Wolfgang Mueller, of Olsman, Mueller, Wallace & MacKenzie, has filed suit on behalf of a Roseville, Michigan couple whose home was unlawfully raided by Roseville police officers, under a faulty search warrant, in June of 2010. Officers violated the constitutionally protected rights of William and Sharon McCleese, guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, including the right to be free from unlawful arrest and seizure of their personal property.
According to a ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals in March of 2013, Roseville police detective Mitchell Berlin used misleading information based on “rumors or reputations” to obtain a search warrant for the purposes of raiding the McCleese home, in search of narcotics. Detective Berlin intentionally submitted statements in his search warrant affidavit that were insufficiently supported and irrelevant to his investigation.
Detective Berlin seized property belonging to the McCleeses during the raid including homes, vehicles, a motorcycle, and assets in bank accounts and safe deposit boxes. The McCleeses’ faced forfeiture of their unlawfully seized property when Macomb County prosecutors initiated proceedings in 2011. Those forfeitures were dismissed in April 2013 due to the unlawful nature of the seizure. However, the McCleeses’ suffered losses in stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, and the penalties associated with those accounts during the time the Roseville police department had possession of their property.
The McCleeses were arrested without probable cause, without an arrest warrant, and charged with two felonies they did not commit. Detective Berlin violated the McCleeses’ Fourth Amendment rights when he deliberately made false and misleading statements in his search warrant affidavit. The City of Roseville failed in their duty to train its police officers on the proper procedures for obtaining a legal search warrant with probable cause, which directly lead to the McCleeses’ wrongful arrest.
William and Sharon McCleeses were not the only individuals to suffer from the shock and embarrassment of their wrongful arrest. Two teenage grandchildren were in the home at the time of the raid. One grandchild was forced to exit a shower at gunpoint and lie on the floor, while the other was handcuffed and held at gunpoint by the officers. William McCleese moved out of his home for over a year for fear of his grandchildren being unnecessarily subjected to another traumatic and illegal raid involving guns.
Due to the misconduct of the City of Roseville, its police department, and detective Mitchell Berlin, William and Sharon McCleese endured violation of their constitutional rights, false arrest, significant financial losses, and emotional distress with associated physical effects, which they continue to suffer. The lawsuit names both the City of Roseville and Mitchell Berlin as defendants.