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Hayes v. Butler

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

September 8, 2017

KATRINA HAYES, Plaintiff,
v.
BILL BUTLER, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JAMES C. DEVER III, Chief United States District Judge

         On July 20, 2017, Deputy U.S. Marshal Bill Butler ("Butler" or "defendant") moved to dismiss Katrina Hayes's ("Hayes" or "plaintiff') request for a no-contact order [D.E. 11] and filed a memorandum of law in support [D.E. 12]. On August 10, 2017, Hayes responded in opposition [D.E. 14]. As explained below, the court grants Butler's motion to dismiss.

         I.

         On October 14, 2016, Hayes sued the Cumberland County Board of Education and other defendants alleging violations of federal law. See Hayes v. Cumberland Cty. Bd. of Educ., et al; 5:16-CV-853-FL ("Hayes I" [D.E. 1]). On March 13, 2017, the court dismissed Hayes's case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. See Hayes v. Cumberland Cty. Bd. of Educ., et al; 5:16-CV-853-FL, 2017 WL 979025 (E.D. N.C. Mar. 13, 2017) (unpublished). On April 4, 2017, Hayes threatened the Clerk of Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. On April 4, 2017, Hayes's threat was forwarded to Butler in his capacity as Judicial Security Inspector for the United States Marshals Service. [D.E. 12], Butler Aff., ¶ 2.

         On April 5, 2017, the court entered a text order that read:

TEXT ORDER - the court is in receipt of multiple voice messages directed to chambers staff from plaintiff requesting ex parte communication and hearing with the court about this case and the parties in this case. Plaintiff is ADMONISHED that any communications with the court regarding the case or the parties must be made through filings or statements on the record through the clerk's office, in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the rules and preferences of the court. Plaintiff is DIRECTED to cease telephone calls with chambers and to direct any filings or inquiries regarding the case or parties to the clerk's office in accordance with applicable rules. The court DIRECTS the clerk to serve plaintiff a copy of this order by U.S. Mail. In addition, the court DIRECTS the United States Marshal to serve personally a copy of this order on plaintiff. Signed by District Judge Louise Wood Flanagan on 4/5/2017.

Hayes I. no docket entry (emphasis in original).

         On April 5, 2017, Butler and the chief deputy marshal attempted to serve Hayes with a copy of the text order at her residence in Cary, North Carolina. Hayes did not respond. Butler contacted the leasing office for the apartment complex and confirmed that he had the correct residence address for Hayes. Butler left his business card in the door of Hayes's residence. Butler Aff. ¶ 5.

         On the evening of April 5, 2017, Hayes left a voicemail on Butler's work phone. Hayes stated that she received Butler's business card and left her phone number. On April 6, 2017, Butler repeatedly attempted to call Hayes without success. Id. ¶ 6.

         On April 11, 2017, Butler attempted to call Hayes throughout the day at the phone number that she provided, but those attempts also were unsuccessful. On April 13, 2017, Butler received a voicemail from Hayes in which she asked Butler to call her before 5:00 p.m. Butler called her twice on this date, and left two voicemails, but received no response to either. Additionally, Butler and another deputy marshal attempted to interview Hayes at her residence, but Hayes did not respond. While Butler attempted to interview Hayes at her residence, Hayes left another voicemail on Butler's work number. Hayes did so, even though Butler repeatedly told Hayes to contact him via his cell phone. In her voicemail, Hayes stated that she had received the text order, and asked Butler to return her call the following morning. See Id. ¶¶ 7-10.

         On April 13, 2017, Hayes sent Butler several emails. Hayes asked Butler to review several documents and attachments before meeting with her. On April 14, 2017, Butler unsuccessfully attempted to call Hayes numerous times. Butler could not leave any voicemails because Hayes's mailbox was full. See Butler Aff. ¶¶ 11-12:

         On April 18, 2017, Butler continued to attempt to call Hayes, but all attempts were unsuccessful. However, on April 18, 2017, Hayes emailed Butler. She wrote: "Fact: Your voice is supercharged with emotion. Opinion: It is totally inappropriate to be that emotional. Gift: I brought you a box of Kleenex with your name on it. Help yourself! With love, Bye. Katrina Hayes." Hayes's email included a photo of a box of Kleenex tissues with Butler's name on it. Id. 113.

         On April 19, 2017, Butler and another deputy marshal attempted to interview Hayes at her residence. Hayes did not answer the door. At approximately 7:45 a.m., two officers from the Cary Police Department arrived at the apartment complex. Both Butler and the deputy marshal identified themselves to the officers and asked if they had been called to 8003 Resident Circle. The Cary police officers stated that they had. Butler then explained to the officers the details of the case. The Cary police officers stated that they would attempt to contact Hayes at her door without Butler or the other deputy marshal being visible to her. The Cary police officers knocked, identified themselves, and Hayes opened the door. After Hayes opened the door, Butler stepped to the door. Hayes stated that she would not speak with Butler and that she and Butler had discussed everything. Butler asked Hayes why she had been avoiding him, and she responded that everything had already been discussed. Hayes also stated that Butler had been rude and hostile towards her in emails and phone messages. In order to help facilitate an interview, the Cary police officers spoke with Hayes inside of her residence, but with the door open. They questioned Hayes regarding her dismissed federal case as well as her intentions towards the clerk's office. Butler also questioned Hayes regarding her statements to the Clerk of Court. Hayes responded that she was a God fearing woman, and that her statement was associated with that fact. See Id. ¶ 14.

         Nothing in the record suggests Butler ever threatened Hayes, or took any action to intimidate Hayes. Butler also did nothing to cause Hayes any substantial emotional harm, and acted only in the performance of his sworn duties in an effort to serve a copy of a ...


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