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Wilson v. United States Government

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

October 24, 2017

ROGER WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT and OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER [1]

          Cynthia Reed Eddy United States Magistrate Judge

         I. Introduction

         Presently before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss filed by the United States Government and Office of Attorney General (collectively, “Defendants”) pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), with brief in support. (ECF Nos. 16 and 17). Plaintiff filed a response in opposition (ECF No. 22), to which Defendants filed a reply. (ECF No. 24). The matter is fully briefed and ripe for disposition.

         II. Factual and Procedural Background

         On October 10, 2007, Plaintiff pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to one count of conspiracy to possess and possess with intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a) and (b)(1)(C). (2:06-cr-00316: ECF No. 290; 2:07-cr-00101: ECF No. 42). On January 8, 2008, Plaintiff was sentenced to a term of sixty-five (65) months' imprisonment to be followed by a term of supervised release of six (6) years. Plaintiff was released to supervision on December 1, 2011. (2:06-cr-00316: ECF No. 600 at 2).

         On October 10, 2012, Plaintiff appeared with counsel before the Court for a supervised release and revocation hearing. Thereafter, Plaintiff was committed to the United States BOP in order to complete a mental health evaluation. On January 4, 2013, following a competency hearing, Plaintiff was committed to the custody of the Attorney General for restorative hospitalization. On December 20, 2013, the Court found that further custody of Plaintiff by the Attorney General for purposes of evaluation and treatment was not warranted and Plaintiff was released from custody.

         On January 21, 2016, the U.S. Probation Officer requested that Plaintiff be discharged from supervision, prior to its original expiration date. On February 2, 2016, without objection from the parties, the court terminated Plaintiff's supervision.

         Plaintiff filed his initial Complaint in this case on March 8, 2017. (ECF No. 1). On May 30, 2017, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, which remains his operative pleading. (ECF No. 14). Plaintiff claims that he was illegally detained between October 2012 and December 2013, based on false reports of supervision violations by his U.S. probation officer. As a result of his detention, Plaintiff claims that he lost his dating website business and seeks $500 million in damages. Plaintiff's claims sound in negligence.[2] The Federal Tort Claims Act authorizes “damages to be recovered against the United States for harm caused by the negligent or wrongful conduct of Government employees, to the extent that a private person would be liable under the law of the place where the conduct occurred.” Boyle v. United Technologies Corp., 487 U.S. 500, 511 (1988) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)).

         Defendants filed the instant motion under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), as well as under 12(b)(6). First, Defendants argue that Plaintiff's claims should be dismissed in their entirety since he failed to exhaust his Administrative remedies as required. This argument is based on Rule 12(b)(1). Next, Defendants argue that the Office of the Attorney General should be dismissed because under the FTCA the United States of America is the only proper party defendant, not the federal agency or an individual federal employee.[3]

         III. Standard of Review

         A. Challenge to Subject-Matter Jurisdiction

         Dismissal of a complaint is warranted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) when the district court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the claims pled therein. A 12(b)(1) motion may challenge jurisdiction based on the face of the complaint or its existence in fact. In re Horizon Healthcare Servs. Inc. Data Breach Litig., 846 F.3d 625, 632 (3d Cir. 2017) (citing Davis v. Wells, 824 F.3d 333, 346 (3d Cir. 2016)). When the challenge is facial, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint and draw reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Mortensen v. First Fed. Savings and Loan Ass'n, 549 F.2d 884, 891 (3d Cir. 1977). When the challenge is factual, however, the court is not bound by the allegations in the pleadings. Id. Therefore, “no presumptive truthfulness attaches to plaintiff's allegations” for factual challenges. Id. Regardless of whether the challenge is facial or factual, the plaintiff bears the burden of persuasion.

         Here, the Court deems Defendants as making a factual challenge to jurisdiction. Thus, the Court will consider the Declaration attached to Defendants' brief with respect to their Rule 12(b)(1) motion.

         B. Failure ...


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