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Flowers v. Thunder

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

October 21, 2014

MICHAEL M. FLOWERS, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT THUNDER, individually and in his official capacity as a Metro Transit Police Officer, Defendant.

J. Ashwin Madia and Joshua A. Newville, Madia Law LLC, Counsel for Plaintiff.

Andrew D. Parker and Anthony G. Edwards, Parker Rosen LLC, Counsel for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OF LAW & ORDER

MICHAEL J. DAVIS, Chief District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for an Award of Costs, Including Reasonable Attorney's Fees under 42 U.S.C. Section 1988. [Docket No. 68]

II. BACKGROUND

On August 1, 2012, Plaintiff Michael Flowers filed a Complaint against Defendants Robert Thunder, Jane Does 1 and 2, and John Doe in this Court. [Docket No. 1] Thunder was a Metro Transit Police Officer who arrested Flowers on September 25, 2010. The Does were Hennepin County Jail employees who allegedly failed to provide Flowers with necessary medication after his arrest. The Complaint asserted: Count 1: Excessive Force, Unreasonable Search and Seizure, Unlawful Arrest under the United States Constitution and Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and Count 2: Failure to Provide Adequate Medical Treatment under the United States Constitution and Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

On March 22, 2013, Flowers filed an Amended Complaint solely against Thunder asserting Count 1: Excessive Force, Unreasonable Search and Seizure, Unlawful Arrest under the United States Constitution and Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983. [Docket No. 14] Flowers alleged:

In violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Defendant deprived Mr. Flowers of his right to be free from excessive force and unreasonable search and seizure when he was unreasonably searched, his property unreasonably seized, the subject of excessive force, and unlawfully arrested, without probable cause or any legal justification.

(Am. Compl. ¶ 40.) Also,

As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant's actions, Mr. Flowers has been injured, suffering physical, mental and emotional pain, discomfort, embarrassment, professional humiliation, fear, anxiety, apprehension, sleeplessness, public scorn and ridicule, a generally diminished sense of personal and family safety, outrage, attorney and investigative fees to defend against criminal prosecution, civil attorney fees, and the costs of bringing suit.

(Id. ¶ 42.)

Flowers asserted that he had suffered damages "in excess of $75, 000.00."

(Id. ¶ 44.)

On January 29, 2014, Thunder made a Rule 68 Offer of Judgment to Flowers for $5, 000.00. (Madia Decl., Ex. G, Offer of Judgment.)

The judgment amount offered herein represents a lump-sum judgment, inclusive of all costs, disbursements and fees incurred by Plaintiff. The judgment amount specifically includes, but is not limited to, any and all attorneys' fees to which Plaintiff might be entitled as a prevailing party under 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and/or any other potentially applicable legal authority.

(Id. at 2.)

Flowers rejected the Offer of ...

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