United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
JACKSON L. KISER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Antwaun Gladden, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se,
commenced a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiff names as defendants: the Charlottesville,
Virginia, Police Department ("Department"); Officer
R.A. Oberholzer; Officer J. Seitz; Detective T.A. Lucas; and
the JADE Task Force. Plaintiff alleges that the officers used
excessive force during arrest in violation of the Fourth
Amendment of the United States Constitution. Defendants filed
motions to dismiss and a motion for a more definite
statement, and Plaintiff responded with additional facts.
This matter is now ripe for disposition. After reviewing
the complaint, I deny as moot the motion for a more definite
statement, deny Oberholzer's motion to dismiss, and grant
the other defendants' motions to dismiss.
complaint alleges the following:
I was with my 3 children when ... [Officer Oberholzer] asked
me to step out of my vehicle. I stepped out[, ] went to [the]
back of [the] car as instructed [and] was immediately grabbed
from behind in a choke hold, t[a]ken to the ground[, ] and
could not breath. JADE Task Force ... [officers J. Seitz and
T.A. Lucas] assisted. I was kicked, kneed, and was a victim
of unnecessary force.... I suffered a chipped front tooth, 3
stitches in [the] right eye, and dislocated shoulder.... No
weapons or narcotics involved during arrest[.] Had previous
run in w[ith] same of[ficer] ... [It was [w]eird [how] he
acted the way he did!!!
seeks a public apology and $2.5 million.
filed motions to dismiss and a motion for a more definite
statement. In response to the motion for a more definite
statement, Plaintiff further described the pertinent events
Officer Oberholzer put me in a choke hold with his arm around
my neck/throat, never reaching for my hands or arms making
a[n] attempt to arrest or detain me. Just a[n] immediate
instinct reaction to put his arm around my throat and to
throw his body weight against me and we immediately went
crashing to the ground (his stomach to my back). Officer
Oberholzer layed on top of me while still continuing to
squeeze his arm tighter around my throat, in which at this
time it was extremely hard for me to breathe. I was beginning
to lose consciousness when a number of "Jon Doe"
detectives of JADE Task Force also appeared on the scene and
begun to physically and maliciously plant knees and feet on
my body while still on my stomach with Officer
Oberholzer's arm around my throat. Along with said
"John Doe" detectives of JADE Task Force,
Detectives McCall, Seitz, and Lucas begun to become overly
aggressive when "John Doe Detective" of JADE Task
Force started to holler "Knife, knife[!]" Again, I
was on my stomach. [I] believed I blacked out slightly at
some point so I wasn't able to see the above named JADE
Task Force members or the John Doe Detectives' faces at
the time when a foot, knee or whatever force that came down
on the back of my head to make my face make contact with the
Before being sat up, Officer Oberholzer kicked me after I was
already being handled by JADE Task Force Detectives John Does
and cuffed.... At no time did I offer a reason for this
inhumane attack on me....
filed motions to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2) and
(b)(6). Once a defendant raises a personal jurisdiction
challenge under Rule 12(b)(2), the plaintiff bears the burden
of demonstrating personal jurisdiction. Combs v.
Bakker, 886 F.2d 673, 676 (4th Cir. 1989). Under Rule
12(b)(6), I must dismiss an action or claim filed by an
inmate if I determine that the action or claim is frivolous
or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted even
after accepting a plaintiffs factual allegations as true. See
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A(b)(1). A complaint
needs "a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief and sufficient
"[f]actual allegations ... to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level...." Bell Ail. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal quotation
marks omitted). A plaintiffs basis for relief "requires
more than labels and conclusions ... ." Id.
Therefore, a plaintiff must "allege facts sufficient to
state all the elements of [the] claim." Bass v. E.I.
Dupont de Nemours & Co., 324 F.3d 761, 765 (4th Cir.
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege
"the violation of a right secured by the Constitution
and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged
deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of
state law." West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48
(1988). Although I liberally construe pro se complaints,
Haines v. Kerner,404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972), I do
not act as an inmate's advocate, sua sponte
developing statutory and constitutional claims not clearly
raised in a 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); ...