United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
T. ERWIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Ma'aluum A'quil Abdullah, appearing pro se
and in forma pauperis, brings this action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a violation of the First
Amendment and his right to Due Process. (ECF No. 1). U.S.
District Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti referred this matter to
the undersigned magistrate judge for initial proceedings
consistent with 28 U.S.C. §
Kelly George has filed: (1) a Motion to Dismiss, or in the
Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment and Brief in Support,
and (2) a court-ordered Special Report (ECF Nos. 26 &
27). Plaintiff has filed a response to the dispositive motion
and Defendant George has filed a reply. (ECF Nos. 52 &
54). For the reasons discussed below, it is recommended that
the Court grant Defendant George's dispositive motion on
grounds of qualified immunity.
early morning hours of June 6, 2016, following an arrest,
Plaintiff was booked into the Lincoln County Jail under the
name of Ma'aluum Aquil Abdullah. (ECF Nos. 1-1:2,
26:10-11, 52:2). As part of the booking process, Plaintiff
was fingerprinted and his fingerprints were processed through
the Integrated Automatic Fingerprint Identification System
(AFIS)-a national fingerprinting database. (ECF Nos. 26:11,
26-2:2, 52:3). On June 8, 2016, while Plaintiff was still in
jail, Defendant George was notified that AFIS had identified
Plaintiff's fingerprints as belonging to Todd Gregory
Cooks, for whom an outstanding warrant existed in Oklahoma
County. (ECF Nos. 26:11, 26-2:2, 27:7).
George then took steps to confirm that the individual booked
in the Lincoln County Jail under the name Ma'aluum Aquil
Abdullah, was actually Todd Gregory Cooks. Ms. George
compared a photograph of Mr. Cooks to Mr. Abdullah and found
cases which had been filed by Mr. Abdullah and/or Mr. Cooks,
using both names as aliases on the same court filings. (ECF
Nos. 26:12, 26-2:3, 26-5, 26-6, 26-7).
her research, Defendant George believed that Ma'aluum
Aquil Abdullah and Todd Gregory Cooks were the same
individual and that Mr. Abdullah was denying use of the name
“Cooks” as a means to avoid prosecution. (ECF
Nos. 26:12, 26-2:3). Defendant George then completed an
“Incident Report/Narrative” and an
“Affidavit of Probable Cause to Make Warrantless
Custodial Arrest.” (ECF No. 26-1:5). In the Incident
Report, Defendant George noted the facts surrounding
Plaintiff's arrest, including that during the booking
process Mr. Abdullah had denied ever having been arrested by
any other name. (ECF Nos. 26-1, 26-2:2). Ms. George then
prepared a report to be used in connection with arresting Mr.
Abdullah for false impersonation of another with intent to
avoid prosecution. (ECF No. 26-1:21-25).
Affidavit of Probable Cause to Make Warrantless Custodial
Arrest, Defendant George stated:
On 6/6/2016 Abdullah, Maaluum Aquil was brought to the
Lincoln County Jail for the purpose of arrest and detainment.
On 6/8/2016 the AFIS database notified this agency that the
fingerprints taken during the booking of Abdullah confirmed a
hit match for a Cooks, Todd Gregory with a warrant out of
Oklahoma County. Upon investigation and comparison of
pictures and fingerprints it is determined that Abdullah is
in fact Cooks, Todd Gregory. Abdullah presented Oklahoma ID
with the name Abdullah which is alleged to be a fake or
altered ID as well, Subjected [sic] presented himself as
Abdullah to the jail and arresting officer after being asked
several times during interview and booking.
(ECF No. 26-1:5, 26-3). The affidavit was used to arrest Mr.
Abdullah on the false impersonation charges.
9, 2016, a Lincoln County District Judge determined there was
probable cause to detain plaintiff on the false impersonation
charges and the District Attorney Richard Smotherman, charged
Plaintiff with a violation of 21 O.S. § 1531, for false
impersonation of another after two or more felonies. (ECF
Nos. 27-3, 27-4, 27-5). After the case for false
impersonation had been filed, Mr. Abdullah told Defendant
George that he had legally changed his name. (ECF No. 1-1:3).
Ultimately, the District Attorney moved to dismiss the false
impersonation case and the Court granted the
§ 1983 Complaint, Mr. Abdullah asserts two federal
claims: (1) a violation of the First Amendment and (2) a
violation of Due Process. (ECF No. 1:6). Specifically,
Plaintiff states that his “unalienable right to freedom
of religion protected by the first amendment” and his
“right to due process of law protected by the 5th and
14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution” were violated
when he was “falsely charged and arrested for using
[his] own legal name” which he had legally changed to
Ma'aluum Aquil Abdullah for religious reasons. (ECF No.
support of both claims, Mr. Abdullah states that Defendant
George made a “false declaration” against
Plaintiff claiming that his name was not Ma'aluum
Abdullah and “falsely arrest[ed] him for false
identity, though [his] name is legally changed.” (ECF
No. 1:6, 7). In support, Plaintiff offers proof that he had
legally changed his name to Ma'aluum Aquil Abdullah in
1995. (ECF Nos. 1-2, 1-3, 1-4). Plaintiff also stated that
Lincoln County Sheriff's officials were in possession of
his validly-issued Oklahoma state identification card bearing
that name when he was falsely arrested and charged
“with false identity for using [his] legal name.”
(ECF No. 1:7, 8).
various times in the Complaint, Mr. Abdullah alleges that
Defendant George “willingly, knowingly and
maliciously” and with “evil intent” and
“misuse of process” made a “false
declaration” against him and submitted the probable
cause affidavit in “bad faith” and “falsely
arrested” him for using his legal name. (ECF Nos.
1:6-8, 1-1:2-3). And in Plaintiff's response to the
dispositive motion, Mr. Abdullah alleges that Defendant
George's actions constituted “abuse of
process” and “malicious prosecution.” (ECF
No. 52:18-20). The undersigned liberally construes these
allegations to assert state law claims for false arrest,