United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION & ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT HORSCH'S
MOTION TO DISMISS AND GRANTING, IN PART, HIS MOTION FOR RULE
F. COX, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
through Counsel, Plaintiffs filed this action asserting
numerous counts against nine different Defendants. The matter
is currently before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss, and a
Rule 11 Motion for Sanctions, filed by Defendant Richard
Horsch. This Court cancelled oral argument on the motions
after Plaintiffs failed to file any response to the motions -
even after this Court issued an Order to Show Cause directing
them to do so. As explained below, the Court shall GRANT the
Motion to Dismiss because the Court agrees with Defendant
Horsch that Plaintiffs' Complaint fails to state any
claim against him. In addition, the Court shall grant
Defendant Horsch's Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions, to the
extent that the Court agrees that a sanction against
Plaintiffs' Counsel, jointly and severally with his law
firm, is warranted. In order to determine the appropriate
amount of the sanction, the Court shall order Defendant
Horsch to submit an itemized statement of the attorney fees
he has incurred in this action, along with a supporting
affidavit from his Counsel.
through Counsel, attorney Brian Garner, Plaintiffs James
Satchel, Robert Adams, and Rod Merten (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) filed this action on April 27,
2016. Plaintiffs' Complaint asserts claims against the
following nine Defendants: 1) Dayton Township; 2) Robert
Cook; 3) Robert Steele; 4) Michael Mocniak; 5) Stacy
Phillips; 6) Eleanor Kilmer; 7) Amanda Gusek; 8) Chris Gusek;
and 9) Richard Horsch (“Horsch”).
Complaint include twelve separate counts. Because the matter
is before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss and a Motion for
Sanctions that were brought by Defendant Horsch alone, the
Court includes here the counts that are asserted against
Horsch. Those counts are:
“Count I: 42 U.S.C. § 1983 - Retaliation for
Exercising First Amendment Right of Free Speech in the Right
to Vote and Hold Political Office as Applied Through the
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment”
(Compl. at 26-28)
“Count II: 42 U.S.C. § 1985 - Conspiracy to
Retaliate Against Plaintiffs for Exercising First Amendment
Right of Free Speech in the Right to Vote and Hold Political
Office as Applied Through the Equal Protection Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment” (Compl. at 28-29).
“Count IV: 42 U.S.C. § 1983 - Racial
Discrimination Against Plaintiffs' Right to Vote and Hold
Political Office as Applied Through the Equal Protection
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment” (Compl. at 30-31).
“Count V: 42 U.S.C. § 1985 - Conspiracy to Commit
Racial Discrimination Against Plaintiffs' Right to Vote
and Hold Political Office as Applied Through the Equal
Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment” (Compl.
“Count VII: MCL 750.147b - Ethnic Intimidation”
(Compl. at 32-33)
“Count VIII: Intentional Infliction of Emotional
Distress” (Compl. at 33-34)
“Count IX: Exemplary Damages Claim” (Compl. at
“Count X: 42 U.S.C. § 1983 - Violation of
Plaintiff's Rights Under the Michigan Constitution”
(Compl. at 37-38)
“Count XI: 42 U.S.C. § 1983 - Conspiracy to
Violate Plaintiffs Rights Under the Michigan
Constitution” (Compl. at 39)
Complaint is forty-one pages long and includes one hundred
and eighty four paragraphs.
Complaint identifies Horsch as a “resident of Dayton
Township, Tuscola County, Michigan.” (Compl. at ¶
18). The only factual allegations as to Horsch are as
93. . . . .
B. The Board allowed Richard Horsch, a resident, to give a
five (5) minute presentation, which is more than the normal
amount allotted for public comment, where Horsch claimed Mr.
Satchel didn't treat another resident, Joe Peet, fairly.
C. Horsch also claims he had contacted the Tuscola
County Building Code Department regarding the legality of how
the Peet property issue had been handled and that he was
assured everything was done properly, contrary to Mr.
Satchel's previous assertions.
95. Also on February 9, 2015, which Plaintiffs' believed
to be at the urging of Cook, Horsch filed a proposed recall
petition with the Tuscola County Clerk against Mr. Satchel
based upon the Board's Censure alleging he
“repeatedly abused his board position by assuming
zoning enforcement authority . . . by attempting to bully and
intimidate residents . . .”
97. . . . .[O]n February 27, 2015, Horsch, filed a second
proposed recall petition with the Tuscola County Clerk
against Mr. Satchel, based upon “the Dayton Township
Board unanimously voted to Censure Trustee Satchel.”
(Compl. at 18-19) (emphasis in original).
Complaint was filed on April 27, 2016. This case was
originally assigned to the Honorable Thomas Luddington.
Counsel entered an appearance on May 25, 2016. On June 2,
2016, Horsch filed a Motion to Dismiss, asking this Court to
dismiss all claims asserted against him with prejudice.
(Docket Entry No. 14).
28, 2016, Horsch filed a “Rule 11 Motion for
Sanctions” (Docket Entry No. 20) wherein he requested
that the Court impose Rule 11 sanctions against both
Plaintiff Satchel and his Counsel. On June 3, 2016 - more
than 21 days prior to filing ...