United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
DUBOIS L. JACKSON, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, et al. Defendants.
Elizabeth A. Stafford, Judge.
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (DKT. 22),
GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS (DKT. 13)
TERRENCE G. BERG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Dubois L. Jackson (“Plaintiff”), acting in pro
per filed this lawsuit against United States Border
Protection, United States Office of Border Patrol as well as
the U.S. Attorney General and the Commissioner of U.S.
Customers and Border Patrol (USCBP) in their official
capacities. Dkt. 1.
matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A.
Stafford's December 5, 2017 Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”), Dkt. 22, which recommends that
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, Dkt. 13, be granted, and
all of Plaintiff's claims be dismissed.
filed a single, timely objection to the R&R on December
19, 2017. Dkt. 23. Defendants filed a timely response to that
objection on December 22, 2017. Dkt. 24.
reasons discussed below the Court will ADOPT
the holding of the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation with the noted modifications.
relevant facts about the underlying incident in this case are
summarized in the Magistrate Judge's R&R. Dkt. 22,
Pg. IDs 187-89. Those facts are adopted for purposes of this
quick summary, Plaintiff is challenging a search that USCBP
agents conducted of him at the fixed border checkpoint in
Detroit in August 2013. Dkt. 1 at Pg ID 198-99. After that
search, Plaintiff submitted an SF-95-the form through which
individuals can present claims against agencies under the
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) 28 U.S.C. §2671 et
seq.-to the USCBP office in Detroit. Dkt. 13-2.
Plaintiff states that he submitted his first SF-95 to USCBP
on or around July 14, 2014, and did not receive any
response. Dkt. 1 at Pg ID 9. Defendants respond in their
Motion to Dismiss that Plaintiff filed an SF-95 with the
agency on July 14, 2015, and that the agency responded with a
denial letter on February 23, 2016. Dkt. 13 at Pg. ID 74.
Defendants also submitted a copy of Plaintiff's July 14,
2015 SF-95 with their motion, in which Plaintiff requested
$1, 000, 000 in damages. Dkt. 13-2.
agree that Defendants' first denial letter on February
23, 2016 was not an effective denial of Plaintiff's FTCA
claims because Defendants sent it to the wrong address. Dkt.
24 at Pg ID 218; Dkt. 13 at Pg ID 74. Defendants sent a
second denial letter by certified mail on March 9, 2016 to
the correct PO Box address listed on Plaintiff's SF-95,
which was delivered to the PO Box, but never picked up, and
thus returned undelivered. Dkt. 13 at Pg ID 74.
called the agency in May 2016 and stated he had not yet
received a response to his July 14, 2015 SF-95. Dkt. 1 at Pg
ID 9. Defendants state they told Plaintiff they would mail
him a third copy of the denial letter, and did so, as a
courtesy, by certified mail on May 2, 2016 to the same PO Box
where the March 9, 2016 letter had been sent. Dkt. 13 at Pg
ID 74. Plaintiff acknowledges receiving this May 2, 2016
denial letter on June 10, 2016. Dkt. 1 at Pg ID 9.
filed this Complaint on November 26, 2016 against the USCBP,
the U.S. Office of Border Patrol, Loretta Lynch in her
official capacity as the United States Attorney General, and
R. Gil Kerlikowske in his official capacity as the
Commissioner of USCBP. Dkt. 1. In the Complaint, Plaintiff
claims Defendants violated his Fourth Amendment rights by
unlawfully searching and seizing him during the checkpoint
stop, and his Fifth Amendment rights by placing him on a
federal watch list after that search without affording him
any sort of process. Dkt. 1 at Pg ID 11. Plaintiff also
references claims under the FTCA against USCBP for false
imprisonment, false arrest, assault, and battery. Dkt. 1 at
Pg ID 10.
April 10, 2017, Defendants filed their Motion to Dismiss
arguing that the Court should: 1) dismiss Plaintiff's
constitutional claims because they were barred by sovereign
immunity; 2) dismiss Plaintiff's FTCA claims for failure
to state cognizable claims under the statute, and because any
such claims-even if properly pleaded-are time-barred. Dkt. 13
at Pg ID 63, 68, 73.
December 5, 2017 the Magistrate Judge issued her R&R
recommending: 1) dismissal of Plaintiff's constitutional
claims against the federal government and federal government
officials which are barred by sovereign
immunity; 2) dismissal ...