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.

Williams v. Chesapeake Bank of Maryland Proctor Financial, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

July 23, 2019

KATHERINE B. WILLIAMS, a/k/a KATHERINE B. ROBINSON DANA B. WILLIAMS, and Plaintiffs,
v.
CHESAPEAKE BANK OF MARYLAND PROCTOR FINANCIAL, INC. Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          Ellen L. Hollander United States District Judge

         Katherine B. Williams, formerly known as Katherine B. Robinson, is a self-represented litigant well known to this court. On July 19, 2019, she filed suit on behalf of herself and Dana Williams[1] against Chesapeake Bank of Maryland (“Chesapeake”) and Proctor Financial, Inc. (“Proctor”). ECF 1. At issue is a Baltimore rental property acquired by plaintiffs in March 2007, which was sold at auction on February 18, 2014. Id. at 4.

         For the reasons that follow, the suit shall be dismissed.

         I. Background

         On January 3, 2017, a standing order was issued directing the Clerk not to accept for filing any further complaints or other papers naming as defendants the Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration and/or the Virginia Employment Commission relating to claims of wrongful employment termination, denial of unemployment benefits, or the resulting loss of rental property, absent authorization by a judge of this court. See In Re Katherine B. Robinson, Misc.Case No. 16-965 (D. Md.). The standing order was issued in response to Williams' abuse of the judicial process by filing multiple lawsuits against her former employer and the employment compensation agency that denied her unemployment claim. See Robinson, et al., v. Dept. Of Justice Drug Enforcement Admin., et al., Civil Action No. DKC-16-3850 (D. Md.) (Order December 22, 2016); see also Robinson v. DOJ-Department of Justice, RWT-13-1945 (D. Md.) (Mem. Op. March 25, 2014); Robinson, et al. v. Dept. of Justice DEA, et al., Civil Action No. PWG-16-3192 (D. Md.) (Mem. Op. Sept. 27, 2016); Robinson, et al. v. Dept. of Justice DEA, et al., Civil Action No. GJH-16-2931 (D. Md.) (Mem. Op. Sept. 6, 2016).

         Williams first presented allegations against Chesapeake and Proctor to this court on November 30, 2016, in Robinson, et al. v. Dept. of Justice, DEA, et al., Civil Action No. DKC-16-3850 (D. Md.). In her amended complaint in that action (id., ECF 6), Williams reiterated her belief that the loss of her rental property due to her inability to repair damages caused in 2007 was precipitated by her wrongful termination from her job. Id. Additionally, she stated that her state court lawsuit against Chesapeake, Proctor, and the City of Baltimore concerning the damages, as well as the taking of her rental property, remained pending in the Supreme Court of the United States. Id., ECF 6 at 6.[2] On December 22, 2016, the Honorable Deborah K. Chasanow dismissed the employment claims under the doctrine of res judicata. The claims against Chesapeake, Proctor, and the City of Baltimore were not addressed. Id., Memorandum of December 22, 2016, ECF 7.

         On December 28, 2016, Williams filed a property damage claim in this court on behalf of herself and Dana Williams against Chesapeake and Proctor.[3] In her complaint, she reiterated that her job loss caused economic injury. See Robinson, et al. v. Chesapeake Bank of Maryland, et al., Civil Action No. CCB-16-4119. As a result of her lost job, she fell behind on property insurance, taxes, and maintenance. Her Baltimore rental property could not be maintained in a habitable condition, was placed in receivership, and was sold at auction on February 18, 2014. She also stated that she lost several vehicles that were removed from the property. Id., ECF 1 at 6, 9-15. In that lawsuit, the Honorable Catherine C. Blake examined Maryland's electronic docket and confirmed that Robinson filed suit against Chesapeake Bank and Proctor on at least two occasions.

         On December 4, 2012, Robinson again sued both entities in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. See Robinson v. Chesapeake Bank of Maryland, et al., No. 24C14006944 (Cir. Ct. Baltimore City). Summary judgment was granted in favor of Chesapeake on March 25, 2015, and Proctor's motion to dismiss or for summary judgment was granted on May 15, 2015. On March 30, 2016, the judgment of the Circuit Court was affirmed by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

         Meanwhile, on December 13, 2013, Robinson filed a second action against Chesapeake, Proctor, and Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Company (“Mount Vernon”). See Robinson v. Chesapeake Bank of Maryland, et al., No. 24C13008544 (Cir. Ct. Baltimore City). Claims against Chesapeake were dismissed in open court on November 10, 2014. On November 20, 2014, Mount Vernon was granted summary judgment based on the statute of limitations. And, on February 2, 2015, Proctor was dismissed from suit. Robinson did not prevail on appeal.

         Judge Blake issued an Order on January 4, 2017 (ECF 4), directing Robinson to supplement her complaint to include copies of the state court proceedings and demonstrate that her federal action was not barred by res judicata. Id. at 5. She failed to do so, and Judge Blake dismissed her federal action, without prejudice, in an Order issued February 2, 2017. Id., ECF 5.[4]

         II. Standard of Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), an indigent litigant may commence an action in federal court without prepaying the filing fee. To guard against possible abuses of this privilege, the statute requires a district court to dismiss any claim that is frivolous or malicious or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii). In this context, this court is mindful of its obligation to liberally construe the pleadings of pro se litigants. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).

         In evaluating a pro se complaint, a plaintiff's allegations are assumed to be true. Id. at 93 (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007)). Nonetheless, liberal construction does not mean that a court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts which set forth a cognizable claim. See Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990); see also Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985) (stating a district court may not “conjure up questions never squarely presented.”). In making this determination, “[t]he district court need not look beyond the complaint's allegations . . . . It must hold the pro se complaint to less stringent standards than pleadings drafted by attorneys and must read the complaint liberally.” White v. White, 886 F.2d 721, 722-723 (4th Cir. 1989).

         III. ...


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.