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Davis v. White

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 28, 2015

Henry M. Davis, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
Michael White; City of Ferguson, Missouri; John Beaird; Kim Tihen Defendants - Appellees

Submitted April 16, 2015.

Page 1009

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis.

For Henry M. Davis, Plaintiff - Appellant: James Schottel Jr., Schottel & Associates, Saint Louis, MO.

For Michael White, in his individual capacity, City of Ferguson, Missouri, Defendants - Appellees: Peter J. Dunne, Robert T. Plunkert, Peter M. Rohrich III, Pitzer & Snodgrass, Saint Louis, MO.

For John Beaird, Kim Tihen, Defendants - Appellees: Peter J. Dunne, Robert T. Plunkert, Pitzer & Snodgrass, Saint Louis, MO.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, LOKEN and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1010

LOKEN, Circuit Judge.

After a fight with police officers at the Ferguson, Missouri, jail, Henry M. Davis brought this civil action. He asserted 42 U.S.C. § 1983

Page 1011

claims against officers Michael White, John Beaird, and Kim Tihen for using excessive force; the City of Ferguson for municipal liability; and Beaird for violating Davis's substantive due process rights by filing false complaints against him. Davis also asserted assault and battery claims against the officers individually under Missouri law. Officer White suffered a broken nose in the altercation and filed an assault and battery counterclaim. Davis appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment on the excessive force, assault and battery, and municipal liability claims; the grant of judgment as a matter of law dismissing the substantive due process claim against Beaird at the close of Davis's case at the jury trial of that claim and White's counterclaim; and three pretrial procedural rulings regarding the counterclaim, which the court dismissed without prejudice following resolution of the final federal claim. We reverse the district court's grant of summary judgment on the excessive force and assault and battery claims, vacate the dismissal without prejudice of the White counterclaim, and remand. On all other issues, we affirm.

I. Background

Davis was stopped for speeding and arrested for driving while intoxicated between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. on September 20, 2009. Officer Beaird transported Davis to the crowded Ferguson jail. When Officer Christopher Pillarick was unable to complete the booking process, Pillarick and Beaird escorted Davis to a cell where the only bunk was occupied. Davis requested a mat from a nearby stack. Pillarick refused because Davis was not cooperating. Davis refused to enter the cell. Beaird or Pillarick radioed for backup. White, Tihen, and Sergeant William Ballard responded. The deposition testimony differs dramatically concerning what happened next. It is undisputed that White pushed Davis into the cell and a short, bloody fight ensued. After it ended, White was treated at a hospital emergency room and eventually required surgery for a broken nose that had bled profusely. Davis ...


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