Okere v. High et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION (c/m to Plaintiff 12/22/16 sat). Signed by Judge Deborah K. Chasanow on 12/22/2016. (sat, Chambers)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
SYLVESTER O. OKERE
Civil Action No. DKC 16-2152
MELVIN C. HIGH, et al.
Presently pending and ready for resolution in this case are
the following motions: a motion to dismiss filed by Defendant
(“Plaintiff”) (ECF No. 17).
The issues have been briefed, and
the court now rules, no hearing being deemed necessary.
For the following reasons, Defendant’s motion to
judgment will be denied.
Defendant is the elected Sheriff of Prince George’s
responsible for” the execution of a writ of possession issued by
the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County in the course of
(ECF No. 3, at 2).
given a Courtesy Package informing him of the corruption and the
that resulted in an eviction,” but still executed the eviction.
(Id. at 2).
On June 16, 2016, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a
complaint in this court.
complaint on June 17.
(ECF No. 1)
(ECF No. 3).
motion to dismiss on June 20.
He filed the amended
Defendant filed the instant
(ECF No. 7).
provided with a Roseboro notice (ECF No. 8), which advised him
of the pendency of the motion to dismiss and his entitlement to
Plaintiff responded (ECF No. 9), and Defendant replied (ECF No.
Plaintiff also filed a response to Defendant’s reply.
(ECF No. 13).
On August 9, 2016, Plaintiff filed a “Notice of
Default” (ECF No. 14), and on August 29, he filed the pending
motion for default judgment (ECF No. 17).
action because he “was directed to execute a writ of possession
issued by the circuit court, and . . . such activity is integral
to the judicial process.”
(ECF No. 7, at 5-8).
trespassing” against Defendant based on “executing an eviction
due to foreclosure,” and alleges that Defendant “violated his
Oath of Office” by executing the eviction despite his “duty to
protect [Plaintiff] from the corruption and distortion and the
(Id. at 2 (“The order in which the
procedure . . . . The
administrative procedures was based on statutes and codes of the
State of Maryland[.]”)).
His claim appears to be based on the
argument that the foreclosure action was in violation of the
Fifth, Seventh, and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution, and
(Id. at 2).
Plaintiff did not respond to Defendant’s
violated the Seventh Amendment.
ECF No. 9 ¶ 5).
proceedings, it is clearly premised on the fact that Defendant
executed a court-ordered writ of possession.
As Judge Blake has noted:
Absolute quasi-judicial immunity extends to
non-judicial officers “performing tasks so
integral or intertwined with the judicial
process that those persons are considered an
arm of the judicial officer who is immune.”
Bush v. Rauch, 38 F.3d 842, 847 (6th Cir.
1994). The basis for affording non-judicial
officials absolute immunity is to avoid the
“danger that disappointed litigants, blocked
by the doctrine of absolute immunity from
suing the judge directly [would] vent their
wrath on clerks, court reporters, and other
Sindram v. Suda, 986
F.2d 1459, 1461 (D.C. Cir. 1993) (alteration
Letsinger, 889 F.2d 755, 763 (7th Cir. 1989)).
Courts have therefore extended absolute
immunity to protect, among others, clerks of
court, law enforcement officers, and others
who enforce court orders. See, e.g., Foster
v. Walsh, 864 F.2d 416, 417-18 (6th Cir. 1988)
(holding the clerk of court to be absolutely
immune for issuing an erroneous warrant
pursuant to the court’s order); Henry v.
Farmer City State Bank, 808 F.2d 1228, 123839
sheriffs, and other court officers who act
in reliance on a facially valid court order
are entitled to quasi-judicial immunity from
Kendrick v. Cavanaugh, No. CCB-10-2207, 2011 WL 2837910, at *4
(D.Md. July 14, 2011); see also Horowitz v. Mason, No. DKC-153478, 2016 WL 1536321, at *5 (D.Md. Apr. 15, 2016).
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant took action pursuant to the
Circuit Court’s order.
Defendant was acting as an arm of the
Defendant will be dismissed.
III. Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment
In his amended complaint, Plaintiff stated that Defendant
was “required to answer this complaint within 30 days after
(ECF No. 3, at 3).
On August 29, he filed the
pending motion for default judgment, arguing that Plaintiff had
failed to answer the complaint within 30 days and requesting the
court grant a default judgment in the amount of $11.5 million.
(ECF No. 17).
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure govern this
action, and Plaintiff’s pleading did not alter those procedures.
Defendant responded to Plaintiff’s complaint by timely filing a
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), which tolls the
time period for serving an answer until the court denies the
motion for a more definite statement.
For the foregoing reasons, the motion to dismiss filed by
Defendant Melvin C. High will be granted, and the motion for
default judgment filed by Plaintiff Slyvester O. Okere will be
A separate order will follow.
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW
United States District Judge
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