United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Barry A. Bryant United States Magistrate Judge
a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff,
Jackie Dorail Howard, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently
before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by
Defendants Brian Tribble and Zachery White. (ECF No. 26).
Plaintiff has filed Response (ECF No. 32) and a Statement of
Facts in support of the Response. (ECF No. 33). Pursuant to
the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011),
the Honorable Susan O. Hickey, Chief United States District
Judge, referred this case to the undersigned for the purpose
of making a Report and Recommendation.
is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of
Correction (“ADC”) - Ouachita River Unit - in
Malvern, Arkansas. Plaintiff's claims in this lawsuit
arise from what he claims was an unlawful arrest on June 5,
2018, and subsequent false imprisonment based on charges
which were later nolle prossed. (ECF No. 1). At the
time of the events in question, Defendant Brian Tribble was a
detective with the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department
(“TAPD”) and Defendant Zachary White was a
sergeant with the department.
5, 2018, Lisa Goodwin, manager of the fast food restaurant
Whataburger notified the TAPD that a theft had occurred in
her store. (ECF No. 28-1, p. 3). When Officer Cobin Brown and
Officer Landon made contact with Ms. Goodwin, she
informed them that an unknown black male and a female
accomplice entered the store and the black male was shown on
CCTV footage unplugging a laptop charger from a booth table,
collecting the laptop and charger, and leaving the store.
Id. Although Ms. Goodwin was unable to release the
CCTV footage at that time, she forwarded a still photo of the
footage to Defendant Tribble via email. Id.
that same day, Defendants Tribble and White were called to
the restaurant after being notified the female suspect was at
the store claiming she was not involved in the theft. (ECF
No. 28-1, p. 3). The female suspect was gone by the time
Defendants Tribble and White arrived at the restaurant.
However, Defendants stopped at the Scottish Inn and Suites, a
motel close to the Whataburger restaurant, to see if their
CCTV cameras had caught any footage of the suspects.
Id. When Defendants showed the front desk clerk the
photos of the suspects sent to them by Ms. Goodwin, he
identified the female as Christie Littles, who had spent the
night at the hotel with a black male. Id.
clerk then showed a photo to Defendants Tribble and White of
Ms. Littles and the black male who had stayed at the motel
the evening of June 5, 2018. (ECF No. 28-2, p. 10). At that
time Defendant White identified the black male as the
Plaintiff from past dealings with him. Defendant Tribble then
sent the photos of the suspects from the motel to Ms. Goodwin
and she advised they were the same people who were in her
store that took the laptop. Id. The criminal case
was then continued pending the issuance of arrest warrants.
7, 2018, an affidavit was prepared by Defendant Tribble to
obtain a warrant for the arrest of Plaintiff and Ms. Littles.
(ECF No. 28-1). That same day the affidavit was reviewed by
the Prosecuting Attorney's office and authorized prior to
being signed by Miller County Circuit Court Judge Kurt
Ms. Little and Plaintiff denied Plaintiff was involved with
the theft, Plaintiff was arrested on June 17, 2018, and
detained at the Miller County Jail. (ECF NO. 28-2, pp. 2-4).
Plaintiff's First Appearance in court was held on July
21, 2018. (ECF No. 28, p. 2).
theft charges against Plaintiff were later nolle
prossed by the prosecuting attorney on August 21, 2018.
(ECF No. 28, p. 2). Defendants state Plaintiff's
probation was revoked in a prior case when the Circuit Court
found Plaintiff had violated state law; failed to abstain
from the use or sale of drugs and alcohol; failed to report
to his supervising officer; failed to notify his supervising
officer of a change of address; and failed to pay fines and
fees as ordered. Id. Plaintiff appears to dispute
this in his Complaint when he states his probation was
violated as a result of his unlawful arrest, presumably
resulting in what he claims was false imprisonment. (ECF No.
1, pp. 10-13).
Defendants state there is no policy or custom in the City of
Texarkana of arresting or detaining suspects in violation of
their constitutional rights. (ECF No. 28, p. 2).
filed his Complaint on September 12, 2018. In Claim One
Plaintiff states on June 17, 2018, “false Imprisonment
stolen laptop out of Whataburger, charge was dropped but
violated my probation”. (ECF No. 1, p. 10). Plaintiff
alleges he “never enter or went to a Whataburger
period.” Id. For his official capacity claim
he states, “14 Amendment was violated accusing me of
stealing out of a business in I didn't do it.
‘Equal Protection'”. Id. at p. 11.
Claims Two, Three, and Four Plaintiff again describes them as
“false Imprisonment stolen laptop out of Whataburger,
charge was dropped but, violated my probation.” (ECF
No. 1, pp. 12-13). Plaintiff also describes his official
capacity claims for Claims Two, Three and Four as “the
14 amendment was violated accusing me of stealing out of a
business in I didn't do it. “Equal
Protection…” (ECF No. 1, p. 14).
August 1, 2019, Defendants Tribble and White filed a Motion
for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 26). They argue they are
entitled to summary judgment because: 1) there was no illegal
seizure because Plaintiff was arrested pursuant to a facially
valid warrant of arrest supported by probable cause; 2)
Plaintiff has not suffered a due process violation; 3)
Defendants are entitled to the ...