United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
N. SCOLA, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion for
summary judgment. (ECF No. 50.) The Plaintiffs responded (ECF
No. 62) and the Defendants timely replied (ECF No. 69).
Having considered the parties' arguments, the record, and
the relevant legal authority, the Court
grants the Defendants' motion.
(ECF No. 50.)
October 3, 2015, the Plaintiffs were on a family vacation and
checked into the Floridian Hotel in Homestead, Florida. (Am.
Compl. ¶ 11., ECF No. 22.) At approximately 12:23 a.m.,
Homestead Police Dispatch received a 911 call from the
Floridian Hotel's security guard, Nelson Cruz.
(Defendants' Statement of Facts (“Def. SOF”),
ECF No. 49 at ¶ 1.) Cruz reported that there was a
disturbance at the hotel with a drunk female. (Id.
at ¶ 2.) The female guest was disturbing the other
guests and there was an altercation with someone in the
hallway of the second floor. (Id. ¶ 3.) Cruz
said the problematic guests were in room 206. (Id.)
Officer Meece, Officer Leal, and Officer Pearce (the
“Officers”) arrived on the scene. (Id.
at ¶ 5.) The Officers spoke to Cruz and he informed them
that one of the females causing the disturbance had been nude
in the public areas of the hotel. (Id. at ¶ 6.)
Cruz informed Officer Meece that they “needed to leave
the hotel.” (Id. at ¶ 7.)
to knocking on the Plaintiffs' hotel door, Officer Meece
heard loud talking or arguing coming from the room.
(Id. at ¶ 9.) The Officers knocked on the door
and Plaintiff Regina Early opened it. (Id. at ¶
8, 10.) The Officers observed Plaintiff Reginald Early on the
bed near the window. (Id. at ¶ 11.) The
Officers also observed Plaintiff Mildred Early in the back of
the hotel room, near the bathroom, without any clothes on.
(Id. at ¶ 12.) Officer Meece informed Regina
that they had caused a disturbance and the Floridian Hotel no
longer wished to entertain them as guests. (Id. at
¶ 14.) Officer Meece and Officer Pearce observed Mildred
and Regina to be intoxicated. (Id. at ¶ 16.)
Officer Meece ordered them to leave immediately.
(Id.) The Plaintiffs refused to leave the hotel upon
Officer Meece's notice that they were not longer welcome
at the hotel. (Id. at ¶ 15.)
five to six minutes after the Officers told the Plaintiffs
that they had to leave the hotel, the Officers entered the
hotel room. (Id. at ¶ 21.) Officer Leal entered
the hotel room bathroom and requested that Mildred get out of
the bathtub and get dressed. (Id. at ¶ 22.)
Officers Leal and Pearce placed Mildred under arrest by
bringing her out of the bathroom and placing her on the bed
to handcuff her. (Id. at ¶ 23.) Mildred was
then wrapped in a sheet at the first available moment,
escorted downstairs, and placed in a police car.
(Id. at ¶ 24.) Both Mildred and Regina were
arrested and transported to the Homestead Police Department.
(Id. at ¶ 26.)
Meece authored the arrest reports and incident reports for
Mildred and Regina. (Id. at ¶ 28.) The Officers
did not communicate with the State Attorney's Office
regarding the charges filed against Mildred and Regina.
(Id. at ¶ 29.) Regina signed a pretrial
diversion agreement, in which she agreed to complete a
pretrial diversion program in exchange for a nolle
prosse of the charges. (Id. at ¶ 30.)
Plaintiffs do not admit or deny the Defendants' statement
of facts. Instead, they present their own version of the
facts. According to the Plaintiffs, Mildred and Regina did
not have an altercation with anyone at the hotel. (ECF No. 62
at ¶ 1.) They also never consumed alcohol. (Id.
at ¶ 5.) When the Officers arrived at their hotel room,
they told the Plaintiffs to “get the fuck out.”
(Id. at ¶ 10.) The Officers never explained
that the Plaintiffs had to leave the hotel. (Id. at
Officers barged into the bathroom while Mildred was taking a
bath. (Id. at ¶ 12.) Officer Leal handcuffed
Mildred while she was fully naked. (Id. at ¶
13.) The Plaintiffs contest the Defendants' assertions
that Mildred was only naked for a few minutes. (Id.
at ¶ 17.) Officer Pearce testified that he could not
recall having heard yelling before the Officers knocked on
the hotel door. (Id. at ¶ 18.) The Officers
never identified any witnesses or victims of any alleged
altercation at the hotel. (Id. at ¶ 19.)
judgment is proper if following discovery, the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, affidavits and
admissions on file show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56.
“An issue of fact is ‘material' if, under the
applicable substantive law, it might affect the outcome of
the case.” Hickson Corp. v. N. Crossarm
Co., 357 F.3d 1256, 1259-60 (11th Cir. 2004). “An
issue of fact is ‘genuine' if the record taken as a
whole could lead a rational trier of fact to find for the
nonmoving party.” Id. at 1260.
evidence and factual inferences reasonably drawn from the
evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co.,
398 U.S. 144, 157 (1970); Jackson v. BellSouth
Telecomms., 372 F.3d 1250, 1280 (11th Cir. 2004).
“If more than one inference could be construed from the
facts by a reasonable fact finder, and that inference
introduces a genuine issue of material fact, then the
district court should not grant summary judgment.”
Bannum, Inc. v. City of Fort Lauderdale, 901 F.2d
989, 996 (11th Cir. 1990).
party properly makes a summary judgment motion by
demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material
fact, whether or not accompanied by affidavits, the nonmoving
party must go beyond the pleadings through the use of
affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories and
admissions on file, and designate specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial. Celotex, 477
U.S. at 323-24. The nonmovant's evidence must be
significantly probative to support the claims. Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249
(1986). The Court will not weigh the evidence or make
findings of fact. Id. at 249; Morrison v. Amway
Corp., 323 F.3d 920, 924 (11th Cir. 2003). Rather, the
Court's role is limited to deciding whether there is
sufficient evidence upon which a reasonable juror could find
for the nonmoving party. Id.
preliminary matter, the Court will address the
Plaintiffs' failure to comply with Local Rule 56.1. Local
Rule 56.1(a) states that “[s]tatements of material
facts submitted in opposition to a motion for summary
judgment shall correspond with the order and with the
paragraph numbering scheme used by the movant . . .
Additionally facts which the party opposing summary judgment
contends are material shall be numbered and placed at the end
of the opposing party's statement of material
facts[.]” The Rule goes on to state that “all
material facts set forth in the movant's statement filed
and supported as required above will be deemed admitted
unless controverted by the opposing party's statement,
provided that the Court finds that the movant's statement
is supported by evidence in the record.” S.D. Fla. L.R.
56.1(b). “[I]t is the nonmovant's obligations to
specifically bring the factual dispute to the court's
attention by rebutting the movant's factual statements on
a paragraph by paragraph basis and with specific citations to
the record.” Joseph v. Napolitano, 829
F.Supp.2d 1324, 1329 (S.D. Fla. 2012) (Goodman, Mag. J.).
Defendants filed a Statement of Undisputed Facts in support
of their motion for summary judgment, which consists of 32
numbered paragraphs with citations to the record. (ECF No.
49.) In response, the Plaintiffs did not file a corresponding
statement of undisputed facts to rebut, on a
paragraph-by-paragraph basis, the Defendants' statement
of facts. Instead, the Plaintiffs' response to the
Defendants' motion includes a “Background”