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Grooms v. Slaven

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

March 30, 2015

LENZO GROOMS, JR., Plaintiff,


E. CLIFTON KNOWLES, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court upon a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Tina Slaven, the only remaining Defendant in this action.[1] Docket No. 35. In support of her Motion, Defendant has contemporaneously filed a supporting Memorandum of Law (Docket No. 36), a Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (Docket No. 37), her Affidavit with Exhibits (Docket Nos. 39-39-5), and supplemental authorities (Docket No. 40).

Plaintiff has not responded to Defendant's Motion or Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, nor has he filed his own Statement of Undisputed Material Facts.

Plaintiff filed this pro se, in forma pauperis action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging in full as follows:

1. On February 8, 2013 at approx 5:00 a.m. I was arrested at home nude, not allowed to dress held in freezing temparture [ sic ] nude, out of doors, and in front of the female arresting male arresting officers nude. Would not allow me to dress for 30 or more minutes; crazy; due process. I live alone. Kept outside during search. 215 Oak St #D, Clarksville TN 37040
2. My living room is also my church cult for Jamee worship, wall adorn with her photos religious art prose, which was partially removed in the household search, The [ sic ] seized non-related material of a religious nature, freedom of religion. The defendants/police are all agents of county city, in this case as is sheriff.
3. The at least 10 officers were on the scence/scene non [ sic ] tried to stop me from being humiliated and put on public display like some kind of animal in the nude; equal protection. It wad [ sic ] very degrading.
4. It was cruel unusual punishment, as well as inhumane treatment and forced indescent [ sic ] exposure by public officials. They simply refused to let me get dressed, unbelievable. The actors were all agents of the sheriff acting in the [ sic ] official capacities. Parading me abound [ sic ] nude, animalistic, degrading, dehumanizing!
5. I also allege racial profiling in this case. The search warrant was for sexual battery.
It was 4 or 5 o'clock a.m. of February 8, 2013 a Friday morning. I take Tramadol to help me sleep I was alsleep [ sic ] nude, awakened by what sounded like Thunder, The police breaking in my front door. Still in a haze I went to my front door to be confronted by machine guns, men yelling out incomprehensible loud sounds I was dazed. It was use of unnecessary and excessive use of force [ sic ] blinding lights in my face, yelling drop my walking stick, so I did. The building vibrated with the force to the door. If I had time, would have opened it.

Docket No. 1, p. 5-6.

In his Complaint, Plaintiff indicates that he did not "present[] these facts to the authorities who operate the detention facility" where he is housed because "[i]t would be futile, " as he is "suing for money. damages [ sic ]." Id., p. 3. Plaintiff seeks "$100, 000.00 in damages; punitive property." Id., p. 5.

Defendant filed the instant Motion and supporting materials arguing that she is entitled to summary judgment because:"1) [she] was not personally involved in the events allegedly giving rise to this suit; 2) [she] enjoys qualified immunity; 3) Heck v. Humphrey bars recovery; and 4) [Plaintiff] cannot prove necessary elements of his claims." Docket No. 36, p. 1.

For the reasons discussed below, the undersigned finds that there are no genuine issues as to any material fact and that Defendant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Accordingly, the undersigned recommends that the instant Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket No. 35) be GRANTED.

Undisputed Facts[2]

On February 8, 2013, Montgomery County General Sessions Judge Wayne C. Shelton issued three Arrest Warrants based on his finding that there was probable cause to believe that Plaintiff had committed assault, aggravated criminal trespass, and aggravated sexual battery of a nine-year-old female ("Jane Doe"). Docket No. 39, Affidavit of Tina Slaven ("Def. Aff."), ¶ 2; Docket No. 39-1, certified true copies of the Arrest Warrants ("Arrest Warrants"). Judge Shelton also issued a Search Warrant for Plaintiff's residence located at 215 Oak. St., Apt. D, Clarksville, Tennessee, 37042. Def. Aff., ¶ 2; Docket No. 39-2, certified true copy of the Search Warrant ("Search Warrant").

Later that morning, after Judge Shelton had issued the Arrest Warrants and the Search Warrant, Defendant attended a pre-arrest briefing with various officers of the Clarksville Police Department ("CPD") and members of CPD's Tactical Unit ...

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