United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS MARINOFF'S AND
KELLEY'S MOTION TO DISMISS [#27]
HONORABLE DENISE PAGE HOOD, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Anthony Hart's
(“Hart”) complaint that he was wrongfully
convicted for failing to register his proper residency with
the Michigan Sex Offender Registry (“SOR”).
Defendants Marci Kelley (“Kelley”) and Melissa
Marinoff (“Marinoff”) have filed a motion to
dismiss based on qualified immunity. The motion to dismiss
was fully briefed, and the Court held a hearing on the motion
to dismiss on September 14, 2016.
2001, Hart violated MCL § 750.520(e) and was convicted
of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct. At the time of the
crime, Plaintiff was 17 years old, and the Michigan Sex
Offender Registration Act, MCL § 28.721
(“SORA”), required that he register his address
bi-annually for 25 years due to his offense. SORA was amended
as of July 1, 2011, and offenders adjudicated of that offense
as juveniles were no longer required to register. It is
undisputed that, because Hart was 17 years old at the time of
his crime, as of July 1, 2011, he no longer had an obligation
to register his residency with the SOR.
State Police (“MSP”) employees were required to
remove Hart from the SOR following the 2011 SORA amendment.
MSP employees did not properly remove Hart's name from
the list, nor did anyone from the MSP inform Hart that he was
no longer legally required to register his residency. The
Hillsdale County Sheriff Department also did not remove
Hart's information from the SOR or take any action to
cause such a removal. From July 2011 through July 2013, Hart
continued to register on the SOR, including identifying his
address. On July 5, 2013, unaware that he was no longer
required to register his address with the SOR, Hart
erroneously registered his address as “79
Bulldog” in Hillsdale. Hart's actual address was
“76 Bulldog” in Hillsdale.
17, 2013, Hillsdale County Sheriff Deputy Lieutenant Timothy
Parker (“Lieutenant Parker”) arrested Hart for
violating SORA by listing an incorrect address. Lieutenant
Parker had examined Hart's criminal history and the SOR
documents, all of which indicated Hart was 17 years old in
2001. Although this meant that Hart no longer needed to
register his residency with the SOR (because of the 2011 SORA
amendment), Lieutenant Parker signed a warrant request
charging a violation of SORA and sent it to the Hillsdale
County Prosecutor's Office. The warrant was approved by
the Hillsdale County Prosecutor's Office on July 18,
2013. On August 14, 2013, Hart entered a plea of nolo
contendere, was found guilty of one count of failure to
register pursuant to SORA (MCL § 28.279), and was placed
on probation. From July 2013 through December 2013, Hart
continued to register as a sex offender with local
registering authorities (Hillsdale County).
January 23, 2014, Lieutenant Parker advised Defendant Shelby
Rathbun (“Rathbun”) that Hart failed to verify
his address and falsely accused Hart of criminal acts. On
February 18, 2014, pursuant to the advice of his attorney
(Defendant Kimberly Burger), Hart pled guilty to the felony
of failure to register. On March 17, 2014, Hart was sentenced
to 16-24 months in state prison and ordered to pay $1, 026.94
in fines, costs, and restitution. Hart served 19 months at
the Jackson state prison before someone realized that Hart
should not have been charged with failing to register in 2013
April 26, 2016, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint
APPLICABLE LAW & ANALYSIS
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss tests the legal sufficiency of the
plaintiff's complaint. Accepting all factual allegations
as true, the court will review the complaint in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff. Eidson v. Tennessee
Dep't of Children's Servs., 510 F.3d 631, 634
(6th Cir. 2007). As a general rule, to survive a motion to
dismiss, the complaint must state sufficient “facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). The complaint must demonstrate more than a sheer
possibility that the defendant's conduct was unlawful.
Id. at 556. Claims comprised of “labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do.” Id. at 555.
Rather, “[a] claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Plaintiff's Claims Against Kelley and Marinoff
first claims the State Defendants were responsible for the
Hillsdale officials falsely arresting him, in violation of
his Fourth Amendment rights. For a Plaintiff to have a viable
false arrest claim under Section 1983, he must ...