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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 the City of Detroit's motion to impose a prefiling restriction on Plaintiff. (Docket no. 29.) 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's motion to impose a prefiling restriction on Plaintiff (docket no. 29) should be DENIED without prejudice.

         II. REPORT

         A. Background

         On December 10, 2018, Plaintiff Latausha Simmons filed the present complaint against Defendants the City of Detroit (the “City”), 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.)

         Latausha Simmons is also the plaintiff in three other cases filed in this Court against the City: Simmons v. City of Detroit et al., No. 18-cv-13812 (filed Dec. 10, 2018); Simmons v. City of Detroit et al., No. 19-cv-11595 (filed May 30, 2019); and Simmons v. City of Southfield et al., No. 19-cv-11726 (filed June 10, 2019). On July 23, 2019, the City moved to impose a prefiling restriction that would “require Plaintiff obtain leave of the Court before filing any more pro se lawsuits against the City and/or to pay all applicable filing fees to file a pro se Complaint against the City of Detroit or its employees.” (Docket no. 29, p. 4.)

         B. Governing Law

         Although a party cannot be “absolutely foreclosed from initiating an action in a court of the United States . . . it is permissible to require one who has abused the legal process to make a showing that a tendered lawsuit is not frivolous or vexatious before permitting it to be filed.” Ortman v. Thomas, 99 F.3d 807, 811 (6th Cir. 1996). Further, there is “nothing unusual about imposing prefiling restrictions in matters with a history of repetitive or vexatious litigation.” Feathers v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc., 141 F.3d 264, 269 (6th Cir. 1998). Judges in this District have considered the following factors when determining whether to impose a prefiling injunction:

(1) the litigant's history of litigation and in particular whether it entailed vexatious, harassing or duplicative lawsuits;
(2) the litigant's motive in pursuing the litigation;
(3) whether the litigant is represented by ...

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