On April 10, 1998, the Maryland State Conference of NAACP Branches ("NAACP") and eighteen individuals filed this §1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District Maryland. The plaintiffs sued the Maryland State Police (MSP) and twenty-four of its officers alleging racial profiling of minority motorists on Interstate 95 in Maryland. plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys' fees.
In June 1998, an amended complaint was filed and the case was consolidated with the related case Wilkins v. Maryland State Police, Civil Case No. CCB-93-468 for discovery purposes. (See PN-MD-0003
of this collection for a summary of that case.) The plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on October 8, 1998. The defendants responded by moving to dismiss and/or for summary judgment.
On September 30, 1999, the District Court (Judge Catherine C. Blake) granted the defendants' motion to dismiss or for summary judgment as to the plaintiffs' interstate travel claim. The District Court also dismissed the plaintiffs' claims that were based on a stop that occurred before April 10, 1995. The motion was otherwise denied. 72 F.Supp.2d 560, 569 (D.Md.1999).
On February 22, 2001, the District Court denied without prejudice the plaintiffs' motion for class certification, pending further discovery. Thereafter, the parties engaged in settlement discussions and reached an agreement in principle in March 2002 on a partial settlement.
On April 22, 2003 the parties entered into a Consent Decree, which formally resolved their claims for declaratory and injunctive relief. The Consent Decree also served to resolve the issues in the related case Wilkins v. Maryland State Police, (PN-MD-0003
). The District Court entered the Consent Decree and approved the selection of Mr. Eli Silverman to serve as the MSP consultant under the decree. The settlement did not dispose of the individual plaintiffs' damage claims, nor did it bar them from renewing their motion for class action certification on damages.
On June 26, 2003, the plaintiffs advised the court that they were abandoning their class action and proceeding only on the individual damage claims. On April 15, 2004, plaintiffs moved to file a third amended complaint to add eighteen additional plaintiffs. The District Court denied the motion on statute of limitations grounds. The eighteen would-be plaintiffs filed a separate motion to reconsider but that was denied. The plaintiffs appealed. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. Bridges v. Maryland Dep't of State Police, 441 F.3d 197 (4th Cir. 2006).
The defendants moved for summary judgment on the remaining individual claims. On August 10, 2006, the court (Magistrate Judge James K. Bredar) granted the plaintiffs' motion to dismiss voluntarily all claims against fifteen defendants and certain claims against others. On September 29, 2006, Judge Bredar granted in part and denied in part defendants' motion for summary judgment. Maryland Conf. of NAACP v. Maryland Dep't of State Police, 454 F.Supp.2d 339 (D.Md. 2006).
The remaining individual claims that survived summary judgment were still pending as of the date of this summary, with a status conference set for July 2007.
On October 3, 2007, Magistrate Judge James K. Bredar recused himself from the case. Two sons of the US Marshal for the District of Maryland remained as defendants in actions still to be tried in this case. All of the judges of the District of Maryland had a significant working relationship with the Marshal. As a result, the Chief Judge concluded that in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety, a judge from outside the district should be appointed to preside during the trial phase of the case. 2007 WL 2914913 (D. Md. Oct. 3, 2007).
On October 24, 2007, the case was transferred to Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr., of the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.
On April 3, 2008, the remaining individual plaintiffs settled the case with the defendants with the exception of one matter, which is set forth in section 6.1 of the parties’ private settlement agreement. The defendants agreed to pay $300,000 in damages and attorneys fees to the plaintiffs. The MSP agreed to hire an independent consultant to review its accomplishment of the terms of the 2003 Consent Decree and report on those findings to the plaintiffs.
The remaining issue in dispute was whether copies of complaints filed against individual Maryland State Police troopers are subject to production under the 2003 Consent Decree and, if so, whether in full or redacted form. The parties agreed to submit the matter to the court. On October 15, 2008, Judge Stamp ordered the MSP to turn over redacted copies of the complaints to the plaintiffs and dismissed the case. Dan Dalton - 01/15/2007
Jessica Kincaid - 02/13/2016