Gill v. Morano et al
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge Richard D. Bennett on 9/5/2017. (c/m 9/5/2017)(kr2, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
RA YMOND GILL
DETECTIVE SE. MORANO,
DETECTIVE PETER HAMILTON,
BALITMORE COUNTY DETENTION
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
2017 SEP -s PH /2: 10
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.JS. DISTRICT COURr
UIS1RIC r OF MARYLA/ID
Civil Action No. RDB-I 7-2287
case, filed August 7, 2017, seeks both Petitioner's
incarceration and monetary damages of 5.5 million dollars.
ECF I at pp. 2 & 5. Petitioner
moves for leave to proceed in forma pauperis; the motion shall be granted. ECF 2.
Petitioner Raymond Gill is committed to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons
and currently confined in the United States Penitentiary-Hazelton.
The named Respondents are
detectives with the Baltimore County Police, Bank Robbery Task Force who were involved in
Gill's arrest on August 27, 2013.
ECF I at p. 2. Gill states he was indicted by the State of
Maryland on September 30, 2013, on charges of armed robbery, robbery, and use of a firearm in
the commission of a violent crime. Ultimately a disposition of Nolle Prosequi was entered on all
pending State charges. Id. Gill then alleges that he "never received an arrest warrant from the
Federal Government at any time, he received a Federal Indictment on 10/23/2013, 23 days after
his State Indictment."
Id. The remainder of the petition are legal conclusions and arguments
without reference to any alleged facts to support Gill's conclusion that he is entitled to 5.5
million dollars or release from incarceration.
Id. at pp. 2 - 4. In a section entitled "conclusion,"
Gill states that no detainer was tiled with Baltimore County Detention Center by the federal
government and raises vague allegations regarding his arraignment date in this Court and the
date that an attorney first entered his appearance in the case. Id. at pp. 4 - 5.
to file a suit for damages
simultaneously claim that there were constitutional defects in the criminal case I against him in
See Gill v. Podlesni. et al., Civil Action RDB-16-l475
(D. Md.); Gill v.
et aI., Civil Action JFM-17-32 (D. Md.) (dismissed with "strike" January II,
2017 (ECF 3»; Gill v. United States Marshal's
Service, Civil Action JFM-17-34 (D. Md.)
(dismissed without prejudice pursuant to Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U. S. 477, 486-87 (1994», Gill
v. Ahfeldl, Civil Action JFM-17-143 (D. Md.) (same). The instant petition does not state a claim
upon which relief may be granted.
For purposes of a damages claim under 42 U.S.C. ~1983, Gill has not stated any claims
against Respondents Morano and Hamilton.2
The mere fact that these two officers arrested Gill
does not give rise to a civil claim for damages.
Conversely, Gill's conviction in this Court is a
strong indication that these two Defendants are entitled to avail themselves of a qualified
"[GJovernment officials performing discretionary
functions generally are
shielded from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly
established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known."
Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U. S. 800, 818 (1982). "In determining whether a government official
is entitled to qualitied immunity, 'we must (I) identify the right allegedly violated, (2) determine
whether the constitutional right violated was clearly established at the time of the incident, and
See United Stales v. Gill, Crim. Case RDB.13.577 (D. Md. 2013).
Baltimore County Detenlion Center and the United States of America are not properly named parties for
purposes of a civil suit for damages under ~1983. The statute provides a civil remedy for constitutional violations
committed by "any person" under color of law. The Detention Center and the federal government are not "persons."
(3) evaluate whether a reasonable offic[ial] would have understood that the conduct at issue
violated the clearly established right.'" Henderson v. Simms, 223 F.3d 267, 271 (4th Cir. 2000)
(quoting S. P. v. Tacoma Park, 134 F.3d 260, 265 (4th Cir. 1998»; see also Valhekan v. Prince
Georges Cty, 154 F.3d 173, 179 (4th Cir. 1998).
In order to state a claim under 9 J 983 for false arrest, Gill must show that his arrest was
made without probable cause.
See Slreel v. Surdyka, 492 F.2d 368, 372-73 (4th Cir. 1974).
Probable cause exists if "at that moment the facts and circumstances
with [the officers']
knowledge and of which they had reasonably trustworthy information were sufficient to warrant
a prudent man in believing that the petitioner had committed or was committing an offense."
Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89, 91 (1964) (citation omitted).
A probable cause determination
governed by a totality of the circumstances test. See Illinois v. Gales, 462 U.S. 213, 241 (1983);
United Slales v. Garcia, 848 F.2d 58, 59-60 (4th Cir. 1988). Whether probable cause to arrest
exists is based on information the police had at the time of the arrest. Jd. at 261.
Here, Gill alleges nothing more than he never received an arrest warrant for the federal
criminal charges against him. Even if Gill's allegation is true, the unassailable fact is that an
arrest warrant was issued in his case on October 23,2013,
the same date the federal indictment
was issued. See Uniled Slales v. Gill, Crim. Case RDB-13-577 (D. Md.) at ECF 3. The alleged
failure of any party responsible for providing Gill with a copy of the arrest warrant does not state
a constitutional claim.
To the extent Gill challenges the validity of his current incarceration, the proper vehicle
for doing so is a Motion to Vacate or Set Aside Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 92255, which is
filed in the criminal casco Gill has such a motion pending in the criminal case. See Gill, Crim.
Case RDB-13-577 at ECF 119. The instant petition, to the extent it is a challenge of Gill's
conviction, shall be dismissed without prejudice.
A separate Order follows.
RICHARD D. BENNETT
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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