Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rossell v. Armstrong

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

April 13, 2018

MARICO TREMAYNE ROSSELL Plaintiff,
v.
TONEY ARMSTRONG, et al., Defendants.

         JURY DEMAND

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          THOMAS L. PARKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment filed on April 12, 2017 (ECF No. 25), by Defendants, Former Memphis Police Officer Brett A. Murphy and Memphis Police Officer Jason W. Williford (individually referred to as “Murphy” and “Williford, ” and collectively as “Defendants”). For the following reasons, the Motion is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         I. Procedural History

         On September 19, 2014, pro se Plaintiff Marico Tremayne Rossell (“Plaintiff”), who, until recently was an inmate at the South Central Correctional Facility in Clifton, Tennessee, filed his pro se Complaint against Defendants, Retired Memphis Police Chief Toney Armstrong, and a “John Doe” Memphis Police Internal Affairs Officer Defendant, claiming violations of his constitutional rights and seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants, Williford in particular, used excessive force in effecting Plaintiff's arrest on September 17, 2013, and that Defendants denied Plaintiff adequate medical treatment after his arrest, which violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. (Id. at PageID 7.) The Court granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 5), and subsequently dismissed portions of the Complaint and directed that process be served on Murphy and Williford, the remaining Defendants. (ECF No. 7.) Murphy is no longer employed with MPD, but Williford is. (ECF Nos. 25-3, 25-4.) Williford filed his Answer on April 28, 2016, and Murphy filed his Answer on December 5, 2016. (ECF No. 23.)

         On April 12, 2017, Defendants jointly filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (“Motion”), arguing that Defendants did not violate Plaintiffs constitutional rights and that Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity from suit. (ECF No. 25.) There was no further activity in this case until it was transferred to the Undersigned on February 26, 2018 (ECF No. 26), and this Court issued a Writ of Habeus Corpus ad testificandum ordering that Plaintiff appear on March 22, 2018 for a Status Conference with Defendants. (ECF Nos. 28, 29.) At the Status Conference, the Court ordered Plaintiff to file a response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment by April 3, 2018. (ECF No. 33.)

         On March 29, 2018, Plaintiff filed a “Show Cause Order, ” purportedly as his response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (hereinafter referred to as Plaintiffs “Response”). (ECF No. 34.) Plaintiffs Response expands Plaintiffs account of Defendants' alleged conduct during the course of Plaintiff s arrest on September 17, 2013, but it fails to cite any law or rebut material facts introduced through the sworn statements attached to Defendants' Motion.

         II. Factual Background

         The Court draws the following facts from Williford and Murphy's Affidavits and those contained in Plaintiffs Response.

         On September 17, 2013, Williford observed Plaintiff driving without his seatbelt on and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. (ECF No. 25-3 at PageID 116.)[1] Plaintiff did not stop when Williford activated his blue lights and sirens; instead, he drove slowly for a distance, turned on Tunica Street, and pulled into the driveway of 1439 Tunica Street, Memphis, Tennessee. (ECF No. 25-3 at PageID 116; ECF No. 34 at PageID 141.) Plaintiff was unable to produce a driver's license and smelled strongly of alcohol, so Williford asked him to step out of his vehicle to be detained in order for Williford to identify him and investigate the source of the smell. (ECF No. 25-3 at PageID 116; ECF No. 34 at PageID 142.)

         While Williford was patting down Plaintiff and checking his pockets, Plaintiff reached into his pocket, pulled out a bag of cocaine, and tried to throw it onto the vehicle's windshield. (ECF No. 25-3 at PageID 116; ECF No. 34 at PageID 141.) Plaintiff does not dispute Defendants' sworn statements that, at this time, Plaintiff began resisting Williford's attempts to detain him and tried to flee. (ECF No. 25-3 at PageID 117; ECF No. 25-4 at PageID 121.) Plaintiff's attempts to flee involved turning toward Williford and placing his arms around his waist, at which time Williford punched Plaintiff in the face three times with his closed fist. (ECF No. 25-3 at PageID 117; ECF No. 34 at PageID 142.) Immediately following this struggle, Murphy assisted Williford by placing Plaintiff in an arm lock in order to subdue Plaintiff and place him under arrest. (ECF No. 25-4 at PageID 121.) Plaintiff sustained a bloody lip during the struggle but did not request medical transport. (ECF No. 25-3 at PageID 117; ECF No. 34 at PageID 142.) Plaintiff was then transported to the Shelby County Jail located at 201 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee. (ECF No. 25-3 at PageID 117.)

         LEGAL STANDARDS

         “The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that 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); see also Chapman v. UAW Local 1005,670 F.3d 677, 680 (6th Cir. 2012). “A fact is material for purposes of summary judgment if proof of that fact would establish or refute an essential element of the cause of action or defense.” Bruederle v. Louisville Metro Gov 't,687 F.3d 771, 776 (6th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks omitted). “A dispute over material facts is ‘genuine' ‘if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'” Id. (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986)). “When the non-moving party fails to make a sufficient showing of an essential element of his case on which he bears the burden of proof, the moving parties are entitled to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.