United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
J. MICHELSON DISTRICT JUDGE.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON
DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS (DOC.
PATRICIA T. MORRIS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
reasons set forth below, IT IS RECOMMENDED that
Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, (Doc.
40), be GRANTED, and that Plaintiff's First Amended
Complaint, (Doc. 9), be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
is presently incarcerated at the Michigan Department of
Corrections JCS Facility, and he filed this complaint on
March 30, 2015 against Defendants Detective Von Ochten
(“Von Ochten”), Sergeant Stanton
(“Stanton”), Officer Isaacson
(“Isaacson”), Officer Spellman
(“Spellman”), Officer Bobek
(“Bobek”), Officer Steinke
(“Steinke”), Jay LNU (“Jay”), Officer
Hill (“Hill”), Officer Korb (“Korb”),
A & M Towing Yard Impound (“the Impound”),
and Royal Oak Police Department (“ROPD”). (Doc.
9). He alleges that his property was taken in violation of
his due process rights. (Doc. 9 at 9-12).
the specifics underlying his complaint, Plaintiff contends
that the ROPD used spike strips to deflate his tires and
effectuate his arrest on September 30, 2013. (Doc. 9 at 2-3).
His truck and the items therein were thereafter impounded in
good condition. (Id.). He completed the
“requisite [Property Release] form for [his] wife and a
copy was not provided to [him] for his personal
records.” (Doc. 9 at 3-4). Although his “wallet,
rings[, ] bracelet, phone, ear[r]ings” were released to
his wife, the ROPD refused to release his truck. (Doc. 9 at
4). Plaintiff alleges that his mother spoke with Von Ochten,
who told her Plaintiff would have to sign a release to a
family member. (Id.). Plaintiff drafted this
release, marking his brother as the designated person for
release. (Id.). The ROPD received this release.
(Doc. 9 at 4-5).
another week, Plaintiff contends that “Officer
Karls” told his mother that his truck would be released
after the investigation was over. (Doc. 9 at 6). Plaintiff,
his family, and his lawyer made other unsuccessful attempts
to contact Hill, Campbell, Von Ochten, and “Officer
Karl” after this. (Doc. 9 at 7). But on December 14,
2013, ROPD informed Plaintiff's mother that his truck had
been sold at an auction. (Id.).
perspective, Plaintiff's alleged stolen property includes
his truck, assorted tools, a leaf blower and vacuum system,
bolt cutters, luggage, assorted jewelry, safety-deposit box
keys, personal files, and his grandfather's Purple Heart
medal from World War II. (Doc. 9 at 5-6).
Judgment on the Pleadings Standard
move for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 12(c) provides
that, “[a]fter the pleadings are closed - but early
enough not to delay trial - a party may move for judgment on
the pleadings.” Judgment may be granted under Rule
12(c) where the movant clearly establishes that no material
issue of fact requires resolution and that she is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Beal v. Missouri Pacific
R.R., 312 U.S. 45 (1941); 5 C. Wright & A. Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 1368, p. 518. The Court
of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has stated that a district
court must consider a motion under Rule 12(c) using the same
standard of review as a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.
Roger Miller Music, Inc. v. Sony/ATV Publ'g,
L.L.C., 477 F.3d 383, 389 (6th Cir. 2007).
deciding a motion to dismiss, “[t]he court must
construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, accept all the factual allegations as true, and
determine whether the plaintiff can prove a set of facts in
support of its claims that would entitle it to relief.”
Bovee v. Coopers & Lybrand C.P.A., 272 F.3d 356,
360 (6th Cir. 2001). As the Supreme Court held in Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955,
167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007), a complaint must be dismissed
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted if the complaint does not plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” 550 U.S. at 570 (rejecting the
traditional Rule 12(b)(6) standard set forth in Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)). Under Rule 12(b)(6)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “a
plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds'
of his ‘entitlement to relief' requires more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Id. at 555 (citation omitted). Even though a
complaint need not contain “detailed” factual
allegations, its “[f]actual allegations must be enough
to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).” Id. (citations
Supreme Court has further explained that courts need not
accept as true conclusory allegations. See Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (finding assertions that
one defendant was the “principal architect” and
another defendant was “instrumental” in adopting
and executing a policy of invidious discrimination
insufficient to survive a motion to dismiss because they were
“conclusory” and thus not entitled to the
presumption of truth). “Determining whether a complaint
states a plausible claim for relief will . . . be a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
Id. at 679. Thus, “a court considering a
motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying
pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions,