United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER (1)
SUSTAINING IN PART AND OVERRULING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S
OBJECTIONS (Dkt. 50), (2) ACCEPTING IN PART AND REJECTING IN
PART THE RECOMMENDATION IN THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT
AND RECOMMENDATION (Dkt. 49), (3) GRANTING IN PART AND
DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
(Dkt. 23), AND (4) GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS
A. GOLDSMITH United States District Judge
Sexual Sin De Un Abdul Blue, proceeding pro se, filed this
civil rights case against Defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging false arrest and other claims. The
claims stem from his arrest for trespass during the course of
a landlord-tenant dispute in which Blue's tenant claimed
that Blue wrongfully evicted her. See Am. Compl.
matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub for
all pretrial proceedings. See Order of Referral
(Dkt. 7). The magistrate judge issued a Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”) (Dkt. 49),
recommending that Defendants' motion for summary judgment
on Claims 1-5 and motion to dismiss Claims 6 and 7 (Dkt. 23)
be granted. Blue filed an objection to the R&R
(Dkt. 50). Defendants subsequently filed a response (Dkt.
52). The Court reviews de novo any portion of the R&R to
which specific objections are filed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).
For the reasons discussed below, the Court accepts in part
and denies in part the recommendation contained in the
R&R, grants in part and denies in part Defendants'
motion for summary judgment, and grants Defendants'
motion to dismiss.
2012, Blue began renting an apartment located at 50 Orchard
Street in Ecorse, Michigan, to Jennifer Gondenoky. 3/22/13
Hr'g Tr., Ex. 1 to Pl. Resp., at 6 (Dkt. 35-1). In
February 2013, Blue initiated an eviction proceeding in
Michigan's 25th District Court for nonpayment of rent.
Am. Compl. ¶ 9. At the conclusion of a March 22, 2013
eviction hearing, the court entered a judgment ordering
Gondenoky to pay Blue $2, 436. Judgment, Ex. 1 to Defs. Mot.,
at 2 (cm/ecf page) (Dkt. 23-3). The judgment stated that if
Gondenoky did not pay that amount to Blue by April 30, 2013,
the court would issue a writ of eviction, provided that Blue
presented proof to the court that he had paid to have the
property inspected. Id.
sworn affidavit, Blue states that on March 28, 2013, he and
Gondenoky executed an agreement for Gondenoky to surrender
the apartment immediately. Pl. Aff., Ex. A. to Pl. Resp.,
¶ 3 (Dkt. 35); see also 3/28/13 Agreement, Ex.
C. to Pl. Obj., at 7 (cm/ecf page) (Dkt. 50). The alleged
agreement states that on March 28, 2013, Gondenoky vacated
the apartment and “returned possession of the premises
to the owner.” 3/28/13 Agreement at 7 (cm/ecf page).
March 31, 2013, Officer Edward Otis of the River Rouge Police
Department was dispatched to 50 Orchard Street to investigate
a landlord-tenant dispute. See 3/31/13 Police
Report, Ex. 2. to Defs. Mot., at 3 (Dkt. 23-4). Upon arriving
at the apartment, Otis observed “a large pile of
furniture, clothing, children toys [sic], and other
miscellaneous items on the sidewalk” in front of the
property. Id. Otis then spoke with the complainant,
Ryan Gregory, who informed Otis that he lived in the
apartment with his fiancée, Gondenoky, and that the
items on sidewalk belonged to them. Id. Gregory told
Otis that Blue had moved the items there without any advance
notice or permission. Id. Contrary to Gregory's
version of the events, Blue states that none of
Gondenoky's property was in the apartment on March 31,
2013, because she had already moved out on March 28, 2013
pursuant to their agreement. Pl. Aff. ¶ 5.
then went inside the apartment to speak with Blue.
Id. Although Blue states that he presented Otis with
a copy of a quitclaim deed as proof of his ownership of the
property, Pl. Aff. ¶ 4, Otis stated in his police report
that he was not provided with this documentation, 3/31/13
Police Report at 3. In an unsworn declaration, Otis states
that Blue also did not provide him with a court order
permitting him to evict Gondenoky and Gregory. Otis Decl.,
Ex. 18 to Defs. Reply, ¶ 7 (Dkt. 38-9). Blue and Otis
agree that Blue showed Otis a copy of the purported agreement
between Blue and Gondenoky in which Gondenoky agreed to
surrender the apartment. Id.; Pl. Aff. ¶ 4.
Otis then advised both Blue and Gregory that they needed to
resolve the matter in court. 3/31/13 Police Report at 3. Otis
told Blue not to return to the property “without the
proper eviction documentation.” Otis Decl. ¶ 6.
did not return to court, but the next day Gondenoky did. At a
hearing on the morning of April 1, 2013, Gondenoky complained
to the state judge that Blue had evicted her, thrown her
belongings on the street, and broken her daughter's bed.
4/1/13 Hr'g Tr., Ex. 15 to Defs. Reply, at 4-5 (Dkt.
38-6). In regard to the purported agreement to surrender the
apartment, Gondenoky testified that Blue “was trying to
trick me just to get my signature.” Id. at
At the conclusion of the April 1, 2013 hearing, the court
stayed the writ of execution and set a hearing regarding
wrongful eviction. 4/1/13 Hr'g Tr. at 8. However, nothing
in the records shows that Otis or other officers knew that
Gonenoky disputed the validity of the agreement or that the
state court had set a wrongful eviction hearing.
p.m. on April 1, 2013, while on patrol in the area, Otis
observed Blue back in the apartment. 4/1/13 Police Report,
Ex. 3 to Defs. Mot., at 4 (Dkt. 23-5). Otis and Defendant
Officer Copeland subsequently approached the home. As Otis
knocked on the front door of the apartment, he heard someone
going down the basement stairwell. Id. After
knocking again, Otis and Copeland were met by two
individuals, Nolan Hardie and Jasmine Smith, who claimed that
they were the apartment's new tenants. Id. While
the officers were informed that Blue was not on the premises,
they heard noise coming from the basement of the apartment.
Id. Upon entering the basement, Copeland found Blue
behind a furnace and escorted him to the front door.
Id. Otis then asked Blue if he had “any
judicial paperwork that allowed him to enter” the
apartment. Id. Blue responded by telling Otis that
his lawyer advised him that he could go into the apartment.
Id. When asked why he was hiding in the basement,
Blue refused to answer. Id. Otis then advised Blue
that he was under arrest. Id.
first contends that he was not provided with notice that he
would be subject to arrest for trespassing upon his own
property and, without such notice, he could not have been
trespassing. Pl. Obj. at 4 (cm/ecf page). Blue also objects
to the magistrate judge's conclusion that there was
probable cause to arrest him. Id. Within his
objection, Blue makes a cursory argument that the state
district court judge “impermissibly entered a guilty
plea on behalf of the Plaintiff in the Trespass case in an
attempt to cover up the false arrest.” Id.
Blue also argues that Otis improperly brought the trespass
charge against him and questions the wisdom of preventing
landlords from negotiating with tenants during the course of
evictions proceedings. Id. Blue requests that this
Court reject the magistrate judge's R&R and proceed
to trial. Id.