United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
ORDER STATING FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
AND GRANTING JUDGMENT ON PARTIAL FINDINGS FOR
L. LUDINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case concerns an excessive force claim, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, made by Plaintiff David Ketchum regarding a
warrant to draw Ketchum's blood which was executed by
Michigan State Police Troopers. On February 27, 2014,
Magistrate Judge Paul J. Komives issued a report recommending
that the motion for summary judgment filed by Defendants
Werda, Welton, McMillan, and Khan be granted in part and
denied in part. See Rep. & Rec., ECF No. 43.
Judge Komives further recommended that all claims against
Defendants be dismissed except for Plaintiff Ketchum's
excessive force claim. Id. at 22. The Court adopted
Judge Komives's Report and overruled the parties'
objections to it. See July 18, 2014 Op. & Order,
ECF No. 50.
significant effort, Ketchum was appointed counsel from the
firm, Pepper Hamilton. Ketchum and his appointed counsel
immediately began having issues. After warning Ketchum that
he had no right to court-appointed counsel and directing the
parties to make another effort at cooperation, ECF No. 77,
the Court allowed Pepper Hamilton to withdraw. ECF No. 84.
Because the dispositive motion deadline had passed and the
case was trial-ready, the Court rescheduled the bench trial.
March 28, 2017, the bench trial was held. After Ketchum
presented his case and Defendants presented two witnesses,
the Court entered judgment for Defendants pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 52(c). The factual and legal bases
for the judgment on partial findings was articulated on the
record. For clarity, the Court's findings of fact and
conclusions of law will also be briefly presented here.
Rule of Civil Procedure 52(c) allows a Court to enter
judgment on partial findings in a nonjury trial. “If a
party has been fully heard on an issue during a nonjury trial
and the court finds against the party on that issue, the
court may enter judgment against the party on a claim or
defense that, under the controlling law, can be maintained or
defeated only with a favorable finding on that issue.”
Id. In conjunction with a judgment on partial
findings, the Court must make findings of fact and
conclusions of law pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 52(a). Id.
52(a) explains that, in a nonjury trial, “the court
must find the facts specially and state its conclusions of
law separately.” Id. at Rule 52(a). The
findings and conclusions can be stated on the record or
provided in an opinion issued after the trial. Id.
Court makes the following findings of fact. By Ketchum's
own admission, he was driving a vehicle while intoxicated in
the early morning of May 2, 2009. Defendants McMillan and
Khan conducted a traffic stop of Ketchum's vehicle. He
admitted to the officers that he was intoxicated, but refused
to take a preliminary breath test. Ketchum became verbally
abusive. When the officers informed him that they would
obtain a warrant to draw his blood, Ketchum stated that he
had a religious right to object to the blood draw. Ketchum
was arrested, placed in handcuffs, and put in the rear of the
officers then obtained a blood draw warrant and transported
Ketchum to Covenant Hospital in Saginaw. According to
Ketchum, he was docile and compliant as he entered the
hospital and was restrained via a four point extremity
restraining system on a bed, plus a torso band. He asserts
that he did not resist until a doctor tried to physically
withdraw the blood, but acknowledged moving his arm to avoid
the blood draw. According to Misty Maclellan, a registered
nurse who was present during the incident and who testified
at trial, Ketchum was uncooperative and combative from the
moment he entered the hospital. She remembers him being
verbally abusive and physically resistant. Maclellan
testified that blood draw warrants are typically executed
while the arrestee is sitting in a chair. Ketchum's
behavior made that impossible. Because Ketchum was so
combative, the hospital staff decided that he needed to be
placed in “four point restraints.” That
restraining method involves straps which are wound around the
individual's wrists and ankles. Prior to being
restrained, Ketchum kicked two nurses.
asserts that, when the doctor tried to draw the blood, he
began struggling against his restraints. He contends that the
officers twisted metal handcuffs into his wrists and ankles
so deeply that they drew blood and chipped bone. He also
accuses the Defendants of choking him.
on the other hand, indicates that hospital staff and officers
physically held Ketchum while the blood was being drawn. She
testified that she saw no torture and no unnecessary actions
by the officers present in response to Ketchum's
Kevin Fent also testified at trial. He is a Saginaw County
Jail officer who was working on the night Ketchum was booked
and videotaped Ketchum's processing. Officer Fent
authenticated a video which depicted Ketchum being ushered
into the police department by several officers. Ketchum was
agitated and belligerent in the video. Ketchum walked without
difficulty up to the counter where certain information was
obtained. Ketchum stated that he did not remember his name,
accused officers of assaulting him in the police car, and
complained of pain in multiple parts of his body.
Specifically, Ketchum asserted that his back, face, and neck
were injured. He also mentioned, in passing, that his wrists
and ankles had ...