186 F.Supp.2d 821 (S.D.Ohio 2002), C2-99-967, Johari v. City of Columbus Police Department

Docket NºC2-99-967.
Citation186 F.Supp.2d 821
Party NameSaii JOHARI, Plaintiff, v. CITY OF COLUMBUS POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.
Case DateJanuary 23, 2002
CourtUnited States District Courts, 6th Circuit, Southern District of Ohio

Page 821

186 F.Supp.2d 821 (S.D.Ohio 2002)

Saii JOHARI, Plaintiff,

v.

CITY OF COLUMBUS POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.

No. C2-99-967.

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division.

Jan. 23, 2002

Page 822

Saii-Johari, Columbus, OH, pro se.

Jeffrey S. Furbee, Columbus City Atty's Office, Columbus, OH, Elizabeth C. Burke, City Atty's Office, Columbus, OH, for Defendants.

ORDER AND OPINION

MARBLEY, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on cross motions for summary judgment filed by Defendants on February 12, 2001 and by Plaintiff on February 28, 2001. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment in its entirety, and DENIES Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment in its entirety.

I. FACTS

At approximately 4:00 p.m. on December 14, 1998, Plaintiff Saii Johari ("Johari") arrived at the Club LaRouge, an adult entertainment establishment in Columbus, Ohio. Plaintiff was planning on meeting a male friend at the club, which Plaintiff had not visited previously. After paying a seven

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dollar cover charge, Johari states that a dark-haired, heavyset woman told him that since it was his first time at the club, she would have the girls dance for him, and that he could pick one of them to take into a private room to "have some fun." Once all of the girls danced nude for him, Plaintiff told the heavyset woman that he liked a dancer named Faye Raney ("Raney"). Johari and Raney then had a twenty-minute sexual encounter, 1 after which she asked him to buy her a twenty dollar drink, and the other woman asked him for a twenty percent tip for Raney's services. A dispute arose when Plaintiff refused to pay either woman. According to Defendants, an employee of the club, Chastity Puckett ("Puckett"), called the police because of Plaintiff's threatening behavior. Johari claims that Puckett warned that several of her girls dated Columbus police officers whom they could get to come and arrest Plaintiff. Johari states that he wanted to see if she could really have him arrested, so he again refused to pay for Raney's services.

As a result of the dispute, Puckett then called the police, and Officer Huhn ("Huhn") was dispatched to the scene. Huhn was told by the dispatcher that a man was causing a disturbance and refusing to leave the club. When Huhn arrived at Club LaRouge, the heavyset woman ran to him and said loudly, "he has a gun." Plaintiff then started to take off his clothes to show Huhn that he did not have a gun. As Johari was disrobing on High Street, Huhn spoke with a group of women, including Raney, Puckett, and Robin King, another employee of the club, and was told that Johari had assaulted Raney. After being told that Johari had a gun and had assaulted a dancer, Huhn drew his weapon and ordered Plaintiff to get on the ground. At this point, Officer Tim McVey ("McVey") arrived on the scene after responding to Huhn's report of a man with a gun, and drew his weapon, as well.

Johari did not comply with the order to get on the ground, and instead told the officers to arrest Raney for falsely accusing him of assault. Huhn again ordered him to get on the ground, but Plaintiff still refused to comply. Johari refused a third request by McVey, but finally laid on the ground once Officer Fox and Officer Nemchev, both females, arrived at the scene. Huhn then walked up to him and allegedly kneed him in the back and rammed his head into the sidewalk, causing Johari pain and breaking his glasses. Huhn and McVey state in their affidavits that Huhn only used his knee to restrain Plaintiff for handcuffing, and that at no point did Huhn ram his knee into Johari's back. They also deny that Plaintiff's head was ever pushed into the ground. Plaintiff claims that Huhn screamed at him that he was going to jail and then handcuffed him too tight, causing his wrists to swell and bruise.

Once Johari was placed in the back of Huhn's patrol car, Huhn supposedly had a "meeting of the minds" with the women from the club to discuss how they "could go about charging Plaintiff with a crime, so Huhn could effectuate an arrest." Plaintiff admits that he called Huhn a racist and was otherwise verbally abusive to him during the incident. Eventually, Johari was transported to jail and apparently charged with assaulting Raney by pushing her up against a wall. The criminal charges against him were later dropped because prosecution witness Raney did not appear in court.

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II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On December 15, 1998, the day after the incident, Johari went to police headquarters and filed a complaint against Huhn and McVey. Sergeant Kevin Conley received the complaint and, after conducting an investigation, found Plaintiff's complaint to be baseless. Proceeding pro se, Johari subsequently filed this action on September 29, 1999, against the City of Columbus Police Department, Officer Jeffery Huhn, Sergeant Kevin Conley, and Faye Raney. On February 9, 2001, the Court entered a default judgment as to Defendant Raney.

Plaintiff alleges that Huhn violated his First Amendment rights of liberty and peaceful assembly; his Fourth Amendment rights of privacy and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures; his Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment; his Fourteenth Amendment rights of due process and equal protection; and that Huhn violated Ohio Revised Code § 2921.44 through dereliction of duty by failing to establish probable cause. Plaintiff further claims that Huhn breached his fiduciary obligation to protect and serve, and used government powers for purposes of oppression, although he knew or should have known that his actions were unlawful. Plaintiff also contends that, by absolving Huhn and McVey of any wrongdoing, Sergeant Conley committed all of the same violations. Specifically, Plaintiff's Complaint alleges violations of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, and 1985. Johari seeks a declaratory judgment stating that the actions of all Defendants were unconstitutional, injunctive relief to expunge Plaintiff's false arrest record, and $300,000 in compensatory damages.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

In reviewing cross-motions for summary judgment, courts should "evaluate each motion on its own merits and view all facts and inferences in the light more favorable to the nonmoving party." Wiley v. United States, 20 F.3d 222, 224 (6th Cir. 1994). Significantly, "[t]he filing of cross-motions for summary judgment does not necessarily mean that the parties consent to resolution of the case on the existing record or that the district court is free to treat the case as if it was submitted for final resolution on a stipulated record." Taft Broad. Co. v. United States, 929 F.2d 240, 248 (6th Cir. 1991) (citing John v. State of La. (Bd. of Trustees for State Colleges & Univ.), 757 F.2d 698, 705 (5th Cir. 1985)).

The standard of review for cross-motions for summary judgment does not differ from the standard applied when a motion is filed by one party to the litigation. Taft Broad., 929 F.2d at 248. Summary judgment is therefore appropriate "[i]f the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c). The movant has the burden of establishing that there are no genuine issues of material fact, which may be accomplished by demonstrating that the nonmoving party lacks evidence to support an essential element of its case. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Barnhart v. Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling Co., 12 F.3d 1382, 1388-89 (6th Cir. 1993). In response, the nonmoving party must present "significant probative evidence" to show that "there is [more than] some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Moore v. Philip Morris Cos., 8 F.3d 335, 339-40 (6th Cir. 1993). "[S]ummary judgment will not lie if the dispute is about a material fact that is 'genuine,' that is, if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); see

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also Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986) (concluding that summary judgment is appropriate when the evidence could not lead the trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party).

IV. ANALYSIS

A. City's Capacity to be Sued

As a threshold consideration, Defendants argue that the named Defendant, City of Columbus Police Department, lacks the capacity to be sued and should be dismissed as a party. Ohio Revised Code § 715.01 provides: "Each municipal corporation is a body politic incorporate, which shall have perpetual succession, may use a common seal, sue and be sued, and acquire property ...." Section 102 of the Charter of the City of Columbus establishes the Division of Police as a subdivision of the Department of Public Safety. Nowhere does the charter establish a Police Department, although the Division of Police does provide various emergency and police services. The Division of Police is an administrative vehicle by which the city operates and performs its functions. Defendants, therefore, contend that the City of Columbus Police Department is not sui juris. But, since pro se plaintiffs enjoy the benefit of a liberal construction of their pleadings and filings, the Court considers the merits of Johari's Complaint as if the City of Columbus had been named as a Defendant, rather than the City of Columbus Police Department. See Boswell v. Mayer, 169 F.3d 384 (6th Cir. 1999).

B. § 1983 Claim Against the City of Columbus

Section 1983 provides:

Every person who under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State ......

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26 practice notes
  • Lynn v. Zanesville Police Department, 112520 OHSDC, C. A. 2:20-cv-5917
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Southern District of Ohio
    • November 25, 2020
    ...named as a Defendant, rather than the City of [Zanesville] Police Department.” Johari v. City of Columbus Police Dep't, 186 F.Supp.2d 821, 825 (S.D. Ohio ...
  • Lohmeyer v. Toledo Police Department, 081213 OHNDC, 3:13 CV 1490
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Northern District of Ohio
    • August 12, 2013
    ...against the Toledo Police Department are construed as claims against the City of Toledo. See Johari v. City of Columbus Police Dep't, 186 F.Supp.2d 821, 825 (S.D. Ohio 2002) (stating that the police department lacks capacity to be sued because "[t]he Division of Police is an administra......
  • Beck v. Zanesville Police Department, 033111 OHSDC, 2:10-cv-886
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Southern District of Ohio
    • March 31, 2011
    ...the City of Zanesville, which is subject to suit. R.C. §715.01." Id.; see also Johari v. City of Columbus Police Dept., 186 F.Supp.2d 821, 825 (S.D. Ohio 2002) (police department lacks the capacity to be sued because it "is an administrative vehicle by which the city operates and ......
  • Hicks v. City of Cleveland, 030518 OHNDC, 1:17-CV-02229
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Northern District of Ohio
    • March 5, 2018
    ...Ohio law, a county sheriff's office is not a legal entity capable of being sued); Johari v. City of Columbus Police Dept., 186 F.Supp.2d 821, 825 (S.D. Ohio 2002) (holding that the police department lacks capacity to be sued because “the Division of Police is an administ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • Lynn v. Zanesville Police Department, 112520 OHSDC, C. A. 2:20-cv-5917
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Southern District of Ohio
    • November 25, 2020
    ...named as a Defendant, rather than the City of [Zanesville] Police Department.” Johari v. City of Columbus Police Dep't, 186 F.Supp.2d 821, 825 (S.D. Ohio ...
  • Lohmeyer v. Toledo Police Department, 081213 OHNDC, 3:13 CV 1490
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Northern District of Ohio
    • August 12, 2013
    ...against the Toledo Police Department are construed as claims against the City of Toledo. See Johari v. City of Columbus Police Dep't, 186 F.Supp.2d 821, 825 (S.D. Ohio 2002) (stating that the police department lacks capacity to be sued because "[t]he Division of Police is an administra......
  • Beck v. Zanesville Police Department, 033111 OHSDC, 2:10-cv-886
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Southern District of Ohio
    • March 31, 2011
    ...the City of Zanesville, which is subject to suit. R.C. §715.01." Id.; see also Johari v. City of Columbus Police Dept., 186 F.Supp.2d 821, 825 (S.D. Ohio 2002) (police department lacks the capacity to be sued because it "is an administrative vehicle by which the city operates and ......
  • Hicks v. City of Cleveland, 030518 OHNDC, 1:17-CV-02229
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Northern District of Ohio
    • March 5, 2018
    ...Ohio law, a county sheriff's office is not a legal entity capable of being sued); Johari v. City of Columbus Police Dept., 186 F.Supp.2d 821, 825 (S.D. Ohio 2002) (holding that the police department lacks capacity to be sued because “the Division of Police is an administ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results