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David Jonathan TULIS, Plaintiff, v. Wililam ORANGE, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Pending before the Court is a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) (Doc. No. 52) advising it to grant Defendants’ Roger Page, John Crawford, and Administrative Office of the Courts John and Jane Doe's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 7); Defendant Atrium Hospitality LP's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 11); Defendant City of Franklin's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 12); and Defendant William Orange's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 22). Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed an Objection to the R&R (Doc. No. 56) on May 26, 2022, which Defendants responded on June 7 and 8, 2023. (Doc. Nos. 59–61). For the following reasons, the R&R (Doc. No. 52) is APPROVED AND ADOPTED.
The Court will not repeat the factual background and procedural history of this case in full because they are aptly set forth in the R&R. (Doc. No. 52 at 2–5). To summarize, David Jonathan Tulis is a press reporter for the NoogaRadio network, and, on November 6, 2021, he traveled to Franklin, Tennessee to report on a judicial conference meeting held at the Embassy Suites Cool Springs Hotel (the “Hotel”). (Doc. No. 1 ¶¶ 8, 15). In his Complaint, Tulis alleges eleven “instances” that give rise to his claims. (See generally Doc. No. 1). The first nine instances concern events that took place at the Hotel on November 6, 2021, when various Defendants asked, then demanded, and, ultimately, forced Tulis to leave. (Doc. No. 1 ¶¶ 16–25). What Tulis describes as the tenth instance was two road trips to Williamson County that Tulis claims he was forced to make—the first, for booking at the Williamson County jail on November 11, 2021, and, the second, for a hearing in General Sessions Court, on December 14, 2021. (Id. ¶ 26). The eleventh instance was the “burden” of attending the December 14 hearing.1 (Id. ¶ 27).
On November 5, 2022, Tulis placed his Complaint in the mail. However, the Complaint was not received and marked as filed by the Clerk's Office until November 9, 2022.
II. THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION
On April 28, 2023, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the Court grant Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss because the Complaint was not timely filed. (Doc. No. 52 at 14–15). The Magistrate Judge explained that “it is beyond dispute that the statute of limitations for Section 1983 and 1985 claims that rise in Tennessee are subject to the one-year limitations period set out in Tenn. Code. Ann. § 28-3-104(a)(1)(B),” (id. at 9 (citing Roberson v. Tennessee, 399 F.3d 792, 794 (6th Cir. 2005); Carver v. U Haul Co., 830 F.2d 193 (6th Cir. 1987))), and “Plaintiff was clearly aware of his claimed injuries at the time that the events at issue occurred on November 6, 2021” because “[t]hese events were obvious and were sufficient to have alerted Plaintiff that he needed to act to protect his rights.” (Doc. No. 52 at 9–10). Accordingly, the Magistrate Judge reasoned that Tulis's complaint, which “bears a stamp of ‘received’ by the Clerk's Office on November 9, 2022, and [ ] was filed that same day,” (id. at 11), is untimely regardless of whether it was placed in the mail prior to the filing deadline.2 (Id.).
III. TULIS'S OBJECTION
On May 26, 2023, Tulis filed his Objection to the Report and Recommendation (Doc. No. 56) and accompanying Memorandum of Law (Doc. No. 57). These filings were also untimely. However, in light of Tulis's pro se status, the Court shall treat his filings as if they had reached the Clerk's Office on the day that they were delivered to the courthouse. (See Doc. No. 59-1 at 1 (explaining that the filings were properly file-stamped)).
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(3), “[t]he [D]istrict [J]udge must determine de novo any part of the [M]agistrate [J]udge's disposition [on a dispositive motion] that has been properly objected to. The [D]istrict [J]udge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the [M]agistrate [J]udge with instructions.” See also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Only “specific written objections” to the Magistrate Judge's proposed factual findings and legal conclusions are considered “proper” for the district court's consideration. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2). “The filing of vague, general, or conclusory objections does not meet the requirement of specific objections and is tantamount to a complete failure to object.” Cole v. Yukins, 7 F. App'x 354, 356 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995)). Moreover, the Court's Local Rules require that proper objections “must state with particularity the specific portions of the Magistrate Judge's report or proposed findings or recommendations to which an objection is made ․ to apprise the District Judge of the bases for the objections.” L.R. 72.02(a).
Construing his arguments fairly and liberally given his pro se status, his objections appear to fall into two camps: (1) dissatisfaction with the Magistrate Judge's refusal to apply the “mailbox rule” to save his Complaint, (Doc. No. 56 at 3–4), and (2) assertions that the Magistrate Judge overlooked well-pleaded claims. (Id. at 1–2, 4–5).3 The Court will address them in turn.
A. Whether the Magistrate Judge Correctly Applied the “Mailbox Rule”
Tulis's first group of objections—that this Magistrate Judge erred by not applying the “mailbox rule”—is easily discarded. Binding precedent requires that this Court consider Tulis's Complaint filed only when it is received by the Clerk's Office. In Torras Herreria y Construcciones, S.A. v. M/V Timur Star, the Sixth Circuit made clear that, “if mailed, the filing is accomplished only when actually received by the clerk or when placed in the clerk's post office box.” 803 F.2d. 215, 216 (6th Cir. 1986). Tulis's attempt to distinguish Torras is of no moment. (See Doc. No. 56 at 3–4 (stating that Torras was inapposite because it was “an attorney-filed case involving two extensions of time and a late-arriving [un]timely filed Rule 529(b) motion”)). Neither Torras, nor any court interpreting Torras has construed the case's holding to apply to non-incarcerated litigants or only in certain circumstances. See generally Torras, 803 F.2d. 215 (making no such distinction); see also, e.g., McNeely v. Thompson, No. 13-cv-13790, 2014 WL 806847, at *5–*6 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 28, 2014) (relying on Torras in determining that the pro se plaintiff failed to timely file his complaint alleging § 1983 claims because “it is well established that filings that reach the clerk's office after the deadline are untimely, even if mailed before the deadline”) (internal citations, quotation marks, and brackets omitted). Equally unavailing is his creative interpretation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5. Regardless of how Tulis might read Rule 5, this Court must follow the Rule as understood by the Sixth Circuit.4
The above allows for a single conclusion: the Magistrate Judge was correct in not applying the “mailbox rule.” Tulis's first group of objections to the contrary must fail.5
B. Whether the Magistrate Judge Overlooked Well-Pleaded Claims
Tulis's second group of objections requires more discussion. Specifically, Tulis argues that the Magistrate Judge erred by: (1) ignoring that the harm of Defendants’ infringement on Tulis's First Amendment rights persists today, (Doc. No. 56 at 1); (2) setting aside the fact the Defendant was booked on November 11, 2023, which is safely within the one-year statute of limitations, (id. at 1–2); and (3) failing to consider “the action's equitable claims and its civic-minded redress.” (Id. at 4–5). At first blush, these objections might appear disparate. However, at bottom, each requires the Court to first consider what claims Tulis brought in his Complaint (Doc. No. 1).
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, a pleading that states a claim for relief “must contain: (1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional support; (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief sought.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). Thus, Rule 8 “proscribes ․ obfuscation of the plaintiff's claims.” Kensu v. Corizon, Inc., 5 F.4th 646, 651 (6th Cir. 2021) (emphasis in original) (internal citation omitted). Neither a district court, nor a defendant should have to “fish a gold coin from a bucket of mud to identify the allegations really at issue.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). This is not to say that the complaint must contain detailed factual allegations—only that the factual allegations supplied must be enough to show a plausible right to relief. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555–61; see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
A plaintiff's pro se status does not free him or her of these basic pleading requirements, Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989), and the Court need not “conjure allegations on the litigant's behalf.” Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 714 (6th Cir. 2004) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). But “a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 95 (2007) (per curium).
Though Tulis is not a lawyer, his Complaint (Doc. No. 1) contains many of the hallmarks of a professionally prepared complaint. After a brief introduction, Tulis dedicates discrete sections establishing the basis for the Court's jurisdiction, (Doc. No. 1 ¶¶ 1–7), succinctly identifying the parties, (id. ¶¶ 8–14), summarizing the alleged violations of his rights, (id. ¶¶ 15–28), providing additional allegations specific to individual defendants, (id. ¶¶ 29–45), and stating the relief sought. (Id. ¶ 46). This organization begets clarity and assists the Court in its duty to liberally construe the pleading.
Beginning with a short and plain statement of the grounds for the Court's jurisdiction, Tulis states “[t]he [C]ourt has jurisdiction to hear this case because of the deprived fundamental rights, privileges, or immunities involved.” (Doc. No. 1 ¶ 1). He then illuminates which fundamental rights, privileges, or immunities were involved by naming the First and Fourth Amendments, (id. ¶¶ 2–4), and cites the statutes pursuant to which he brings his claims, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“§ 1983”) and 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) (“§ 1985(3)”). (Id. ¶¶ 5–6). In doing so, Tulis makes clear that this Court has jurisdiction over his claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and, by extension, that his claims are based exclusively on federal law.6
To understand the contours of his § 1983 and § 1985(3) claims, the obvious next place to turn is the section titled, “Summary of [R]ights [V]iolations.” (Doc. No. 1 ¶¶ 15–28). There, Tulis begins by stating:
Plaintiff attends the Nov[ember] 6, 2021, judicial conference meeting at the Atrium Hospitality-run hotel in Franklin, and he attends by constitutional right of the press and its appurtenant public uses or purposes. The meeting of government employees, on property under contract with the state of payment, deals with topics that affect the public and taxpayer interest, the convocation among judges who “draft suitable legislation and submit its recommendations to the general assembly,” Tenn. Code Ann. § 17-3-107.
Plaintiff pursues his calling by attending the conference by right of the federal first amendment regarding press and free speech; and plaintiff's common law rights as a man as one of the “free people” of Tennessee, as so named in the state bill of rights art. 1, sect. 24.
(Id. at ¶¶ 15–16). Although he has yet to describe the alleged harms, these paragraphs confirm that he intends to root them, at least in part, in the First Amendment.7 From this point and until the end of the section, Tulis describes the eleven instances that allegedly give rise to his claims. (Id. at ¶¶ 17–28). As stated previously, the first nine instances occurred at the Hotel on November 6, 2021, and all nine concern Defendants’ efforts to keep him from the judicial conference meeting or to remove him once he gained access. (Id. at ¶¶ 17–25). The tenth and eleventh instances occurred on later days. In full, Tulis alleges:
In the 10th instance of false imprisonment—which includes compelling a person to go to a place to which he does not wish to go if he were at liberty—Orange and his employer [C]ity of Franklin extort plaintiff to make two road trips in furtherance of their unwarranted deprivation by yet another method, a malicious prosecution of their criminal case under color or state law requiring plaintiff travel from Soddy-Daisy to Franklin a total of 612 miles by car. The first trip to the Williamson County jail is for booking, absent any finding by a magistrate of probable cause, injuring plaintiff in his rights. A second trip is Dec[ember] 14, 2021, to a hearing in general session court on probable cause for the arrest.
An 11th instance of unwarranted deprivation of constitutional common law rights under color of law is a 70-minute general sessions court public hearing in which plaintiff was unlawfully burdened with duty, given the continuing failure of the defendants to faithfully execute clearly established law, to argue he is illegally arrested and that the case was void.
(Doc. No 1 ¶¶ 26–27). Tulis then closes out this section by noting that the charge against him was dropped for lack of probable cause. (Id. ¶ 28). In the several paragraphs that make up the next section, “[F]actual [B]ases,” Tulis does not allege any additional constitutional harms. (See id. ¶¶ 29–45 (providing additional details about individual defendants and their efforts on November 6, 2021)). The only remaining paragraph is Tulis's request for relief.8
This dissection of Tulis's Complaint makes clear what it does and—perhaps more importantly—what is not does include. With the above in mind, the Court now turns directly to Tulis's remaining objections.
First, the Magistrate Judge correctly ignored any supposed ongoing infringement of Tulis's First Amendment rights because Tulis did not claim any such infringement occurred in his Complaint. Tulis described discrete eleven instances of supposed harm, (Doc. No. 1 ¶¶ 15–27), and the Magistrate Judge considered them. (Doc. No 52 at 9–15). None even gesture at an ongoing harm. This is not to say that Tulis could not bring a claim based on an alleged ongoing infringement; he simply did not do so in the instant complaint. His subsequent filings cannot remedy this defect without further amendment.
Second, the Magistrate Judge correctly did not consider Tulis's booking among his claimed Fourth Amendment harms. Tulis did not cite the booking as one of his eleven instances of alleged harm; he complained merely about the drive to the booking. (Doc. No. 1 ¶ 26). But Tulis's drive to be booked at a time and date convenient to him does not constitute a Fourth Amendment deprivation.9 See DiPasquale v. Hawkins, No. 4:11-cv-2394, 2020 WL 2906433, at *8 (S.D. Ohio June 3, 2020) (explaining that “an initial detention related to an arrest is legally insufficient to satisfy the deprivation of liberty element of a [Fourth Amendment] claim.”).
Third, the Magistrate Judge correctly dismissed the action's supposed “equitable claims and its civic-minded redress.” Here, Tulis argues he alleges “harms much wider than false imprisonment and false arrest occurring to one man on the day of November 6, 2021,” (Doc. No. 56 at 4) and “the [Magistrate Judge] fails to take into account city operational abuses that stretch across two annual calendars and into the lives of 7 million people in Tennessee.” (Id. at 5). But as the Court's walk-through of the operative pleadings demonstrates, those abuses—while possible—were not pleaded. (See generally Doc. No. 1).
Accordingly, each of Tulis's objections fail. Any other argument alluded to in his Objection (Doc. No. 56) falls short of the requirements of the Sixth Circuit, Cole v. Yukins, 7 F. App'x at 356, and this Court's Local Rules. L.R. 72.02(a).
Having reviewed de novo Tulis's objections to the R&R, the Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's recommended disposition. The Court orders as follows:
1. Tulis's Objections (Doc. No. 56) are OVERRULED.
2. The R&R (Doc. No. 52) is APPROVED AND ADPOTED.
3. Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss (Doc. Nos. 7, 11, 12, 22) are GRANTED.
This is a final order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
By Order entered November 22, 2022 (Docket Entry No. 4), this pro se civil rights action was referred to the Magistrate Judge for pretrial proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), Rule 72 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Local Rules of Court.
Presently pending before the Court are: (1) the motion to dismiss of Defendants Roger A. Page, John R. Crawford, and Administrative Office of the Courts John and Jane Doe (“AOC Does”) (Docket Entry No. 7); (2) the motion to dismiss of Defendant Atrium Hospitality LP (Docket Entry No. 11); (3) the motion to dismiss of Defendant City of Franklin (Docket Entry No. 12); and, (4) the motion to dismiss of Defendant William Orange (Docket Entry No. 22). The motions are opposed by Plaintiff.
For the reasons set out below, the undersigned respectfully recommends that the several motions to dismiss be granted and that this action be dismissed in its entirety.
I. BACKGROUND 1
David Jonathan Tulis (“Plaintiff”) is a citizen of Tennessee who resides in Hamilton County. He works as a press reporter for the NoogaRadio Network. On November 6, 2021, he traveled to Franklin, Tennessee to attend and report on a “judicial conference meeting” that was being held at the Embassy Suites Cool Springs Hotel, a hotel that Plaintiff alleges is owned and operated by Atrium Hospitality (“Atrium”).
Plaintiff alleges that he was initially prevented by John Crawford (“Crawford”) from entering a conference room at the hotel where a lecture was going to occur. Plaintiff asserts that Crawford is an education manager for the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts (“AOC”) and that he managed the conference. Despite being initially blocked from entering, Plaintiff somehow entered the conference room, where he alleges he was approached by Franklin Police Officer William Orange (“Orange”) and the hotel manager just moments after he sat down at a conference table and opened his laptop computer. The hotel manager told Plaintiff that he was trespassing on private property and Plaintiff was threatened with arrest if he did not leave. Plaintiff vaguely appears to allege that phone calls were placed amongst the several people involved in preventing him from staying at the conference.
Plaintiff did not voluntarily leave, and Officer Orange thereafter told Plaintiff that he was under arrest and placed him in handcuffs. Plaintiff alleges that his hand was injured while being handcuffed and, although not clearly explained by Plaintiff, he asserts that he was placed on a gurney for some reason and removed from the hotel into an ambulance. While what occurred next is, again, not clearly explained in the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Orange gave him a summons for committing criminal trespass in violation of Tenn. Code § 39-14-405, a Class C misdemeanor, required that he sign the citation, and refused to take Plaintiff before a state magistrate. Plaintiff alleges that he was taken to the Williamson County Jail for “booking,” but he does not allege that he was held at the jail after being booked. He alleges that he was required to return to Franklin from Hamilton County on December 14, 2021, for a hearing in the General Session Court, at which time the charge was dismissed upon a finding that no probable cause existed.2
Plaintiff thereafter initiated the instant lawsuit. On November 5, 2022, he mailed to the Court a pro se “complaint for abridgement, denial, [and] deprivation of fundamental rights” that was received and filed by the Clerk's Office on November 9, 2022. See Complaint (Docket Entry No. 1). Named as defendants are: (1) Officer Orange; (2) the City of Franklin, Tennessee (“City of Franklin”); (3) Atrium; (4) Crawford; (5) Roger Page (“Page”), the Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, who Plaintiff alleges “oversees, supervises, administers, and directs the Tennessee administrator of the courts for public conferences;” and, (6) “John and Jane Does,” who are identified as AOC or “other state” employees. Id. at 4-5.
Plaintiff alleges that his First and Fourth Amendment rights were violated when he was denied entrance to the conference and was then wrongfully arrested without a warrant or probable cause merely because he was attempting to exercise his First Amendment rights as a member of the press and as a citizen. He brings claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of his First Amendment rights and for false arrest and false imprisonment, and further brings a conspiracy claim against Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1985, alleging that Defendants conspired to commit the wrongful acts.3
Plaintiff specifically contends that a municipal ordinance of the City of Franklin conflicts with Tennessee statutory law and with the Constitution, see Complaint at ¶ 22, ¶¶ 31-36, and ¶46(c)(2), because the wording in the municipal ordinance differs from the wording contained in Tenn. Code. Ann. § 40-7-103, the Tennessee statute that authorizes warrantless arrests, in that the former permits a warrantless arrest for an “offense” and the latter permits a warrantless arrest for a “public offense.” Plaintiff contends that this difference results in police officers with the City of Franklin arresting citizens without a warrant in violation of both state law and the Fourth Amendment. See Complaint at ¶¶ 34-36. Plaintiff claims that the phrase “public offense,” as contained in Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-7-103(a)(1), restricted Officer Orange to making a warrantless arrest of Plaintiff only for a criminal offense that had “a threatening, violent, riotous, affray-like face, a harm visible to the human eye in the nature of a ‘breach of peace threatened.’ ” See Complaint at ¶ 35.
As relief, Plaintiff seeks damages and “equitable compensation.” Id. at 12. He also seeks two specific injunctions. The first is an order declaring that:
the judicial branch's Feb. 1, 2022, policy, No. 3.04, “Subject: Attendance at AOC Conferences,” created in response to plaintiff's Nov. 6, 2021, arrest, be ruled unconstitutional, null and void, and that defendants be commanded, or any subsequent authority, to halt abuses like those complained of in this case.
Id. at 12-13. The second is for:
a forward-looking injunction upon defendant city and any other party similarly situated, that he be protected statewide. As to city of Franklin, plaintiff demands that the court order the city to correct its misrepresentation of the warrantless arrest law at T.C.A. 40-7-103 and enjoin it to abide by clearly established law, in which the term “public offense” is the standard for misdemeanors for which officer are allowed to seize people under without arrest warrants, and then only by the due process the general assembly intends.
Id. at 13.
In lieu of answers, Defendants have filed the pending motions to dismiss, seeking dismissal under Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff has responded in opposition to the motions. See Docket Entry Nos. 24 and 37.4
II. MOTIONS TO DISMISS AND RESPONSE
Defendants Page, Crawford, and the Does (“hereinafter referred to collectively as the “State Defendants”) argue that Plaintiff's lawsuit was not timely filed within one year of the events of November 6, 2021, and is therefore barred by the applicable one year statute of limitations. They also argue that, as state officials sued in only their official capacities, they are protected from Plaintiff's lawsuit by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. See State Defendants’ Memorandum in Support (Docket Entry No. 7-1).
Defendant Atrium also raises a statute of limitations defense. Atrium further contends that it is solely a private party and that Plaintiff's allegations fails to support a claim that Atrium took any action under color of state law to deprive him of any protected rights. See Defendant Atrium's Memorandum in Support (Docket Entry No. 13).
Defendant City of Franklin likewise raises a statute of limitations defense. It also argues that Plaintiff's complaint fails to set forth allegations (1) that support a claim that, as a municipal entity, the City of Franklin bears liability for any violations of Plaintiff's federal constitutional rights that he claims occurred and (2) support a claim brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1985. Finally, the City of Franklin asserts that, to the extent that Plaintiff's complaint can be read to raise claims against it under state law, it has immunity from liability under the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act (“TGTLA”). See Defendant City of Franklin's Memorandum in Support (Docket Entry No. 14).
Like the other Defendants, Defendant Orange raises a statute of limitations defense. He also argues that he is entitled to qualified immunity from liability for any constitutional claim brought against him under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, that any official capacity claim brought against him is duplicative of the claims brought against the City of Franklin, that Plaintiff's allegations fail to support a claim brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1985, and that Plaintiff does not have a cognizable private cause of action under the Tennessee Constitution. See Defendant Orange's Memorandum in Support (Docket Entry No. 23).
Plaintiff has filed a lengthy joint response to the motions of the State Defendants, Atrium, and the City of Franklin, see Plaintiff's Response I (Docket Entry No. 24), and a second lengthy response that is directed at the motion of Defendant Orange. See Plaintiff's Response II (Docket Entry No. 37). In his response, Plaintiff raises rebuttals to each of the arguments for dismissal raised by Defendants. He also drops the “Doe” Defendants from his case. See Plaintiff's Response I at 21.
Plaintiff attaches to his responses several exhibits. See Docket Entry No. 24-1 and Docket Entry No. 37 at 20-27. These exhibits consist of: (1) a copy of the forms showing the certified mailing and receipt of his complaint to the Court; (2) copies of the citation he was given, the finding of no probable cause by the General Sessions court, and an order of expungement of the public records for the criminal charge; (3) a copy of the “Group Sales Event Agreement” between the AOC and Atrium; (4) a copy of municipal ordinance Sec. 6-109 for the City of Franklin and Tenn. Code. Ann. § 40-7-103; (5) a website link to the “body cam” footage for Defendant Orange; and, (6) a copy of a letter Plaintiff alleges that he sent to Defendant Page prior to the judicial conference demanding access to the judicial conference.
For the purposes of this Report and Recommendation, it is unnecessary to summarize each of Plaintiff's rebuttal arguments. The Court shall specifically address in its analysis only those arguments that are pertinent to the basis for the Court's ultimate recommendation.
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
A motion to dismiss filed under Rule 12(b)(6) is reviewed under the standard that the Court must accept as true all the well-pleaded allegations contained in the complaint and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to Plaintiff. Morgan v. Church's Fried Chicken, 829 F.2d 10, 11-12 (6th Cir. 1987). Because Plaintiff is a pro se litigant, the Court is also required to view his complaint with some measure of a liberal construction. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991).
Although the complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, the factual allegations supplied must be enough to show a plausible right to relief. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-61 (2007). See also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). To state a plausible claim for relief, the alleged facts must provide “more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Mik v. Federal Home Loan Mortg. Corp., 743 F.3d 149, 157 (6th Cir. 2014) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). The well-pleaded factual allegations must “do more than create speculation or suspicion of a legally cognizable cause of action; they must show entitlement to relief.” League of United Latin Am. Citizens v. Bredesen, 500 F.3d 523, 527 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). The complaint will not “suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]’ devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.’ ” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
As Defendants point out, Plaintiff attaches several exhibits to his responses to the motions to dismiss. Generally, a motion to dismiss should be limited to the facts alleged in the complaint. However, in review of a motion to dismiss, documents not attached to the pleadings may be considered if they are referred to in the complaint and are central to the claims contained therein. See Bassett v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008). The Court may also take judicial notice of a party's submission of public records. See New Eng. Health Care Emps. Pension Fund v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 336 F.3d 495, 501 (6th Cir. 2003). While some of Plaintiff's exhibits could arguably fall within the scope of documents that could be considered by the Court, it is not necessary for the Court to rely on these documents for the purposes of resolving the pending motions to dismiss.
A. Dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint
Plaintiff's lawsuit presents an interesting factual scenario. In addition to the intrinsically personal claims that he brings as an individual who believes that he was wrongfully arrested, his lawsuit touches upon broader First Amendment issues. Nonetheless, his lawsuit suffers from a significant flaw that cannot be overlooked.
Defendants raise a valid statute of limitations defense. Although the statute of limitations is an affirmative defense generally not amenable to resolution on a motion to dismiss, a complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim if the allegations of the complaint themselves demonstrate that the claim would be barred by the applicable statute of limitations. LRL Properties v. Portage Metro Housing Authority, 55 F.3d 1097 (6th Cir. 1995). It is clear from the face of Plaintiff's own complaint that he has not pursued his claims in a timely manner.
Claims brought under Section 1983 and Section 1985, like any civil claim, are subject to a statute of limitations that requires that the claims be brought within a certain time period. It is beyond dispute that the statute of limitations for Section 1983 and 1985 claims that arise in Tennessee are subject to the one-year limitations period set out in Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104(a)(1)(B). See Roberson v. Tennessee, 399 F.3d 792, 794 (6th Cir. 2005); Carver v. U Haul Co., 830 F.2d 193 (6th Cir. 1987) (the applicable statute of limitations for Section 1985 claim is Tennessee's one year statute of limitations).
Although the duration of the applicable statute of limitations is governed by state law, the question of when the limitations period begins to run is determined by federal law. Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 388 (2007); Eidson v. State of Tennessee Dep't of Children's Servs., 510 F.3d 631, 635 (6th Cir. 2007). Generally, a limitations period begins to run when a plaintiff knows or should have known of the injury that forms the basis of the claim. Eidson, 510 F.3d at 635; Ruff v. Runyon, 258 F.3d 498, 500 (6th Cir. 2001). Alternatively, the Sixth Circuit has suggested that the limitations period for a Section 1983 claim beings to run when the plaintiff has a complete and present cause of action that can be raised in court. Dibrell v. City of Knoxville, Tennessee, 984 F.3d 1156, 1162 (6th Cir. 2021).
In the instant case, Plaintiff was clearly aware of his claimed injuries at the time that the events at issue occurred on November 6, 2021. At that time, he had been denied in his attempt to attend and cover the judicial conference, he had been arrested and charged with a crime, his hand had been injured during the handcuffing, he had been involuntarily removed from the hotel, and he had been transported to the local jail for booking before being released. These events were obvious and were sufficient to have alerted Plaintiff that he needed to act to protect his rights. See Cooey v. Strickland, 479 F.3d 412, 416 (6th Cir. 2007). Additionally, at any point after these events, Plaintiff could have initiated his lawsuit because his legal claims were complete claims that could be raised by him in a lawsuit. Accordingly, under either accrual doctrine, Plaintiff's claims accrued on November 6, 2021.
Specifically, any claim Plaintiff had that his First Amendment rights were violated when he was removed from the judicial conference and subsequently arrested because he was attempting to exercise his First Amendment rights accrued at the time of these events. Rapp v. Putnam, 644 F. App'x 621, 625 (6th Cir. 2016) (plaintiff's First Amendment claim that he was issued citations and prosecuted in retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights accrued at the time the defendants initiated the prosecution). Additionally, Plaintiff's allegation that he was injured by Defendant Orange during the handcuffing and arrest, see Complaint at ¶ 20, which raises a Fourth Amendment unreasonable force claim under Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 395 (1989), also accrued on November 6, 2021. Hodge v. City of Elyria, 126 F. App'x 222, 226 (6th Cir. 2005) (Fourth Amendment excessive force claim “began to accrue on the date when [the arrestee] first knew of the alleged constitutional injury, the day of his arrest.”). Finally, Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment claim for false arrest and false imprisonment accrued on the day that he was arrested given that he was released that day shortly after his arrest and was not further detained or held in custody. Dibrell, 984 F.3d at 1162 (“[The torts of false arrest and false imprisonment], which again challenge a detention without legal process, accrue at the earlier of two dates. They accrue when the false imprisonment ends with the plaintiff's release. Or, if the plaintiff remains detained, they alternatively accrue when the false imprisonment ends with the issuance of legal process - when, for example, the plaintiff is brought before a magistrate.”) (internal citations omitted). See also Wallace, 549 U.S. at 389 (“Limitations begin to run against an action for false imprisonment when the alleged false imprisonment ends”); Fox v. DeSoto, 489 F.3d 227, 233, 235 (6th Cir. 2007) (limitations period for wrongful arrest claim of arrestee who was released after his arrest began to run at time of arrest and he was not required to wait until the criminal charges were dismissed in order to bring his claim).
Instead of promptly pursuing his claims, Plaintiff sat on his rights and waited until November 5, 2022, to sign his complaint and place it in the mail for certified delivery to the Court. He thought that this sufficed to have his complaint filed within one year from the events of November 6, 2021.
This was a significant mistake. “A civil action is commenced by filing a complaint with the court.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 3. As the Sixth Circuit has clearly stated, “[if] mailed, the filing is accomplished only when actually received by the clerk or when placed in the clerk's post office box.” Torras Herreria y Construcciones, S.A. v. M/V Timur Star, 803 F.2d 215, 216 (6th Cir. 1986). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(d)(2) (“A paper not filed electronically is filed by delivering it (A) to the clerk; or (B) to a judge who agrees to accept it for filing.”) Plaintiff's complaint was not filed when he placed it in the mail. It was filed only when it was received by the Clerk's Office. Plaintiff's complaint bears a stamp of “received” by the Clerk's Office on November 9, 2022, and the complaint was filed that day. See Complaint at 1. Filings that reach a clerk's office after a deadline are untimely, even if mailed before the deadline. Torras Herreria y Construcciones, S.A., 803 F.2d at 216; See Robinette v. ProMedica Pathology Lab'ys, LLC, 2022 WL 4540192, at *2 (6th Cir. May 9, 2022) (civil complaint was subject to dismissal as untimely even though it was placed in the mail prior to the filing deadline). On its face, Plaintiff's complaint was filed two days past the expiration of the one year limitations period, which fell on November 7, 2022,5 and is therefore untimely under the applicable statute of limitations. See Meersman v. Regions Morgan Keegan Tr., 2020 WL 2319785, at *5 (M.D. Tenn. May 11, 2020) (a plaintiff's pleading was untimely when received by the Court one day after the filing deadline even if it was placed in the mail before the deadline).
Plaintiff raises several arguments for why his complaint should be viewed as timely filed but none of these arguments have merit. He asserts that “the law allows for mailing of a complaint prior to the [expiration] of the one-year deadline to suffice for a timely filed document even though the clerk gets the mailing after the deadline.” See Plaintiff's Response I at 1-2; Plaintiff's Response II at 15. This is clearly not the law under the authority of Torras Herreria y Construcciones, S.A. Furthermore, even though Plaintiff proceeds pro se, the “mailbox rule,” which permits the Court to constructively construe the date on which a complaint is placed in the mail as the date of filing, see Richard v. Ray, 290 F.3d 810, 12-13 (6th Cir. 2002), is a narrow rule that is applicable only to pro se parties who are prison inmates. Robinette, 2022 WL 4540192 at *2; Cretacci v. Call, 988 F.3d 860, 867 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 142 S. Ct. 400 (2021); Meersman, 2020 WL 2319785 at *5. Plaintiff points to 28 U.S.C. § 7502 and 27 C.F.R. § 70.305 as provisions that he argues render the date he mailed his complaint to be the date of filing. See Plaintiff's Response I at 2. However, both provisions apply only to mailings made to the Internal Revenue Service and have no relevance to the issue at hand.
Plaintiff also asserts that he made several unsuccessful attempts to obtain an attorney to represent him and that, as a pro se party, he was unable to file his complaint electronically. See Plaintiff's Response II at 15. However, these facts do not constitute grounds that excuse his untimely filing because neither factor prevented him from taking the steps necessary to timely file his complaint and therefore do not warrant any type of tolling of the limitations period.
Finally, there is also no merit in Plaintiff's contention that his complaint should be viewed as timely filed because the Court accepted his response to Defendant Orange's motion to dismiss even though the response was not received by the Court until after the deadline that the Court set for the response. Id. While the Court has the inherent discretion to manage its own cases and to amend, extend, rigorously enforce, or even ignore the deadlines that the Court itself sets for filing responses to motions, it has no such discretion to extend a statutorily set limitation period that governs the deadline for commencing a lawsuit.
Although not set out in his actual responses to the motions to dismiss, Plaintiff argues in a “notice on filing timeliness issue, equitable claims” (Docket Entry No. 43), that Defendants’ statute of limitations arguments ignore two events alleged in his complaint as acts of false imprisonment, “malicious prosecution,” and “unwarranted deprivation of constitutional common law rights under color of law,” see Complaint at ¶¶ 26 and 27, that occurred when he had to return to Franklin for a hearing before the General Session judge on December 14, 2021, and had to be present at the hearing for 70 minutes. Id. He contends that both of these events imposed a restraint on his freedom and liberty and occurred within the one-year period prior to filing his lawsuit, which renders his complaint timely filed. See Notice at 2.
To the extent that Plaintiff argues that these two events constituted seizures of him that were linked to the arrest, a “continuing seizure” doctrine relative to a false arrest claim has not been adopted in the Sixth Circuit as either a continued seizure arising from a prior arrest or as a separate seizure for an independent Fourth Amendment claim. See Johnson v. City of Cincinnati, 310 F.3d 484, 492-93 (6th Cir. 2002) (noting that the “continuing seizure” doctrine had not yet been recognized in the Sixth Circuit); Parker v. Robertson, 34 F. Supp. 3d 847, 850 (M.D. Tenn. 2014) (order vacated in part as to other issue on reconsideration, 34 F. Supp. 3d 859 (M.D. Tenn. 2014)). Indeed, the mere requirement that a released arrestee later appear for a court hearing, unaccompanied by other conditions of release that were imposed upon the arrestee, has been found to be insufficient to even constitute a “deprivation of liberty” that would support a malicious prosecution claim. See Howell v. Cox, 2017 WL 5900115, at *3 (M.D. Tenn. Nov. 30, 2017), aff'd, 758 F. App'x 480 (6th Cir. 2018). See also Noonan v. Cnty. of Oakland, 683 F. App'x 455, 461 (6th Cir. 2017) (a summons to appear for a mandatory court appearance is not sufficient to constitute a deprivation of liberty for a malicious prosecution claim); Billock v. Kuivila, 2013 WL 591988, at *6 (N.D. Ohio Feb. 14, 2013) (collecting cases).
The Court finds that Plaintiff's failure to file a timely complaint bars him from seeking relief under Section 1983 on the claims that he asserts. Plaintiff's failure to file a timely complaint likewise bars him from pursuing a claim under Section 1985(3) since his Section 1985(3) claim is likewise based upon the events occurring on November 6, 2021. Given that the statute of limitations requires dismissal of Plaintiff's claims in their entirety, it is not necessary to address Defendants’ alternative arguments for dismissal.
B. Plaintiff's requests for injunctive and declaratory relief
In addition to seeing injunctive relief as a remedy in his complaint, Plaintiff has filed two motions seeking permanent injunctions against Defendant City of Franklin and Defendant Page, see Petitions “for declaratory judgment and equity relief upon default, and for permanent injunction” (Docket Entry Nos. 31 and 34), as well a “demand for immediate equitable relief to prevent irreparable harm.” See Docket Entry No. 45.
In his two motions, Plaintiff contends that Defendants Page and the City of Franklin have not specifically defended against the two requests set out in his complaint for prospective “equitable” relief in the form of injunctions and that he is therefore entitled to the entry of a permanent injunction in his favor. Plaintiff argues that this is so even though the Clerk recently denied his request for entry of default against these two Defendants. See Order denying motions for entry of default (entered April 10, 2023; Docket Entry No. 46); Plaintiff's Motion for reconsideration (Docket Entry No. 47). In his demand for immediate equitable relief, he asserts that, in another case that is pending in this Court, McCaleb v. Long, et al., Case No. 3:22-cv-00439, the Court recently entered a preliminary injunction that restrains the AOC from closing to the public and press future meetings of the Tennessee bench-bar advisory commission. Plaintiff argues that the rationale of the Court's order in McCaleb should be applied to his request for prospective injunctive relief against Defendant Page with respect to future judicial conferences.
Plaintiff has no basis for any type of injunctive relief in this case. First, a request for an injunction is not a claim, but merely a remedy for a claim. Madej v. Maiden, 951 F.3d 364, 369 (6th Cir. 2020). As found by the Clerk in the denial of Plaintiff's request for the entry of default, Defendants City of Franklin and Page have clearly defended against Plaintiff's claims by seeking the dismissal of the lawsuit. They have in no way ceded to or waived a defense to the imposition of any type of injunctive remedy in this case. Second, and most importantly, the claims brought by Plaintiff are subject to dismissal in their entirety because they are untimely under the statute of limitations. The underpinning of the issuance of either a preliminary injunction or a permanent injunction is the relative merits of the claims at issue in a case. A “strong likelihood of success” on the merits by the movant is a significant factor in obtaining a preliminary injunction, Chabad of S. Ohio & Congregation Lubavitch v. City of Cincinnati, 363 F.3d 427, 432 (6th Cir. 2004), while actual and ultimate success on a claim is required in order for a permanent injunction to issue. Jolivette v. Husted, 694 F.3d 760, 765 (6th Cir. 2012). Upon the dismissal of Plaintiff's claims, his requests for remedies of injunctive relief simply lack any foundation and must be denied. Id. at 772.
To the extent that Plaintiff relies upon the Court's recent decision to issue a preliminary injunction in McCaleb v. Long as the basis for obtaining relief in this case, his reliance is misplaced. While the First Amendment issues involved in McCaleb may generally mirror those involved in the instant case, the facts of the two cases are not the same. McCaleb involves only the issue of public access to the Tennessee bench-bar advisory commission established to recommend rules and does not involve public access to more broad judicial conferences. McCaleb v. Long, 2023 WL 2602507 (M.D. Tenn. March 22, 2023).6 Further, the facts and claims that support the issuance of the preliminary injunction in McCaleb are part of the underlying amended complaint in McCaleb. In contrast, Plaintiff seeks prospective relief based upon facts and allegations that are not actually contained in his complaint but are set out in motions and other filings. See Petition (Docket Entry No. 34) and Demand (Docket Entry No. 45). He seeks relief that goes beyond remedying the matters that are set out in his complaint. “The purpose of a preliminary injunction is always to prevent irreparable injury so as to preserve the court's ability to render a meaningful decision on the merits.” United Food & Commercial Workers Union, Local 1099 v. Sw. Ohio Reg'l Transit Auth., 163 F.3d 341, 348 (6th Cir. 1998) (citing Stenberg v. Cheker Oil Co., 573 F.2d 921, 925 (6th Cir. 1978)). The requested preliminary injunctive relief sought by Plaintiff is simply not needed to render a decision on the merits of the actual claims that he brings in this lawsuit.
For the reasons set out above, it is respectfully RECOMMENDED that:
1) the motion to dismiss of Defendants Roger A. Page, John R. Crawford, and Administrative Office of the Courts John and Jane Doe (Docket Entry No. 7), the motion to dismiss of Defendant Atrium Hospitality LP (Docket Entry No. 11), the motion to dismiss of Defendant City of Franklin (Docket Entry No. 12), and the motion to dismiss of Defendant William Orange (Docket Entry No. 22) be GRANTED;
2) Plaintiff's petitions for declaratory judgment and equity relief upon default, and for permanent injunction (Docket Entry Nos. 31 and 34), motion for an immediate hearing (Docket Entry No. 36), demand for immediate equitable relief to prevent irreparable harm (Docket Entry No. 45), and motion for reconsideration of the Clerk's denial of entry of default against Defendants Page and City of Franklin (Docket Entry No. 47) be DENIED;
3) Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Docket No. 48) be DENIED as moot considering the recommendation that this lawsuit be dismissed as untimely filed; and
4) this action be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as to all claims and all Defendants.
ANY OBJECTIONS to this Report and Recommendation must be filed within fourteen (14) days of service of this Report and Recommendation and must state with particularity the specific portions of this Report and Recommendation to which objection is made. See Rule 72(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 72.02(a). Failure to file written objections within the specified time can be deemed a waiver of the right to appeal the District Court's Order regarding the Report and Recommendation. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985); United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir. 1981). Any response to the objections must be filed within fourteen (14) days after service of objections. See Federal Rule 72(b)(2) and Local Rule 72.02(b).
1. Notably, Defendants only required that Tulis report for booking prior to December 14, 2021, (Doc. No. 65-1 at 1), and, in contrast to his claim regarding the December 14 hearing, Tulis does not cite the booking itself as an alleged instance of harm. (See generally Doc. No. 1).
2. The Magistrate Judge noted that “although the one-year period expired on November 6, 2022, because that date was a Sunday the time for Plaintiff to file his complaint was extended until the following Monday, November 7, 2022,” (Doc. No. 52 at 12 n.5), pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(a)(1)(C).
3. Aside from these two categories of objections, Tulis also objects to the Magistrate Judge's reliance on Johnson v. City of Cincinnati, 310 F.3d 484 (6th Cir. 2002) because it concerned malicious prosecution rather than false imprisonment or arrest. (Doc. No. 56 at 3). However, this objection falls flat. Binding precedent makes clear that Fourth Amendment jurisprudence does not credit the distinction that Tulis attempts to draw. See Dibrell v. City of Knoxville, Tenn., 984 F.3d 1156, 1160–61 (6th Cir. 2021) (“[T]he Fourth Amendment does not adopt separate bans for false arrests, false imprisonments, and malicious prosecutions. It establishes a single ban on unreasonable seizures.”).
4. In what appears to be more of an excuse than a proper objection, Tulis states that he relied on “U.S. [S]upreme [C]ourt Rule 26 and certified time-stamped mailings to show a case timely, even if it arrives after the filing.” (Doc. No. 56 at 4). However, the Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States are specific to the Court; they have no application outside of the Supreme Court and do not upend published opinions by a court of appeals on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
5. Tulis makes a broader challenge to the constitutionality of the Court's rule requiring pro se plaintiffs to file either in person or through the mail. (Doc. No. 56 at 3). But the inequality Tulis alleges does not exist. His hypothetical fails to account for Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(a)(1)(C), which extended Tulis's filing deadline to November 7, 2022. The “[seventy-nine and one half] hour advantage” that Tulis challenges is fiction. (Doc. No. 57 at 25).
6. The final paragraph in the section references the alleged amount-in-controversy but goes no further to establish jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, (Doc. No. 1 ¶ 7), and, as the Magistrate Judge observed, “[Tulis] does not rely upon supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367.” (Doc. No. 52 at 4 n.4). Accordingly, Tulis has not satisfied Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(1)’s minimum requirement as to any state law claim. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(1). Confirming that he had no intention of brining a state law claim, Tulis did not object to the Magistrate Judge's observation and, instead, stated without qualification that “[t]he suit evokes § 1983 for redress of deprivation of secured rights and damages.” (Doc. No. 56 at 2).
7. The import of his reference to Tennessee Code Annotated § 17-3-107 is unclear. In the Court's best estimation, it alludes to Tulis's rationale for believing he is entitled to attend the judicial conference meeting. However, Tulis omits any connection between this and the First Amendment. (See generally Doc. No. 1). Similarly, Tulis's reference to the “common law rights as a man as one of the ‘free people’ of Tennessee” (id. ¶ 16), can be set aside because, as already explained, he has barred himself from bringing any state law claim.
8. Tulis omits any allusion to a “class-based discriminatory animus” motivating Defendants, (see generally Doc. No. 1), and, for that reason, the Court must set aside any attempt at asserting a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3). See Dunn v. State of Tenn., 697 F.2d 121, 124 (6th Cir. 1982) (“The Court agrees with the district court that plaintiff failed to state a cause of action under 1985(3). To state a claim actionable under this section, a complaint must allege two necessary elements: (1) the existence of a conspiracy, and (2) some ‘class-based discriminatory animus behind the conspirators’ action.’ ”).
9. Though immaterial, the Court notes that the lengthy drive to Williamson County on November 11, 2021, was not forced upon Tulis. In the body camera footage from November 6, 2021, which Tulis shared by including the link in an earlier filing, (Doc. No. 37 at 2), he asks if he could report for booking that same day and the officer responds in the affirmative. Were this evidence properly before the Court and credited, it would establish that Tulis was released and chose to return home rather than report for booking on November 6, 2021, when he was already in Williamson County. It is difficult to fathom how the burden of driving from Soddy-Daisy to Williamson County and back for booking was not, at least in part, self-inflicted.
2. See Docket Entry No. 24-1 at 3.
3. Although Plaintiff refers to Tennessee statutes and constitutional provisions in his complaint, his claims are couched as violations of his federal constitutional rights, he specifically cites to Sections 1983 and 1985 as the basis for his lawsuit, and he does not rely upon supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367. See Complaint at ¶¶ 2-6. Accordingly, the Court does not view Plaintiff as proceeding on any state law claims.
4. Also pending before the Court are several other motions made by Plaintiff: two petitions “for declaratory judgment and equity relief upon default, and for permanent injunction” (Docket Entry Nos. 31 and 34); motion to amend (Docket Entry No. 35); motion for an immediate hearing (Docket Entry No. 36); demand for immediate equitable relief to prevent irreparable harm (Docket Entry No. 45); motion for reconsideration of the Clerk's denial of entry of default against Defendants Page and City of Franklin (Docket Entry No. 46); and motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry No. 48). These motions are addressed by the Court in either this Report and Recommendation or a contemporaneously entered order.
5. Although the one-year period expired on November 6, 2022, because November 6, 2022, was a Sunday, the time for Plaintiff to file his complaint was extended until the following Monday, November 7, 2022. Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a)(1)(C).
6. Indeed, the Court notes that while the original complaint in McCaleb was directed at seeking access to the Tennessee Judicial conference meetings, see Docket Entry No. 1 in McCaleb, the plaintiff in McCaleb subsequently amended his complaint to narrow his focus on only access to the Tennessee bench-bar advisory commission. See Docket Entry No. 19 in McCaleb.
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR., CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Response sent, thank you
Docket No: No. 3:22-cv-00911
Decided: August 07, 2023
Court: United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division.
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