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Joumaah v. McMahon

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

December 19, 2016

RASOUL JOUMAAH, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DETECTIVE JAMES MCMAHON, et al., Defendants. SARMAD HABIB, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DETECTIVE JAMES MCMAHON, et al., Defendants. DANIEL KHALED DABISH, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DETECTIVE JAMES MCMAHON, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT ATPA'S MOTIONS TO DISMISS [ECF NOS. 14, 15, 18]

          Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (“ATPA”) is a state-wide organization formed by Michigan statute; its function is to prevent automobile theft in the State of Michigan. Plaintiffs seek money damages from the ATPA for alleged constitutional violations and state law torts. The ATPA claims it is an arm of the State of Michigan, entitled to sovereign immunity. The Court agrees, and GRANTS ATPA's motions to dismiss.

         II. BACKGROUND

         a. Procedural History

         Plaintiffs (1) Rasoul Joumaah, Gayle Joumaah, Amjad Saber, Yousra Jalal, Sam's Tire Shop; (2) Sarmad Habib, M&M Cars; and, (3) Danial Dabish, Sasha Dabish, and Livernois Collision (collectively “Plaintiffs”) filed three separate lawsuits against six Defendants. The Defendants are detectives James McMahon and Michael Stout; Anne Moise, Police Chief for the City of Hamtramck; the City of Hamtramck; the City of Highland Park; and, the ATPA.

         The three cases are before Judges Victoria A. Roberts, Paul D. Borman, and Nancy G. Edmunds. The cases present common questions of fact and law: they each allege racially targeted investigations of Arab Americans by the same officers and illegal searches and seizures.

         Each case has a pending motion to dismiss that presents as a matter of first impression, whether the ATPA is entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. The underlying facts of the cases are irrelevant to these motions.

         To promote judicial efficiency and avoid the risk of inconsistent adjudications, the cases were consolidated under Local Rule 83.11(b)(3), for the sole purpose of deciding the ATPA's motions to dismiss. See E.D. Mich. LR 83.11(b)(3) (“to promote judicial efficiency in cases not requiring reassignment under the Rules, the Judges…may jointly order consolidation of some or all aspects of related cases.”).

         b. The Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority

         In 1992, the Governor of Michigan approved the ATPA Act (“Act”). Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 500.6101-.6111. The ATPA provides state-wide education programs and financial support to law enforcement agencies, non-profit organizations, judicial agencies, and prosecutors - all aimed at the prevention of automobile theft in Michigan. Id. § 500.6107.

         The ATPA is managed by a seven-member board comprised of representatives from law enforcement, automobile insurers, and consumers of automobile insurance. Id. § 500.6103(3). The Governor appoints this board with the advice and consent of the Michigan Senate. Id.

         The Director of the Michigan Department of State Police supervises the ATPA's budget, procurement, and administration of its employees. Id. Michigan State Police headquarters house the ATPA. Id.

         The ATPA is funded in part by an annual assessment paid by each Michigan automobile insurer; other funding sources are grants, donations, and loans. MCL § 500.6107(1). These funds are “not to be considered State money, ” and can “only be used for automobile theft prevention efforts” and “to pay the costs of administration of the authority.” MCL § 500.6107(3)-(5). The ATPA must report its activities and finances to the Governor and Legislature annually. MCL § 500.6110(3).

         These facts are not in dispute.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         a. ...


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