Williams v. Romulus Police Dept


Court: United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

Date published: Aug 26, 2008


This is a police misconduct action. Plaintiff Lorna Williams alleges that on January 21, 2006, she went to a gas station located in Romulus, Michigan, and presented $25 to the attendant to pre-pay for gasoline. After taking the money (a $20 bill and a $5 bill), the attendant told the plaintiff he believed the $5 bill was counterfeit. The attendant called the police, and three Romulus police officers (defendants Salwa, Kline, and Czajkowski) came to the gas station. After speaking with the attendant and reviewing a surveillance video of the transaction, the plaintiff was arrested and her car was searched. She was taken to the Romulus jail, where she complained of chest discomfort. After being taken to a hospital for treatment, the plaintiff was returned to the Romulus jail. She was held in jail for two days. 



The conclusion that the defendants had probable cause to arrest the plaintiff and that they were permitted to detain her for 48 hours, defeats her claims for false arrest, false imprisonment, and Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations (Counts III, IV, and V). Her claims for gross negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress (Counts I and II) fail as well. The plaintiff has presented no evidence from which a jury could find that the defendants acted with a “substantial lack of concern for whether an injury results,” M.C.L. § 691.1407(2)(c), or that the defendant’s conduct was “so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.” Roberts  v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co.422 Mich. 594, 603 (1985). All the plaintiff has shown is that defendants arrested her (which they were entitled to do), searched her truck for three minutes, removed the handcuffs shortly after arriving at the police station, transported her to the hospital when she complained of chest discomfort, allowed her to make telephone calls, gave her her medications, released her within 48 hours, and treated her respectfully the entire time. See pltf’s dep. at 29, 31, 37-44, 50, 52, 62, 77. There is, in short, no basis for a gross negligence or emotional distress claim. Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED that the defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted.

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