United States District Court, D. Maryland
CHARLES B. DAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is Defendant United States of America's Motion
to Dismiss (“Defendant's Motion”)(ECF No.
The Court has reviewed Defendant's Motion. No.
substantive opposition was filed, merely a one sentence
statement asserting: “I wish not to dismiss this case
and to proceed (sic) the case.” No. hearing is deemed
necessary. Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md.). For the reasons set
forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion.
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for “the
dismissal of a complaint if it fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.” Velencia v.
Drezhlo, No. RDB-12-237, 2012 WL 6562764, at *4 (D. Md.
Dec. 13, 2012). This rule's purpose “is to test the
sufficiency of a complaint and not to resolve contests
surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses.” Id. (quoting
Presley v. City of Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480,
483 (4thCir. 2006)). In doing so, the Court must
keep in mind the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8, Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), when
considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).
Specifically, 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), and must
state “a plausible claim for relief, ” as
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice, ” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79. See
Velencia, 2012 WL 6562764, at *4 (discussing standard
from Iqbal and Twombly).
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. At this
stage of the proceedings, the Court must accept the well pled
facts alleged in complaint as true. See Aziz v.
Alcolac, 658 F.3d 388, 390 (4th Cir. 2011).
The Federal Courts Lack Subject Matter
filed his claim for slander in state court, pro se,
a mere 3 days after the alleged slander which arose on
October 13, 2018. After the case was removed to federal
court, Plaintiff amended his complaint to include a claim of
false imprisonment. See Amended Complaint
(“Am. Compl.”) ECF No. 10.
The Government Enjoys Sovereign Immunity for Claims of
Slander or False Imprisonment.
starting point for analysis is the notion of sovereign
immunity. Reaching at least as far back as the days of common
law England, one could not sue the king without his
permission. As the founders of our nation adopted the common
law, the nation embraced the idea that the government could
not be sued unless permission was granted. While ordinarily
the government cannot be sued, for many claims that
permission is found in the Federal Torts Claims Act
(“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b), which allows
the federal government to be sued for specific types of
wrongs in a specific fashion. Failure to follow the
Government's rules of engagement prevents the prosecution
the Government giveth, it can also taketh away. Namely, the
FTCA also comes with a listing of the types of lawsuits that
are not permitted. This amounts to an exception to the
exception. The law makes clear that the Government cannot be
sued for “any claim arising out of . . . false
imprisonment . . ., [or] slander . . . .” 18 U.S.C.
§ 2680(h) (2006). This Court has recently made this
point very clear for claims like the present one which allege
torts committed within the scope of employment by federal
employees. Khatami v. Compton, 844 F.Supp.2d 654,
664 (D. Md. 2012). For this reason, this Court does not have
jurisdiction to resolve these claims and Defendant's
Motion must be GRANTED.
Plaintiff Has Failed to Show That He Has Exhausted His
assuming the federal government permitted claims such as
those presented by Plaintiff, the law also requires that a
certain process be followed. Given the near instant election
to file a lawsuit for the claimed wrongful actions of his
supervisor, there can be no dispute but that Plaintiff went
to court, went directly to court, and did not slow down to
allow for pursuit of relief by way of the administrative
proceeding that is required. While Plaintiff's lack of
knowledge of this requirement is understandable, the law is
pursue the claims presented here, Plaintiff must file an
administrative action first. The law states that
[a]n action shall not be institute upon a claim against the
United States for money damages for injury . . . or personal
injury . . ., unless the claimant shall have first presented
the claim to the appropriate Federal agency and his claim