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Dolin v. Kindred

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

October 9, 2019

CHRISTOPHER DOLIN, Plaintiff,
v.
JORDAN KINDRED, Officer, Riverside Regional Jail Authority, Defendant. [1]

          ORDER

          LOUISE W. FLANAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court upon defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim (DE 15). Plaintiff responded in opposition, and also has filed a motion to compel compliance with subpoena for documents (DE 29). In this posture, the issues raised are ripe for ruling. For the following reasons, defendant's motion is granted and plaintiff's motion is denied as moot.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         Plaintiff commenced this action by motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on April 4, 2019. Upon frivolity review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the court allowed plaintiff to proceed with a claim for alienation of affection and criminal conversation against defendant, an officer at Riverside Regional Jail in Virginia. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, expenses, and interest.[2]

         Defendant filed the instant motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6), asserting lack of personal jurisdiction over defendant as well as failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff responded in opposition on August 30, 2019, relying upon an email from plaintiff to defense counsel as well as documents received from defense counsel. Plaintiff filed the instant motion to compel compliance with subpoenas on September 30, 2019.

         STATEMENT OF ALLEGED FACTS

         The facts alleged in the complaint may be summarized as follows. Plaintiff is a resident of Greenville, North Carolina. Defendant is an officer at Riverside Regional Jail in North Prince George, Virginia (hereinafter, the “jail”). Plaintiff alleges that on January 2, 2018, defendant began to sexually harass plaintiff's spouse, Christina Rawls-Dolin (“Rawls-Dolin”), who was employed as a mental health specialist at the jail. Plaintiff alleges that this harassment developed into a “dating/sexual relationship.” (Compl. (DE 1-1) at 3).[3] On April 28, 2018, defendant's “actions towards Rawls-Dolin resulted in plaintiff vacating the shared residence.” (Id.). On September 1, 2018, “the relationship was ended by Rawls-Dolin.” (Id.). Defendant's ongoing harassment towards Rawls-Dolin had effect on plaintiff's family, “to include having to maintain separate households.” (Id.). According to the complaint, defendant continues to sexually harass Rawls-Dolin through touching, verbal communications, and stalking.

         Plaintiff alleges that he has incurred damages in the amount of $75, 001 for mental anguish, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. He has incurred $20, 196 for expenses in maintaining separate houses. Plaintiff alleges that jail officers have allowed defendant to remain under their employ with allegations of physical and verbal abuse towards staff, contractors and inmates.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         Rule 12(b)(2) allows for dismissal of a claim for lack of personal jurisdiction. “When a district court considers a question of personal jurisdiction based on the contents of a complaint and supporting affidavits, the plaintiff has the burden of making a prima facie showing in support of its assertion of jurisdiction.” Universal Leather, LLC v. Koro AR, S.A., 773 F.3d 553, 558 (4th Cir. 2014). At this stage, the court “must construe all relevant pleading allegations in the light most favorable to plaintiff, assume credibility, and draw the most favorable inferences for the existence of jurisdiction.” Combs v. Bakker, 886 F.2d 673, 676 (4th Cir. 1989); see Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Akzo, N.V., 2 F.3d 56, 60 (4th Cir. 1993) (“[T]he district court must draw all reasonable inferences arising from the proof, and resolve all factual disputes, in the plaintiff's favor.”).

         “To survive a motion to dismiss, ” under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. In evaluating whether a claim is stated, the “court accepts all well-pled facts as true and construes these facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, ” but does not consider “legal conclusions, elements of a cause of action, . . . bare assertions devoid of further factual enhancement[, ] . . . unwarranted inferences, unreasonable conclusions, or arguments.” Nemet Chevrolet, Ltd. v. Consumeraffairs.com, Inc., 591 F.3d 250, 255 (4th Cir. 2009) (citations omitted).

         B. Analysis

         1. ...


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