United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
FRANK J. WASHINGTON, #115204, a/k/a FRANK JERMAINE WASHINGTON, #82625, Plaintiff,
DETECTIVE JENNIFER BUTLER and AL CANNON, SHERIFF, Defendant.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. Rogers, III United States Magistrate Judge
action arises from an arrest warrant issued for Plaintiff on
charges of carjacking. Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se,
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging false arrest. He also alleges state law claims of
defamation and slander. Defendant Al Cannon has been
dismissed from this action, see Order (ECF No. 24) and the
only remaining claims are those pending against Defendant
Detective Jennifer Butler. Presently before the court is
Detective Butler's Motion to Dismiss, or in the
alternative, for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 39). Because he is
proceeding pro se, Plaintiff was advised pursuant to
Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.3d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), that
a failure to respond to the moving Defendant's motion
could result in dismissal of his case. After two motions for
extension of time, Plaintiff filed a Response (ECF No. 47).
All pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to the
undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A) and (B) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d), DSC.
alleges in his verified complaint that Detective Butler
signed an arrest warrant against him for a September 9, 2017,
carjacking, which was untrue because he was in jail from July
4, 2017, through October 24, 2017. Public court records
reveal that Plaintiff was arrested on or about July 4, 2017,
for a violation of a term or condition of electronic
monitoring and remained detained until about October 24,
2017, at the Al Cannon Detention Center (ACDC) in Charleston
County. Plaintiff was again arrested on a series
of charges on or about January 19, 2018, and remains detained
at the ACDC while those charges are pending.
January 22, 2018, after viewing a news report of
Plaintiff's arrest, an individual contacted the North
Charleston Police Department and stated her belief that
Plaintiff was the perpetrator of a carjacking that occurred a
few months prior. On September 9, 2017, the individual, a
female Lyft driver, was accosted by a man who jumped into her
automobile after her last fare left her car. Warrant dated
Jan. 25, 2018 (Ex. 1 to Def. Motion). The man ordered the
female Lyft driver to drive away before threatening her with
a knife. Id. The Lyft driver was able to escape her
vehicle, which the assailant then drove away. Id.
The Lyft driver went to a friend's house and called the
January 25, 2018, after the Lyft driver contacted the North
Charleston Police Department, she viewed a six-subject photo
lineup of possible suspects and positively identified
Plaintiff as the perpetrator of the carjacking. Id.
Later that day, Detective Butler obtained an arrest warrant
based upon the Lyft driver's interview and identification
of Plaintiff from Magistrate Judge Samuel M. Coleman and
served it upon Plaintiff who, as stated above, was being held
at the ACDC on other charges. Id.
Plaintiff's bond hearing, ACDC employees advised
Detective Butler that Plaintiff had been detained at the time
of the crime, and the Magistrate gave Plaintiff a personal
recognizance bond for the carjacking claim though at least
two of the other charges against him each required a $200,
000 surety bond. Detective Buttler confirmed that Plaintiff
had been incarcerated at the time of the carjacking and
notified the solicitor's office, who dismissed the
warrant on January 29, 2018. Warrant Status Change Form (Ex.
to Pl. Resp.).
stated above, Plaintiff alleges claims of malicious
prosecution, defamation, and slander. He seeks relief in the
form of the dismissal of all of his criminal charges
currently pending in South Carolina state court, twenty
million dollars, and to be released from the detention
facility in which he currently resides.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56, the moving party bears the burden of showing
that summary judgment is proper. Summary judgment is proper
if there is no genuine dispute of material fact and the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986). Summary judgment is proper if the
non-moving party fails to establish an essential element of
any cause of action upon which the non-moving party has the
burden of proof. Id. Once the moving party has
brought into question whether there is a genuine dispute for
trial on a material element of the non-moving party's
claims, the non-moving party bears the burden of coming
forward with specific facts which show a genuine dispute for
trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Matsushita Electrical
Industrial Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574
(1986). The non-moving party must come forward with enough
evidence, beyond a mere scintilla, upon which the fact finder
could reasonably find for it. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). The facts and
inferences to be drawn therefrom must be viewed in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party. Shealy v.
Winston, 929 F.2d 1009, 1011 (4th Cir. 1991).
However, the non-moving party may not rely on beliefs,
conjecture, speculation, or conclusory allegations to defeat
a motion for summary judgment. Barber v. Hosp. Corp. of Am.,
977 F.2d 874-75 (4th Cir. 1992). The evidence
relied on must meet “the substantive evidentiary
standard of proof that would apply at a trial on the
merits.” Mitchell v. Data General Corp., 12 F.3d 1310,
1316 (4thCir. 1993).
that a genuine dispute of material fact exists, a party may
not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his
pleadings. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. Rather, the
party must present evidence supporting his or her position by
“citing to particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A); see also Cray Communications,
Inc. v. Novatel Computer Systems, Inc., 33 F.3d 390
(4th Cir. 1994); Orsi v. Kickwood, 999
F.2d 86 (4th Cir. 1993); Local Rules 7.04, 7.05,