United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
O. HICKEY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Officer Justin Dean's Motion for
Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 42). Plaintiff has not responded
and her time to do so has passed. The Court finds this matter
ripe for consideration.
January 2017, Defendant Dean was employed as a police officer
for the City of Hope, Arkansas. (ECF No. 48). On January 11,
2017, Defendant arrived at 1601 West 6th Street in Hope,
Arkansas, responding to a police dispatcher reporting a
disturbance at that address. (Id.). Upon arrival,
Defendant made contact with Demarquion Sasser.
(Id.). Sasser told Defendant that he and his
mother-Plaintiff-got into a verbal argument while inside the
residence. (Id.). Sasser also reported that
Plaintiff attempted to attack his girlfriend, at which time
Sasser stood between them. (Id.). According to
Sasser, Plaintiff grabbed him by the neck and choked him for
a couple of seconds before releasing him. (Id.).
Sasser and his girlfriend were then able to get outside the
residence and call the police. (Id.).
attempted to make contact with Plaintiff “but she would
only scream and yell” at him. (Id.). Plaintiff
refused to answer any questions and closed the door, thereby
locking Defendant out of the residence. (Id.).
Defendant requested a criminal information check on Plaintiff
from the police dispatcher, who reported that Plaintiff was
on parole. (Id.). Defendant then contacted Reyn
Brown (“Brown”), a parole officer, who came to
the scene and was able to gain access to the residence.
(Id.). Brown attempted to place Plaintiff under
arrest for a parole violation, but Plaintiff failed to submit
to arrest. (Id.). Brown called Defendant into the
residence for assistance. (Id.). The officers then
arrested Plaintiff. (Id.). “The reason stated
for the arrest was that . . . Plaintiff had purposely created
apprehension of immediate physical injury to a family or
household member, which is third degree assault on a family
or household member under Arkansas law.”
filed her pro se Complaint on January 5, 2018,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff
filed an Amended Complaint on February 1, 2018. (ECF No. 4).
Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma
pauperis (“IFP”) was granted on February 2,
2018. (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff sues Defendant in his individual
and official capacities. Plaintiff alleges, in relevant part,
that Defendant unlawfully entered her home and arrested her
without probable cause. Plaintiff asserts that her Fourth,
Fifth, and Eighth Amendment constitutional rights were
violated by Defendant's actions. Plaintiff, likewise,
asserts that Defendant was negligent because he should have
called the Department of Human Services for the protection of
her minor children when she was arrested. Plaintiff seeks
$500, 000.00 in compensatory damages, $500, 000.00 in
punitive damages, and $500, 000.00 in damages for mental
anguish. (ECF No. 4).
instant motion, Defendant asserts that he is entitled to
summary judgment. First, he argues that he had probable cause
to arrest Plaintiff and, accordingly, there was no Fourth
Amendment violation. Defendant next argues that,
alternatively, he is entitled to qualified immunity with
respect to Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment claim. Likewise,
Defendant argues that he is entitled to summary judgment with
respect to Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim for
excessive bail because there is no evidence that he had any
role in the setting of Plaintiff's bail. Finally,
Defendant argues that Plaintiff has set forth no evidence of
an unconstitutional policy, practice, or custom of the City
of Hope, Arkansas, to support her official capacity claims
and that, therefore, summary judgment is warranted on those
judgment is appropriate if, after viewing the facts and all
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, 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); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). “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.” Nat'l
Bank of Comm. v. Dow Chem. Co., 165 F.3d 602, 607 (8th
nonmoving 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.” Nat'l
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).
42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides a federal cause of action for
the deprivation, under color of law, of a citizen's
“rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws” of the United States. In order
to state a claim under section 1983, a plaintiff must allege
that each defendant acted under color of state law and that
he or she violated a right secured by the constitution.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Dunham
v. Wadley, 195 F.3d 1007, 1009 (8th Cir. 1999). The
deprivation must be intentional-mere negligence will not
suffice to state a claim for deprivation of a constitutional
right under section 1983. See Daniels v. Williams,
474 U.S. 327, 330 (1986).
Fourth Amendment Claim
forth above, Plaintiff claims that Defendant unlawfully
entered her home and arrested her in ...