United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
DENNIS F. BRENAY, SR. and LINDA BRENAY, Plaintiffs,
MICHAEL SCHARTOW, et al, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge.
Dennis F. Brenay, Sr., and Linda Brenay brought suit against
Defendants Michael Schartow, Kyle Glocksine, Troy Sierras,
City of Essexville, and Bay City on September 10, 2015.
Compl., ECF No. 1. Plaintiffs alleged two claims in the
Complaint. The first, brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 against the individual officers, alleges that Defendants
unlawfully entered Plaintiffs' home, used excessive
force, and caused Brenay, Sr., to be arrested without
probable cause. Id. at 14-15. The second, brought
against the City of Essexville and Bay City pursuant to
§ 1983, alleges a policy and practice of inadequate
training and supervision. Id. at 15-17. Plaintiffs
contend that the officer Defendants violated their
constitutional rights when attempting to arrest their son,
Dennis Brenay, Jr., for a personal protective order
violation. On September 6, 2016, the parties submitted a
stipulated proposed order for the dismissal of Defendant Kyle
Glocksine. ECF No. 29. At the close of discovery, the
remaining Defendants filed motions for summary judgment. ECF
Nos. 31, 32. On October 17, 2016, the parties submitted
stipulated proposed orders for the dismissal of Defendants
City of Essexville and Bay City. ECF Nos. 35, 36.
Defendants' motions for summary judgment as to the
remaining Defendants will be granted for the reasons stated
Dennis F. Brenay, Sr., has been a resident of Essexville for
over twenty years. Dennis, Sr., Dep. at 6, ECF No. 42, Ex. E.
He and his wife, Linda Brenay, have been married since 1973.
Id. The couple live with their son, Dennis F.
Brenay, Jr.,  at a home in Essexville. Id.
Defendant Michael Schartow is a sergeant with the Essexville
Public Safety Department. Sierras Rep, ECF No. 40, Ex. 4.
Defendant Kyle Glocksine is also an officer with the
Essexville Public Safety Department. Id. Defendant
Troy Sierras is an officer with the Bay City Police
November 30, 2013, Defendant Sierras responded to a reported
personal protective order violation. Jury Trial Tr. at 166,
ECF No. 40, Ex. 1. After interviewing the alleged victim,
Sierras learned that the subject of the protective order was
Brenay, Jr. Id. The alleged victim reported that
Brenay, Jr., had sent her several text messages and posted a
photo of himself and the victim on Facebook. Sierras Rep. at
2. Sierras requested assistance from Sergeant Schartow and
Officer Glocksine in contacting Brenay, Jr. Id.
officers arrived at the Brenay residence and rang the bell.
Id. Brenay, Sr., answered. Id. The Brenay
residence's front entrance has two doors: an outer glass
storm door and an inner steel door. Brenay, Sr., Dep. at
54-57. After being told that the officers were looking for
Brenay, Jr., Brenay, Sr., closed the doors. Sierras Rep. at
2. According to the officers, Brenay, Sr.,
“slammed” the door. Id. Brenay, Sr.,
explains that he lost his balance as he was closing the door,
causing the door to close loudly. Brenay, Sr., Dep. at 55.
Brenay, Jr., came downstairs, Brenay, Sr., opened the door
again. Id. at 58. Brenay, Sr., stood in the doorway
with his hand on the door frame, holding the glass storm door
open. Id. at 58-59; Glocksine Rep at 2, ECF No. 40,
Ex. 4. Brenay, Jr., was standing immediately behind his
father. See Brenay, Sr., Dep. at 58; Glocksine Rep.
at 2; Linda Brenay Dep. at 49-53, ECF No. 42, Ex. F.
According to Brenay, Sr., his son was standing approximately
six inches from the door frame and about a foot from the
outside of the house. Brenay, Sr., Dep. at 59. According to
Schartow, Brenay, Jr., was standing a “few feet”
away from Officer Sierras. Prelim. Exam. at 10, ECF No. 40,
Ex. 2. Linda Brenay was standing behind Brenay, Sr., close
behind Brenay, Jr. Linda Brenay Dep. at 50-51. See
also Photos from Brenay, Jr., Dep., ECF No. 32, Exs. G,
H (photos of the entryway that Brenay, Jr., marked with his
location and which indicate that he stood close beside or
just immediately behind Brenay, Sr.).
Sierras questioned Brenay, Jr., for several minutes about the
alleged personal protective order violation. Brenay, Sr.,
Dep. at 158-61. The officers asked Brenay, Jr., to come
outside onto the porch several times, but Brenay, Jr., and
his parents declined. Sierras Rep. at 2. Brenay, Sr., and
Linda Brenay attempted to interject periodically.
Id. At one point, Brenay, Sr., asked if he could
pose a question to the officers. Id. at 161.
According to Brenay, Sr., Sierras refused to allow Brenay,
Sr., to ask a question. Id. In response, Brenay,
Sr., raised his hands in the air. Id. Because
Brenay, Sr., had taken his hand off of the storm door, it
began to close. Id. at 161-62. In his deposition,
Brenay, Sr., indicated that he did not intend to shut the
door in the officers' faces. However, the officers
interpreted the closing glass door as an intentional attempt
to end the conversation. Glocksine Rep. at 2; Sierras Rep. at
2. Brenay, Sr., testified that he immediately began to push
the door open again. Brenay, Sr., Dep. at 163-164. The police
reports contradict that representation. Glocksine Rep. at 2;
Sierras Rep. at 2.
then grabbed the storm door and began pulling it back open.
Brenay, Sr., Dep. at 164-65; Glocksine Rep. at 2; Sierras
Rep. at 2. At the same time, Sierras grabbed Brenay, Jr., by
the wrist and pulled. Sierras Rep. at 2. According to the
officers, Sierras also informed Brenay, Jr., that he was
under arrest at this point. Glocksine Rep. at 2; Sierras Rep.
at 2. Brenay, Sr., testified in his deposition that he never
heard the officers indicate that Brenay, Jr., was under
arrest. Brenay, Sr., Dep. at 164. Likewise, Linda Brenay
testified that she never heard the officer say he was going
to arrest Brenay, Jr. Linda Brenay Dep. at 60-61. However,
Brenay, Jr., admitted in his deposition that the officer told
Brenay, Jr., that he would be going with the officers and
that Brenay, Jr., understood that he was being arrested.
Brenay, Jr., Dep. at 75-76.
point, the parties' stories diverge. According to Brenay,
Jr., Sierras then pushed him “back into the
house” and tried to taser him. Brenay, Jr., Dep. at 77.
According to Linda Brenay, Sierras was trying to pull Brenay,
Jr., out of the house, while Brenay, Jr., was resisting and
pulling back towards the house. Linda Brenay Dep. at 159-160.
Brenay, Sr., testified that Sierras slammed Brenay, Sr., into
the steel door as Sierras was attempting to grab his son.
Brenay, Sr., Dep. at 69-71. Brenay, Sr., denied pushing any
of the officers or attempting to interfere. Trial Tr. III at
44, ECF No. 40, Ex. 3.
I told Brenay Jr. that he was under arrest for violating the
PPO. I grabbed his wrist and attempted to pull him to me.
Brenay Sr. still attempted to shut the door. I pushed the
door back with my left hand and held onto Brenay Jr. with my
right. I yelled, “He's under arrest!” One of
the Essexville officers pushed on the door and I was able to
grasp Brenay Jr. with both hands. I ordered Brenay Jr. to
come outside. His parents pulled him further into the
hallway. I was pulled into the doorway.
Sierras Rep. at 2.
Ofc. Sierras was able to stop the door from being shut and
advised Dennis Jr., Dennis Sr., and Mrs. Brenay that Dennis
Jr. was under arrest for the PPO violation and would be going
with him this evening. Dennis Sr. again tried to pull the
door closed on these officer's and Ofc. Sierras was able
to reach into the residence and grab ahold of Dennis
Jr.'s arm. At this point Sgt. Schartow grabbed the door
that Dennis Sr. was still trying to close and was able to
pull it out of his hands so that officer's could get to
Dennis Jr. Ofc. Sierras was telling Dennis Jr. that he was
under arrest and told him to come outside. During this time
Dennis Jr. was trying to pull away from Ofc. Sierras and
Dennis Sr. was trying to get ...