United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Dayton
DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING PLAINTIFFS' CROSS-MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
MICHAEL R. MERZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Kiel Greenlee and his mother Gloria Greenlee brought this
action pro se to recover damages in connection with the
asserted wrongful towing and storage of an automobile by
Defendants, a black 1991 Nissan 330ZX 2 Twin Turbo Vehicle
Identification Number JN I RZ26H9MX501135) (the
“Car”) . The case is before the Court on
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 67) and
Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No.
parties consented to plenary magistrate judge jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and District Judge Rice
referred the case on that basis (ECF No. 22).
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 (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).
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
(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 (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.
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). 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). 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 more common cross-motion situation, the parties here do
not concede the facts are truly undisputed from the opposing
party's perspective as well as their own. Compare Wright,
Miller & Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil 3d
§ 2720 (1998).
purport to state claims for relief under 18 U.S.C. § 241
and 242; and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 1985(3), and 1986
(Complaint, ECF No. 1, PageID 15-16) within the original
jurisdiction of this Court for deprivation of their property
interests in the Car without due process of law in violation
of the Fourteenth Amendment. They also plead claims under
Ohio Revised Code §§ 4513.61, 2913.02, 2913.51,
2307.61, 2906.06, 2909.07, 2905.11, 2903.21, 2921.45 2903.21,
2901.23, 2901.24, and 2307.60. Id. at PageID 16-22.
The federal claims give rise to jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331 and 1343; the supplemental Ohio claims which
purport to arise out of the same case or controversy, are
within the supplemental jurisdiction of this Court under 28
U.S.C. § 1367. Plaintiffs claim entitlement to damages
for all claims for relief in the amount of $570, 000, 000.
Id. at PageID 83.
facts about the incident underlying this suit are set out in
the Court's Decision and Order Denying Motion for
From the testimony presented, the Court finds that Kiel
Greenlee was at the residence of Ms. [Angela] Stape, his
girlfriend, on East Stroop Road in Montgomery County and left
that location after 4:00 A.M. on the morning of November 13,
2013, driving the vehicle. At approximately 4:50 A.M., the
vehicle left the roadway (Interstate 75), allegedly as a
result of “black ice, and crashed. Mr. Greenlees [sic]
testified he remained in the car after the crash for thirty
to forty-five minutes, then alighted and walked to the State
Route 725 exit from Interstate 75. From there he called his
mother who picked him up and they drove ...