from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan at Flint. No. 4:14-cv-12002-Linda V.
Parker, District Judge.
L. Kent, CITY OF ANN ARBOR, Ann Arbor, Michigan, for
C. Cabot, CHRISTOPHER TRAINOR & ASSOCIATES, White Lake,
Michigan, for Appellee.
Before: KEITH, BATCHELDER, and SUTTON, Circuit Judges.
SUTTON, Circuit Judge.
qualified immunity case, Ann Arbor police officers relied on
a security camera's footage of a robbery, allegedly
without accounting for inconsistent eyewitness testimony, in
drafting a search warrant for Joseph Bailey's residence.
Yet the warrant did not say whether the description of Bailey
came from the robbery victim or just the video and indeed
mentioned both sources of information. The description thus
was not deliberately false, and the district court erred in
holding that it was. A review of the video also confirms that
there were few disparities between the video and the
description in the warrant. Even if we strip the warrant of
any possible falsities, a fair probability remained that the
officers would find evidence of the robbery in Bailey's
home, meaning his Fourth Amendment claim under § 1983
fails as a matter of law. And because the warrant was the
sole evidence of underlying unconstitutional conduct by Ann
Arbor employees, his Monell claim fails as well.
evening of April 9, 2012, two men wearing masks robbed the
Broadway Party Store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The security
video shows that one masked man pointed a shotgun at the
store clerk. As the video shows, and as readers can see for
themselves, Ann Arbor News, Gunpoint Robbery at Ann Arbor
Party Store (Apr. 19, 2012),
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePP9fd0ckok, the gunman wore
a black sweatshirt with a white skeleton pattern that zipped
up to form a skull hood, along with a dark vest and blue
jeans. The gunman's exposed hands appeared black to the
store clerk and on the video. The gunman's accomplice
took cash from the register and several bottles of champagne.
The masked men fled half a minute after entering the store.
Arbor Police Department investigated the robbery. About six
weeks later, Detectives Christopher Fitzpatrick and William
Stanford visited the house of Joseph Bailey's mother. She
said her son wasn't home and showed the detectives his
bedroom to prove it. The detectives saw a skeleton hoodie
hanging on the bedroom door. Stanford prepared an affidavit
for a search warrant later that day that noted that the
gunman was "wearing a skeleton sweat shirt mask with the
hood zipped in the front as a skull" and that the
detectives had seen a similar sweatshirt in Bailey's
room. The search warrant added that Stanford had received a
tip from an unknown caller who said that Bailey, an
African-American, had committed the robbery. A judge approved
the search warrant for clothes, identifying documents, and
money in the house, and the detectives seized the skeleton
sweatshirt and other clothes.
that day, Fitzpatrick and Stanford approached Bailey and
arrested him after he fled from them into a wooded area. A
grand jury indicted Bailey for armed robbery, possession of a
short-barreled shotgun, and resisting arrest. The prosecutor
dropped the first two charges, and Bailey pleaded guilty to
the resistance charge.
sued the City of Ann Arbor, Fitzpatrick, Stanford, and
Detective Michael Dortch, the officer in charge of the
investigation, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming they
violated his Fourth Amendment rights. He claimed that the
store clerk told Dortch that the gunman "was five
feet/ten inches tall; was wearing a white mask (not a hoodie)
that covered the entire head with insect-type/Spiderman eyes;
was wearing a white coat; and did not know what type of pants
or shoes were worn." R. 22 at 4. He claimed that the
YouTube video of the robbery supported the store clerk's
description of the suspect rather than the description of the
gunman provided in the search warrant affidavit. And he
claimed that Stanford never received an anonymous tip.
defendants moved to dismiss the complaint. Relying on a
magistrate judge's recommendation, the district court
denied the detectives' motion to dismiss the search and
seizure claim and the malicious prosecution claim based on
the purported falsehoods in the search warrant affidavit. For