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Simmons v. City of Detroit

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

September 17, 2019

LATAUSHA SIMMONS, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF DETROIT, et al., Defendants.

          Mark A. Goldsmith District Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          MONA K. MAJZOUB UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Latausha Simmons contends that Defendants the City of Detroit, Detroit Police Chief James Craig, and unnamed officers of the Detroit Police Department violated her rights under the Fourth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments. (Docket no. 1.) Before the Court is Defendant James Craig's motion for summary judgment. (Docket no. 22.) This action 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. 19.) The undersigned has reviewed the pleadings and dispenses with a hearing pursuant to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f).

         I. RECOMMENDATION

         For the reasons set forth below, Defendant James Craig's motion for summary judgment (docket no. 22) should be GRANTED, and all claims against him should be dismissed.

         II. REPORT

         A. Background

         On December 10, 2018, Plaintiff Latausha Simmons filed the present complaint against Defendants the City of Detroit, Detroit Police Chief James Craig, and several unknown officers of the Detroit Police Department. (Docket no. 1.) Plaintiff contends that the unidentified officers wrongfully arrested her, used excess force, and unreasonably detained her in harsh conditions for between four and five days. (Id. at 2-3.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated her rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and various provisions of Michigan law. (Id. at 6-13.)

         Discovery in this matter opened on June 11, 2019 and remains open through June 5, 2020. (Docket no. 21.) On June 11, 2019, Defendant James Craig, the Detroit Chief of Police, filed a motion for summary judgment. (Docket no. 22.) For clarity, the undersigned observes that although Defendant Craig relies on both Rule 12(b)(6) and Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, his motion focuses on the facial allegations of Plaintiff's complaint and should therefore be analyzed as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).

         B. Governing Law

         A motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of a complaint. The court must “construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept its allegations as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.” Directv, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007); Inge v. Rock Fin. Corp., 281 F.3d 613, 619 (6th Cir. 2002). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint's “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations and emphasis omitted). See also Ass'n of Cleveland Fire Fighters v. City of Cleveland, Ohio, 502 F.3d 545, 548 (6th Cir. 2007).

         This acceptance of factual allegations as true, however, is inapplicable to legal conclusions: “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Thus, the court is “not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Id. (internal quotations and citations omitted). “[O]nly a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss.” Id. at 679. “Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id. To make this determination, a court may apply the following two-part test: (1) “identify[] pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth;” and (2) “assume [the] veracity [of the remaining allegations] and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id.

         In addressing motions under Rule 12(b)(6), the Sixth Circuit recognizes that, in addition to the allegations of the complaint, the court “may also consider other materials that are integral to the complaint, are public records, or are otherwise appropriate for the taking of judicial notice.” Ley v. Visteon Corp., 543 F.3d 801, 805 (6th Cir. 2008).

         C. ...


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