McElrath et al v. City of Cleveland et al
Opinion and Order denying plaintiffs' motions for extension of all deadlines, for Abeyance and for Estoppel (related docs 45 , 46 , and 47 ). Plaintiffs representing themselves are charged with familiarizing themselves with, and fo llowing, the Federal Civil and Local Rules. They are also prohibited from filing motions that are frivolous or unintelligible. If Plaintiffs continue to file motions that are frivolous or unintelligible, the Court will be required to impose sanctions, which could include dismissing the remaining claims. Judge Dan A. Polster 10/24/2017(C,KA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
AYANNA McELRATH, et al.,
CITY OF CLEVELAND, et al.,
CASE NO. 1:16 CV 2907
JUDGE DAN AARON POLSTER
OPINION AND ORDER
Before the Court are three motions the Pro Se Plaintiffs filed on October 20, 2017:
Motion for Extension of Time (Doc #: 45),
Motion for Abeyance (Doc #: 46), and
Motion for Estoppel (Doc #: 47).
For the following reasons, the Motions are DENIED.
As a preliminary matter, the Court is concerned about the number of frivolous, premature
and unintelligible motions Plaintiffs have been filing in this case. In the Motion for Extension of
Time, Plaintiffs ask the Court to extend all deadlines in the Case Management Plan one month
due to the “recent death [of] grandmother[‘s] acquaintance.” (Doc #: 45 at 2.)
Plaintiffs have previously requested two extensions of time stating that Ayanna McElrath
is “epileptic and can lose my memory at times.” (Doc ##: 15, 17.) Plaintiffs also asked the
Court to extend the Case Management Conference one month due to Ayanna McElrath’s
“increased seizure activity from the stress of ongoing court procedures.” (Doc #: 36.) When a
member of the Court’s staff contacted Ayanna regarding the latter request, however, Ayanna
explained that there was going to be oral argument in a state court case in which she was
involved on the same day as the CMC, and she was unable to attend both. The Court is also
concerned that Plaintiffs are not taking this case seriously, as they have filed a motion referring
to themselves variously as “Painters” and “Plankton’s.” (See id. at 2.) This is unacceptable.
While the Court is willing to extend deadlines for legitimate reasons, the Court finds that
the death of a grandmother’s acquaintance is an insufficient basis for the Court to extend all
deadlines established, agreed to, and executed by the parties during the CMC held on September
20, 2017. (Doc #: 43.)
Accordingly, the Court DENIES the Motion for Extension (Doc #: 45).
In the Motion for Abeyance, Plaintiffs ask the Court to stay this case until the Office of
Professional Standard’s (“OPS”) investigation is completed. (Doc #: 46.) Plaintiffs have
divided this motion into two sections: “Redaction” and “Conflict of Interest.” As best the Court
can guess, Plaintiffs are contending that Defendants are using the OPS’ continuing investigation
of Plaintiffs’ citizen‘s complaint to impede their discovery and public records’ requests. More
specifically, because not all of the officers at the scene of Plaintiffs’ December 2015 arrests have
filed a formal report, Defendants must be hiding something. And there is no reason for
Defendants to redact footage from the body camera the officers wore before giving that footage
There is no reason why Plaintiffs can’t depose the officers who were present at the scene
of their arrests regardless of whether or not they filed a formal report. At the same time, there is
no reason for Defendants to withhold or redact footage from body cameras worn by officers that
captured Plaintiffs’ arrests prior to submitting them to Plaintiffs in the course of discovery. If
Defendants are withholding or redacting footage, there may be a discovery dispute. The proper
procedure for handling discovery disputes is located in Local Rule 37.1 of the Local Rules for
the United State District Court, Northern District of Ohio. As noted in previous orders, even
Plaintiffs proceeding pro se must familiarize themselves with the Local and Federal Civil Rules
and follow those rules.
That said, there is no reason for the Court to stay discovery pending the completion of the
OPS’ investigation of their citizen’s complaint, assuming it is in fact ongoing. Consequently, the
Court DENIES this Motion (Doc #: 46).
Plaintiffs’ Motion for Estoppel is unintelligible. (Doc #: 47.) Here, Plaintiffs expound
ad nauseum on such topics as punishment, DNA collection and double jeopardy. They make
such undecipherable statements as:
As plaintiff ask for this motion malicious prosecution claim still applies,
Cleveland City Prosecutor still proceeded with misdemeanor charged. This was
done knowing plaintiffs served there sentence for a felony crime.”
(Id. at 5.) As far as malicious prosecution is concerned, that claim was dismissed in the Opinion
and Order dated July 26, 2017. (Doc #: 30 at 6-7.) Otherwise, the Court cannot interpret their
argument(s) and, thus, DENIES this Motion as well.
Plaintiffs representing themselves are charged with familiarizing themselves with, and
following, the Federal Civil and Local Rules. They are also prohibited from filing motions that
are frivolous or unintelligible. If Plaintiffs continue to file motions that are frivolous or
unintelligible, the Court will be required to impose sanctions, which could include dismissing the
Based on the foregoing, Plaintiffs’ Motions (Doc ##: 45, 46 and 47) are DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Dan A. Polster October 24, 2017
Dan Aaron Polster
United States District Judge
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