United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
O'Grady United States District Judge
Bonanza Briley, a federal inmate proceeding pro se,
originally filed the instant civil action against United
States Park Police Officer Robert Usher in Alexandria Circuit
Court. Plaintiffs instant action is the latest in an
extensive amount of federal and state litigation that
plaintiff commenced after several unsuccessful attempts to
obtain relief from his federal convictions entered in this
Court. The matter is now before the Court upon
defendant's Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff has responded
and filed a Motion to Remand, and defendant has replied. For
the reasons explained below, plaintiffs Motion to Remand will
be denied, this Court will retain jurisdiction over the
instant action, and defendant's Motion to Dismiss will be
Criminal Case Background
January 12, 2012, United States Park Police Officers William
Brancato and Robert Usher were patrolling the Washington
Sailing Marina - a known location for sexual escapades - in
an unmarked vehicle. United States v. Briley. 770
F.3d 267. 269 (4th Cir. 2014). Brancato and Usher noticed
another vehicle approach and park next to plaintiffs SUV in
the parking lot of the marina. Id. A man exited the
vehicle and subsequently entered plaintiffs SUV. Id.
Plaintiff then drove his SUV to another parking lot within
the marina. Id. From a distance, Brancato and Usher
determined that plaintiff and his companion were about to
engage in a sexual act. Id.
and Usher contacted two other uniformed Park Police, Corey
Mace and Thomas Twiname, who were patrolling nearby.
Id. Twiname approached plaintiffs SUV, knocked on
the window, identified himself as a policeman, and told
plaintiff to open the door. Id. Plaintiff ultimately
opened his door, but repeatedly refused to exit the SUV.
Id. When Twiname attempted to physically remove
plaintiff from the vehicle, plaintiff locked his legs around
the steering column, preventing Twiname from removing him.
Id. at 270. Brancato and Usher then arrived and
directed plaintiff to stop resisting Twiname. Id.
Brancato and Usher began to assist Twiname by attempting to
remove plaintiff from his vehicle, and in the course of the
scuffle, plaintiff struck Usher in the arms, legs, and lower
back, and kicked Brancato twice in the abdomen. Id.
The officers ultimately subdued and arrested plaintiff;
however, plaintiffs strikes had been sufficiently harmful,
causing Usher lower back pain and damaging Brancato's
pancreas and necessitating removal of his gallbladder.
was tried before this Court, and on March 11, 2013, a jury
found him guilty of two felony and one misdemeanor counts
related to assault on a federal officer and one misdemeanor
count related to disorderly conduct - obscene acts.
United States v. Brilev, Case No. 1:12cr482 (E.D.
Va.) (hereinafter "Crim. Dkt"). This Court did not
initially order plaintiff detained pending sentencing;
however, on March 20, 2013, this Court granted the United
States' motion to revoke plaintiffs release "because
[plaintiff] had threatened a member of the prosecution
team." Crim. Dkt. No. 72. On October 22, 2013, this
Court sentenced plaintiff to a seventy-eight (78) month term
appealed, and in a published opinion dated October 22, 2014,
the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
affirmed his convictions, rejecting plaintiffs assignments of
reversible error. Briley. 770 F.3d at 279. The
United States Supreme Court thereafter denied plaintiffs
petition for a writ of certiorari, thus terminating
plaintiffs direct appeal proceedings. Briley v. United
States. 135 S.Ct. 1844 (2015).
December 19, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion to vacate his
conviction and sentence, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255,
and a motion for a new trial. Crim. Dkt. Nos. 155-56. By
Order dated July 22, 2015, this Court denied both motions and
declined to issue a certificate of appealability. Crim. Dkt.
Nos. 183-84. Plaintiff appealed, and the Fourth Circuit
summarily affirmed, holding that there had been no reversible
error present in this Court's denial of plaintiff s
motion for a new trial, and that plaintiff had not made the
necessary showing to establish that this Court's analysis
was "debatable or wrong." United States v.
Brilev. 631 Fed.Appx. 156, 156 (4th Cir. 2016) (per
Plaintiffs Civil Filings
failed to secure any relief from his convictions or sentence
within his criminal proceedings, plaintiff began seeking
monetary and other relief through civil proceedings against
several individuals and entities, based upon allegations that
his conviction was wrongful and premised on erroneous
Court, plaintiff has filed two civil actions:
a. First, on January 11, 2016, plaintiff filed a civil action
against the United States Park Police itself, each of the
Park Police officers involved in his arrest, and the Special
Assistant United States Attorneys who successfully prosecuted
him in this Court. Briley v. Brancato, et aL Case
No. 1:16cv67 (LO/JFA).
b. Second, on February 1, 2016, plaintiff filed another civil
action, with similar allegations, against the attorneys who
represented him during his criminal proceedings before this
Court. Briley v. Richman, et al Case No. 1:16cvl 04
(LO/TCB). With similar factual recitations proffered in his
first civil action, plaintiff claims that he "was
falsely arrested indicted, tried, and sentence[d], based on
Park Police Officers Brancato, Usher, Mace, and Twiname
manufactured [sic] charges and their Material Testimonies at
the plaintiffs Criminal Trial." Id. at Dkt. No.
c. Clearly unsatisfied by the results obtained in his
litigate efforts in this Court, on February 24, 2016,
plaintiff filed the instant action against Park Police
Officer Robert Usher in the Circuit Court for the City of
Alexandria. Plaintiffs complaint in his state court action
shared much in common with his federal filings. In contrast
to his conviction for, inter alia, assault on a
federal officer, plaintiff alleges that Usher
"intentionally orchestrated and ensued the brutal attack
on plaintiff by manufacturing a false claim that the
plaintiff was engaging in an illegal action in the privacy of
his vehicle." Dkt. No. 1, Ex. A ("Compl")
¶¶ 4, 7. Plaintiff also alleges that Usher falsely
testified that he was injured by plaintiff during the events
giving rise to plaintiffs criminal proceedings, and that
Usher had no medical evidence of any such injuries.
Id. ¶ 9. Plaintiff claims that Usher's
improper actions led to his wrongful conviction for assault
on a federal officer and a significant sentence by this