United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
JAMES E. BELLAMY, JR., Plaintiff,
K.L. WRIGHT, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION (DISMISSING WITH PREJUDICE 42
U.S.C. § 1983 ACTION)
E. HUDSON, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
E. Bellamy, Jr., a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se
and in for ma pauperis, filed this 42 U.S.C. §
1983 action. The matter is proceeding on Bellamy's
Particularized Complaint (ECF Nos. 11-1, 11-2). The matter is
before the Court for evaluation pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A and the Motion to Dismiss
filed by K.L. Wright and Javier A. Quinones. For the reasons
set forth below, the action will be dismissed as legally
frivolous and malicious.
to the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") this
Court must dismiss any action filed by a prisoner if the
Court determines the action (1) "is frivolous or
malicious" or (2) "fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(i)
& (ii); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The
frivolous standard includes claims premised upon
"indisputably meritless legal theory," or claims
where the "factual contentions are clearly
baseless." Clay v. Yates, 809 F.Supp. 417, 427
(E.D. Va. 1992) (quoting Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 327 (1989)). The second standard is analyzed under
the familiar requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The Court
will discussed the standard for maliciousness at the end of
this Memorandum Opinion.
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 5 A
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 plaintiffs 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).
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 All.
Corp., 550 U.S. at 556). 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 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); see also Beaudett v. City of
Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).
SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS
legal claims stem from a traffic stop of his vehicle that
occurred on November 21, 2015. (ECF No. 11-1, at
As a result of this stop and the items found in his vehicle,
Bellamy was convicted in a bench trial in the Circuit Court
of the City of Chesapeake of possession of heroin with the
intent to distribute, in violation of section 18.2-248 of the
Virginia Code, and driving on a suspended license, in
violation of section 46.2-301 of the Virginia Code.
Bellamy v. Commonwealth, No. 0496-17-1, 2018 WL
3540977, at * 1 (Va. Ct. App. July 24, 2018). At trial and on
appeal, Bellamy unsuccessfully sought to suppress evidence
obtained during a search of his vehicle. Id. at *
present action, Bellamy contends that he is entitled to
relief on the following grounds:
Claim 1 Defendant Quinones conducted a "racial[ly]
motivated warrantless search & seizure ... without
probable cause." (ECF No. 11-1, at 8.) The search was
"done maliciously[, ] exceed[ed] the time needed to
handle the matter for which the traffic stop was made, [and]
violated ... Bellamy[']s rights under the [F]ourth
Claim 2 As a result of Defendant Quinones's warrantless
arrest, Hudson Tow Service towed away Bellamy's vehicle
and imposed a lien upon the vehicle. (Id.) This
action violated Bellamy's rights to due process and equal
Claim 3 K.L. Wright, the Colonel of the Chesapeake Police
Department, "failed to adequately train [D]efendant
Quinones before 11/21/2015." (Id.)
Claim 4 K.L. Wright "[p]ermitted unconstitutional
practices to remain unchallenged thereby demonstrating a
deliberate indifference to the federally protected rights of