United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING THE MOTION OF DEFENDANTS
RUSH, ARMSTRONG, AND WASHTENAW COUNTY FOR SUMMARY
BERNARD A. FRIEDMAN, MICHIGAN SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT
matter is presently before the Court on the motion of
defendants Rush, Armstrong, and Washtenaw County for summary
judgment [docket entry 56]. Plaintiff has not responded to
this motion, and the time for him to do so has expired.
Pursuant to E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f)(2), the Court shall decide
this motion without a hearing.
a police misconduct action. Plaintiff alleges that on January
16, 2009, five Detroit police officers (defendants Wideman,
Kammerzell, Estrada, Carlisi, and Oemkhe) and two Washtenaw
County sheriff's deputies (defendants Rush and Armstrong)
“all rushed into Plaintiff's home with each one
pointing guns directly at Plaintiff's head and all of
them screamed for Plaintiff not to move.” Am. Compl.
¶ 16. Plaintiff further alleges, regarding Rush and
17. One of the Washtenaw County Defendants (white male/no
facial hair) then pushed Plaintiff's back against the
wall, despite the fact that Plaintiff was obviously unarmed
and complying with officers' commands.
18. Even after Plaintiff was fully handcuffed and zip-tied
and obviously not a threat to anyone, Defendants Wideman,
Kammerzell, Estrada, Carlisi, Oemkhe, Rush, and Armstrong
continued to point their guns at Plaintiff's head for
approximately one minute in a deliberate attempt to
intimidate and frighten Plaintiff.
21. After Plaintiff was zip-tied and handcuffed and after an
initial search of the residence was conducted, Defendants
Rush and Armstrong and various other named Detroit Defendants
began to vigorously search the house, without any legal
22. Defendants Rush and Armstrong began to search the
upstairs of the house, and the Detroit Defendants proceeded
to search downstairs despite the fact that the house had
already been secured.
23. During the unlawful search of Plaintiff's home, there
was a loud “crash” in the basement, at which time
Defendant Rush went to the basement and blamed the Detroit
Defendants for breaking Plaintiff's property and stated
words to the effect that “we did not come here for
that-we came to serve a warrant”; yet at no time did
Defendant Rush or Defendant Armstrong intervene on
Plaintiff's behalf and tell the other officers to stop.
24. Defendant Armstrong assisted other officers in removing a
computer and other property from Plaintiff's house.
Id. ¶¶ 17-18, 21-24.
asserts claims against all of the officers for arresting him
without probable cause, in violation of the Fourth Amendment
(Count I); against the Detroit officers for maliciously
prosecuting him, in violation of the Fourth Amendment (Count
II); against all of the officers for pointing their guns at
him for no justifiable reason, in violation of the Fourteenth
Amendment (Count III); against “the individual
Defendants” for using excessive force against him, in
violation of the Fourth Amendment (Count IV); against the
City of Detroit and Washtenaw County for failing to train,
supervise, and discipline the individual defendants (Count
V); and against all of the officers for gross negligence
Rush and Armstrong seek summary judgment on the grounds that
they were not involved in arresting plaintiff or in searching
his house. Both of these defendants have submitted affidavits
in which they aver that they simply provided “standby
assistance” while the Detroit officers executed an
arrest warrant issued by a judge of the 36th District Court.
Defs.' Exs. 3, 4, 6, 7. Rush and Armstrong aver that the
Detroit officers requested such assistance because they
intended to execute the warrant at an address where they
believed plaintiff resided in Ypsilanti, which is located
within Washtenaw County. Rush and Armstrong both aver that
they remained outside while the Detroit officers entered
plaintiff's house and arrested him; that they had no
contact with plaintiff; that they did not point their guns at
him; and that they never entered his house. In short, these
defendants aver that they had nothing to do with the arrest
or search that is the basis for plaintiff's complaint
except to stand by outside.
failing to respond to defendants' motion, plaintiff has
failed to demonstrate the existence of a genuine issue as to
Rush's and Armstrong's involvement in his arrest or
in the search of his house. Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2), the
Court takes their non-involvement to be undisputed. In light
of this undisputed fact, Rush and Armstrong are plainly
entitled to summary judgment.
Washtenaw County is entitled to summary judgment as well. If
“the officer inflicted no constitutional harm, ”
then no Monell claim may lie against the
municipality that employs him. City of Los Angeles v.
Heller, 475 U.S. 796, 799 (1986). In other words,
“[t]here must be a constitutional violation for a
§ 1983 claim against a municipality to succeed-if the
plaintiff has suffered no constitutional injury, his
Monell claim fails.” North v. Cuyahoga
Cty., 754 Fed.Appx. 380, 389 (6th Cir. 2018). As
plaintiff has not shown that Rush or Armstrong were involved
in any of the violations of his rights that he has alleged in
his complaint, it is impossible for him to show that
Washtenaw County ...