United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION  AND GRANTING
DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT (AS TO COUNT XI ONLY), AND MOTION TO ADJOURN
FINAL PRETRIAL AND TRIAL 
HONORABLE STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III JUDGE
September 24, 2019, the Court granted in part and denied in
part Defendants' motion for summary judgment
("Order"). ECF 38. On September 30, 2019,
Defendants filed a motion for reconsideration, ECF 39, and a
motion for leave to file a second motion for summary judgment
as to claim eleven in the complaint, ECF 40. For the reasons
below, the Court will grant in part and deny in part the
motion for reconsideration and grant the motion for leave to
file a second motion for summary judgment only as to claim
Motion for Reconsideration
Court denied Defendants' motion for summary judgment as
to two claims: (1) Ms. Hency's claim against Defendant
Spadafore for unlawful seizure of her person, and (2)
Plaintiffs' conspiracy to interfere with their civil
rights claim as to all Defendants. See ECF 38, PgID
3725. Defendants moved for reconsideration as to both claims.
ECF 39. The Court will grant a motion for reconsideration
only when the movant demonstrates that: (1) the Court was
misled by "a palpable defect," and (2)
"correcting the defect will result in a different
disposition of the case." E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(h)(3). Here,
Defendants failed to meet both prongs for either claim.
Ms. Hency's Claim Against Defendant Spadafore
Ms. Hency's claim against Defendant Spadafore for
unlawful seizure of her person, Defendant Spadafore
emphasized the Court's statement that whether Ms. Hency
"stated an intent to transfer her marijuana to the
Shattucks is immaterial to whether the officers had
probable cause to arrest her." ECF 39, PgID 3730
(quoting ECF 38, PgID 3711) (emphasis added). The quoted
sentence, however, was an unfortunate scrivener's error.
As indicated by the content surrounding the quoted sentence,
the sentence should have stated that Ms. Hency's intent
was material to whether the officers had probable
evidence Defendant Spadafore cited regarding Ms. Hency's
arrest was already considered by the Court and failed to
establish that there was no genuine dispute of material fact.
Her quoted statement to Deputy Maxey was only that she
"sometimes" traded strains with Dale Shattuck.
See ECF 39, PgID 3745 (quoting Ms. Hency's
interview with Deputy Maxey the day of her arrest). She did
not actually state that she was at DNA Wellness to trade with
Dale Shattuck that day. And, more importantly, the interview
provides no information about what statements Ms. Hency made
to Defendant Spadafore or other officers who were present
prior to her arrest. Absent a statement about what she said
to the officers at DNA Wellness before they arrested her, Ms.
Hency's statements to Deputy Maxey after the fact are
irrelevant to whether Defendant Spadafore had probable cause
to arrest her at the time.
Hency's deposition statements about what she said to the
officers before they arrested her, see ECF 38, PgID
3710, were not contradicted by the contents of her interview
with Deputy Maxey. Further, Dale Shattuck testified in his
deposition only that Ms. Hency sometimes traded strains with
him and that he "vaguely remember[ed] . . . having a
trade of some sort" set up with her that day.
See ECF 30-2, PgID 1382-83, 1406. But he
simultaneously testified that he did not have any marijuana
on him that day, so it is unclear how a trade would have
occurred. Id. at 1406. Most importantly, Dale
Shattuck did not say anything about what Ms. Hency said to
the officers before they arrested her. Ms. Hency's
deposition statements regarding what transpired prior to her
arrest were not undermined by her interview with Deputy Maxey
or by Dale Shattuck's deposition testimony, but they did
contradict the officers' version of what transpired,
creating a genuine dispute of material fact. See Id.
at 3708; ECF 39, PgID 3744 (quoting Defendant Spadafore's
report). And, as the Court already determined, Defendant
Spadafore did not have probable cause to arrest Ms. Hency if
her version of what transpired prior to her arrest was true.
ECF 38, PgID 3711. There is a genuine dispute of material
fact regarding Ms. Hency's alleged statement. Whether her
version of events or the officers' version of events is
more trustworthy is a question of fact for the jury.
Spadafore's argument that he had probable cause to arrest
Ms. Hency "independent of her admission" is
unavailing. ECF 39, PgID 3748. First, on a motion for
reconsideration, the Court does not consider arguments about
"the same issues ruled upon by the court, either
expressly or by reasonable implication." E.D. Mich. LR
7.1(h)(3). The Court already considered the evidence
presented by both sides regarding Ms. Hency's arrest and
determined that if she did not make the disputed statement
then probable cause did not exist to arrest her. ECF 38, PgID
even if the Court reconsidered the argument in the first
instance, Defendant Spadafore did not have probable cause to
arrest Ms. Hency absent her alleged statement. Defendant
Spadafore's argument that he had probable cause absent
Ms. Hency's disputed statement is that: (1) DNA Wellness
had been illegally operating and "selling a large volume
of marijuana to the open public," (2) "[b]ecause of
the volume it was selling, a valid issue was where the supply
was coming from," (3) Ms. Hency showed up at DNA
Wellness on a Doctor's Day when DNA Wellness was not
illegally selling marijuana, and (4) she did not explain her
presence at DNA Wellness that day "with a backpack full
of marijuana" to Defendant Spadafore's satisfaction.
ECF 39, PgID 3749. But Defendant Spadafore does not argue
that Ms. Hency previously appeared at DNA Wellness with a
pattern or frequency to merit suspicion that she supplied DNA
Wellness with marijuana. And he admits that the day he
arrested her was a day when DNA Wellness was not illegally
selling marijuana. Further, it is undisputed that Ms.
Hency's "backpack full of marijuana" was a
locked backpack containing an amount of marijuana that she
was legally permitted to possess as a registered caregiver.
Absent Ms. Hency's alleged statement that she was at DNA
Wellness to trade with Dale Shattuck, Defendant Spadafore did
not have probable cause to arrest her.
only palpable defect in the Order regarding Ms. Hency's
claim against Defendant Spadafore for unlawful seizure of her
person was therefore the Court's own scrivener's
error. And a correction of that error would not change the
outcome of the Order. The Court will therefore grant in part
the motion for reconsideration to amend the word
"immaterial" on PgID 3711 of the Order to say
"material." The Court will otherwise deny the
motion for reconsideration as to Ms. Hency's claim for
unlawful seizure of her person against Defendant Spadafore.
the conspiracy claim, Defendants admitted that they
"should have expressly addressed [the claim] in their
Brief and apologize[d] to the Court for the same." ECF
39, PgID 3750. As the Court noted in the Order, it simply
could not grant summary judgment on a claim that Defendants
failed to explicitly address in their motion for summary
judgment. See ECF 38, PgID 3725. The Court was not
misled by any palpable defect when making its determination,
so the Court will deny the motion for reconsideration as to
the conspiracy claim. But, for the ...