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Bey v. Roop

December 29, 2006

RAAHKIM EL BEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OFFICER TIM ROOP, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz

DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING GREENE COUNTY DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

This case is before the Court on Motion for Summary Judgment of Defendants Tim Roop, Matt Miller, Darrin Barlow, and Diane L. Bryan (the Greene County Defendants)(Doc. No. 24) which Plaintiff opposes (Doc. No. 28) and as to which the moving Defendants have filed a reply memorandum (Doc. No. 30). The parties have unanimously consented to plenary magistrate judge jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §636(c) and the case has been referred to the undersigned on that basis (Doc. No. 16).

SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. On a motion for summary judgment, the movant has the burden of showing that there exists no genuine issue of material fact, and the evidence, together with all inferences that can reasonably be drawn therefrom, must be read in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157-59 (1970). Nevertheless, "the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986) (emphasis in original). Summary judgment procedure is properly regarded not as a disfavored procedural shortcut, but rather as an integral part of the Federal Rules as a whole, which are designed to "secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986).

Read together, Liberty Lobby and Celotex stand for the proposition that a party may move for summary judgment asserting that the opposing party will not be able to produce sufficient evidence at trial to withstand a directed verdict motion (now known as a motion for judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 50). Street v. J.C. Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1478 (6th Cir. 1989). If, after sufficient time for discovery, the opposing party is unable to demonstrate that he or she can do so under the Liberty Lobby criteria, summary judgment is appropriate. Id. The opposing party must "do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). "If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted." Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 249-50, 106 S.Ct. at 2510-11 (citations omitted). "The mere possibility of a factual dispute is not enough." Mitchell v. Toledo Hosp., 964 F. 2d 577, 582 (6th Cir. 1992)(quoting Gregg v. Allen-Bradley Co., 801 F. 2d 859, 863 (6th Cir. 1986)). Therefore a court must make a preliminary assessment of the evidence, in order to decide whether the plaintiff's evidence concerns a material issue and is more than de minimis. Hartsel v. Keys, 87 F. 3d 795 (6th Cir. 1996). "On summary judgment," moreover, "the inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts ... must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion." United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655, 82 S.Ct. 993, 994, 8 L.Ed. 2d 176 (1962). Thus, "the judge's function is not himself to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial." Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 249, 106 S.Ct. at 2510.

The moving party

[A]lways bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any," which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.

Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323; see also, Boretti v. Wiscomb, 930 F.2d 1150, 1156 (6th Cir. 1991) (citation omitted). If the moving party meets this burden, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings to show that there is a genuine issue for trial. Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587; Martin v. Ohio Turnpike Comm'n., 968 F. 2d 606, (6th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 1054, 113 S.Ct. 979, 122 L.Ed.2d 133 (1993).

In ruling on a motion for summary judgment (in other words, determining whether there is a genuine issue of material fact), "[a] district court is not . . . obligated to wade through and search the entire record for some specific facts that might support the nonmoving party's claim." Interroyal Corp. v. Sponseller, 889 F.2d 108, 111 (6th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 494 U.S. 1091 (1990). Thus, in determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists on a particular issue, a court is entitled to rely only upon those portions of the verified pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with any affidavits submitted, specifically called to its attention by the parties.

The facts set forth in this Decision are admitted or established by evidence competent under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) and not controverted by opposing competent evidence.

Plaintiff's Claims

Plaintiff pleads twenty-one separate claims for relief, all arising from his arrest and jailing in April, 2005. The Greene County Defendants, all of whom are political subdivision employees, seek dismissal on their defense of qualified immunity.

Defendants support their Motion with the Affidavits of Tim Roop, Andrea Frisby, Anthony Keffer, Matt Miller, Darrin Barlow, and Diane L. Bryan. They also attach as Exhibit F a certified copy of a Bench Warrant issued by a judge of the Essex Superior Court in New Jersey for the arrest of Billie Greene.

Although Plaintiff was advised in the Court's Order to Pro Se Plaintiff about the quality of evidence required to oppose a summary judgment motion, and seems to have understood those requirements from the recitations at pages 3-5 of his Response in Opposition (Doc. No. 28), he does not accompany his Response with any affidavits which contest the essential facts shown by the Defendants' Affidavits. Indeed, Plaintiff's sole sworn material seems to be in support of his claim that his legal name is Raahkim El Bey as set forth in the Complaint. The Court takes no position on whether these documents prove that Plaintiff legally changed his name in North Carolina, the place where the proffered documents appear to have been filed for record, or anywhere else. The name by which ...


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