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Leslie v. City of Detroit

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

March 26, 2018

SONIA LESLIE, Plaintiff,



         On May 11, 2016, Plaintiff Sonia Leslie (“Plaintiff) filed suit in this Court alleging excessive force, false arrest/false imprisonment, violations of her due process rights, conspiracy, malicious prosecution, and municipal/supervisory liability pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] She also brought claims under state law of malicious prosecution, assault and battery, false arrest/false imprisonment by Defendants before and during her arrest at the Rosa Parks Transit Center (“Transit Center”) in the City of Detroit. Before the Court is Defendants Detroit Transportation Corporation (“DTC”), Michael Anderson (“Anderson”), and Nicole Rideaux's (“Rideaux's”) August 9, 2017 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Docket #20]. The Court finds as follows:

1. The motion as to the claims of excessive force as to Defendant Rideaux (Count I) are dismissed WITH PREJUDICE 2. Federal claims of false arrest/false imprisonment (Count II) are dismissed WITH PREJUDICE.
3. Fourth Amendment due process claims against Defendants Rideaux and Anderson (Count III) are dismissed WITH PREJUDICE.
4. Federal claims of conspiracy (Count IV) are dismissed WITH PREJUDICE.
5. Malicious Prosecution claims brought under federal law against Defendants Rideaux and Anderson (Count V) are dismissed WITH PREJUDICE.
6. State claims of Malicious Prosecution (Count VI) are dismissed WITH PREJUDICE.
7. State claims of Assault and Battery (Count VII) are dismissed WITH PREJUDICE.
8. State claims of false arrest/false imprisonment (Count VIII) are dismissed WITH PREJUDICE.
9. Federal claims against Defendant City of Detroit and Defendant DTC (Count IX) are dismissed WITH PREJUDICE.


         This case pertains to Plaintiff's January 22, 2014 arrest by Detroit Transit Police Officers Anderson and Rideaux. Plaintiff makes the following allegations: While waiting for a bus at the Transit Center, Plaintiff asked a DTC desk agent what time her bus would be arriving. Amended Complaint, ¶ ¶ 12-13. In response, she was directed to check the “wall schedule” for the arrival time. Id. at ¶ 13. After determining that the wall schedule was not updated, Plaintiff again approached the desk agent for information. Id. ¶ ¶ 13-14. In response, the desk agent ridiculed her but offered no assistance. Id. Plaintiff walked away from the agent but informed the desk agent that she “should offer better customer service.” Id. In response, the agent “rudely yelled” at Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff then left the building to determine if her bus had arrived. Id. However, due to the cold weather, Plaintiff went back into the bus station and sat down to wait for the next bus, at which time she noticed that the desk agent was speaking to defendant officers Anderson and Rideaux. Id. at ¶ 15. Plaintiff, lawfully seated in the waiting area, was then approached by the defendant officers who asked her why she was at the Transit Center. Id. at ¶ 16. In response, Plaintiff informed them that she was waiting for a bus to take her to an appointment. Id. The officers then told Plaintiff that it was “impermissible to harass” a Transit Center employee. Id. at ¶ 17. Plaintiff responded that she had merely inquired about the bus schedule and that the desk agent was very rude. Id. The officers then directed her to wait for her bus outside of the terminal. Id. at ¶ 18. In response, Plaintiff stated that “no reason” existed for her to be forced to wait outside in the cold when it was the desk agent and not she who had been disturbing the peace. Id. Defendant Rideaux then grabbed Plaintiff by the arm and pulled her from a seated to standing position. Id. at ¶ 19. Plaintiff told Rideaux that all she wanted to do was wait for the bus and that Rideaux was hurting her. Id. While Plaintiff was talking to Rideaux, Defendant Anderson came up from behind Plaintiff and forcefully pushed Plaintiff to the ground face first. Id. at ¶ 21. As a result of Anderson's assault, Plaintiffs face struck the cement floor, resulting in a facial laceration requiring medical attention. Id. at ¶ 22. Plaintiffs glasses were also broken as a result of the assault. Id. Both defendant officers pulled Plaintiffs hands behind her, handcuffed her, and pulled her into an upright position by pulling on her handcuffed arms. Id. at 24. Plaintiff alleges that at all times, she was fully compliant with the officers' instructions and did not resist officers. Id. at ¶ ¶ 25-26.

         Plaintiff also alleges that to “cover up their wrong doing, ” defendant officers caused Plaintiff “to be falsely charged and prosecuted for the crime of assault and battery.” Id. at ¶ 31. As a result of defendant officers' excessive force, she received a diagnosis of head trauma and received nine stitches to close the forehead wound. Id. at 35. She continues to suffer severe physical pain and mental distress as a result of the physical trauma and “the false proceedings” resulting from defendant officers' actions. Id. at ¶ 33. She alleges that the defendant officers “created false and misleading police reports and gave false accounts to the prosecuting attorney regarding the circumstances surrounding her arrest and injuries. Id. at 36. On February 18, 2016, a State district court judge dismissed all of the criminal charges against Plaintiff. Id. at ¶ 38.


         Summary judgment is appropriate where “the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R.Civ.P. 56(c). To prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must show sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact. Klepper v. First American Bank, 916 F.2d 337, 341-42 (6th Cir. 1990). Drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party, the Court must determine “whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986). Entry of summary judgment is appropriate “against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celetox Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). When the “record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, ” there is no genuine issue of material fact, and summary judgment is appropriate. Simmons-Harris v. Zelman, 234 F.3d 945, 951 (6th Cir. 2000).

         Once the moving party in a summary judgment motion identifies portions of the record which demonstrate the absence of a genuine dispute over material facts, the opposing party may not then “rely on the hope that the trier of fact will disbelieve the movant's denial of a disputed fact, ” but must make an affirmative evidentiary showing to defeat the motion. Street v. J.C. Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1479 (6th Cir. 1989). The non-moving party must identify specific facts in affidavits, depositions or other factual material showing “evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the ...

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