United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Vincent Joiner, plaintiff pro se.
M. Hiveley, Esq. and Iverson Reuvers Condon, counsel for
S. Doty, Judge
matter is before the court upon the cross motions for summary
judgment by pro se plaintiff Eugene Joiner and defendants
Metro Transit Police Department, Officer Geoffrey Wyatt,
Officer Waheid Siraach (Sitonch), and Metro Transit
Authority. After a review of the file, record, and
proceedings herein, and for the following reasons, the court
denies Joiner's motion and grants defendants' motion.
civil rights dispute arises from Joiner's arrest by Metro
Transit police officers for having an open alcoholic beverage
in public. Am. Compl. [ECF No. 28] ¶ 1; Hiveley Aff. Ex.
5 at 3. On April 10, 2013, Officer Wyatt, who was on patrol
with his partner Officer Sitonch, observed Joiner carrying a
brown paper bag containing what appeared to be an open bottle
of alcohol. Hiveley Aff. Ex. 5 at 2. Officer Wyatt stopped
Joiner and asked to see what was in the bag. Id.
When Officer Wyatt pulled the bottle out, he noticed that
about one-third of the alcohol was gone. Id. Joiner
then became argumentative and uncooperative. Id.
Officer Wyatt decided to arrest Joiner given his attitude and
because he believed Joiner would re-offend if not detained.
Id. Officer Wyatt arrested Joiner for loitering with
an open bottle, handcuffed him, and took him to the Hennepin
County Detention Center. Id.; Am. Compl. ¶ 2.
alleges that he waited in the squad car for five to ten
minutes when he arrived at the detention center and that,
during that time, Officer Wyatt read papers and transcripts
relating to Joiner's housing court case. Joiner Dep. at
44:8-10; 47:9-22; 50:6-51:15. He also alleges that he was
handcuffed too tightly, which hurt his wrists and arms, but
he did not complain of any pain until he was in the sally
port at the detention center. Joiner Dep. at 40:22-44:10.
Once at the jail, the detention center staff took over and
Joiner had no further interaction with the Metro Transit
officers. Joiner Dep. at 48:19-24; 49:20-24. Joiner alleges
that staff at the detention center denied him needed medical
attention and otherwise violated his constitutional rights.
He was released from custody the next day and the charges
were ultimately dismissed. Joiner Dep. at 17:2-5; 55:17-22.
In his deposition, Joiner admitted that he was injured by
Hennepin County's actions and not those of Metro Transit.
Id. at 54:13-20.
filed this action on June 20, 2016, against the Metro Transit
Police, Hennepin County Detention Center, and County Board,
alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fifth,
Eighth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. On August 18, 2016,
Joiner filed two first amended complaints; one of the
complaints raised claims against Metro Transit [ECF No. 9]
and the other raised claims against Hennepin County Detention
Center, Hennepin County Board of Directors, Hennepin County
Sheriff's Department, Sheriff Richard Stanek, Deputy
Annette Parker, Deputy Andrew Carlson, Deputy Thomas Poser,
Sergeant Angela Johnson, and Deputy James Mauer [ECF No. 10].
On August 22, 2016, Magistrate Judge Franklin L. Noel ordered
Joiner to file a consolidated amended complaint incorporating
all of his allegations against all defendants by September 5,
2016. ECF No. 11. Joiner failed to do so. Hennepin County
then moved to dismiss all claims against it. ECF No. 15.
Joiner failed to respond to the motion or appear at the
hearing. The court granted the motion and dismissed Hennepin
County from the lawsuit without prejudice. ECF No. 27 at 2.
The court treated the originally filed complaint as the
operative pleading given Joiner's failure to file a
consolidated amended complaint as ordered by Magistrate Judge
Noel. Id. at 1-2.
on February 9, 2017, Joiner filed a “First Consolidated
Amended Complaint” naming Metro Transit Authority,
Metro Transit Police Department, and all nine Hennepin County
defendants also named in the first amended complaint.
See ECF Nos. 9 and 28. On February 24, Joiner filed
a “Second Consolidated Amended Complaint” against
Metro Transit Authority, Metro Transit Police, Hennepin
County Board, Hennepin County Detention Center, and Hennepin
County Sheriff's Office. ECF No. 32. On February 27,
Magistrate Judge Noel directed the clerk of court to treat
the second consolidated amended complaint as a motion to
amend the complaint. ECF No. 33. On March 2, Metro Transit
answered the first consolidated amended
complaint. ECF No. 40.
the court reaffirmed Hennepin County's dismissal from the
case, denied Joiner's motion for summary judgment, and
denied Joiner's subsequent attempt to again amend the
complaint. See ECF Nos. 58, 90. Defendants also took
Joiner's deposition and engaged in written discovery.
Joiner now again moves for summary judgment as do the
remaining Metro Transit defendants.
Joiner's Motion for Summary Judgment
moves for summary judgment, arguing, without any factual or
legal support, that there are no factual disputes precluding
judgment in his favor. As Joiner is aware from the court's
previous order, ECF No. 58, a summary judgment motion must be
supported by a factual basis. See Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (internal quotations
omitted) (“[A] party seeking summary judgment always
bears the initial responsibility of informing the district
court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those
portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, which it believes demonstrate the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact.”). Joiner's
failure to point to any facts in support of his motion -
including his own testimony from his deposition - warrants
the denial of his motion.
Defendants' Motion ...