United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
FELICIA RENEE JORDAN, Administratrix for the Estate of Ravon D. Jordan, Plaintiff,
FAYETTEVILLE METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY BOARD, DAWN DRIGGERS, both individually and in her official capacity as Executive Director of Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority, THE ESTATE OF SHARION B. HAIR, A'SHANTE JANELLE OWENS, and KATHLEEN CARTER, Defendants.
W. FLANAGAN United States District Judge
matter is before the court upon motion to dismiss for failure
to state a claim filed by defendants Fayetteville
Metropolitan Housing Authority Board (“Board”)
and Dawn Driggers (“Driggers”) (DE 27), and
motion to dismiss for improper service and process of service
filed by defendant Estate of Sharion Hair
(“Estate”). (DE 24). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), United
States Magistrate Judge Robert T. Numbers, II, issued a
memorandum and recommendation (M&R”), wherein it is
recommended that the court grant defendants' motions.
Plaintiff timely objected to the M&R. In this posture,
the issues raised are ripe for ruling. For the reasons that
follow, the court adopts the recommendation of the magistrate
judge and grants defendants' motions.
initiated this action on June 20, 2016, in Cumberland County
Superior Court, as administratrix for the estate of Ravon D.
Jordan (“Jordan”), asserting claims arising out
of a shootout that occurred on the property of Sharion Hair
(“Hair”). Jordan allegedly died from injuries
sustained during the shooting. Plaintiff seeks compensatory
and punitive damages, as well as trial by jury.
makes claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants
Board and Driggers, in her individual and official
capacities, alleging deprivations of Jordan's
constitutional rights. Plaintiff also asserts state law
negligence claims against defendants Estate,  A'Shante Owen
(“Owens”), and Kathleen Carter
Board and Driggers timely removed the action on July 27,
2016, invoking this court's jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331, 1441, and 1446. On August 26, 2016,
defendant Estate answered plaintiff's complaint and filed
the instant motion to dismiss claims against it for
insufficient service of process. Shortly thereafter, on
August 31, 2016, defendants Board and Driggers filed the
instant motion to dismiss claims against them for failure to
state a claim, lack of jurisdiction, and insufficient service
October 24, 2016, the court directed plaintiff to confirm the
status of the action against defendants Owens and Carter,
where service on those defendants remained outstanding. In
response, plaintiff filed two separate affidavits of
non-service on Carter and Owens, respectively. (DE 37,
magistrate judge entered an M&R on February 24, 2017. The
M&R recommends granting defendant Estate's motion to
dismiss on the basis that plaintiff failed to serve the
Estate's personal representative. The M&R also
recommends granting defendants Board and Driggers's
motion on the grounds that plaintiff fails to allege
deprivation of a specific constitutional right. Plaintiff
timely filed objections to the M&R.
facts alleged in plaintiff's complaint are summarized as
follows. The Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority
(“FMHA”) is a public housing authority organized
under Chapter 57 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Its
purpose is to provide low-cost housing to families with low
to moderate income. Defendant Board owns, manages, and
administers public housing programs, including housing
voucher programs under 42 U.S.C. § 1437f (“Section
8”). (DE 1-2 ¶ 7). At all times relevant
to this action, defendant Driggers was the Executive Director
of the FMHA. (Id. ¶ 11).
to plaintiff, the FMHA contracted with Hair, to use
Hair's property, located at 1522 Grandview Drive in
Fayetteville, North Carolina (the “Grandview
house”), as rental property for low income families
under the Section 8 program. (Id. ¶ 14).
Pursuant to this contract, defendant Board leased the
Grandview house to defendant Carter. (Id. ¶
15). The lease agreement between defendants Carter and Board
required defendant Carter to comply with certain terms and
conditions. (Id. ¶ 16). In particular, the
agreement prohibited the use of alcohol, drugs, or weapons on
the property and required Carter to live on the property as a
permanent resident. (Id. ¶ 17). In
contravention of this agreement, Carter leased the Grandview
house to defendant Owens. (Id. ¶¶ 20, 22).
22, 2014, defendant Owens held a party at the Grandview
house. (Id. ¶ 23). During the course of this
party, individuals became disruptive and rowdy. (Id.
¶ 24). Law enforcement showed up at the house several
times on June 22, 2014, to address complaints regarding
disturbances that erupted during the party. (Id.
¶ 26). According to plaintiff, defendant Owens
frequently held large and unruly parties at the Grandview
house. (Id. ¶ 28). Neighbors lodged several
complaints about these parties with Hair and defendants Board
and Driggers. (Id. ¶ 30).
attended the party at the Grandview house on June 22, 2014.
(Id. ¶ 32). While Jordan was at the party,
unknown assailants engaged in a shootout. (Id.
¶ 33). During the course of the shootout, Jordan was
shot. (Id. ¶ 35). Jordan subsequently ...