United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge.
December 27, 2016, the Court granted summary judgment in
favor of the former defendant Milwaukee County (the
“County”). (Docket #32). In that order, the Court
gave notice to the plaintiff Davius Conrod
(“Conrod”) that based on the undisputed facts, it
was considering granting summary judgment sua sponte
in favor of the remaining defendants, Robert R. Smith
(“Smith”) and Amy Stolowski
(“Stolowski”). Id. at 6. It gave Conrod
until January 10, 2017 to provide any evidence or legal
argument he wished to present to avoid that result.
Id. at 6-7.
filed a document on that date, but it is not solely an
opposition to sua sponte summary judgment. Instead,
it appears to be a combined motion to reconsider the entirety
of the Court's December 27 order as well as briefly
addressing the sua sponte summary judgment issue.
(Docket #37). The Court will address the sua sponte
summary judgment issue first.
Court refers the reader to the standard of review and
statement of fact portions of the December 27 order. (Docket
#32 at 1-4). As noted above, Conrod was directed to provide
evidence and argument in opposition to summary judgment in
favor of Smith and Stolowski. Conrod's instant submission
includes no statements of fact, affidavits, or any other
evidence to support a genuine dispute as to the facts stated
in that order.
instead presents various arguments related to the facts of
this case. First, he states that he was arrested on
December 19, not December 17, and that “the municipal
warrants did not play a role in that arrest because they were
not issued as warrants.” (Docket #37 at 1). These
contentions are, at best, disputes of fact which should have
been presented in response to the County's motion for
summary judgment, but in any event they are not supported
here by any evidence. Next, Conrod explains that he was
confused about the discovery process, leading to his failure
to respond to the County's discovery requests. This is
irrelevant, as the County's statement of facts, which
Conrod failed to dispute, were not based on the absent
responses. (Docket #19). The only other statement in the
document related to Smith and Stolowski is as follows:
The plaintiff would like to request to this court to not
grant summary judgment sua sponte for defendants Smith and
Stolowski on or before January 10, 2017 and give the
plaintiff an opportunity to at least clarify the disputed
fact of question of issue [sic] which has not been addressed.
(Docket #37 at 3). This conclusory request offers no real
argument, and further, the “opportunity” Conrod
seeks was already provided when the Court set the January 10
in Conrod's submission provides a factual or legal basis
to avoid summary judgment in Smith and Stolowski's favor.
As discussed in the December 27 order, the undisputed facts
demonstrate that not only was probable cause for his arrest
supported by the municipal warrants, the probable cause
statement itself was duly completed by Smith and Stolowski.
(Docket #32 at 4-6). They are entitled to summary judgment on
Conrod's Fourth Amendment claim just as the County was.
Smith and Stolowski will be dismissed from this matter
Court turns to the reconsideration portions of Conrod's
submission. Conrod asserts that his motion is made pursuant
to both Rule 59(e) and Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure (“FRCP”). (Docket #37 at 1). The
Harrington court explained:
Altering or amending a judgment under Rule 59(e) is
permissible when there is newly discovered evidence or there
has been a manifest error of law or fact. Vacating a judgment
under Rule 60(b) is permissible for a variety of reasons
including mistake, excusable neglect, newly discovered
evidence, and fraud. While the two rules have similarities,
Rule 60(b) relief is an extraordinary remedy and is granted
only in exceptional circumstances. Rule 59(e), by contrast,
requires that the movant “clearly establish” one
of the aforementioned grounds for relief.
Harrington v. City of Chicago, 433 F.3d 542, 546
(7th Cir. 2006) (citations and quotations omitted).
Conrod's motion must be denied under both rules.
reconsideration section begins by arguing that other cases
from this District dealing with the same issue are
inapposite. (Docket #37 at 4). Even if true, the December 27
order did not reference or rely on those decisions, but
rather was grounded in Seventh Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court
precedent. See (Docket #32 at 4-7). Next, Conrod
reiterates his contention that because he possesses a
different probable cause statement form than that presented
by the County, there is a dispute of fact. (Docket #37 at
4-5). He apparently wants the County to explain how he was
able to obtain an unsigned form. Id. at 5. Again, by
failing to dispute the County's statements of fact,
Conrod gave the Court no choice but to rely on the document
the County provided. Further, as was the case in his briefing
on the County's summary judgment, Conrod fails to provide
any evidence that the County's document it not authentic.
(Docket #32 at 5-6). Conrod also reiterates his discovery
problem, but as noted above, it had no bearing on the
December 27 order. Finally, though he is intently focused on
the probable cause statement form, he offers no genuine
evidence or argument to dispute the import of the municipal
warrants, which the Court identified as an independent ground
warranting judgment in the County's favor. Id.
has failed to “clearly establish” any manifest
error of law or fact in the December 27 order as required by
FRCP 59(e). He has not attempted to argue any of the grounds
provided in FRCP 60(b). His motion for reconsideration must,
therefore, be denied. As all of the defendants have been
granted summary judgment, the Court will direct that a final
judgment be entered dismissing this matter.
IT IS ORDERED that upon the Court's sua sponte
motion, summary judgment be and the same is hereby GRANTED in
favor of ...