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Ziegler v. Dennis

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

January 2, 2020

J.R. ZIEGLER, Plaintiff,
v.
TWO UNKNOWN 50TH DISTRICT COURT OFFICERS, MEGAN DENNIS, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT MEGAN DENNIS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS [ECF NO. 37]

          VICTORIA A. ROBERTS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Megan Dennis (“Dennis”) filed the above motion. She claims that J.R. Ziegler (“Ziegler”) has no standing to sue her based on a state court eviction action that he was not a party to, and involving property in which he had no interest. Dennis also claims that she was not the magistrate judge who participated in the state court proceedings that Ziegler complains of. Dennis requests sanctions against Ziegler under 28 U.S.C. § 1927.

         For these reasons and a multitude of others, Dennis is entitled to judgment in her favor; the Court GRANTS Dennis' motion. The Court also GRANTS Dennis' request for sanctions.

         A. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Dennis' motion for summary judgment contained twenty statements of material facts. Although required to, Ziegler failed to respond to them. The Court warned Ziegler that “each numbered paragraph in [Dennis'] statement of material facts will be deemed admitted … unless specifically controverted by a correspondingly numbered paragraph in the statement served by [Ziegler].” [ECF No. 40, PageID.413]. For purposes of considering Dennis' motion, the Court accepts her statement of uncontroverted facts.

         The Court finds that an eviction proceeding was filed in the 50th District Court and Ziegler's friend - not him - was the defendant in that action. The court assigned the case to community mediation. Ziegler insisted on being present at the mediation, but the mediator - who was not Dennis - did not allow him to participate. Ziegler spoke to another mediation center employee. This person was not Dennis either. Guards escorted Ziegler out of the mediation building. For this, he claims he was deprived of equal protection of the law, due process and access to the court.

         From affidavits, it appears that Dennis had absolutely nothing to do with the state court eviction proceeding. Nonetheless, Ziegler filed this suit against her and - in violation of this Court's order that he not file motions before a certain date - Ziegler filed several papers with the Court to which Dennis was called upon to respond: (1) motion for declaratory judgment [ECF No. 16]; (2) motion for objection and to strike Dennis' response to the motion for declaratory judgment [ECF No. 20]; (3) motion to compel discovery [ECF No. 21]; and (4) motion to show cause “on demand for contempt sanctions.” [ECF No. 23].

         Dennis asks the Court to enter judgment in her favor. And, because Ziegler defied the Court's order that motions not be filed, Dennis requests sanctions.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary judgment is proper when “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The central inquiry is “whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986).

         The moving party has the initial burden to show “the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Id. at 323. Once the movant meets this burden, the non-moving party must demonstrate specific facts “showing there is a genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Electric Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (internal quotations and citations omitted). To demonstrate a genuine issue for trial, the non-moving party must present sufficient evidence upon which a jury could reasonably find for that party; a “scintilla of evidence” is insufficient. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. The Court must accept the non-movant's evidence as true and draw all “justifiable inferences” in the non-movant's favor. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Dennis Was Never Involved in Any Proceeding That Ziegler Takes Issue With

         The eviction mediation occurred on July 27, 2018. Although Dennis was a staff member at that time at the Oakland Mediation Center (“OMC”), she presents uncontroverted evidence that she was not present at the OMC on that date. For this reason alone, Ziegler's claims against Dennis must be dismissed. ...


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