United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
Reidinger United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss
filed by the Defendant C.W. Weeks (hereinafter
“Defendant”) [Doc. 8]; the Magistrate Judge's
Memorandum and Recommendation regarding the disposition of
that motion [Doc. 18]; and the Defendant's Objections to
the Memorandum and Recommendation. [Doc. 19].
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and the standing Orders of
Designation of this Court, the Honorable Dennis L. Howell,
United States Magistrate Judge, was designated to consider
the pending motion in the above-captioned action. On July 6,
2017, the Magistrate Judge filed a Memorandum and
Recommendation [Doc. 18], containing proposed conclusions of
law in support of a recommendation that the Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss be granted in part and denied in part. The
parties were advised that any objections to the Magistrate
Judge's Memorandum and Recommendation were to be filed in
writing within fourteen (14) days of service. The Defendant
timely filed his Objections to the Memorandum and
Recommendation on July 20, 2017. [Doc. 19]. The Plaintiff
Judeshiea Quarles (hereinafter “Plaintiff”) filed
a Reply to the Defendant's Objections on August 3, 2017.
Objections, the Defendant argues that the Magistrate Judge
erred in concluding that the Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint adequately stated claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983
and for malicious prosecution under state law. [Doc. 19 at
3]. The Defendant also objects to the Magistrate Judge's
conclusion that the Amended Complaint contained sufficient
allegations to support a punitive damages claims.
[Id.] After careful consideration of the Memorandum
and Recommendation, the Court finds that the Magistrate
Judge's proposed conclusions of law are correct and
consistent with current case law. Therefore, Defendant's
objections in this regard are overruled.
Defendant also objects to the Magistrate Judge's failure
to take “judicial notice” of certain certified
public records, which the Defendant contends
“conclusively establish [that] probable cause existed
for the Plaintiff's arrest.” [Id. at 4 and
5]. The Defendant argues that because the issue of probable
cause for Plaintiff's arrest has already been judicially
determined, the Court must dismiss the Plaintiff's
claims. [Id. at 18 and 19].
Defendant's argument in this regard is misguided.
Contrary to Defendant's argument, the Magistrate Judge
did take judicial notice of the arrest warrant, the audio
recording of the probable cause hearing, the written finding
of probable cause, and the Bill of Indictment. [Doc. 18 at 5,
6, and 7].The Court's notice of the existence of
these judicial records, however, does not bar the Plaintiff
from challenging whether probable cause existed for his
arrest. While the Defendant contends that these documents
conclusively establish the existence of probable cause for
Plaintiff's arrest, that is not the issue in this case.
Rather, the pertinent inquiry is whether the Defendant
obtained the arrest warrant by intentionally withholding or
omitting information from the judicial officer that would
have negated the finding of probable cause. The Magistrate
Judge correctly analyzed this question pursuant to Franks
v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 98 S.Ct. 2674, 57 L.Ed.2d 667
(1978), and its progeny.
argues that even when analyzed under Franks that
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint fails to state a claim
because probable cause was subsequently established by
Defendant's indictment. There is nothing before the Court
at this stage, however, to show whether the information
Defendant omitted from his presentation to the magistrate
formed a part of the basis for any probable cause
determination. Therefore, at this stage, dismissal would be
improper. For these reasons, Defendant's objections in
this regard are overruled.
careful consideration of the Memorandum and Recommendation
and the Defendant's Objections thereto, the Court finds
that the Magistrate Judge's proposed conclusions of law
are correct and consistent with current case law.
Accordingly, the Court hereby overrules the Defendant's
Objections and accepts the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation that the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss be
granted in part and denied in part.
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that the Defendant's
Objections [Doc. 19] are OVERRULED; the
Memorandum and Recommendation [Doc. 18] is
ACCEPTED; and the Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss [Doc. 8] is GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART as follows:
(1) The Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 8] is
GRANTED with respect to Plaintiff's
state law claim asserted against Defendant in his official
(2) The Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 8] is
DENIED with respect to Plaintiff's
IS SO ORDERED.