United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
LARRY C. WISE, Plaintiff,
RYAN MORO and WILLIAM DOBBERSTEIN, Michigan State Police Officers in their individual capacities, Defendants.
H. CLELAND DISTRICT JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. MAJZOUB UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Larry C. Wise alleges that Defendants Officer Ryan Moro and
Officer William Dobberstein violated his rights under the
Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. (Docket
no. 1.) Before the Court are Plaintiff's motion for
declaratory judgment (docket no. 16) and Plaintiff's
motion for summary judgment (docket no. 20). This case has
been referred to the undersigned for all pretrial
proceedings, including a hearing and determination of all
non-dispositive matters pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A) and/or a report and recommendation on all
dispositive matters pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B). (Docket no. 14.) The Court has reviewed the
pleadings and dispenses with oral argument pursuant to
Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f)(2).
reasons stated herein, the undersigned recommends that the
Court DENY Plaintiff's motion for a
declaratory judgment (docket no. 16) and
DENY Plaintiff's motion for summary
judgment (docket no. 20).
Larry C. Wise filed this action alleging that Defendants
violated his rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to
the U.S. Constitution. (Docket no. 1.) Plaintiff seeks
damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Id.)
asserts that Defendants, who are officers of the Michigan
State Police, wrongfully seized and searched his vehicle on
July 3, 2017 in Holy Township, Michigan. (Id. at
3-4, 22.) On that date, Defendant Moro observed a vehicle
with an “unrecognized license plate that appeared to be
homemade” and initiated a traffic stop. (Id.
at 22.) Plaintiff, who was driving the vehicle, declined to
provide a driver's license. (Id.) Defendant Moro
directed Plaintiff to exit the vehicle and placed him in
handcuffs. (Id.) Defendant Moro then performed a
“pat down” on Plaintiff and removed his wallet
from his pocket. (Docket no. 28-2, p. 3.) Defendant Moro
“ran the vehicle through the Michigan Law Enforcement
Information Network, which revealed the vehicle as
Defendant Dobberstein arrived on the scene, Defendant Moro
asked Plaintiff's permission to search the vehicle.
(Id. at 4.) Plaintiff withheld permission, but
because the vehicle was being impounded, Defendant Moro
conducted an inventory search of the vehicle. (Id.)
Defendant Moro issued a citation to Plaintiff for unlawful
use of a license plate, and the homemade plate was
“taken into custody and subsequently destroyed.”
filed the present complaint on December 12, 2018. (Docket no.
1.) On April 15, 2019, the Court opened discovery through
January 6, 2020. (Docket no. 26.) Plaintiff moves for summary
judgment on his claims that Defendants violated his rights
under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S.
Constitution and that Defendants defamed and falsely
imprisoned him under Michigan law. (Docket no. 20.) Plaintiff
also moves for a “declaratory judgment” that
“[i]f a citizen is not engaged in commerce or using the
roads for profit or gain, and does not request or apply to
the state for the license privilege, . . . the citizen [has]
retained their right to travel under the common law upon the
public roads without regulation.” (Docket no. 16.)
Defendants oppose both motions. (Docket no. 21; docket no.
Standard of Review
judgment is appropriate where the moving party shows that
there is “no genuine dispute as to any material fact
and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party has the
burden of showing an absence of evidence to support the
non-moving party's case. Covington v. Knox Cnty. Sch.
Sys., 205 F.3d 912, 915 (6th Cir. 2000). Rule 56
A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely
disputed must support the assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or
(B) showing that the materials cited do not establish the
absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse
party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1). “The court need consider only
the cited materials, but it may consider other materials in
the record.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3).
the moving party has met its burden of production, the
non-moving party must come forward with significant probative
evidence showing that a genuine issue exists for trial.
Covington, 205 F.3d at 915. A mere scintilla of
evidence is insufficient to defeat a properly supported
motion for summary judgment; rather, “there must be
evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the
[non-moving party].” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252 (1986). Ultimately, a district
court must determine whether the record as a whole presents a
genuine issue of material fact, drawing “all
justifiable inferences in the light most favorable to ...