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Bowman v. Mann

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

October 17, 2016

JIMMY BOWMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
J.T. MANN; DET. BRYANT, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Robert E. Payne Senior United States District Judge.

         Jimmy Bowman, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, has filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action.[1] By Memorandum Order entered on March 16, 2016, the Court directed Bowman to submit a Particularized Complaint. (ECF No. 12, at 2-3.) Bowman complied with the Court's directive and submitted his Particularized Complaint. (ECF No. 13.) The matter is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Mann and Bryant.[2] (ECF No. 19.) Bowman has responded (ECF No. 24), and Defendants have filed a reply (ECF No. 25). For the reasons stated below, the Court will grant the Motion to Dismiss.

         I. STANDARD FOR MOTION TO DISMISS

         ''A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of a complaint; importantly, it does not resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses." Republican Party of N.C. v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir. 1992) (citing 5A Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1356 (1990)). In considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations are taken as true and the complaint is viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993); see also Martin, 980 F.2d at 952. This principle applies only to factual allegations, however, and "a court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "require [] only 'a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to "give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (second alteration in original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Plaintiffs cannot satisfy this standard with complaints containing only "labels and conclusions" or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Id. (citations omitted). Instead, a plaintiff must allege facts sufficient "to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, " id. (citation omitted), stating a claim that is "plausible on its face, " id. at 570, rather than merely "conceivable." Id. "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atl. Corp., 550 U.S. at 556) . In order for a claim or complaint to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, the plaintiff must "allege facts sufficient to state all the elements of [his or] her claim." Bass v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 324 F.3d 761, 765 (4th Cir. 2003) (citing Dickson v. Microsoft Corp., 309 F.3d 193, 213 (4th Cir. 2002); Iodice v. United States, 289 F.3d 270, 281 (4th Cir. 2002)). Lastly, while the Court liberally construes pro se complaints, Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), it will not act as the inmate's advocate and develop, sua sponte, statutory and constitutional claims that the inmate failed to clearly raise on the face of his complaint. See Brock v. Carroll, 107 F.3d 241, 243 (4th Cir. 1997) (Luttig, J., concurring); Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).

         II. SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS

         In his Particularized Complaint, Bowman states:

1. On October 11, 2013 a search warrant was executed at 4907 Jefferson Park Rd., Prince George, Va.
2. The search warrant specified to search the residence and curtilage. No person(s) were named in the search warrant.
3. Plaintiff was an occupant of the residence along with 4 other adults and a [n] infant when the search commenced.
4. Plaintiff was arrested and questioned for [the] duration of the search and was never free to leave.

(Part. Compl. 1, ECF No. 13.) Bowman seeks $250, 000.00 from each Defendant, as well as a Court Order directing Defendants to "pay the cost of the filing fee for this law suit." (Id. at 3.)

         Bowman's Particularized Complaint raises the following claims for relief:

Claim One: Defendants violated Bowman's rights under the Fourth Amendment[3] by arresting him without probable cause while the search ...

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