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Nidal Bazzi v. City of Dearborn; Marwan Haidar; Daniel Saab

September 29, 2011

NIDAL BAZZI, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF DEARBORN; MARWAN HAIDAR; DANIEL SAAB, DEFENDANTS, FRED THOMPSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit. No. 09-10114--Bernard A. Friedman, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Karen Nelson Moore, Circuit Judge.

RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION

Pursuant to Sixth Circuit Rule 206

Argued: July 22, 2011

Before: MOORE and KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judges; MARBLEY, District Judge.*fn1

OPINION

Plaintiff-Appellant Nidal Bazzi ("Bazzi") appeals the district court's order granting summary judgment to Defendant- Appellee Fred Thompson ("Thompson"). Bazzi brought suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the City of Dearborn, Thompson, Marwan Haidar ("Haidar"), and Daniel Saab ("Saab"), alleging violations of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The lawsuit also included state-law claims for malicious prosecution and abuse of process against Haidar and Saab. On March 17, 2010, the district court granted Thompson and the City of Dearborn's motion for summary judgment. On appeal, Bazzi argues that Thompson should not have been granted summary judgment because there is evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that Thompson participated in a civil conspiracy which resulted in the violation of Bazzi's constitutional rights.

Viewing the facts and inferences in the light most favorable to Bazzi, a reasonable jury could find that Thompson agreed with Saab and Haidar to stop Bazzi's car without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. We therefore REVERSE the portion of the district court's judgment granting summary judgment to Thompson on the claim that Thompson conspired to violate Bazzi's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizure. There is no evidence, however, that Thompson shared the greater conspiratorial objective of procuring Bazzi's arrest and the revocation of his supervised release without due process, or that Thompson conspired with Saab and Haidar to file the false police report. We therefore AFFIRM the district court's judgment to the extent that summary judgment was granted to Thompson on these latter claims.

I. BACKGROUND

Bazzi alleges that Haidar, an acquaintance; Saab, a Dearborn police officer; and Thompson, another Dearborn police officer, conspired to bring false charges against him and unlawfully seize him in order to have him sent back to prison on a supervised- release violation. Bazzi had been employed by Haidar for several months, but stopped working for him in May 2006. The relationship between the two men then became very contentious.

One incident in particular gave rise to the present dispute. Haidar had been indicted on charges of wire fraud, and Bazzi sent a copy of a federal fraud indictment against Haidar to Haidar's girlfriend. Bazzi had been convicted in 1994 of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine. Following his release from prison in 2004, Bazzi was on federal supervised release. If Bazzi violated the terms of his supervised release, he could be sent back to prison. Bazzi claims that Haidar, to get back at Bazzi for distributing the indictment, conspired with Saab and Thompson to have Bazzi arrested for a supervised-release violation.

Haidar spoke with Saab about his conflict with Bazzi, and Saab suggested that they fabricate a police report alleging that Bazzi broke the window of Haidar's car. Saab told Haidar that he would have Thompson make the report. Later, Saab asked Thompson to write the report, but Thompson declined. Without Thompson's participation, Saab and Haidar decided to generate the false police report themselves. On the night of January 6, 2007, Saab and Haidar wrote up a report stating that Bazzi threw a glass bottle at Haidar's van, causing a window to break.*fn2 Saab testified in his deposition that while he was writing up the false police report, Haidar "told me . . . that Fred Thompson was going to help him with Nidal Bazzi, stopping him." R. 47-8 at 68 (Saab Dep.).

At 11:52 p.m. on the same night that Saab and Haidar produced the false police report, Thompson received a telephone call from Saab on his personal cell phone.

During the phone call, Saab told Thompson, "Bro, some guy's going to call you, just talk to him." R. 47-6 at 32 (Thompson Dep.). Thompson asked, "Who?" and Saab hung up. Id. at 32, 34. A few minutes later, Thompson received a call to his cell phone from Haidar, followed by nine more calls from Haidar within one hour. Haidar told Thompson that Bazzi was carrying guns and drugs in his car and that his cousin saw Bazzi with a gun. Haidar also told Thompson that Bazzi was driving a white Nissan Altima and provided Thompson with Bazzi's location.

Thompson was on patrol at the time with Officer Lindsay Cox. After receiving Haidar's tip, the officers waited for Bazzi at a location provided by Haidar. Thompson claims that after observing Bazzi speeding and running a stop sign, the officers called for backup and pulled over Bazzi's vehicle. Bazzi consented to a search of his vehicle, and the officers did not find any weapons or drugs. Thompson apologized for inconveniencing Bazzi and allowed him to leave. No traffic citations were issued. Cox wrote up ...


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