United States District Court, D. Maryland
CATHERINE C. BLAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court is the defendants Evodio Hendrix and Maurice
Ward's motion to dismiss counts 6 to 15 and 21 of the
complaint (ECF No. 43). For the reasons outlined below, the
court will grant in part and deny in part the motion. The
issues have been briefed and no oral argument is necessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018).
dispute arises out of Roberts's October 7, 2015, arrest.
(Compl. ¶93). Around 10:55pm Roberts was standing in
front of his home at 27 Abington Avenue in Baltimore,
Maryland. (Id.). Baltimore Police Department
("BPD") officers Evodio Hendrix, Maurice Ward,
Wayne Jenkins, and Marcus Taylor (the "officer
defendants"), driving an unmarked police car, stopped in
front of Roberts's residence. (Id. ¶ 94).
Without warning, the officer defendants approached Roberts
and "forcefully drag[ged] him to the ground."
(Id.). The officer defendants proceeded to handcuff
and detain Roberts. (Id. ¶¶ 95-96).
Roberts maintains that the officer defendants approached,
forcefully detained, and illegally searched him even though
he, at no time, presented a danger to the officers or others.
(Id. ¶ 95). Roberts also maintains that while
this detention and search was underway, the officer
defendants planted a silver Lorcin L380 firearm at the scene,
which they later used to justify their actions. (Id.
the fact, the officers contended that they had seen Roberts
adjust an object at the waistband of his pants, and,
therefore, approached him because they believed he was armed.
(Id. ¶ 99). As they approached, the officer
defendants contended Roberts pulled out a silver gun and
turned away from the officers towards the door to his house.
(Id. ¶ 100). The officers claimed that first
Taylor, and then the rest of the officers grabbed hold of
Roberts and struggled with him to get him to the floor of his
porch. (Id. ¶ 101). The officers claimed that
during this struggle, Roberts threw the gun off the porch.
(Id.). The officers further claimed that when they
searched Roberts he had three clear bags containing less than
ten grams of suspected marijuana on his person. (Id.
was indicted for violating Maryland Annotated Criminal Code
§§ 4-203, 5-622, and Public Safety Article §
5-l33., (Id. ¶ 104). On July 12, 2016, Roberts
pled guilty to possessing a firearm after being convicted of
a drug felony in violation of Public Safety Article §
5-133(c) and to a violation of probation. (Id.
¶ 106). He was sentenced to a term of imprisonment.
(Id.). On March 1, 2017, the officer defendants were
indicted for "being a rogue criminal enterprise that
routinely stole, planted evidence and committed violent
felonies in furtherance of their criminal enterprise."
(Id. ¶ 107). On July 5, 2017, the State's
Attorney's Office withdrew Roberts's guilty plea and
entered a Nolle Prosequi for each of Roberts's
charges. (Id. ¶ 108). Roberts was subsequently
released from prison. (Id. ¶ 109).
ruling on a motion under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must
"accept the well-pled allegations of the complaint as
true," and "construe the facts and reasonable
inferences derived therefrom in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff." Ibarra v. United States, 120
F.3d 472, 474 (4th Cir. 1997). "Even though the
requirements for pleading a proper complaint are
substantially aimed at assuring that the defendant be given
adequate notice of the nature of a claim being made against
him, they also provide criteria for defining issues for trial
and for early disposition of inappropriate complaints."
Francis v. Giacomelli, 588 F.3d 186, 192 (4th Cir.
2009). "The mere recital of elements of a cause of
action, supported only by conclusory statements, is not
sufficient to survive a motion made pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6)." Walters v. McMahen, 684 F.3d 435,
439 (4th Cir. 2012) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
survive a motion to dismiss, the factual allegations of a
complaint "must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level on the assumption that all the
allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in
fact)." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations omitted). "To
satisfy this standard, a plaintiff need not
'forecast' evidence sufficient to prove the elements
of the claim. However, the complaint must allege sufficient
facts to establish those elements." Walters,
684 F.3d at 439 (citation omitted), "thus, while a
plaintiff does not need to demonstrate in a complaint that
the right to relief is 'probable,' the complaint must
advance the plaintiffs claim 'across the line from
conceivable to plausible.'" Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
Hendrix and Ward argue that the court should dismiss various
counts against them because: (1) Roberts's § 1983
claims are defective because Hendrix and Ward are entitled to
sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution, Roberts's claims in Counts VI, VII, VIII,
XI, XII, and XIII are properly brought under the Fourth
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution rather than the Fourteenth
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and Roberts failed to
properly plead conspiracy in Count XXI; (2) Roberts's
§ 1985 claims are deficient because Roberts did not
plead that any of the officer defendants were motivated by
"class-based, discriminatory animus"; (3) §
1988 does not create a standalone cause of action; (4)
Roberts failed to comply with the Local Government Tort
Claims Act's ("LGTCA") notice requirement, and
his state law claims therefore fail; and (5) Roberts failed
to sufficiently plead a cause of action for intentional
infliction of emotional distress. (Mem. P. & A. Supp.
Defs.5 Mot. Dismiss ["Defs.' Mot"] at 2-3, ECF
Immunity. Fourth & Fourteenth Amendment Claims. &
arguments Hendrix and Ward raise regarding Roberts's
official capacity, Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment,
and conspiracy claims do not affect the scope of discovery at
this time because the court has bifurcated the claims against
the individual officer defendants from the claims against the
Baltimore Police Department, former Deputy Commissioner Dean
Palmere, and Major Ian Dombrowski, and because the officer
defendants do not dispute that Roberts properly alleged
Fourth Amendment violations. In the interest of ...