United States District Court, D. Maryland
KATHERINE B. WILLIAMS, a/k/a KATHERINE B. ROBINSON DANA B. WILLIAMS, and Plaintiffs,
CHESAPEAKE BANK OF MARYLAND PROCTOR FINANCIAL, INC. Defendants.
L. Hollander United States District Judge
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 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.
reasons that follow, the suit shall be dismissed.
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).
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. 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.
December 28, 2016, Williams filed a property damage claim in
this court on behalf of herself and Dana Williams against
Chesapeake and Proctor. 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
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.
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.
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.
Standard of Review
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).
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.