Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Peterson v. Smith

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

November 4, 2019

BRADLEY T. PETERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
RYAN SMITH, MATT BREWER, BRYAN J. CAZZAGLIO, CITY OF WOODHAVEN, and THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Defendants.

          Matthew F. Leitman United States District Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN

          STEPHANIE DAWKINS DAVIS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On September 12, 2018, plaintiff Bradley T. Peterson, brought this civil rights action, pro se, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Dkt. 1). Peterson is suing Officers Ryan Smith, Matt Brewer, and Bryan J. Cozzaglio, in their official capacities. Id. Peterson is also suing the city of Woodhaven and the State of Michigan. Id. On September 17, 2018, District Judge Matthew F. Leitman referred pretrial matters to the undersigned Magistrate Judge. (Dkt. 4). On October 9, 2018, defendants Matt Brewer, Bryan J. Cozzaglio, and the City of Woodhaven filed an answer. (Dkt. 12). On October 1, 2018, Peterson filed a proof of service indicating he served the State of Michigan with the summons and complaint via certified mail sent to the Michigan Attorney General's office in Detroit, Michigan. (Dkt. 7). The State of Michigan has not filed an appearance or an answer to Peterson's complaint.

         For the reasons set forth below, the undersigned RECOMMENDS that plaintiff's claims against the State of Michigan be DISMISSED.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Peterson brings this complaint alleging that the State of Michigan, City of Woodhaven, two Woodhaven police officers, and a district court officer, acting in their official capacities, violated his civil rights. Peterson states that he was in the city of Woodhaven, standing in front of the 33rd district court when defendants Sergeant Ryan Smith and officer Matt Brewer approached him. (ECF No. 1, PagedID.8). Sgt. Smith asked to see Peterson's identification. Id. Peterson alleges that when he reached in his front pocket, Sgt. Smith physically attacked him by throwing him to ground and assaulting him. Id.

         Peterson further alleges that while he was in the back seat of the police car, officer Brewer called him a terrorist as well as racially discriminatory names and threatened to kill him before they arrived at the police station. Id. at PageID.9. Peterson states that officer Brewer had to be removed by his commanding sergeant because of his racist statements. Id. Peterson alleges that he was falsely arrested and charged with a felony assault, resisting arrest, obstruction, disturbing the peace, terrorist threats, and being a habitual offender. Id. at PageID.10. Peterson alleges that 33rd district court officer Bryan Cozzaglio knowingly lied on him out of racism, bias, prejudice to obstruct justice in the felony case and to protect the city of Woodhaven. Id. at PageID.9.

         Lastly, Peterson alleges that the State of Michigan tampered with video evidence to falsely imprison and slander him publicly by labeling him as a terrorist. Id. Peterson is seeking two-hundred million dollars in damages for racism, discrimination, bias, false imprisonment, slander, obstruction of justice, and singling him out for injury and harm. Id. at PageID.11.

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Federal Claims

         The Eleventh Amendment “deprives federal courts of subject-matter jurisdiction when a citizen sues his own State unless the State waives its immunity or Congress abrogates that sovereign immunity.” Russell v. Lundergan-Grimes, 784 F.3d 1037, 1046 (6th Cir. 2015) (citing Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 98-100 (1984)). Eleventh Amendment immunity is a “true jurisdictional bar” that may be raised sua sponte at any stage of litigation. Id. see also Mixon v. Ohio, 193 F.3d 389, 397 (6th Cir. 1999) (stating that a federal court “may sua sponte raise the issue of lack of jurisdiction because of the applicability of the eleventh amendment” (citation and internal quotation marks omitted)). The Eleventh Amendment bars civil rights actions against the state and its agencies and departments unless the state has waived its immunity and consented to suit. See Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 66 (1989)). The State of Michigan has not consented to being sued in civil rights actions in federal courts, Abick v. Michigan, 803 F.2d 974, 877 (6th Cir. 1986), and Congress did not abrogate state sovereign immunity when it passed § 1983. Harrison v. Michigan, 722 F.3d 768, 771 (6th Cir. 2013) (citing Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 322, 341 (1979)). “Eleventh Amendment immunity ‘bars all suits, whether for injunctive, declaratory or monetary relief' against a state and its agencies.”' McCormick v. Miami Univ., 693 F.3d 654, 661 (6th Cir. 2012). While the precise basis of Peterson's claims against the State of Michigan is not entirely clear, he appears to be asserting that the State of Michigan violated his constitutional rights by tampering with video evidence to falsely imprison and slander him publicly by labeling him as a terrorist. Peterson is seeking two-hundred million dollars in damages for racism, discrimination, bias, false imprisonment, slander, obstruction of justice, and singling him out for injury and harm. Id. at 11. To the extent that Peterson's claims against the state arise under the constitution and § 1983, they are barred by sovereign immunity. Indeed, the State of Michigan is not a “person” for purposes of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Hamilton's Bogarts, Inc. v. Michigan, 501 F.3d 644, 654 n.8 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing Will, 491 U.S. at 71). Accordingly, Peterson's § 1983 claims against the State of Michigan should be dismissed.

         B. State Law Claims

         To the extent that Peterson asserts any state law claims against the State of Michigan, the undersigned further recommends that the court decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1367, a district judge may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state-law claims if “the district court has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction. . . .” 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). “When all federal claims are dismissed before trial, the balance of considerations usually will point to dismissing the state law claims [.]” Musson Theatrical, Inc. v. Express Corp., 89 F.3d 1244, 1254-55 (6th Cir. 1996); see also Wee Care Child Ctr., Inc. v. Lumpkin, 680 F.3d 841, 849 (6th Cir. 2010) (“As [plaintiff's] one federal claim was properly dismissed, it was likewise proper for the district court to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims.”); Ketola v. Clearwater, 2008 WL 4820499, *5 (W.D. Mich. Oct. 31, 2008) (“Where a district court has exercised jurisdiction over a state-law claim solely by virtue of supplemental jurisdiction and the federal claims are dismissed prior to trial, the state-law claims should be dismissed without reaching ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.