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Gladden v. Charlottesville Va Policedept

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

June 9, 2017

JAMAR ANTWAUN GLADDEN, Plaintiff,
v.
CHARLOTTESVILLE VA POLICEDEPT, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HON. JACKSON L. KISER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Jamar 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.[1] 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.

         I.

         The 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!!!

         Plaintiff seeks a public apology and $2.5 million.

         Defendants 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 as follows:

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 ground....
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....

         II.

         A.

         Defendants 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. 2003).

         To 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); ...


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