Kim v. Eisner et al
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge James K. Bredar on 6/28/2017. (dass, Deputy Clerk) (c/m 6/29/17-das)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
OK CHA KIM,
LORI JOY EISNER,
CIVIL NO. JKB-17-1685
Initially filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Plaintiff Ok
Cha Kim’s complaint was brought against three sets of Defendants:
The City of Baltimore Defendants—Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, Acting Solicitor David E.
Ralph, and City Council President Bernard C. Young
The State of Maryland Defendants—Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., Attorney General
Brian E. Frosh, Assistant Attorney General Michele J. McDonald, Circuit Court for
Baltimore City Administrative Judge W. Michel Pierson, Circuit Court for Baltimore
City Associate Judge Kendra Young Ausby, and Circuit Court for Baltimore City
General Equity Magistrate Lori Joy Eisner
The Trustee Defendants—Rachel Kiefer and Bradley Harris.
(Compl., ECF No. 1.) The complaint is rambling and full of bald allegations and legal argument
that the Defendants violated various legal rights in connection with a foreclosure action for
property apparently owned by Kim in Baltimore City. (Id.)
The District of Columbia court found venue improper in that district and transferred the
case to this Court. (Order May 31, 2017, ECF No. 7.) Pending before the Court are motions to
dismiss filed by the three sets of Defendants. (ECF Nos. 4, 5, 6.) Kim has filed opposition
responses to the motions (ECF Nos. 8, 9, 10), and they are ripe for disposition. No hearing is
necessary. Local Rule 105. 6 (D. Md. 2016).
The Court concludes, for the reasons stated by Defendants, the following:
1. The complaint fails to state a claim for relief and will be dismissed pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
The complaint is devoid of sufficient factual
allegations to permit the Court to infer that any Defendant engaged in any wrongful
conduct with respect to Kim.
2. All of the State Defendants have been sued in their official capacities. Kim’s complaint
is premised upon the federal civil rights statutes, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, and 1985, as
the vehicles for assertion of various claimed constitutional violations. A suit brought
against the State Defendants in their official capacities is deemed a suit against the State
of Maryland. Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985) (noting governmental
entity is “real party in interest” in official capacity suit). Kim requests declaratory and
injunctive relief as well as damages. Any damage claim in this federal court case is
barred by the Eleventh Amendment. Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 662-63 (1974)
(Eleventh Amendment immunity extends to suits against State by its own citizens).
Kim’s complaint otherwise asks the Court to declare that Defendants have engaged in
constitutionally proscribed conduct and to enjoin them “to stop engaging in such
unconstitutional and unlawful acts.”
Because no cognizable cause of action can be
found in Kim’s complaint, the requests for declaratory and injunctive relief are without
factual foundation and are, consequently, insufficient to prevent dismissal of all of the
State Defendants on the basis of their Eleventh Amendment immunity.
3. The Trustee Defendants, who are seeking the foreclosure of Kim’s property in their
Maryland State court action, are private actors and have not acted under color of state
law. The complaint, therefore, fails to state a claim for relief against them.
Accordingly, the three motions to dismiss will be granted, and Kim’s motions to strike, for
entry of default, for summary judgment, for declaratory judgment, to convene a three-judge
court, and for prospective injunctive relief (ECF Nos. 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12) will be found
moot. A separate order will follow.
DATED this 28th day of June, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
James K. Bredar
United States District Judge
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