United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
LEON HOLMES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Green was arrested by Charles Byrd, a Helena-West Helena
police officer, on June 28, 2013. He was jailed in a county
facility for five months, before being released, uncharged,
on October 1, 2013. Green did not receive a first-appearance
hearing within 72 hours of arrest. He sued Byrd in his
official capacity pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
violation of the fourth amendment as incorporated into the
fourteenth amendment according to the Supreme Court of the
United States, as well as a parallel claim under the Arkansas
Civil Rights Act for violations of the Arkansas
constitution. The claims are really claims against the
City of Helena-West Helena. Green now moves for partial
summary judgment as to liability on his claims. The City
cross moves for summary judgment.
should enter summary judgment if the evidence, viewed in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party, demonstrates
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2511,
91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Torgerson v. City of
Rochester, 643 F.3d 1031, 1042 (8th Cir. 2011) (en
banc). A genuine dispute of material fact exists only if the
evidence is sufficient to allow a jury to return a verdict
for the nonmoving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249,
106 S.Ct. at 2511.
City first argues that Green's claims are barred by
Arkansas's three-year statute of limitations. Green says
that the running of the statute was tolled under the rule set
out in Am. Pipe & Const. Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S.
538, 94 S.Ct. 756, 38 L.Ed.2d 713 (1974). “Arkansas has
adopted the American Pipe rule.” Garner v.
Butterball, LLC, No. 4:10CV01025 JLH, 2012 WL 570000, at
*7 (E.D. Ark. Feb. 22, 2012) (citing Blaylock v. Shearson
Lehman Bros., Inc., 330 Ark. 620, 624, 954 S.W.2d 939,
941 (1997)). That rule provides that “commencement of a
class action suspends the applicable statute of limitations
as to all asserted members of the class who would have been
parties had the suit been permitted to continue as a class
action.” Am. Pipe, 414 U.S. at 554, 94 S.Ct.
at 766. The City has not responded to Green's argument
that the running of the statute tolled under American
Pipe, so the Court will assume that American
claim would have been encompassed in the class action case of
2:15CV00095 before Judge D.P. Marshall. Judge Marshall
certified a class of “[a]ll those arrested in Phillips
County, Arkansas between 9 October 2012 and 10 November 2016
who did not receive a Rule 8 appearance within seventy-two
hours of arrest.” Thomas v.
Byrd, No. 2:15CV00095 DPM (E.D. Ark.
Nov. 10, 2015). Assuming that American Pipe applies,
his claims are not barred by Arkansas's statute of
alleges that the City maintained an unconstitutional custom.
The City argues that Green has failed to offer any evidence
that City policy was responsible for failing to get Green to
a first-appearance hearing. On the flip side, Green argues
that there is no dispute that City actors were responsible.
Covington v. Wallace, No. 2:12CV00123 DPM, 2014 WL
5306791, at *1 (E.D. Ark. Oct. 15, 2014), was a class action
alleging the same claims but covering a different time period
than when Green's claim arose. As it did here, the City
moved for summary judgment, arguing the City was not liable.
Judge Marshall rejected that argument and explained his
Genuinely disputed material facts exist. The testimony of
Judges King and Porter makes plain their view that the City
was either solely or jointly responsible with the County for
making sure that city arrestees got to court for a first
appearance. The City disputes this, of course, and that's
an issue for trial. Covington is not asserting claims against
various City officials who were part of this machinery. His
argument, instead, is that various City hands were on the
jail keys, just like County hands were. A jury must decide
where the truth is about the alleged will-call policy and the
County/City roles in all this.
Id. Green relies on the deposition testimony of
Judges King and Porter as well. That testimony is evidence
that the City was involved but does not conclusively
establish municipal liability under Monell v. Dept. of
Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611
Green's motion for partial summary judgment is DENIED.
Document #38. Charles Byrd's motion for summary judgment
is also DENIED. Document #44.
 Green had also asserted a sexual
assault claim against Byrd in his individual and official
capacities. He later voluntarily moved to dismiss Byrd as a
defendant in his individual capacity and to dismiss the
sexual assault claim again Byrd in his official capacity.
Document #36. The Court granted that ...