University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Garcia v. Montgomery County, Maryland PN-MD-0006
Docket / Court 12-cv-3592 ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Policing
Case Summary
On December 7, 2012, a journalist filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (Greenbelt) under Section 1983 against Montgomery County, Maryland. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive relief as well as punitive and compensatory ... read more >
On December 7, 2012, a journalist filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (Greenbelt) under Section 1983 against Montgomery County, Maryland. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive relief as well as punitive and compensatory damages, claiming that he had been falsely arrested, subject to unreasonable search and seizure, malicious prosecution, and battery.

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that while he had been peacefully observing and recording an arrest in which he thought the officers might be using excessive force from a over 100 feet away, officers of the county police department had flashed him with a spotlight and instructed him to stop recording. When the officers realized that the plaintiff was recording the arrest, one of them approached him. Plaintiff identified himself as a journalist, the officer stated that he was under arrest, placed him in a choke-hold, and dragged him across the street to the police cruiser. The officers placed the plaintiff in the squad car and threatened to arrest his wife as well if she came any closer. Once they reached the police station, the plaintiff watched an officer take the battery and memory card from his camera and place it in his pocket. The plaintiff was charged with disorderly conduct. The report filed by the arresting officers showed no evidence of disorderly conduct by the plaintiff. When he was released some hours later, the memory card for his camera was not returned to him.

On August 23, 2013, Judge J. Frederick Motz granted in part the defendants motion to dismiss some of the charges. Charges against the individual officers were dismissed, but the charges against Montgomery County itself were affirmed.

Discovery has been contentious and has continued over the course of 2014. As of November 26, 2014, there have been no substantial updates.

Andrew Steiger - 10/24/2013
Richard Jolly - 11/26/2014


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
False arrest
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Pattern or Practice
Personal injury
Search policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
State law
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Montgomery County, Maryland
Plaintiff Description Journalist who was documenting an arrest in progress.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
Citation: Forthcoming, 87 Washington L. Rev. __ (2012).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
8:12-cv-03592-JFM (D. Md.) 11/17/2014
PN-MD-0006-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 12/07/2012
PN-MD-0006-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest of the United States 03/04/2013
PN-MD-0006-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss 08/23/2013 (D. Md.)
PN-MD-0006-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Motz, J. Frederick (D. Md.)
PN-MD-0006-0005
Schulze, Jillyn K. (D. Md.) [Magistrate]
PN-MD-0006-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0006-0004
London, Ronald G (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0006-0001 | PN-MD-0006-9000
Mygatt, Timothy D (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0006-0004
Ogletree, Rashida J (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0006-0004
Revere, Robert Corn (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0006-9000
Schary, Alison Brooke (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0006-9000
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0006-0004
Trepel, Samantha Kay (District of Columbia)
PN-MD-0006-0004
Defendant's Lawyers Kane, Patricia L (Maryland)
PN-MD-0006-9000
Tang, Rosalyn (Maryland)
PN-MD-0006-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -