Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Johnson v. City of Saginaw

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

May 24, 2019

RITA R JOHNSON, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF SAGINAW, JASON CABELLO, JOHN STEMPLE Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND ORDER TO CERTIFY FOR INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL

          Thomas L. Ludington, United States District Judge.

         On September 22, 2017, Plaintiff Rita R. Johnson filed suit in the Saginaw County Circuit Court against Defendants City of Saginaw (the “City”) and Water Department Worker No. 1. Johnson contended that Defendants “arbitrarily and capriciously turned off the water supply” to her business on May 7, 2011, “without notice or authority.” Compl. at 2, ECF No. 10, Ex. B. Defendants removed the case to this Court several days later. ECF No. 1. On September 29, 2017, Johnson filed a motion to remand the case, arguing that it was improperly removed. ECF No. 3. Several days later, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the suit. ECF No. 7. On December 20, 2017, the Court issued an opinion and order denying the motion to remand, denying the motion to dismiss, and resolving several other miscellaneous motions. ECF No. 23. On January 5, 2018, Johnson filed an amended complaint pursuant to a stipulation. ECF No. 28. The first amended complaint identified Jason Cabello as the water department worker identified anonymously in the original complaint.

         Afterwards, the case entered discovery. ECF No. 33. On May 7, 2018, Johnson filed a second amended complaint having obtained leave of the Court. ECF No. 39. The second amended complaint named John Stemple (the Chief Inspector for the City of Saginaw) as another Defendant. On July 19, 2018, Johnson filed a motion for leave to file a third amended complaint which the Court denied. ECF No. 53, 70.

         On November 19, 2018, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 74. Two days later, Johnson filed a motion for partial summary judgment. ECF No. 75. Defendants' motion was denied. ECF No. 84. Plaintiff's motion was granted in part and denied in part. Id. Defendants Stemple and Cabello were found liable, but the City was not. Id. Johnson subsequently filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that she had sufficiently pled facts and a legal theory against the City in her complaint. ECF No. 85. The motion was denied. ECF No. 98.

         Defendants filed a notice of appeal. ECF No. 88. The City also filed a motion to stay proceedings pending resolution of Stemple and Cabello's appeal. ECF No. 89. The motion was granted. ECF No. 98.

         Plaintiff has now filed a motion to certify for interlocutory appeal the Court's order denying her motion for reconsideration. ECF No. 99. The motion will be denied.

         I.

         A.

         Rita Johnson owns and operates Rita's Southern Soul Café in Saginaw, Michigan. Am. Compl. at 2, ECF No. 39. She rents out the space on weekends for various events, such as parties, receptions, and baby showers. Johnson Dep. at 16, ECF No. 74-2. On May 5, 2017, Johnson rented the space to Andrick Pruitt for a birthday party. Id. at 47-48. Pruitt had hired a security company to provide eighteen security guards for the party. Id. at 48; Hearing Transcript May 11, 2017 at 12, ECF No. 74-3. Some of the guards were wearing bulletproof vests and at least one carried an AK-47 style assault rifle. ECF. No. 74-3 at 16. Around 1:45a.m. the morning of May 6, 2017, approximately sixty shots were fired at the building as the party was still ongoing. ECF No. 74-2 at 47; ECF No. 74-3 at 14; ECF No. 75-12 at ¶12. The Saginaw police chief, Robert Ruth, believed the incident was gang related. ECF No. 74-3 at 80.

         The Saginaw police informed Defendant Stemple, Chief Inspector for the City of Saginaw, about the incident and Stemple determined that Johnson's water services should be suspended to prevent any further activities from occurring at the premises. Stemple Dep. at 9, 50, ECF No. 74-4. The evening of May 6, Stemple instructed Joe Gough, Water Department Foreman, to suspend Johnson's water services. Gough Dep. at 6, ECF No. 74-5. Gough contacted Defendant Cabello, a Saginaw Water Department utility worker, to perform the suspension. Id. at 7. A work order was issued and Cabello shut off the water services to Johnson's business. Cabello Dep. at 12, 22, ECF No. 74-6.

         The City provided Johnson no notice that it was suspending her water services. Id. at 16; Gough Dep. at 9-10, ECF No. 75-10. On May 8 however, the City provided her notice that it had suspended her business license. Notice of Suspension, ECF No. 74-8. The notice provided

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT PURSUANT TO THE CITY OF SAGINAW (“CITY”) CODE OF ORDINANCE, ALL ACTIVITY RELATED TO THE USE AND/OR OPERATION OF THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 110 N. WASHINGTON AVENUE SAGINAW MI 48601, ALSO KNOWN AS “RITA'S SOUTHERN SOUL CAFÉ” (ESTABLISHMENT”) IS HEREBY SUSPENDED, EFFECTIVE MAY 8, 2017.

Id. (bold and underline present in original). The notice further provided that pursuant to Ordinance O-1 Sec. 110.06(F), a hearing would be held on May 11, 2017 where Johnson could present a defense against the suspension. Id. The City held the hearing, granting Johnson the opportunity to be heard and to present witnesses and evidence. See Hearing Transcript, May 11, 2017, ECF No. 74-3.

         Johnson's water services continued to be suspended following the business license suspension hearing. Johnson claims that she contacted the City requesting that her water services be reinstated, but that her water remained turned off. Johnson Aff. at ¶33, ECF No. 75-12. The City represents that it has no record of Johnson making such a request. ECF No. 74-4 at 26. It was not until after Johnson filed this lawsuit ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.