United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
O. Hickey Chief United States District Judg
the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.
(ECF No. 19). Plaintiff filed his Response on February 8,
2019. (ECF No. 24). Defendants filed a Reply (ECF No. 26) and
two supplements (ECF Nos. 28, 30, 33). The Court finds this
matter is ripe for consideration.
a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and
in forma pauperis. Plaintiff is incarcerated in the
Pine Bluff Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction
(“ADC”). Plaintiff has named Sevier County
Sheriff Benny Simmons and Deputy Kris Hundley as Defendants.
April 27, 2016, Sevier County Deputies were dispatched to the
residence of Thomas and Christina Martz at 9:02 p.m.,
following a 911 call reporting that Plaintiff was shooting a
gun and being disorderly. (ECF No. 21-2 at 5-6). A Remington
870 Express shotgun was found in a vehicle in front of the
residence. (Id. at 5). Two spent shell casings were
found and a vehicle had been damaged by a shotgun blast.
(Id.). Plaintiff could not be located and the
officers left the scene. (Id.). At approximately
12:30 a.m., Trudy Martz contacted the Sheriff's Office
again and reported that Plaintiff was back in her yard.
(Id.). Deputies, including Kris Hundley, were
dispatched and Plaintiff was taken to the ground, handcuffed,
and placed under arrest. (Id.).
April 27, 2016, Deputy Michael Barnes completed a probable
cause affidavit for Plaintiff's arrest. (ECF No. 21-2 at
16-18). The probable cause affidavit outlines Plaintiff's
conduct and notes that he was on “[p]robation with the
Arkansas Department of Corrections for Aggravated
Assault.” (Id. at 17). On April 28, 2016, a
judge found probable cause existed for the issuance of an
arrest warrant. (Id. at 19). A notation was made
that bond would be set at the first appearance.
(Id.). Plaintiff was booked into the Sevier County
Detention Center (“SCDC”) on April 28, 2016, and
charged with criminal mischief in the first degree,
possession of firearms by certain persons, aggravated assault
with a deadly weapon, and terroristic threatening. (ECF No.
21-2 at 22). On May 1 and 6, 2016, Plaintiff submitted
grievances claiming that he was placed under arrest without a
warrant, without any “paperwork, ” and without
any legal charges. (ECF No. 21-3 at 2-3).
the policy of the SCDC that “detainees are responsible
for informing detention facility staff of their needs, and of
problems they are experiencing. They must utilize the written
sick call and grievance procedures if necessary.” (ECF
No. 21-1 at 2). Further, “[a]ny inmate shall be allowed
to file a grievance at such time as the inmate believes that
he/she has been subjected to abuse, harassment, abridgement
of civil rights or denied privileges specified in the posted
rules.” (ECF No. 21-4 at 4). The SCDC has no written
policy regarding first appearance hearings. (ECF No. 30-1).
According to Jail Administrator Chris Wolcott, “Former
Sheriff Benny Simmons had no personal involvement in
arranging for the Plaintiff's first appearance hearings
on the criminal charges made against him in Sevier
first appearance was held on May 12, 2016. (ECF No. 21-2 at
23). On June 10, 2016, Plaintiff was transported to the ADC.
(ECF No. 21-2 at 25). Thereafter, he was booked back into the
SCDC on several occasions not having to do with the issues
currently before the Court. (Id. at 27-40).
criminal trial was held on March 14-15, 2018. (ECF No. 1-1 at
2). Plaintiff was found guilty of possession of a firearm by
a certain person and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of
144 months in the ADC. (ECF No. 28-1 at 1 & 3). This
charge had been severed from the other pending charges.
(Id. at 3). Plaintiff received jail time credit for
the thirty-three days he was incarcerated in the SCDC in
2016. (Id.). At the time judgment was entered on
March 28, 2018, the other charges remained pending.
instant case, Plaintiff alleges that his civil rights were
violated when he was arrested on April 28, 2016, and during
his subsequent detention in the Sevier County Detention
Center (“SCDC”). Specifically, Plaintiff contends
he was: (1) arrested without probable cause, (2) subjected to
the use of false statements in connection with his criminal
prosecution, (3) subjected to an illegal seizure of his
firearm, (4) subjected to a violation of the speedy trial
act, (5) not given Miranda warnings, and (6)
detained fifteen days before his first appearance on May 12,
2016.Plaintiff sues Defendants in their
individual and official capacities.
judgment is appropriate if, after viewing the facts and all
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, the record “show[s] that there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving
party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). “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 Cir. 1999).
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
contend they are entitled to summary judgment for the
following reasons: (1) there is no proof of any personal
involvement by Defendants; (2) Plaintiff's constitutional
rights were not violated by his first appearance hearing; (3)
Plaintiff's allegations are barred as a collateral attack
on his conviction under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S.
477 (1994) and/or because collateral estoppel applies; (4)
Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity; and (5) there
is no basis for official capacity liability.
Arrest without Probable Cause, False Statements, and Illegal
claim that he was arrested without probable cause is not
cognizable. In Heck v. Humphrey, the Supreme Court
held that a claim for damages for “allegedly
unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other
harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a
conviction or sentence invalid” is not cognizable until
“the conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct
appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a
state tribunal authorized to make such a determination, or
called into question by a federal court's issuance of a
writ of habeas corpus.” 512 U.S. 477, 486-87. A finding
that Plaintiff was arrested without probable cause would
necessarily imply the invalidity of his conviction. See,
e.g, Sanders v. Fayetteville City Police
Dep't, 160 Fed. App'x. 542, 543 (8th Cir. 2005)
(citing Smithart v. Towery, 79 F.3d 951, 952 (9th
Cir. 1996) (allegations that the defendants lacked probable
cause to arrest the plaintiff and brought unfounded criminal
charges challenged validity of conviction and were
Heck-barred)). To the extent Plaintiff is asserting
his firearm was illegally seized and the speedy trial act was
violated, these claims too are not cognizable under
Heck. Similarly, his claim that Deputy Hundley
made false statements and/or fabricated reports are barred by
Heck. See, e.g., Young v. Bullock,
No. 1:18-cv-102, 2019 WL 354874, at *3 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 29,
2019). Moreover, Plaintiff's conviction of the underlying
offense of possession of a firearm by a certain person
conclusively determines that probable cause existed for his
arrest. Malady v. Crunk, 902 F.2d 10, 11 (8th Cir.
1990) (conviction of underlying offense is complete defense
to a civil rights action asserting arrest was without
Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on these claims.
claims based on Defendants' alleged failure to read
Plaintiff his Miranda warnings fail as a matter of law.
The Constitution does not require the giving of
Miranda warnings. See, e.g., Chavez v.
Martinez, 538 U.S. 760 (2003). In United States v.
Patane, the Supreme Court noted that “[o]ur cases
. . . make clear . . . that a mere failure to give
Miranda warnings does not, by itself, violate a
suspect's constitutional rights or even the
Miranda rule. . . . [T]he nature of the right
protected by the Self-Incrimination Clause, which the
Miranda rule, in turn, protects . . . is a
fundamental trial right.” 542 U.S. 630, 641
(2004) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted)
(emphasis in original). If statements obtained during
custodial interrogation are not used against the party, ...