On June 2, 2010, a man who was harassed by the police and issued a false citation filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Ann Arbor Division against the City of Detroit. The plaintiff, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of ...
read more >
On June 2, 2010, a man who was harassed by the police and issued a false citation filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Ann Arbor Division against the City of Detroit. The plaintiff, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, alleged violation of his First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as claims under state law. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the Police Officer's harassment and issuing a citation for a fictious crime violated his constitutional rights.
On November 12, 2008, the plaintiff was in his car, which was legally parked in Downtown Detroit. The plaintiff routinely parked in this spot during the day, seeing as he was a homeless veteran, and his residence was closed during the day. The plaintiff was approached for apparently no reason by police officers who demanded identification. The police officers later claimed that the plaintiff was rude to them. They issued him a citation under City Ordinance 38-11-8 for "Loitering in a Known Narcotics Area." This was a fictious crime. The plaintiff complained at a Detroit Police Department precinct, but was rebuffed, and was unable to convince a judge to dismiss the charge.
The ACLU of Michigan entered an appearance on the plaintiff's behalf and eventually secured dismissal of the frivolous charge. The ACLU then sued on behalf of the plaintiff asking for compensatory, declaratory, and injunctive relief.
On February 8, 2011, the Court (Judge Corbett O'Meara) dismissed the state law claim, declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the claim, which was largely cumulative with the plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment Claim.
On February 17, 2011, the Court (Judge Avern Cohn) consolidated this case with a companion case filed simultaneously by the ACLU, (Letten v. Hall, 2:10-cv-12182-AC-VMM) because the cases contained similar questions of law. That case is also in our database (PN-MI-5: http://www.clearinghouse.net/detail.php?id=11981).
The case was eventually settled privately. The Settlement is posted here and at the page for Letten v. Hall. The case was closed on February 18, 2011.Blase Kearney - 07/02/2012