United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motions to
Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Dkts. 38, 40, & 42).
The motions were fully briefed and the Court dispensed with
oral argument, finding that oral argument would not aid the
Court in its decision. For the reasons stated below and for
good cause shown, Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (Dkts.
38, 40, & 42) are GRANTED IN PART, DENIED IN
has sued his wife's lawyers ("Defendant
Lawyers") and members of her family (Kristina Hampton,
Derek Hampton, and Danielle Richards; collectively
"Family Defendants") for allegedly recording
Plaintiffs conversations with his attorneys and purported
romantic partner. Monika Pawar. and using the contents of
those recordings in his underlying divorce proceedings. Am.
Compl. ¶¶ 2-3.
wife, Andrea Marsh, filed for divorce alleging that Plaintiff
had committed adultery. Id. ¶ 17. Plaintiff
alleges that the Hamptons and his wife worked together to
place recording devices in his home, car, and/or phone.
Id. ¶ 20. According to Plaintiff, Derek Hampton
is "an information security and computer networking
specialist" with "access to and expertise in
technology and computer software that would enable him to
engage in and assist Andrea Marsh and the other Non-Lawyer
Defendants in surreptitiously intercepting Plaintiffs private
electronic communications." Id. ¶ 20.
Plaintiff claims to have viewed numerous emails between his
wife and the Family Defendants circulating and describing the
contents of his private conversations with others.
Id. ¶ 22. Plaintiff also found a journal
entitled "Andrea Marsh Journal of Tim's
Activities," which appears to be authored by Defendant
Richards. Id. ¶¶ 35-38, Ex. E, Ex. F.
Plaintiff alleges that "Defendants K. Hampton and D
Richards, with the assistance and support of Defendant D
Hampton, transcribed the contents of the intercepted"
communications into the journal and shared the information
with each other, Plaintiffs wife, and Defendant Lawyers.
Id. ¶ 35.
wife also sent emails to Defendant Curran, one of her
lawyers, describing the intercepted private communications
between Plaintiff and his lawyer, and between Plaintiff and
the woman with whom he was allegedly committing adultery,
Monika Pawar. Id. ¶¶ 24-25, Ex. A (copy of
an email). Defendant Lawyers allegedly utilized information
gathered from the recordings in the underlying divorce
proceeding, such as when questioning Monika Pawar, despite
knowing or having notice that their client and her family had
illegally wiretapped Plaintiff. Id. ¶¶
44-60, ¶¶ 73-105, Exs. 8-14.
has also alleged that Defendants shared the contents of his
private communications to individuals not associated with his
divorce case, including his co-workers, neighbors, friends,
and spouses of his business associates. Id. ¶
Plaintiffs divorce proceedings, Judge Home found that the
recordings were obtained in violation of a wiretapping
statute. Id. ¶ 4, ¶ 33, Ex. B. at 118-19.
further alleges that his wife and Family Defendants illegally
viewed and shared his private financial and identifying
information. Id. ¶ 27. Plaintiff has produced
an email from Defendant Kristina Hampton to one of the
Defendant Lawyers describing and attaching some of Plaintiffs
financial transactions. Id. ¶ 28, Ex. C. He has
also produced an email suggesting that both the Hamptons had
viewed Plaintiffs financial transactions. See Id.
Ex. C at 9.
alleges that all Defendants violated federal and state
wiretapping laws, intentionally inflicted emotional distress,
and aided and abetted. Id. Counts I, II, V, VI.
Plaintiff also alleges that the Hamptons violated
Virginia's Computer Crimes Act. Id. Counts III,
IV. Finally, Plaintiff has brought a claim for temporary and
permanent injunctive relief. Id. Count VII. All
Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiffs Amended Complaint for
failure to state a claim.
survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient
factual information to "state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Bell Ad. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 550 (2007). A motion to dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) must be considered in combination
with Rule 8(a)(2), which requires "a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief so as to "give the defendant fair notice of
what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555. While "detailed factual allegations" are
not required, Rule 8 does demand that a plaintiff provide
more than mere labels and conclusions stating that the
plaintiff is entitled to relief. Id. Because a Rule
12(b)(6) motion tests the sufficiency of a complaint without
resolving factual disputes, a district court "'must
accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in
the complaint' and 'draw all reasonable inferences in
favor of the plaintiff."' Kensington Volunteer
Fire Dep 7 v. Montgomery County, 684 F.3d 462,
467 (4th Cir. 2012) (quoting E.I. du Pont de Nemours
& Co. v. Kolon Indus., Inc., 637 F.3d 435, 440 (4th
Cir. 2011)). Accordingly, a complaint may survive a motion to
dismiss "even if it appears 'that a recovery is very
remote and unlikely, '" id. (quoting
Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)), so
long as the complaint states a claim that is
"plausible" and not merely "conceivable,"
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 569.
Defense of Unclean Hands.
Defendants argue that Plaintiff is barred from recovery due
to unclean hands. Unclean hands is an equitable defense.
Burlington Indus, v. Milliken & Co.. 690 F.2d
380, 388 (4th Cir. 1982). Motions to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6) do not resolve the applicability of defenses.
Republican Party of N.C. v. Martin,980 F.2d 943,
952 (4th Cir. 1992). Hence, ...