United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
KAREN A. SPRANGER, Plaintiff,
COUNTY OF MACOMB, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
DISMISS (DOC. 4)
CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Karen Spranger alleges that defendant Macomb County is
conspiring against her to impede her ability to perform her
role as Macomb County Clerk. Count I alleges a conspiracy to
interfere with Spranger's civil rights under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1985(3). Count II, brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleges a violation of Spranger's rights
under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment. This matter is presently before the Court on
Macomb County's motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). (Doc. 4).
Oral argument was held on February 27, 2018. For the reasons
stated below, defendant Macomb County's motion is
a Republican, was elected in November 2016. She was sworn in
as Macomb County Clerk and Register of Deeds on January 1,
2017. Spranger's controversial tenure included numerous
scandals, employee grievances, and decreased efficiency in
the day to day performance of the Macomb County Clerk's
office. These events led both parties to file lawsuits in
Macomb County Circuit Court. All Macomb County Circuit Judges
recused themselves from these civil actions, which were
thereafter assigned to St. Clair County Judge Daniel Kelly.
Judge Kelly issued multiple orders in three lawsuits
involving Spranger. This lawsuit arises out of Spranger's
disagreement with Judge Kelly's orders. Spranger requests
that the Court void Judge Kelly's orders and dissolve the
cases against her. She asks this Court to enter the following
A. An Order of the Court to dissolve the mandamus action and
injunctive relief filed by the SIXTEENTH CIRCUIT COURT,
COUNTY TREASURER, and COUNTY SHERIFF as Ordered in Case
B. An Order of the Court to dissolve the temporary
restraining order and preliminary injunction filed by
CANGEMI's labor organization AFSCME 411;
C. An Order of the Court to dissolve the quo warranto counter
claim in Case number 2017-002261-CZ and then to allow the
original case filed by SPRANGER to be heard by the Court;
D. An Order of the Court to require SCHAPKA, DELDIN,
BATHANTI, CANGEMI, BIERNAT, COOK, and COLTHORP to cease and
desist in their civil conspiracy of interference with the
Offices of Clerk / Register of Deeds;
E. An Order of the Court for all employees
terminated by the mandamus order of the Circuit
Court to be reinstated to their employment
position - including any back pay lost due to the civil
F. A Protective Order to allow SPRANGER to seek addition[al]
redress with the Court if any of the County actors of MACOMB
COUNTY interfere with the Order of the Court; and
G. An Order of the Court granting such other relief Plaintiff
is found to be entitled to.
(Doc. 1 at PageID 14-15) (emphasis in original). Macomb
County filed a motion to dismiss on January 8, 2018. (Doc.
4). Spranger filed a response, (Doc. 7), to which Macomb
County replied, (Doc. 8). Oral argument was scheduled for
February 27, 2018. (Doc. 6). On February 27, 2018, three
hours before oral argument, Spranger filed a motion for
summary judgment. (Doc. 11). The Court set a briefing
schedule and informed the parties that it would read these
briefs before ruling on Macomb County's motion to
dismiss. Macomb County filed a response. (Doc. 13). On April
3, 2018, Spranger filed a document that appears to be a
reply. (Doc. 16). On March 27, 2018, while the Court was
waiting for Spranger's reply brief, Judge Kelly ruled
that Spranger did not reside at the Warren address she listed
on her application to run for Macomb County clerk. Based upon
his finding that Spranger made a false claim of residency,
Judge Kelly concluded that Spranger was not eligible to hold
office and ordered her removal.
Federal Rule of Civil ...