United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
CHRISTOPHER A. HILL, Plaintiff,
ALLIANCE POLICE DEPARTMENT, ET AL., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
J. LIMBERT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is an Amended Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
filed by Plaintiff Christopher A. Hill
(“Plaintiff”) and a motion for summary judgment
filed by Defendants Alliance Police Department, City of
Alliance, Lieutenant Akenra X (“Defendant
X”), Patrolman Kevin D. Brown
(“Defendant Brown”), Patrolman Paul J. Vesco
(“Defendant Vesco”) (collectively
“Defendants”) and Patrolman William T.
Johnson. ECF Dkt. #s 38, 39.
following reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion
for summary judgment (ECF Dkt. #39) and DENIES as MOOT
Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment (ECF Dkt.
#37) and his amended motion for partial summary judgment (ECF
Dkt. #38). Consequently, Plaintiff's second amended
complaint against all Defendants is dismissed in its entirety
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
first filed suit in this Court on February 8, 2016 against
Defendants APD, Defendant X, and the City of Alliance. ECF
Dkt. #1. He alleged that on May 9, 2014 at 5:10 a.m.,
Defendant X of the APD was dispatched to the home of the
victim, Plaintiff's girlfriend, regarding a domestic
violence complaint. Id. at 3. Plaintiff averred that
his girlfriend told Defendant X that he had punched her in
the face, shoved her to the floor and put a gun to her face
threatening to kill her. Id. Plaintiff alleged that
his girlfriend told Defendant X that she gained control of
the gun and Plaintiff took off running out of the house.
Id. at 3. Plaintiff averred that his girlfriend
showed Defendant X where the gun was and he retrieved it.
Id. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant X asked his
girlfriend where she thought Plaintiff would be and she said
he was likely going to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or to their
adult daughter's house as he had a key. Id.
further alleged in his complaint that Defendants Brown and
Vesco went to his daughter's residence and they reported
that they saw movement inside the house and heard coughing
inside, although no one answered the door when they knocked.
ECF Dkt. #1 at 4. Plaintiff averred that Defendant X was
relayed this information and then asked his girlfriend if her
daughter was home and the girlfriend responded that her
daughter was most likely at work but her children would be at
home. Id. According to Plaintiff, Defendant X asked
his girlfriend if she had a key to her daughter's home
and when she responded that she did, they went to the
daughter's home. Id. Plaintiff alleged that his
girlfriend opened the door to her daughter's house and
let Defendant X and the other officers inside and found
Plaintiff sleeping in an attic bedroom. Id.
to Plaintiff, the police arrested him and he was charged with
felonious assault and having a weapon while under disability,
to which he pleaded guilty “under duress.” ECF
Dkt. #1 at 4-5. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant X and the
APD did not have an arrest warrant in order to arrest him and
he had a legitimate expectation of privacy in his
daughter's residence as he “partially resided at
that address.” Id. at 5. He also averred that
exigent circumstances did not exist for Defendants to enter
the residence as there was no threat to a person's life
or safety, escape was not imminent, and no evidence was going
to be removed or destroyed. Id. at 5. He further
submitted that his girlfriend did not reside at that
residence and was not authorized to let the police in and his
daughter did not give consent for the police to enter.
complaint, Plaintiff alleged a violation of his Fourth
Amendment Right to be free from unwarranted searches and
seizures. ECF Dkt. #1 at 5-6. He also averred negligence on
the part of the City of Alliance in failing to properly train
Defendant X concerning invasion of privacy rights.
Id. at 6. He further alleged that Defendant X and
the APD traumatized his grandchildren by waking them at his
daughter's house with guns drawn. Id. Plaintiff
explained that he was not challenging his criminal conviction
as his “sole contention is that Sgt. X and the City of
Alliance invaded his privacy, and he should be
compensated.” Id. He demanded $100, 000 from
Defendant X, $100, 000 for the City of Alliance, retraining
of the APD in warrantless entries and arrests, and $50, 000
in punitive damages from each of the two Defendants.
Id. at 7.
March 10, 2016, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint which
included the same Defendants, but added allegations that the
invasion of privacy by Defendant X and the Alliance Police
Department caused him trauma and severe emotional distress.
ECF Dkt. #5 at 6.
16, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion for the appointment of
counsel. ECF Dkt. #21. On May 20, 2016, the parties consented
to the undersigned's jurisdiction. ECF Dkt. #26.
28, 2016, Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint in which
he added Defendants Brown and Vesco to the instant 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 civil rights action for violating his Fourth
Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure
and his right to privacy. ECF Dkt. #31. He also specified
that he was suing Defendants X, Brown, and Vesco in their
official and individual capacities. Id. at 8. He
requested relief of $300, 000.00 from Defendant X, $200,
000.00 from Defendant Brown, $200, 000.00 from Defendant
Vesco, $100, 000.00 from the APD, and $100, 000.00 from the
City of Alliance. Id. at 10. He also requested
punitive damages and set the total amount of damages at $900,
000.00 and requested that the APD be retrained in warrantless
entries and arrests. Id.
August 29, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion for partial summary
judgment. ECF Dkt. #37. On September 12, 2016, Plaintiff
filed the instant amended motion for partial summary
judgment. ECF Dkt. #38. In this motion, Plaintiff identified
a number of facts that he asserted were undisputed and he
contended that no fact question remained for trial as to
Defendants X, Brown, and Vesco's liabilities in their
individual capacities for violating his Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendment protections against unreasonable seizures and
invasion or privacy. Id.
October 11, 2016, Defendants filed an opposition to
Plaintiff's amended motion for partial summary judgment
combined with their own motion for summary judgment. ECF Dkt.
#39. On November 7, 2016, Plaintiff filed a reply brief to
Defendants' opposition to his motion for partial summary
judgment combined with a response to Defendants' motion
for summary judgment. ECF Dkt. #42. On November 14, 2016,
Defendants filed a reply brief to Plaintiff's response to
their motion for summary judgment. ECF Dkt. #43.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
judgment should be granted “if the movant shows 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). A party asserting that a ...