United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND ORDER
TO CERTIFY FOR INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL
L. Ludington, United States District Judge.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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 ...