United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
G. EDMUNDS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
December 1, 2017, Defendant City of Detroit, Defendant Eugene
Bomber, and Defendant Johanna Todd (collectively
"Defendants") filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
. The Court held a hearing on this matter Wednesday,
February 21, 2018. For the reasons stated below,
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment  is GRANTED
IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
officers Bomber and Todd (collectively "Officers")
were part of the "Operation Restore Order" team for
the Detroit Police Department, which is tasked with the
execution of already-issued warrants. Defendant Bomber states
in his deposition "we would come in and there would be a
stack of [warrants] -- pretty much a stack of known offenders
that we would be going after for the day." (Def. Bomber
Dep. 24:23-25; Dkt. 32-5, at 8; PgID 246.) He states,
"[w]e would divvy them up no rhythm or reason, no who
gets what, just grab some, and then make attempts to make an
arrest. . . .one of the first things that my partner, Johanna
Todd, and I would do between one of us is re-run and make
sure the LEIN -- the warrant's still in LEIN."
(Id, at 9; PgID 247.)
14, 2015, Operation Restore Order assigned the Defendant
Officers to make two arrests at Plaintiff Monique Bass's
("Plaintiff") home, based on two outstanding
warrants. The first warrant was for Plaintiff's husband.
He was not home and the officers had no interaction with him.
The second felony warrant, for check forgery, was over
fourteen years old and related to Plaintiff's alleged use
of a bad check to pay for gas in Taylor, Michigan. The name
on the warrant was "Monique Wright."
Plaintiff's maiden name is Monique Wright.
Officers arrived at Plaintiff's house and knocked on the
door. They spoke to Plaintiff through her storm door. She
confirmed her identity as "Monique Bass" and
acknowledged her maiden name was "Wright." The
Officers informed her, they had a warrant for her arrest, for
writing a bad check in Taylor, Michigan in November 2000.
Plaintiff explained she had not written a check for gas in
Taylor, and that the warrant was not for her. Plaintiff
ultimately let the Officers into her home. The Officers
instructed Plaintiff to change into appropriate clothing for
the arrest. They allowed Plaintiff to call someone to stay
with her three children, who were in the house at the time.
They instructed her to bring her ID and some money with her,
but never checked the Id. The Officers did not
handcuff her leaving her home. The Officers executed the
warrant without incident and they have no specific memory of
duration of the interaction at Plaintiff's home, she
insisted the warrant was for someone else. In addition to the
warrant, Officers had a second piece of paper with them which
included a copy of Plaintiff's photo ID ("ID
Page"). The ID Page and warrant listed a Taylor address
associated with Monique Wright. Plaintiff asserted then, and
now, she has never lived in Taylor, and never been associated
with the address on the warrant. The ID Page had at the
bottom, a handwritten name "Monique Whyte" (instead
of Wright) although the officers never asked for
"Whyte" and only ever asked for "Monique
Wright." Plaintiff told the Officers the photo was of
her but reiterated often, she knew no "Monique
of the original warrant is not available to the Court, only
the LEIN report. (Redacted LEIN Rep., Dkt. 32-2, PgID
205-06.) The LEIN report lists the name "Monique
Wright" and describes an African-American female
Plaintiff's age. Other information on the LEIN report
does not match Plaintiff. Plaintiff's date of birth is
November 1967, while the LEIN states a date of birth a few
months earlier in April 1967. The LEIN report lists an
incorrect social security number, describes Monique Wright as
5'6" and 220 pounds, while Plaintiff is in truth
three inches taller and only 150 pounds. The LEIN report
lists an address in Taylor, Michigan, where Plaintiff states
she has never lived. The Officers explain in their deposition
they do not typically note such discrepancies during an
arrest. They additionally state, declarations of innocence or
claimed mistaken identity are common and generally not given
Officers took Plaintiff to the Detroit Detention Center, and
only handcuffed her before exiting the vehicle at the
facility. The Detroit Detention Center photographed her, took
fingerprints, and processed her through booking. She remained
in the female holding area until her video arraignment
hearing the following morning. After less than 48 hours in
custody, at 1:00am on May 16, 2015, her daughter posted a $5,
000 bond and Plaintiff returned home.
29, 2015, Plaintiff appeared for a preliminary examination at
the State of Michigan 36th District Court for the City of
Detroit. There, the Wayne County Prosecutor dropped the
charges against Plaintiff and dismissed the case. The
prosecutor stated that the age of the case was a factor as
was the "possibility [of] someone taking the
defendant's identity and using it to commit this
crime." (Tr. May 29, 2015 Preliminary Examination; Dkt.
32-4 at 4, PgID 236.) The prosecutor never stated that, in
arresting Plaintiff, the Officers arrested the wrong person.
February 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed a five count complaint
against Defendants. The five counts are: (1) a federal claim
for violation of Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights due
to unreasonable seizure without probable cause; (2) a state
claim for false arrest and/or false imprisonment; (3) a state
claim for malicious prosecution; (4) a federal claim for
violation of Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights through
malicious prosecution; and (5) Monell violations
against Defendant City of Detroit.
filed this Motion for Summary Judgment on December 1, 2017.
Defendants state Plaintiff's arrest and detainment were
based on a facially valid warrant, that any claims against
the Officers should be dismissed because they are immune from
tort liability since they acted in good faith, and the
federal charges against them are due qualified immunity.
Defendants assert the claims against the City of Detroit
should be dismissed since no custom, policy, practice and/or
procedure is constitutionally arbitrary or deliberately
indifferent, such that it is egregious to the point of
"shocking the conscience."
Standard of Review
judgment is proper “if the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). As the Supreme Court has explained, “the plain
language of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of summary
judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion,
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.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
deciding a motion brought under Rule 56, the Court must view
the evidence “in a light most favorable to the party
opposing the motion, giving that party the benefit of all
reasonable inferences.” Smith Wholesale Co. v. R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co., 477 F.3d 854, 861 (6th Cir. 2007).
Yet, the nonmoving party may not rely on bare allegations or
denials, but instead must support a claim of disputed facts
by “citing to particular parts of materials in the
record" as establishing that one or more material facts
are "genuinely disputed." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1).
Finally, “[a] mere scintilla of evidence is
insufficient” to withstand a summary judgment motion;
rather, “there must be evidence on which the jury could
reasonably find for the non-moving party.” Smith
Wholesale, 477 F.3d at 861 (internal quotation marks and