United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND MOTION FOR EXPEDITED
F. Cox United States District Judge
has sued various members of the Royal Oak Police Department
after he was allegedly stopped and frisked
unconstitutionally. He seeks a preliminary injunction to halt
the City of Royal Oak's alleged practice, policy, or
custom of unconstitutional stop and frisks. He also has filed
a Motion for Expedited Discovery.
Court declines to hold an evidentiary hearing on the Motion
for Preliminary Injunction because it can be resolved as a
question of law. See Certified Restoration Dry Cleaning
Network, L.L.C. v. Tenke Corp., 511 F.3d 535, 552 (6th
Cir. 2007) (“[A] hearing is only required when there
are disputed factual issues, and not when the issues are
primarily questions of law.”). The Court will also
decide the motions on the briefs, the issues having been
adequately presented therein. E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f)(2).
reasons below, the Court shall deny the Motion for
Preliminary Injunction because Plaintiff cannot show a
substantial likelihood of success on the merits of his
municipal liability claim (his only claim that plausibly
seeks prospective relief) and cannot show irreparable harm.
The Court shall also deny the Motion for Expedited Discovery.
2:30 a.m. on September 4, 2016, a Royal Oak resident called
911 and reported that a strange man had just knocked on her
door. The caller described the man as a white male, about
5'10”, around 25 years old, and wearing jeans and a
shirt. Royal Oak police officers were dispatched to check the
Joseph Gale was walking down the sidewalk in the same
neighborhood when he was stopped by Officer Phillip Klinge.
Klinge asked Plaintiff if he had been knocking on doors and
Plaintiff denied that he had been. Shortly thereafter,
Officers Mike Paramo and Nathan Heppner arrived on the scene.
Plaintiff alleges that Paramo and Heppner grabbed his arms
and patted him down. Heppner removed Plaintiff's wallet
and ran a warrant check.
told the officers that he was going to his friend's house
but could not provide them with an exact address. He
indicated that his friend lived near The Rock on Third, a bar
in nearby downtown Royal Oak. The officers initially offered
to call Plaintiff a taxi but, after further conversation,
offered to give him a ride downtown.
followed Officer Paramo to his patrol car. Paramo told
Plaintiff that he was not under arrest but that he was going
to pat him down before Plaintiff entered the vehicle.
Plaintiff alleges that Paramo then aggressively frisked him,
bending Plaintiff's apartment key in the process. Once
Plaintiff entered the vehicle, Paramo attempted to look up
the address of Plaintiff's friend but Plaintiff did not
provide his friend's last name.
asked Paramo if he was “free to leave the vehicle,
” to which Paramo said, “Yeah. You're
good.” Paramo also told him, “I'm just trying
to get your buddy's name so I can get you to your
buddy's instead of taking you to rock on third.”
Plaintiff provided his friend's first name and then
stated “If you're not going to take me, I'll
just walk.” Paramo replied that Plaintiff was not under
arrest or in trouble and that he was trying to get Plaintiff
out of there so that nobody else would call the police on
him. After another back and forth about Plaintiff's
friend's name, Plaintiff stated, “I'll just
walk to there, okay?”
then began to drive the car. Plaintiff again asked if he was
free to leave the vehicle or if he was under arrest. Paramo
radioed that he would be taking Plaintiff to the Rock on
Third and dropping him off. At this point, Plaintiff began
repeatedly requesting to get out of the vehicle. Paramo
refused these requests, reiterating that he did not want
anyone to call on Plaintiff again and that he would not drop
him off on Lincoln Street. When Plaintiff's protestations
continued, Paramo dropped him off at a gas station on Lincoln
Street and Main Street, located about .8 miles from where
Plaintiff was initially stopped.
the incident, Plaintiff filed a Citizen's Complaint with
the Royal Oak Police Department. After he filed the
complaint, Plaintiff met with Royal Oak Police Lt. Van Ness
to discuss the incident. During their two-hour meeting, Van
Ness explained that it is the department's policy to seek
identification from individuals that officers stop. He also
noted that the department does not ignore 911 calls and
opined that the officers had reasonable suspicion that
Plaintiff may have engaged in criminal activity.
then sued the City of Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan
O'Donohue and Officers Klinge, Paramo, and Heppner,
raising § 1983 claims and state law claims of false
imprisonment, conspiracy to commit false imprisonment,
assault and battery, and common law trespass.
August 2, 2017, Plaintiff filed this Motion for Preliminary
Injunction (Doc. # 12). Defendants have responded (Doc. #