
court's exercise of personal jurisdiction over a
non-resident defendant must satisfy both the long-arm statute
of the forum state and the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment. Carefirst of Md., Inc. v. Carefirst
Pregnancy Centers, Inc., 334 F.3d 390, 396 (4th Cir.
2003). Poteat alleges that the Maryland officers who arrested
and jailed him were acting as "tacit agents" of
Gibson. Compl. at 2, ECF No. 1. Thus, Poteat relies on the
provision of the Maryland long-arm statute that authorizes
jurisdiction over a party who, either "directly or by an
agent," "[c]auses tortious injury in the State by
an act or omission in the State." Md. Code Ann., Cts.
& Jud. Proc. § 6-103(b)(3) (West 2018). Because
courts have interpreted the Maryland long-arm statute to
reach as far as the Constitution allows, the statutory and
due process components of the personal jurisdiction analysis
merge. ALSScan, Inc. v. Digital Serv. Consultants,
Inc., 293 F.3d 707, 710 (4th Cir. 2002).
process analysis requires a showing that Gibson has
sufficient "minimum contacts" with Maryland such
that "maintenance of the suit [in this state] does not
offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice." Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326
U.S. 310, 316 (1945). Courts distinguish between two types of
personal jurisdiction: general and specific. General
jurisdiction offers a path to personal jurisdiction when the
party has affiliations with the state that are "so
continuous and systematic as to render [it] essentially at
home in the forum State." Goodyear Dunlop Tires
Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 564 U.S. 915, 919 (2011).
Specific jurisdiction provides jurisdiction "over a
defendant in a suit arising out of or related to the
defendant's contacts with the forum."
Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall,
466 U.S. 408, 414 n.8 (1984). Here, Poteat does not allege
that Gibson maintains "continuous and systematic
contacts" with the forum state, so he must establish
specific jurisdiction over the defendant. See Id. at
order for a court to exercise specific personal jurisdiction
over a defendant, the defendant must "purposefully
avail itself of the privilege of conducting activities
within the forum State," and its "conduct and
connection with the forum State" must be "such that
[it] should reasonably anticipate being haled into court
there." World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson,444 U.S. 286, 297 (1980). These requirements are satisfied if
the defendant purposefully directed its activities at the
residents of the forum state, and the cause of action
"results from alleged injuries ...