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Gillis v. City of Charlotte

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

April 2, 2014

ANGALIS H. GILLIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHARLOTTE AND OFFICER A. RIVERS, individually and in his official capacity as a police officer of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

DAVID S. CAYER, Magistrate Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on "Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment" (Doc. 14), as well as the parties' associated briefs, affidavits, and exhibits. See Docs. 14, 15, 18, 19 and 20.

The parties have consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), and this Motion is now ripe for the Court's determination.

Having carefully considered the parties' arguments, the record, and the applicable authorities, the Court grants Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, as discussed below.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Angalis H. Gillis' seeks damages for violation of her Constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983. She also asserts various state law claims. On March 25, 2010, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers executed a search warrant at the home of Plaintiff's mother, Jessie Hayes, located at 3300 Ross Avenue.

Taking the facts in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff, she drove to her mother's home after receiving a call from her nephew. There were several marked police cars parked on both sides of the street. Fifty to sixty people from the neighborhood were also at the scene. Plaintiff states that

the officers was standing in the grass to the right of the driveway. The officers let me pull in the driveway did not say mamm you can not park here please park somewhere else. I pulled in slowly, came to a complete stop and parked my car, when Officer A. Rivers backed his body back until the tip of his gun hit the side of my mirror on the passenger side of my 2001 Lincoln LS.

Doc. 19, Ex. 4. Officer Rivers shouted at Plaintiff that she had "hit a f-ing government official." He approached the driver's side of Plaintiff's car and pulled her out. Rivers and several other officers pushed Plaintiff onto the hood of the car and handcuffed her. She was then placed in a police car and searched by a female officer.

Later that day, Officer Rivers appeared before a Mecklenburg County Magistrate and obtained a warrant charging Plaintiff with assault on a government official in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-33(c)(4) by striking him with the passenger side mirror of her vehicle as he attempted to secure the perimeter around 3300 Ross Avenue.

On March 12, 2013, Plaintiff filed her Complaint in Mecklenburg County Superior Court. Defendants removed the action to this Court on May 9, 2013. Doc. 1. Plaintiff alleges claims against Defendant Rivers under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for using excessive force and arresting her without probable cause. She also asserts a claim against the City under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for failing to adequately train Rivers. Plaintiff asserts claims under North Carolina law for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, actual imprisonment, negligence and punitive damages. All of the state claims against Rivers were brought against the City under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition.

II. DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS

A. Standard of Review

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) provides:

A party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or defense-or the part of each claim or defense-on which summary judgment is sought. The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The court should state on the record the reasons for granting or denying the motion.

Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The Rule provides procedures for establishing the presence or absence of any genuine dispute as to any material fact:

(c) Procedures.
(1) Supporting Factual Positions. A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), ...

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