Satterleev.Keathley

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern DivisionFeb 24, 2005
Case No. 1:03-CV-822 (W.D. Mich. Feb. 24, 2005)

Case No. 1:03-CV-822.

February 24, 2005


OPINION


This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (Dkt. #32). On March 3, 2004, the parties consented to proceed before the undersigned for all further proceedings, including trial and an order of final judgment. 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1). By Order of Reference, the Honorable Richard Alan Enslen referred this case to the undersigned. (Dkt. #19). Oral argument was heard on these motions on December 3, 2004. As articulated herein, Defendants' motion is granted and Plaintiff's action is dismissed.

BACKGROUND

In the early morning hours of February 10, 2002, Defendant Keathley, an Osceola County Deputy Sheriff, was on routine patrol in his police cruiser. At approximately 2:45 a.m., Deputy Keathley observed an occupied vehicle parked in the parking lot of a restaurant which had been closed for several hours. Deputy Keathley approached the vehicle and began speaking with the occupants — Plaintiff, Dan Elder, and Kassidy Morgan. Deputy Keathley quickly determined that Plaintiff, as well as his two companions, were intoxicated minors. Defendant Curnett, who at the time was employed as an Osceola County Deputy Sheriff, arrived at the scene shortly thereafter.

Plaintiff was subsequently arrested and charged with illegally consuming alcohol as a minor in violation of Michigan law. The trial court, however, dismissed this charge on the ground that Defendants violated Plaintiff's rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Plaintiff later initiated the present action alleging that Defendants violated his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and, moreover, assaulted him in violation of Michigan law. Plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary damages. Defendants have moved for summary judgment. For the reasons detailed below, the Court grants Defendants' motion and dismisses Plaintiff's action.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

In reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court must confine itself to the narrow questions of whether there exist "no genuine issue[s] as to any material fact and [whether] the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). On a Rule 56 motion, the Court cannot try issues of fact, but is empowered to determine only whether there exist issues in dispute to be decided in a trial on the merits. See Perez v. Aetna Insurance Co., 96 F.3d 813, 819 (6th Cir. 1996); Aiken v. The City of Memphis, 37 F.3d 1155, 1161 (6th Cir. 1994). The crux of the motion is "whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986); see also, Terry Barr Sales Agency v. All-Lock Co. Inc., 96 F.3d 813, 819 (6th Cir. 1996) (citing Booker v. Brown Williamson Tobacco Co., 879 F.2d 1304, 1310 (6th Cir. 1989)).

A motion for summary judgment requires the Court to view "inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts . . . in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion." Matsushita Electric Ind. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (quoting United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655 (1962)); see also, Terry Barr Sales Agency, 96 F.3d at 819; Schaffer v. A.O. Smith Harvestore Products, Inc., 74 F.3d 722, 727 (6th Cir. 1996). The opponent, however, has the burden to show that a "rational trier of fact [could] find for the non-moving party [or] that there is a `genuine issue for trial.'" Historic Preservation Guild of Bay View v. Burnley, 896 F.2d 985, 993 (6th Cir. 1989) (quoting Matsushita Electric Ind. Co., 475 U.S. at 587); see also, Schaffer, 74 F.3d at 727.

As the Sixth Circuit has recognized, recent Supreme Court decisions have encouraged the granting of summary judgments, as such may be "an appropriate avenue for the `just, speedy and inexpensive determination' of a matter." Kutrom v. City of Center Line, 979 F.2d 1171, 1173 (6th Cir. 1992). Consistent with this concern for judicial economy, "the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the [non-moving party's] position will be insufficient." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252; see also Bailey v. Floyd Board of Education, 106 F.3d 135, 140 (6th Cir. 1997). Furthermore, mere allegations do not suffice. See Cloverdale Equip. Co. v. Simon Aerials, Inc., 869 F.2d 934, 937 (6th Cir. 1989) ("the party with the burden of proof at trial is obligated to provide concrete evidence supporting its claims and establishing the existence of a genuine issue of fact").

ANALYSIS

I. Preclusive Effect of the State Court Determination

In support of his claims, Plaintiff places great (almost exclusive) reliance on the ruling by the state trial court that Defendants Keathley and Curnett violated his Fourth Amendment rights. Plaintiff copied his complaint almost verbatim from the state trial court's opinion, failing to even edit or modify it for use as a complaint. In response to Defendants' motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff failed to submit any evidence, choosing instead to simply rely on the state trial court's ruling.

As discussed below, the incident which gives rise to this action was videotaped using equipment contained within Defendants' police vehicles. For some reason, however, neither party submitted this evidence until expressly requested by the Court to do so.

While not expressly stated, Plaintiff appears to have taken the position that the ruling by the state trial court establishes for purposes of the present matter that Defendants violated his Fourth Amendment rights. In other words, Plaintiff apparently believes (without citation to any authority) that the ruling by the trial court precludes Defendants from litigating in this Court the issue of whether their actions violated Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights. Such is not the case, however.

When determining whether a state court ruling has preclusive effect in a § 1983 action, federal courts must apply that state's law. See Burda Bros., Inc. v. Walsh, 22 Fed. Appx. 423, 2001 WL 1254808 at *5 (6th Cir., Oct. 12, 2001) (citing Haring v. Prosise, 462 U.S. 306, 313 (1983); Allen v. McCurry, 449 U.S. 90, 102 (1980)). Under Michigan law:

Collateral estoppel precludes relitigation of an issue in a subsequent, different cause of action between the same parties where the prior proceeding culminated in a valid, final judgment and the issue was (1) actually litigated, and (2) necessarily determined.
Brown v. Wassus, 2002 WL 483545 at *1 (Mich.Ct.App., Mar. 22, 2002) (quoting People v. Gates, 452 N.W.2d 627, 630 (Mich. 1990)); see also, Burda Bros., 2001 WL 1254808 at *5 (same).

One of the "critical factors" in this analysis is determining whether "the respective litigants were parties or privy to a party to an action in which a valid judgment has been rendered." Gates, 452 N.W.2d at 630. As Michigan courts have held:

[O]nly parties to the former judgment or their privies may take advantage of or be bound by it. A party in this connection is one who is directly interested in the subject matter, and has a right to make defense, or to control the proceedings, and to appeal from the judgment. A privy is one who, after rendition of the judgment, has acquired an interest in the subject matter affected by the judgment through or under one of the parties, as by inheritance, succession, or purchase.
Brown, 2002 WL 483545 at *1-2 (quoting Howell v. Vito's Trucking Excavating Co., 191 N.W.2d 313, 315-16 (Mich. 1971)).

Applying this standard, the Court concludes that because Defendants Keathley and Curnett were neither parties nor privies to a party in the state court criminal action, Plaintiff cannot rely on the trial court's ruling to preclude Defendants from relitigating whether their actions violated Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights.

In Glass v. Abbo, 284 F.Supp.2d 700 (E.D. Mich. 2003), two individuals (Patrick and Glass) were arrested following a traffic stop and charged with failure to stop upon police signal and hindering a police officer in the discharge of his duty. Id. at 702-03. The trial court, however, dismissed these charges on the ground that Patrick and Glass had both been arrested without probable cause. Id. at 703. Patrick and Glass subsequently initiated against the arresting officers a § 1983 action in which they asserted that the arresting officers violated their Fourth Amendment rights by subjecting them to arrest without probable cause. Id. Asserting that probable cause had existed to properly arrest Patrick and Glass, the arresting officers moved for summary judgment. Id. at 704. Patrick and Glass countered that because the issue of whether probable cause existed to justify their arrests had already been decided by the state trial court, the arresting officers were precluded from relitigating the matter in federal court. Id. at 705.

Relying on a series of Sixth Circuit decisions interpreting Michigan collateral estoppel law, the district court concluded that:

In three similar cases involving Michigan law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has rejected plaintiffs' attempts to use collateral estoppel offensively against police officers in § 1983 actions; in each case, the Sixth Circuit held that the officers were not parties to or in privity with parties to the earlier action. The Sixth Circuit reasoned as follows: "because the Officers were not party to or in privity with a party to the earlier action, collateral estoppel does not apply."
Here, Defendants clearly were not parties to the prior criminal case. Furthermore, since Defendants in this case, like the defendants in these three other Sixth Circuit cases, "did not have a personal stake in the outcome of the earlier proceeding," they are not privies; and thus, "[P]laintiffs may not use collateral estoppel offensively to preclude the relitigation" of the existence of probable cause for the arrests.
Id. at 705-06 (citations omitted).

The Court is persuaded by the Glass court's analysis. Accordingly, the Court concludes that Defendants are not precluded from defending themselves in this matter by asserting that their actions did not violate Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights.

II. Defendants did not Violate Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment Rights

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals from "unreasonable searches and seizures." U.S. Const. amend. IV. Consistent with this limitation, however, a police officer may briefly detain an individual if he reasonably suspects that the individual "may be connected with criminal activity." United States v. Thomas, 77 Fed. Appx. 862, 2003 WL 22328112 at *2 (6th Cir., Oct. 8, 2003) (quoting Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 10 (1968)). The level of suspicion necessary for such a stop is "more than a hunch," but "considerably less than proof of wrongdoing by a preponderance of the evidence." Thomas, 2003 WL 22328112 at *2 (citations omitted). For purposes of determining whether reasonable suspicion exists, the Court must consider the "totality of the circumstances . . . to see whether the detaining officer has a particularized and objective basis for suspecting wrongdoing." United States v. Jacob, 377 F.3d 573, 577 (6th Cir. 2004) (quoting United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266, 273 (2002)).

The scope of activities permitted during an investigative stop is "determined by the circumstances that initially justified the stop." United States v. Obasa, 15 F.3d 603, 607 (6th Cir. 1994) (citing United States v. Sharpe, 470 U.S. 675, 682 (1985)). Accordingly, "the officer may ask the detainee a moderate number of questions to determine his identity and to try to obtain information confirming or dispelling the officer's suspicions." Obasa, 15 F.3d at 607 (quoting Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420, 439-40 (1984)). While such investigative stops "must be brief, there can be no rigid time limit for a permissible Terry stop." Obasa, 15 F.3d at 607 (citing Sharpe, 470 U.S. at 685-86). Only when the police officer's "actions go beyond checking out the suspicious circumstances that led to the original stop" does "the detention become an arrest that must be supported by probable cause." Obasa, 15 F.3d at 607 (citing Dunaway v. New York, 442 U.S. 200, 212 (1979)).

As previously noted, the incidents giving rise to Plaintiff's action were recorded on videotape using equipment mounted in the dashboards of Defendants' police vehicles. The parties submitted this evidence to the Court for its review. Defendants have also submitted deposition testimony from Plaintiff and his two companions that morning, Daniel Elder and Kassidy Morgan, as well as an affidavit from Deputy Keathley. This evidence reveals that Defendants did not violate Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights.

Deputy Keathley asserts that he observed the vehicle in question at approximately 2:45 a.m. in "the parking lot of a restaurant which had been closed for several hours." (Dkt. #33, Exhibit D). Keathley further asserts that when he first observed the vehicle, "one of the boys" was "standing outside of the car." According to Keathley, he then observed the individual standing outside the vehicle "hurriedly" get back into the vehicle, after which its lights were "turned off." Id. Plaintiff does not dispute these assertions.

According to the videotape, Deputy Keathley exited his police cruiser and approached the vehicle in question at 3:49 a.m. Upon reaching the vehicle, Keathley asked the person sitting in the driver's seat (Daniel Elder) for his license, registration, and proof of insurance. Elder's response is inaudible. Keathley then asked (apparently to all of the vehicle's occupants), "what's going on tonight?" The responses to this question are inaudible. Keathley then asked (apparently to all of the vehicle's occupants), "got any knives, guns, hand grenades, alcohol in here that you're not supposed to have?" The responses to this question are also inaudible. Keathley then stated that he smelled alcohol coming from the vehicle and asked, "how much you guys had to drink tonight?" By this time barely one minute had elapsed since Deputy Keathley first approached the vehicle.

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Court has attributed this apparent time discrepancy to a failure to properly set the time in the video recorder.

This is consistent with the deposition testimony of Plaintiff, Elder, and Morgan, all of whom admitted to having consumed vodka and orange juice shortly before their encounter with Deputy Keathley. (Dkt. #33, Exhibits A-C). Plaintiff acknowledged that he was "impaired" and "had a buzz." (Dkt. #33, Exhibit A). Morgan testified that he "drank way too much" and was described by Elder as "pretty anialated [sic]." (Dkt. #33, Exhibits B-C). Elder also acknowledged that he had consumed multiple shots of vodka. (Dkt. #33, Exhibit C).

Under Michigan law it is illegal for a minor to "consume" alcohol. Mich. Comp. Laws § 436.1703. While there did not yet exist probable cause sufficient to effect an arrest of any of the vehicle's occupants for violation of this (or any other) law, considering the totality of the circumstances Deputy Keathley certainly possessed a "particularized and objective basis" to suspect that one or all of the vehicle's occupants had violated this particular law. It was appropriate, therefore, for Keathley to briefly detain Plaintiff and his companions in an attempt to obtain additional information to confirm or dispel his suspicions. This is precisely what Deputy Keathley did.

Keathley asked Elder for his identification. Elder responded that he did not have any identification on him, at which point Keathley began speaking with Plaintiff. After confirming the spelling of Plaintiff's name, Keathley asked him for his date of birth. Plaintiff's response is inaudible, but Keathley asserts in his affidavit that Plaintiff acknowledged that he was a minor. Plaintiff does not dispute this assertion. Having learned that Plaintiff was a minor certainly supports Keathley's initial suspicions that one or more of the vehicle's occupants had acted in violation of Michigan law.

At this point, Keathley asked Morgan to exit the vehicle. Morgan complied and walked to the front of Keathley's vehicle. Morgan asserted that he had not consumed any alcohol, an assertion belied by his slurred speech and uneven gait. Keathley then asked Morgan if there were any drugs in the car, which Morgan denied. Deputy Keathley then directed Morgan to sit in the backseat of his vehicle, after which he requested that Deputy Curnett arrive to provide additional assistance.

Keathley then asked Elder to exit the vehicle. When questioned, Elder acknowledged that he had consumed a "few sips" of alcohol. A few moments later, while standing in front of Keathley's vehicle, Elder appears to surreptitiously attempt to discard something from inside his pocket. Keathley observed this maneuver and responded, "he threw something — he ditched something." Curnett then arrived on the scene and he and Keathley spent approximately two minutes searching the ground to determine what (if anything) Elder discarded from his pockets.

Keathley then asked Plaintiff to exit the vehicle. When asked by Deputy Keathley if he has consumed any alcohol, Plaintiff responded that he had a "couple of sips." By this time less than ten (10) minutes had transpired since Deputy Keathley began questioning Plaintiff and his companions to determine whether his suspicions (that one or more of the vehicle's occupants had illegally consumed alcohol) were accurate. Keathley did not unduly delay in conducting his investigation. Moreover, his investigation to this point did not extend beyond his attempt to either confirm or dispel his initial suspicions. The Court concludes, therefore, that Defendants' actions up to this point were consistent with the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures.

At this point, there existed probable cause to arrest Plaintiff for having consumed alcohol as a minor in violation of Mich. Comp. Laws § 436.1703. See McCurdy v. Montgomery County, Ohio, 240 F.3d 512, 517 (6th Cir. 2001) ("probable cause requires that police have reasonably trustworthy information sufficient to warrant an officer of reasonable caution to believe the arrestee committed, or is in the process of committing, an offense"). Thus, from this point forward, Plaintiff's detention was appropriate. The fact that Plaintiff was not "formally" arrested until several minutes later is irrelevant. As courts recognize, the Fourth Amendment "does not require officers to tell a suspect the grounds for his arrest or even to expressly state that he is under arrest," but instead only requires that such a seizure be based upon probable cause. Rudd v. Graves, 22 Fed. Appx. 954, 2001 WL 1295527 at *1 (10th Cir., Oct. 24, 2001) (citing Dunaway, 442 U.S. at 212-13).

Much later in the encounter, Plaintiff was administered a preliminary breath test (PBT). Plaintiff seems to argue that until he was administered a PBT there could not have existed probable cause to arrest him. This is mistaken. While the relevant statute provides that an arrest may be based upon the results of a PBT, it does not require that a PBT be administered prior to arrest or conviction. See Mich. Comp. Laws § 436.1703(5).

Having determined that Defendants' seizure of Plaintiff was consistent with the Fourth Amendment, the Court turns its attention to Plaintiff's claim that the subsequent searches to which he was subjected violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment.

Immediately after acknowledging that he had illegally consumed alcohol, another officer (presumably Deputy Curnett) subjected Plaintiff to a brief pat-down search of the exterior of his clothing. The officer also searched the interior of several of Plaintiff's pockets. At this point, Deputy Keathley, suspicious that Plaintiff and his companions had been consummating a drug transaction when he arrived on the scene, began to search the interior of the vehicle in which Plaintiff and his companions had been sitting.

A few minutes later, Keathley commented that the occupants of the vehicle could have "crotched" the drugs (i.e., conceal them by shoving them down their pants) prior to his arrival. Another officer (presumably Deputy Curnett) then approached Plaintiff. What transpired next is not clearly visible on the videotape recorded by Deputy Keathley because Plaintiff was standing slightly to the side of Keathley's vehicle. This encounter was not captured at all by the videotape equipment in Deputy Curnett's vehicle.

While not the best camera angle, the videotape nonetheless reveals that Plaintiff unbuckled his belt and opened his pants (but did not raise or otherwise move his untucked shirt) after which the officer performed a brief visual inspection of the vicinity around Plaintiff's waistline. This encounter lasted approximately 10 seconds. The officer did not touch Plaintiff and Plaintiff's pants were never lowered from his waist. Furthermore, Deputy Keathley asserts in his affidavit that

after searching the vehicle, Deputy Curnett asked the Plaintiff whether he had "crotched the drugs." Plaintiff opened up his pants and Deputy Curnett shined a flashlight into them but no drugs were discovered. Plaintiff did not lower his underwear and kept his pants up around his hips. Plaintiff was wearing an untucked shirt which hung down over his pants. Less than 30 seconds elapsed from the time that Deputy Curnett approached and spoke with the Plaintiff to the time that he closed the front of his pants.

(Dkt. #33, Exhibit D).

Deputy Keathley's assertions are consistent with the videotape evidence. Moreover, Plaintiff has submitted absolutely no evidence refuting Deputy Keathley's assertions. It must again be noted that (aside from the videotapes recorded by Defendants) Plaintiff has submitted absolutely no evidence in response to Defendants' motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff appears to be relying exclusively on the trial court's opinion and order as factual evidence to counter Defendants' motion for summary judgment. However, such a use of the trial court's opinion constitutes impermissible hearsay which the Court cannot consider when analyzing Defendants' motion for summary judgment. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Wiley v. United States, 20 F.3d 222, 225-26 (6th Cir. 1994) ("hearsay evidence cannot be considered on a motion for summary judgment").

In analyzing Plaintiff's claim that these two searches violated his Fourth Amendment rights, it must be remembered that when Plaintiff was searched there already existed probable cause to arrest him for illegally consuming alcohol. In other words, the searches to which Plaintiff was subjected are properly characterized as searches incident to his arrest. As is well recognized, "under the `search-incident-to-a-lawful-arrest' exception to the warrant requirement, a law enforcement officer may conduct a full search of an arrestee's person incident to a lawful custodial arrest." United States v. Montgomery, 377 F.3d 582, 586 (6th Cir. 2004) (quoting United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218, 234-35 (1973)) (emphasis added). Thus, so long as the searches in question were reasonable under the circumstances, Defendants are entitled to summary judgment. See United States v. Dede, 83 Fed. Appx. 732, 2003 WL 22976623 at *3 (6th Cir., Dec. 8, 2003) (because a "custodial arrest of a suspect based on probable cause is a reasonable intrusion under the Fourth Amendment . . . a search incident to the arrest requires no additional justification") (citations omitted).

The initial pat-down search immediately following Plaintiff's arrest is clearly appropriate. The subsequent "crotch" search is also appropriate under these particular circumstances. As Deputy Keathley asserts in his affidavit, based upon his experience he reasonably believed that drugs "may have been present and that a drug deal may have been occurring." Specifically, Deputy Keathley identified the following factors as contributing to this belief: (1) the location of the vehicle in "the most significant drug activity area in Osceola County," (2) the "observation of one of the boys jumping into the car as I drove by and the immediate shutting off of the car's lights," (3) the "observation of money on the seat of the vehicle," (4) Daniel Elder's statement that "money which he had on him did not belong to him," (5) the "observation of [Elder] apparently attempting to dispose of something," and (6) "the presence of Kassidy Morgan whose family was rumored to be involved with drugs in Osceola County." Plaintiff has submitted absolutely no evidence refuting any of these assertions or introduced any admissible facts suggesting that the search was improper. Moreover, as the videotape reveals this brief search was minimally intrusive and conducted in a professional manner. The Court concludes that under the circumstances the searches to which Plaintiff was subjected were reasonable searches properly conducted incident to his arrest.

Finally, Plaintiff appears to claim (via the trial court's opinion) that Defendants violated his Fourth Amendment rights by extending their investigation beyond a determination of whether Plaintiff and his companions had illegally consumed alcohol into a "a full scale witch hunt" for illegal drug-related activity. While not stated directly, Plaintiff appears to impugn Defendants' subjective motivations, suggesting that their investigation into whether Plaintiff or his companions had illegally consumed alcohol was merely a pretext for engaging in a more extensive search in an attempt to uncover illegal drug-related activity.

First, as discussed above, Deputy Keathley had a reasonable basis to suspect that Plaintiff and his companions may have been engaged in illegal drug-related activity immediately prior to his arrival. The fact that this suspicion was ultimately proved incorrect is irrelevant. Law enforcement officials cannot be subjected to litigation simply because a particular investigation reveals no evidence of wrongdoing.

Furthermore, as the United States Supreme Court has held, Defendants' actions are not evaluated by reference to their alleged subjective intentions. See Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806, 813 (1996) ("subjective intentions play no role in ordinary, probable-cause Fourth Amendment analysis"); Arkansas v. Sullivan, 532 U.S. 769, 771-72 (2001) (per curiam) (holding that a custodial arrest for a traffic violation and search incident to arrest do not violate the Fourth Amendment just because the officer had an improper subjective motivation for making the stop). The only question is whether Defendants' actions violated Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights. As detailed above, Defendants did not violate Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights.

In sum, for the reasons articulated above, the Court concludes that neither Deputy Keathley nor Deputy Curnett violated Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights.

III. Defendants did not Violate Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment Rights

Plaintiff also asserts that Defendants violated his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures in violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights. However, because Plaintiff's right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures is sufficiently protected by the Fourth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment can afford Plaintiff no relief.

In Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266 (1994), the Supreme Court addressed the interaction between substantive due process and those rights specifically protected by the Bill of Rights, as well as the proper constitutional foundation upon which to base a § 1983 action.

In that case, Albright was charged with selling a substance that looked like an illegal drug. Following a preliminary hearing, Albright was bound over for trial; however, the court later dismissed the charges because the offense with which Albright was charged did not state an offense under Illinois law. Albright subsequently initiated a § 1983 action in which he charged Oliver, a detective involved in the case, with depriving him of his Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process rights by subjecting him to criminal prosecution without probable cause. Id. at 268-70.

The Court observed that substantive due process protection had "for the most part been accorded to matters relating to marriage, family, procreation, and the right to bodily integrity." Id. at 272 (citing Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 847-849 (1992)). The Court noted the dissimilarity between Albright's claim and the substantive due process rights recognized previously, and further noted its reluctance to expand the concept of substantive due process. Id. at 271-72.

The Court then discussed the fact that a number of the protections contained in the Bill of Rights have been made applicable to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court observed that this process has resulted in the substitution of the specific guarantees of these portions of the Bill of Rights for the more generalized language of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at 272-73. The Court, therefore, concluded that "[w]here a particular Amendment `provides an explicit textual source of constitutional protection' against a particular sort of government behavior, `that Amendment, not the more generalized notion of substantive due process, must be the guide for analyzing these claims.'" Id. at 273 (quoting Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 395 (1989)). Applying this standard, the Court concluded that Albright's allegations directly implicated the Fourth Amendment, pursuant to which he must bring his claim, because substantive due process could afford him "no relief." Id. at 274-75.

Here, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. This right is obviously protected, adequately so, by the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, as in Albright, the Fourteenth Amendment affords Plaintiff no relief.

IV. Plaintiff's Assault and Battery Claim is Frivolous

Finally, Plaintiff asserts that Defendants "did assault, beat, batter, and wound" him. The videotapes discussed above contain absolutely no evidence (direct or indirect) that Plaintiff was in any way manhandled or mistreated. Defendants have established that they acted lawfully and reasonably under the circumstances and Plaintiff has presented absolutely no evidence to the contrary. Accordingly, Defendants are entitled to summary judgment as to this claim. See VanVorous v. Burmeister, 687 N.W.2d 132, 142 (Mich.Ct.App. 2004) (claims for assault and battery against police officer must fail where officer establishes that he acted reasonably under the circumstances).

CONCLUSION

For the reasons articulated herein, the Court concludes thatDefendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, (dkt. #32), will be granted and Plaintiff's claims dismissed. An Order consistent with this Opinion will enter.