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Robinson v. Tyler

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

September 4, 2019

THOMAS ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MRS. TYLER, et al., Defendants.

          Honorable Mark A. Goldsmith Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT DEFENDANT TIMOTHY ROONEY'S MOTION TO DISMISS [18]

          DAVID R. GRAND UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On March 25, 2019, Plaintiff Thomas Robinson (“Robinson”) filed his pro se civil rights complaint in this case, against, inter alia, Defendant Timothy Rooney (“Rooney”).[1](Doc. #1). At all times relevant to this civil action, Robinson has been (and remains) a defendant in a pending federal criminal case in the Eastern District of Michigan. At the time Robinson filed his civil complaint, he was on pretrial release, being supervised by Rooney, a United States Pretrial Services Officer. (Id.).

         Presently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by Rooney on June 28, 2019. (Doc. #18). On July 19, 2019, Robinson filed a response to this motion (Doc. #22), and on July 25, 2019, Rooney filed a reply (Doc. #25). Subsequently, on August 7, 2019, Rooney filed a supplemental brief in support of his motion to dismiss, in which he advised the Court that Robinson's bond had been revoked on August 1, 2019, and he had been ordered detained pending trial in his criminal case. (Doc. #26). On August 21, 2019, Robinson submitted a response to this supplemental brief. (Doc. #30).

         Generally, the Court will not hold a hearing on a motion in a civil case in which a party is in custody. See E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(f). Having reviewed the pleadings and other papers on file, the Court finds that the facts and legal issues are adequately presented in the parties' briefs and on the record, and it declines to order a hearing at this time.

         I. RECOMMENDATION

         For the reasons set forth below, IT IS RECOMMENDED that Rooney's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #18) be GRANTED.

         II. REPORT

         A. Factual Background

         As set forth above, aside from being the plaintiff in the instant civil case, Robinson is a defendant in a criminal case pending in this Court before the Honorable Laurie J. Michelson, No. 18-cr-20150 (the “Criminal Case”). He is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and conspiring to distribute cocaine base. (Criminal Case, Doc. #18). At the time Robinson filed his civil complaint, he was on pretrial release, being supervised by Pretrial Services Officer Rooney. As explained in more detail below, Robinson's civil complaint alleges violations of his constitutional rights relating to circumstances that led to the modification (and, ultimately, revocation) of his bond in the Criminal Case. A brief discussion of Robinson's bond conditions, therefore, will provide some context.

         The initial Order Setting Conditions of Release directed, in part, that Robinson not use drugs, participate in a location monitoring program requiring a GPS tether, and live at his mother's house with a curfew as directed by Pretrial Services. (Id., Doc. #10). These conditions were later modified based on the Government's allegations that Robinson was a sex trafficker and a drug dealer, and that while on pretrial release he went to the New Paths Residential Treatment Facility (“New Paths”) to recruit women to engage in prostitution. (Id., Doc. #20 at 2). By order dated April 25, 2018, the Honorable Linda V. Parker[2] modified Robinson's bond conditions to prohibit him from entering or loitering around New Paths. (Id., Doc. #27).

         On March 22, 2019, Rooney, as Robinson's Pretrial Services Officer, submitted a Petition for Action on Condition of Release (“Petition”) requesting a bond hearing in the Criminal Case. (Id., Doc. #59). In the Petition, Rooney advised the Court that Robinson: (1) repeatedly tested positive for marijuana; (2) told his therapist that he slapped his girlfriend in the face and gave her a black eye; (3) told his therapist that he might have information about a missing person, who he alluded might be dead; (4) repeatedly failed to follow Rooney's directives and was confrontational and argumentative; (5) repeatedly failed to properly charge the batteries on his GPS tether; and (6) told his mother not to let Rooney into her house any longer. (Id.). As a result, a bond hearing was held in the Criminal Case on March 27, 2019, after which Judge Michelson modified Robinson's bond to include the following additional release conditions:

1. Shall submit to location monitoring with home detention (You are restricted to your residence at all times except for employment; education; religious services; medical appointments; substance abuse counseling; mental health treatment; attorney visits; Court appearances; Court ordered obligations; or other activities pre-approved by Pretrial Services). Must give 24-hours notice to Pretrial Services for all authorized activities and 48-hours for all other requests.
2. Zero tolerance regarding following all rules and directives of your Pretrial Services Officer, including keeping your GPS tracker charged at all times as instructed by Pretrial Services, complying with all other directives regarding location ...

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