United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
judgment [Doc. No. 43] is granted on all claims except for
Eric Coon's claims that defendants violated the Americans
with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Arkansas
Civil Rights Act (“ACRA”) by failing to provide
him with a wheelchair to get to the toilet while he was
incarcerated in the Drew County Jail. Plaintiffs' motion
for class certification [Sec. Am. Compl., ¶ ¶ 46,
59, 60] is denied.
Coon and his father, Kim Coon, allege violations of the ADA,
the ACRA, and the U.S. Constitution. The facts, taken in the
light most favorable to the Coons, are as follows.
Ward, Eric's girlfriend, was visiting Eric at Kim's
house, when a third-party, James Randle, called 911 to report
that he saw Eric threatening Ward with a gun and stopping her
from leaving the home. Pl. Resp. Def. F. ¶ ¶ 1, 3.
Police Officer Allen Edwards and Drew County Sheriff's
Deputies Darren McAdoo and Brandon Wright responded to the
call. Def. F. ¶ 4. Sheriff Mark Gober and Deputy Timothy
Nichols arrived on the scene later. Id. at ¶ 5.
allowed Edwards, Nichols, and Gober inside the house. Pl.
Resp. Opp. Mot. Summ. J., 4, ¶ 2. The parties dispute
whether Kim allowed the officers to enter the bedroom where
Eric and Ward were; however, it is undisputed that Kim showed
them where the bedroom was. Pl. Resp. Def. F. ¶ 8. It is
undisputed that Gober, Edwards, and Nichols entered the
bedroom and saw Eric pointing a gun at himself. Id.
at ¶ 11. Gober instructed Nichols to shoot Eric with his
taser, and Nichols did so. Id. at ¶ 12. When
Eric was struck by the taser, he shot himself in the head,
resulting in a non-lethal wound. Id.
was arrested and placed in the county jail. Id. at
¶ 15. He made his first court appearance three days
later. Id. at ¶ 16. Eric stayed in jail for
nine days, during which time he was held in a cell for
handicapped detainees. Id. at ¶ 17; Def. Ex. O.
Eric later entered guilty pleas to possession of a defaced
firearm and felon in possession of a firearm. Pl. Resp. Def.
F. ¶ 18.
judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
249-50 (1986). Once the moving party demonstrates that there
is no genuine dispute of material fact, the non-moving party
may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials in his
pleadings. Holden v. Hirner, 663 F.3d 336, 340 (8th
Cir. 2011). Instead, the non-moving party must produce
admissible evidence demonstrating a genuine factual dispute
requiring a trial. Id. All reasonable inferences
must be drawn in a light most favorable to the nonmoving
party. Holland v. Sam's Club, 487 F.3d 641, 643
(8th Cir. 2007). The evidence is not weighed, and no
credibility determinations are made. Jenkins v.
Winter, 540 F.3d 742, 750 (8th Cir. 2008).
officials are immune from suit unless they violate clearly
established rights. Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S.
223, 231 (2009). Immunity attaches even when a government
official makes a mistake of law or fact. Id. Summary
judgment is proper, based on qualified immunity, if a
defendant, as a matter of law, could have reasonably believed
that his actions were lawful. See Anderson v.
Creighton, 483 U.S. 635, 641 (1987). Reasonableness is
judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the
scene, rather than one with 20/20 hindsight. See Wilson
v. Spain, 209 F.3d 713, 716 (8th Cir. 2000).
Search and Seizure
judgment is granted on the Coons' search and seizure
claim because defendants are immune from it. This is true
because it was objectively reasonable for the officers to
believe their entry into the bedroom was lawful.
Fourth Amendment prohibits law enforcement officers from
entering a home without a search warrant unless exigent
circumstances exist. Exigent circumstances exist when an
officer has a reasonable concern for his or someone
else's safety. See United States v. Henderson,
553 F.3d 1163, 1164-65 (8th Cir. 2009). The officers
responded to a 911 call alleging that Eric was threatening
his girlfriend with a gun. When the officers arrived at the
house, Kim let them in, and they saw Eric with a gun in a
room with Ward. The officers did not violated the Fourth
Amendment by entering the house because Kim let them in.
See United States v. Uscanga-Ramirez, 475 F.3d 1024,
1027 (8th Cir. 2007). Moreover, in light of the information
they had as a result of the 911 call, and as a result of