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Hardy v. East Lansing Police Department

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

March 2, 2018

Gregory Hardy, Plaintiff,
East Lansing Police Department, et al., Defendants.

          Honorable Robert J. Jonker



         This is a civil rights action brought by a pro se plaintiff under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985(3). On April 13, 2017, plaintiff filed his complaint. (ECF No. 1). The Court granted plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 5). Plaintiff's complaint, as amended and corrected, [1] names Sam Saboury, the East Lansing Police Department, Officer Ryan Kuhn, Officer Ryan Panetta, Officer Justan Horst, Officer Jeremy Hamilton, Comcast Service Center, Keary Schellis, Aero Communications Incorporated, and John and Jane Doe defendants. Plaintiff seeks $1.2 million dollars in damages. (ECF No. 1, PageID.21).

         It should be noted that this is one in a series of lawsuits stemming from a landlord/tenant dispute. In April 2017, SMTS Group, LLC, the sole member of which is Sam Saboury, filed a complaint in state district court seeking to evict plaintiff from his apartment for nonpayment of rent. On April 27, 2017, plaintiff removed the landlord/tenant case to this Court. On July 31, 2017, this Court remanded the case back to the state district court. SMTS Group v. Hardy, No. 1:17-cv-453 (W.D. Mich. July 31, 2017).

         On April 25, 2017, Mr. Saboury filed a petition in Ingham County Circuit Court asking for a personal protection order against plaintiff. On May 4, 2017, plaintiff removed the case to this Court. On February 23, 2018, this Court remanded the matter back to the Ingham County Circuit Court. Saboury v. Hardy, 1:17-cv-454 (W.D. Mich. Feb. 23, 2018).

         The instant case is before the Court on defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) motions seeking dismissal of plaintiff's claims. (ECF No. 28, 32, 41, 43). Plaintiff has filed his response.[2] (ECF No. 34, 47).

         Upon review, I recommend that all plaintiff's claims against John and Jane Doe defendants be dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim under the statutory authority provided by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). I recommend that defendants' motions be granted and that a judgment be entered dismissing all plaintiff's claims against defendants with prejudice.

         Applicable Standards

         A complaint that fails to allege “ ‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face' ” must be dismissed for failure to state a claim. Traverse Bay Area Intermediate Sch. Dist. v. Michigan Dep't of Educ., 615 F.3d 622, 627 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A plaintiff must ‘plead [ ] factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.' ” Albrecht v. Treon, 617 F.3d 890, 893 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). “A plaintiff falls short if he pleads facts >merely consistent with the defendant's liability' or if the alleged facts do not 'permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct[.]' ” Albrecht, 617 F.3d at 893 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79). “[T]he tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. In applying these standards, the court must read plaintiff's pro se complaint indulgently, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), and accept plaintiff's factual allegations as true, unless they are clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992).

         Proposed Findings of Fact

         Plaintiff suffers from mental illness, which he describes as follows: “Schezo-Affecto, Bipolar Disorder, Learning Disability, and Brain Damage.” (ECF No. 1, PageID.5). He resides in apartment number three at 1624 Cambria Drive, East Lansing, Michigan. (ECF No. 1 at PageID.3; ECF No. 1-1, PageID.37-41). Sam Saboury is his landlord. (ECF No. 1 at PageID.3).

         On or about October 12, 2016, plaintiff was performing work for Mr. Saboury. Plaintiff was cleaning a house in Lansing. Mr. Saboury placed several calls to plaintiff to make sure that plaintiff was still working. When plaintiff returned to his apartment, he found his box of legal files in disarray and some of his paperwork regarding Mr. Saboury was missing. (Id. at PageID.8, 19).

         On or about January 17, 2017, plaintiff went to apartment number six on the floor above him to complain about the tenants “stumping and banging on the floor of their apartment.” (Id. at PageID.6-7). One of the two white female tenants in apartment number six called the East Lansing Police Department. Plaintiff states that he is a black male. (Id. at PageID.7). He alleges that one of two women residing in apartment six was handicapped and she had a prosthetic leg. Plaintiff attributes “hopping, stumping and banging” to her hopping “all day and night” after removing her prosthetic leg. (Id. at PageID.7, 11). Officer Ryan Kuhn and another officer responded to this complaint. Plaintiff was advised not to repeat his actions because one of the two women reported that his actions made her “fear[] for her life.” (Id. at PageID.7, 10).

         Plaintiff began sending papers that he labeled as “notices” to his landlord. Among other things he complained that the woman with the prosthetic leg should not have been allowed to move into ...

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