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Krumtum v. Crawford

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Abingdon Division

May 17, 2016

MATTHEW KRUMTUM, Plaintiff,
v.
STEVEN B. CRAWFORD, ET AL., Defendants.

          Matthew Krumtum, Pro Se Plaintiff.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          James P. Jones United States District Judge

         In this civil action, the plaintiff has moved to strike certain documents from the record and levy sanctions against some of the defendants and their attorneys. For the following reasons, I will direct the clerk to place some of the documents under seal, and will further order redacted versions of those documents to be filed, but I will decline to levy any sanctions.

         I.

         According to the facts alleged, the plaintiff, a lawyer, was married to defendant Maria Kathryn Maybury, also a lawyer. The couple experienced marital problems and separated. On May 15, 2013, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Adult Division, for the City of Bristol, Virginia (“J&DR Court”), entered a Protective Order against the plaintiff. That order mandated that the plaintiff was to have no contact of any kind with Maybury or the couple’s four children. The Protective Order further provided that it would remain in effect until May 15, 2015.

         On February 28, 2014, the plaintiff delivered a 25-page letter to Maybury’s divorce attorney, defendant Faith Esposito. It stated that it was “a personal letter from me to my wife” and requested that it not be used “in litigation.” The letter contains numerous references to the couple’s children, and appears to include photographs of those children.

         Thereafter, defendant Steven B. Crawford, a sergeant with the Bristol Police Department, filed a criminal complaint against the plaintiff and presented it to defendant James Weaver, a Virginia magistrate, who issued an arrest warrant upon his finding that there was probable cause to believe that the plaintiff’s delivery of the letter constituted a violation of the Protective Order. The plaintiff was arrested on the night of February 28. However, the charge was later dismissed by the J&DR Court.[1]

         The plaintiff thereafter filed this lawsuit in Virginia state court against the Bristol police chief John Austin, Sgt. Crawford, attorney Esposito, two state prosecutors, the magistrate, the J&DR judge who dismissed the charge, Maybury, and three John Does. He claimed violations of his federal constitutional rights as well as asserting state law intentional torts. The case was then removed to this court by the defendants.

         The plaintiff filed the present Motion to Strike and for Sanctions on the ground that some of the defendants’ pleadings include attachments that contain personal information about him and his children. The plaintiff argues that these attachments should have been redacted to exclude his social security number, date of birth, children’s names, and children’s dates of birth.[2] That information is contained in the following documents that have been filed with this court:

• The Notice of Removal filed on behalf of defendants Crawford and Austin and defendant Austin’s Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss, both filed in this court. (ECF Nos. 1, 16.) Both contain attached Protective Orders with the unredacted names and birthdates of the plaintiff’s children;
• The letter from the plaintiff to Maybury that was attached to defendant Austin’s Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 16-6) and defendant Weaver’s Response to Plaintiff’s Reply Brief (ECF No. 28), both filed in this court. The letter contains the unredacted names of the plaintiff’s children; and
• The entire record from state court (ECF No. 22), filed upon the removal of the case in accord with 28 U.S.C. § 1447(b). This record contains documents that have the plaintiff’s social security number and date of birth and his children’s names and dates of birth.

         II.

         The Federal Rules of Civil ...


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