United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
HOLMES, III, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Mitchell Scott Simpson, contends his Fourth Amendment rights
were violated when he was arrested on a warrant for Michael
Simpson. Currently before the Court is the Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF Nos. 59-61). Plaintiff filed a
Response (ECF No. 70) to the Motion.
December 30, 2016, the Plaintiff, Mitchell Simpson (Simpson)
had an accident on Highway 45 in front of the Goshen,
Arkansas, fire station. The Defendant, Trooper Grant Evans,
responded to the scene. Trooper Evans asked for Simpson's
driver's license. The license was suspended. Simpson was
given citations for driving on a suspended license and for
driving without liability insurance.
Evans then entered the information on the license--name, date
of birth, and state of issuance--into the Arkansas Threat
Level Assessment System (ATLAS), the computer system in the
patrol vehicle. Trooper Evans states “[t]here were
matching factors for an active warrant for Mitchell Simpson
with an alias of Michael Simpson.” (ECF No. 73 at 2).
Trooper Evans indicates the name and date of birth are the
identifying factors relied upon during a traffic stop.
(Id. at 3).
Evans then contacted dispatch to inquire about the warrant
for Mitchell/Michael Simpson. (ECF No. 73 at 3). “The
dispatcher confirmed that the individuals had the same date
of birth and also confirmed [the] names and aliases.”
(Id). Both lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
(Id.). The dispatcher indicated the individual
pictured was a white male who looked approximately fifty
years old. (Id.). Finally, the dispatcher confirmed
the warrant was valid. (Id.). Simpson concedes that
he gave Trooper Evans a couple of wrong driver's license
numbers during this encounter. (ECF No. 59-1 at 17).
was placed under arrest and transported to the Washington
County Detention Center. (ECF No. 73 at 4). Simpson spent
approximately thirty to forty-five minutes at the detention
center while detention center personnel followed up on his
claim that the warrant was not for him. (ECF No. 59-1 at 14).
Simpson was then released. Id.
Evans and Simpson had never met prior to the date of arrest.
(ECF No. 73 at 4). Trooper Evans had no personal knowledge of
any incident involving Simpson's incarceration in
Washington County. (Id.).
2013 and 2015 when Simpson was arrested, he gave the name of
his brother, Michael Simpson,  his brother's date of birth,
his brother's social security number, and his
brother's driver's license number. (ECF Nos. 59-1 at
20-23). Simpson was criminally charged for having done so in
each instance. Id.
judgment is appropriate if, after viewing the facts and all
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986), the record
“shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “Once a party
moving for summary judgment has made a sufficient showing,
the burden rests with the non-moving party to set forth
specific facts, by affidavit or other evidence, showing that
a genuine issue of material fact exists.” National
Bank of Commerce v. Dow Chemical Co., 165 F.3d 602, 607
(8th Cir. 1999).
non-moving party “must do more than simply show that
there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts.” Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586.
“They must show there is sufficient evidence to support
a jury verdict in their favor.” National Bank,
165 F.3d at 607 (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986)). “A case founded
on speculation or suspicion is insufficient to survive a
motion for summary judgment.” Id. (citing
Metge v. Baehler, 762 F.2d 621, 625 (8th Cir. 1985)).
“When opposing parties tell two different stories, one
of which is blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no
reasonable jury could believe it, a court should not adopt
that version of the facts for purposes of ruling on a motion
for summary judgment.” Scott v. Harris, 550
U.S. 372, 380 (2007).
Evans contends he is entitled to summary judgment for two
reasons. First, the official capacity claim against him is
barred by sovereign immunity. Second, he is entitled ...