United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
BARRY A. BRYANT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff,
Torger McRae, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The parties have
consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge to
conduct all proceedings in this case, including conducting
the trial, ordering the entry of a final judgment, and
conducting all post-judgment proceedings. (ECF No. 28).
Currently before the Court are two motions for summary
judgment filed by Defendant John Voss (ECF No. 32) and
Defendants Houston Bradshaw and Jonathan
Chambers. (ECF No. 36). Plaintiff has filed a
response. (ECF No. 45). The Court finds this matter ripe for
is currently being held in the Ouachita County Detention
Center (“OCDC”) awaiting trial on pending
criminal charges. (ECF No. 9, p. 3). Plaintiff filed his
Complaint on March 6, 2018, in the Eastern District of
Arkansas. (ECF No. 2). On March 8, 2018, the case was
transferred to the Western District of Arkansas, El Dorado
Division. (ECF No. 4). That same day, the Court directed
Plaintiff to submit a completed IFP application and file an
Amended Complaint to clarify his claims against the
defendants. (ECF Nos. 6, 7). Plaintiff named Houston Bradshaw
and Jonathan Chambers - members of the 13th
Judicial District Drug Task Force, John Voss - the Chief of
Police for the Camden Police Department, and Cameron Owens -
the Administrator for the OCDC as Defendants. On March 22,
2018, Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 9).
Plaintiff's IFP application was approved that same day.
(ECF No. 11).
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff claims he was unlawfully
arrested and transported to jail in his boxer shorts and
subjected to racial slurs and excessive force. In addition,
Plaintiff claims his bail was set too high because Defendants
Bradshaw, Chambers and Voss forced a parolee to violate his
parole by participating in a controlled buy which ultimately
resulted in Plaintiff's arrest and subsequently, his
alleged excessive bail. Plaintiff sued Defendants in their
individual and official capacities. He is seeking
compensatory and punitive damages. Plaintiff also requests
“disciplinary actions/sanctions against defendants,
policy & procedure review by outside agency, compliance
check in jail to ensure ACA standards.” (ECF No. 9, p.
April 17, 2018, the Court entered a screening order pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A dismissing the individual and
official capacity claims against Defendants Bradshaw,
Chambers, and Voss related to excessive force and racial
slurs. (ECF No. 14, p. 9). The Court also found the unlawful
arrest claims against these Defendants were barred under the
Younger abstention doctrine. The Court stayed these
claims until Plaintiff's pending state criminal charges
are resolved. Currently before the Court are Plaintiff's
claims against Defendants Bradshaw, Chambers, and Voss based
on a violation of the Fourth Amendment for refusing to allow
Plaintiff to put on clothes when he was arrested and
transported to jail and the imposition of excessive bail.
Id. Taken in the light most favorable to Plaintiff,
the relevant facts are as follows.
August 22, 2017, Sergeant Easttem, an officer with the Camden
Police Department, requested that a search warrant be issued
for the residence of Plaintiff located at 2200 Airline Drive.
(ECF No. 34-1, pp. 1-2). Sergeant Easttem is not a named
defendant in this lawsuit. On August 22, 2017, Sergeant
Easttam submitted an affidavit and Judge Hamilton Singleton,
after finding probable cause based on this affidavit, issued
a search warrant for the residence of Plaintiff. (ECF No.
34-4). At this time, the Drug Task Force already had an
active warrant for Plaintiff for delivery of cocaine base or
crack. (ECF 34-2). Pursuant to the August 22nd
search warrant, on August 29, 2017, at 11:09 A.M., Sergeant
Easttem, executed the search warrant on the residence, after
“receiving further information there were drugs,
firearms, possible stolen property in the residence and the
DTF having a DOC warrant for McRae.” (ECF No. 34-1).
The search involved eleven officers, including Defendants
Bradshaw and Voss. (ECF No. 34-5, p. 2). Upon entering the
residence, the officers found Plaintiff lying in bed in his
boxer shorts. During the search officers collected various
items including a handgun, suspected methamphetamine, crack
cocaine and marijuana, digital scales, plastic baggies and
$467.00 in cash. (ECF No. 34-1).
officers conducted the search, Plaintiff and his girlfriend
sat on the outside porch of the residence. Body camera
footage from Officer Easttem shows Plaintiff in his boxers.
The boxer shorts covered all of Plaintiff's private areas
and did not reveal his genitals when he sat down or stood up.
In addition, the camera footage shows Plaintiff's
girlfriend was fully dressed in a tank top and gray pants.
(ECF No. 34-6, Axon Body 2 Video X81109770 2017-08-29 091201,
02:22-06:51). At one point, Plaintiff's girlfriend walks
away with an officer and another officer asks Plaintiff if he
has any shoes to wear. In response to this question,
Plaintiff asked his girlfriend if she could grab him some
clothes. One of the officers told Plaintiff he only needed
something for his feet. Id. at 03:08-03:22. Plaintiff
did not object or respond to the officer's instructions.
Within minutes, another officer came out of the house with
red tennis shoes for Plaintiff. This officer helped Plaintiff
put on his shoes, and Plaintiff was then taken to the Camden
Police Department. Id. at 03:22-03:51. Once they
arrived at the police department, Plaintiff was put in a cell
and allowed to keep his shoes because he was not wearing
socks. A review of the video and audio reveals Plaintiff
never complained about his lack of clothing during his
arrest, transport to the police station, or his interview
with detectives. Id.; (ECF No. 34-7, Torger McRae
August 31, 2017, Plaintiff appeared before Judge Singleton,
where he was advised he was being detained on several charges
including possession of a controlled substance with purpose
to deliver (Class D Felony), possession of drug paraphernalia
(Class D Felony), maintaining a drug premises (Class B
Felony), proximity to certain facilities, delivery of a
controlled substance (Class C Felony) and maintaining a drug
premises (Class C Felony). Judge Singleton then set his bond
for $250, 000 after considering his family relationships,
residency in Camden, and prior criminal
convictions. (ECF No. 34-3, pp. 1-6).
December 4, 2018, Defendant Voss and Defendants Bradshaw and
Chambers filed separate his motions for summary judgment
arguing: 1) Plaintiff's constitutional rights were not
violated when Plaintiff was arrested and detained in his
boxer shorts; 2) Defendants Bradshaw and Chambers were not
involved in Plaintiff's arrest; 2) none of these
Defendants played any role in setting Plaintiff's bail;
and 3) Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. (ECF
Nos. 32, 36).
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).