United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Plaintiff, pro se.
E. Flynn and Tal A. Bakke, Jardine, Logan & O'Brien,
PLLP, Counsel for Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Michael J. Davis United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendants Maplewood Police
Department and John Doe, Arresting Officer's motion for
summary judgment [Doc. No. 90]. Plaintiff has not responded
to the motion.
February 16, 2015, Plaintiff was arrested at the Menards
store in Maplewood, Minnesota on suspicion of passing
fraudulent or suspicious checks at numerous Menards stores.
That day, Plaintiff arrived at the Maplewood Menards store at
approximately 6:46 p.m. in a white U-Haul truck. (Eppel Aff.
Ex. 2; Sypniewski Aff. Ex. 1; Schoen Aff. Ex. 1.) He was
wearing a black jacket and hat and white painter pants.
(Eppel Aff. Ex. 3; Sypniewski Aff. Ex. 1 at 16; Henning Aff.
Ex. 3.) A Menards employee, Jacob Kalin, assisted Plaintiff
with writing up invoices for a washer and dryer. (Sypniewski
Aff. Ex. 1 at 10; Kalin Aff. ¶ 2, Ex. 1.) Plaintiff then
proceeded to check-out where he presented a check from the
account of “DBA Dominque Davison Designs, Dominique
Davison Sole Prop” in the amount of $2, 535.79 to pay
for a washer, dryer and snow thrower. (Sypniewski Aff. Ex. 1
at 27; Eppel Aff. Ex. 5.) Plaintiff then left the store and
drove the U-Haul to the loading docks to retrieve the
appliances he had just purchased. (Eppel Aff. Exs. 6 - 12.)
assisting Plaintiff, Kalin went to his desk at which time he
noticed his general manager, Rob Eppel, viewing a security
email. (Kalin Aff, Ex. 1.) Kalin looked at the email and saw
Plaintiff's name and address listed. (Id.) Kalin
immediately told Eppel that he had just assisted the person
listed on the security email. (Id.) Kalin typed in
the product SKU number of one of the units sold to Plaintiff
into the store's system and confirmed that the person
listed in the security email had the same name and address as
the Plaintiff. (Id.) Eppel then contacted the guard
shack and the yard manager. (Id.) Eppel also
instructed the front-end manager, Clinton Edminsten, to
verify whether the check used by Plaintiff had sufficient
funds. (Edminsten Aff. ¶¶2, 3, Ex. 1.) Edminsten
contacted the bank, and confirmed the check used by Plaintiff
was bad. (Id. ¶ 3.) Edminsten then contacted
the Maplewood police. (Id. ¶ 4.)
approximately 7:46 p.m., Maplewood Police Officers William
Sypniewski, Parker Olding, Zachary Schoen and Sergeant Brian
Bierdeman responded to a report from the Maplewood Menards of
a check fraud in progress. (Sypniewski Aff. ¶ 4, Ex. 1;
Olding Aff. ¶ 2; Bierdeman Aff. ¶ 2; Schoen Aff.
¶ 2.) Dispatch had informed the officers that a male who
had completed $70, 000 worth of transactions with bad checks
at other Menards was at the Maplewood store trying to
purchase appliances. (Id.) The officers were
informed the suspect's name was Anthony Harris, and he
was described as a black male, thin build, short black hair,
wearing a black jacket and hat and white painter pants.
(Sypniewski Aff. ¶ 6, Exs. 1 and 2; Olding Aff. ¶
4; Bierdeman Aff. ¶ 4; Schoen Aff. ¶ 4.) Once at
the store, Sypniewski went to speak with Eppel, and
Bierdeman, Schoen and Olding proceeded to the loading docks
to make contact with Plaintiff. (Sypniewski Aff. ¶ 8,
Ex. 2; Olding Aff. ¶ 5; Bierdeman Aff. ¶ 5; Schoen
Aff. ¶ 5; Eppel Aff. Exs. 12 and 13.)
showed Sypniewski documentation concerning several returned
checks to Wisconsin Menards stores in November 2014 under the
accounts of “DBA Anthony M Harris” or “DBA
Harris Designs, Anthony M Harris Sole Prop.” Eppel also
informed Sypniewski that the check Plaintiff had presented
that night was reported as “bad” by the bank.
Sypniewski then advised Sgt. Bierdeman and Officers Schoen
and Olding that Plaintiff should be taken into custody for
check fraud. (Sypniewski Aff. Exs. 1 and 2; Olding Aff.
¶ 6; Bierdeman Aff. ¶ 6.)
and Bierdeman then entered the loading docks from the
lumberyard and made contact with Plaintiff. (Olding Aff.
¶ 7; Bierdeman Aff. ¶ 7; Eppel Aff. Ex. 12 at
19:57:59.) A surveillance video of the loading docks shows
that when Olding and Bierdeman approached Plaintiff, neither
had drawn their service weapon. (See Eppel Aff. Ex.
12 at 19:57:59.) Olding directed Plaintiff to turn around and
place his hands behind his back, and as shown in the video,
Plaintiff immediately complied. (Id.; Olding Aff.
¶ 9; Bierdeman Aff. ¶ 9.) Plaintiff was then placed
in handcuffs. (Olding Aff. ¶¶10-11; Bierdeman Aff.
¶¶ 9-12; Eppel Aff. Ex. 12 at 19:57:59.) Olding and
Bierdeman then conducted a pat search while Plaintiff
remained standing. (Id.) Plaintiff was then led
outside through the lumberyard and placed in the back of
Olding's squad car, along with his girlfriend, Francal
Jackson. (Sypniewski Aff. Ex. 1; Olding Aff. ¶ 15.)
Olding read Plaintiff his Miranda warning, and Plaintiff
agreed to talk with the officer. (Olding Aff. Ex. 1 at 3.)
Plaintiff claimed that he was performing construction work
for Dominique Davis and that he had no idea that the check he
used was bad. (Id.) Plaintiff was then transferred
to the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center where he was
booked and released pending further investigation.
(Sypniewski Aff. Ex. 1 at 3-5, Ex. 4; Schoen Aff. ¶ 12;
Bakke Aff. Ex. 2.)
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that after being released, he
and Ms. Jackson rode a bus and train through the night
because they did not know how to get back to their hotel.
(Comp. ¶¶ 5-6.) When they finally made it back to
the hotel, hotel staff informed them that they had disposed
of their property because the time for them to have checked
out had passed. (Id.)
thereafter brought this action pursuant to Section 1983,
claiming that he was arrested without probable cause,
subjected to excessive force and that his arrest was based on
Standard for Summary Judgment
judgment is appropriate if, viewing all facts in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party, there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact, and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a);
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23
(1986). The party seeking summary judgment bears the burden
of showing that there is no disputed issue of material fact.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. “A dispute is
genuine if the evidence is such that it could cause a
reasonable jury to return a verdict for either party; a fact
is material if its resolution affects the outcome of the
case.” Amini v. City of Minneapolis, 643 F.3d
1068, 1074 (8th Cir. 2011) (citing Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 252 (1986)). The party