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Haywood v. Hough

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 31, 2019

BARBARA HAYWOOD, Plaintiff,
v.
LAWRENCE HOUGH, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER APPROVING AND ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ROBERT J. JONKER, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The Court has reviewed Magistrate Judge Carmody's Report and Recommendation in this matter (ECF No. 159); the parties' Objections (ECF Nos. 161, 162, 164, 167); and Plaintiff's Response (ECF No. 169). Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, where, as here, a party has objected to portions of a Report and Recommendation, “[t]he district judge . . . has a duty to reject the magistrate judge's recommendation unless, on de novo reconsideration, he or she finds it justified.” 12 Wright, Miller, & Marcus, Federal Practice and Procedure, § 3070.2, at 451 (3d ed. 2014). Specifically, the Rules provide that:

The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to. The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). De novo review in these circumstances requires at least a review of the evidence before the Magistrate Judge. Hill v. Duriron Co., 656 F.2d 1208, 1215 (6th Cir. 1981). The Court has reviewed de novo the claims and evidence presented to the Magistrate Judge; the Report and Recommendation itself; the parties' objections; and the Plaintiff's response. The Court finds the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, which recommends granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants on all but two of Plaintiff's claims, factually sound and legally correct.

         The Report and Recommendation summarizes Plaintiff's allegations accurately and in detail. (ECF No. 159, PageID.1358-1359.) Plaintiff brings claims against Defendants Hough, Eagle, and Hubbard arising out of her extended detention; arrest; placement in a police vehicle; and search of her hotel room. The Report and Recommendation carefully and thoroughly recounts the facts as viewed in a light most favorable to the Plaintiff and supported by the summary judgment record. (Id., PageID.1362-1365.) The Magistrate Judge recommends summary judgment in favor of Defendants as to Plaintiff's claims of denial of right to intimate association; conspiracy to violate her rights; common law conversion; use of excessive force; assault and battery; ordinary negligence; and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The Magistrate Judge recommends denying Defendants' motion for summary judgment as to Plaintiff's claims of unlawful detention and arrest and unlawful search of her hotel room. All the parties have filed objections.

         1. Plaintiff's Objections

         Plaintiff's Objections primarily reiterate and expand arguments she has already made and which the Report and Recommendation already addresses. Plaintiff disagrees with the Magistrate Judge's characterization of parts of the factual record, but the Court finds the factual narrative the Report and Recommendation details an accurate summary of the facts taken in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff and supported by the summary judgment record. Plaintiff asserts that the Magistrate Judge applied incorrect legal standards. To the contrary, the legal standards in the Report and Recommendation are entirely correct. Nothing in Plaintiff's objections changes the fundamental analysis.

         2. Defendants' Objections

         A. Unlawful Extension of Terry Stop

         i. Defendant Hubbard

         Defendant Hubbard objects to a denial of summary judgment, arguing that he participated in the detention “as a witness and not an investigating officer or official that is subject to Fourth Amendment scrutiny” because he “is not a police officer and has no authority to pursue a criminal investigation.” (ECF No. 164, PageID.1408.) Defendant Hubbard acted under color of law, and the Fourth Amendment still applies to him.

         Defendant Hubbard also states that he is entitled to summary judgment because, in his view, he lacked authority to end the detention or stop the handcuffing and arrest of Plaintiff in the prison lobby. He states that he had to defer to Defendants Eagle and Hough because they were peace officers. The scope of Defendant Hubbard's authority, and how he chose to exercise that authority, are factual questions. His claim that he was simply following orders is not enough to warrant summary judgment in his favor.

         Finally, Defendant Hubbard argues that the record establishes that there was pr obabl e cause to support Plaintiff's detention and arrest. The Court disagrees. Accepting Plaintiff's view of the facts, the detention was a Terry stop that was unlawfully extended. Probable cause for arrest did not arise until the officers found marijuana during the search of the car, for exactly the reasons the Report and Recommendation details. The objection fails.

         ii. De ...


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