349 F.3d 534 (8th Cir. 2003), 03-1611, Coleman ex rel. Coleman v. Parkman

Docket Nº:03-1611
Citation:349 F.3d 534
Party Name:Coleman ex rel. Coleman v. Parkman
Case Date:November 12, 2003
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 534

349 F.3d 534 (8th Cir. 2003)

Bobbie J. COLEMAN, Administratrix of the Estate of Billy Wayne Coleman, Jr., deceased, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Dave PARKMAN, St. Francis County Sheriff; Doris Halbert, Chief Jail Administrator, Defendants,

Gannen Lee Manthey, Jailer; Hank Leary, Captain, Defendants-Appellants,

Henry Thomas, Deputy; John and Jane Does, 1-5, Defendants.

Bobbie J. Coleman, Administratrix of the Estate of Billy Wayne Coleman, Jr., deceased, Plaintiff-Appellant,


Dave Parkman, St. Francis County Sheriff; Doris Halbert, Chief Jail Administrator, Defendants-Appellees,

Gannen Lee Manthey, Jailer; Hank Leary, Captain; Henry Thomas, Deputy; John and Jane Does, 1-5, Defendants.

Nos. 03-1611, 03-1733.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

November 12, 2003

Submitted: Sept. 9, 2003.

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C. Burt Newell, argued, Hot Springs, AR, for Manthey and Leary.

Paul J. James, argued, Little Rock, AR, for Appellee/Cross-Appellant Bobbie Coleman.

Before MORRIS SHEPPARD ARNOLD, BEAM, and BYE, Circuit Judges.

BEAM, Circuit Judge.

Mrs. Bobbie J. Coleman (Mrs. Coleman) sued law-enforcement and prison officials after her son, Billy Wayne Coleman (Coleman), committed suicide in his jail cell. These interlocutory appeals arise from the

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district court's 1 summary judgment rulings on qualified immunity. In No. 03-1611, Gannen Lee Manthey and Hank Leary (appellants) assert the trial judge erred when she denied their summary judgment motions. We affirm. In the cross-appeal, No. 03-1733, Mrs. Coleman asserts the district court erred when it granted two other defendants' summary judgment motions. We have no jurisdiction to consider the cross-appeal.


The parties dispute many of the following facts. Because we are reviewing the district court's summary judgment rulings, we recite and evaluate the facts in the light most favorable to the non-movant, Mrs. Coleman. Gregoire v. Class, 236 F.3d 413, 415 (8th Cir. 2000).

In November of 1999, Captain Hank Leary began investigating reports that Coleman was involved in misdemeanor crimes. Leary interviewed several people who knew Coleman. These interviews occurred the day of and the day before Leary's arrest of Coleman. Interviewees told Leary that Coleman needed mental help, had been doing "crazy things," was a risk to harm himself or others, and would kill himself if jailed. When Leary located Coleman to arrest him, the person with Coleman told Leary that Coleman had been carrying a rifle and had threatened suicide.

Leary arrested Coleman and drove him to jail. When they arrived at the jail, Leary questioned Coleman for about thirty minutes. Coleman told Leary he had contemplated suicide the day before, but had decided against it. Jailer Gannen Lee Manthey was working that night. Leary and Manthey do not agree on that night's events.

Leary testified that, after interviewing Coleman, he concluded Coleman was not a suicide risk. Leary also asserted he did not tell Manthey that Coleman was a suicide risk and did not inform Manthey of any of the interviewees' warnings. But, Manthey's detail log stated "Capt[ain] Leary advised that before, Mr. Coleman had threatened suicide. Therefore he would need to be placed in isolation and monitored." Manthey testified, unequivocally, that Coleman was on suicide watch.

When Leary left, he told Manthey to put Coleman in the drunk tank. Appellants testified that, ordinarily, they would have placed Coleman in the holding cell, but the holding cell held another prisoner who had been rowdy and destructive. The drunk tank had eighteen exposed bars. The holding cell had no exposed bars. And unlike the holding cell, the drunk tank was difficult to observe because it was in the jail's upstairs portion. Before he directed Coleman to the drunk tank, Manthey issued Coleman the usual prison items, including a bed sheet.

Manthey last checked on Coleman at about 1:30 A.M. At 1:42 A.M., Coleman hung himself by tying the bed sheet to the exposed bars. This lawsuit followed.

As Administratrix of Coleman's estate, Mrs. Coleman sued appellants. She alleged that placing Coleman in the drunk tank with a bed sheet was deliberately indifferent to the risk that Coleman would commit suicide. She also sued Dave Parkman and Doris Halbert, alleging they were responsible for a lack of training and prison policies that violated Coleman's rights. All defendants moved for summary judgment

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in their individual capacities, asserting qualified immunity. The trial judge denied appellants' motions, but granted Parkman's and Halbert's motions.

Before turning to the merits, we must address whether we have jurisdiction to consider these interlocutory appeals.


Generally, when a party appeals before a final judgment, we have no jurisdiction to consider the appeal. See 28 U.S.C. § 1291; Kincade v. City of Blue Springs, 64 F.3d 389, 394 (8th Cir. 1995). This appeal involves a familiar exception to the final judgment rule: when a district court denies an official's qualified-immunity-based summary judgment motion, we can consider the official's interlocutory appeal under the collateral order doctrine, provided the official appeals a question of law. Kincade, 64 F.3d at 394; see Johnson v. Jones, 515 U.S. 304, 312, 115 S.Ct. 2151, 132 L.Ed.2d 238 (1995); Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 527, 105 S.Ct. 2806, 86 L.Ed.2d 411 (1985). Manthey's and Leary's appeal, No 03-1611, satisfies this exception.

The collateral order doctrine does not apply, however, when a party complains that the district court should not have granted summary judgment based on qualified immunity. In those cases, we have no jurisdiction to consider the interlocutory appeal unless the appeal falls within our pendent appellate jurisdiction. We may exercise pendent appellate jurisdiction when review of the summary judgment grant is inextricably intertwined with an appealable decision, or is necessary to ensure meaningful review of an appealable decision. Kincade, 64 F.3d at 394. Two decisions are "inextricably intertwined" only if resolving the appealable decision "necessarily resolves the pendent claim as well." McCoy v. City of Monticello, 342 F.3d 842, 849 (8th Cir. 2003); see Jones v. Clinton, 72 F.3d 1354, 1357 n. 4 (8th Cir. 1996). Here, of course, the "appealable decision" is Leary's and Manthey's interlocutory appeal.

We do not have pendent appellate jurisdiction over the cross-appeal. Mrs. Coleman's claims against Parkman and Halbert arise from their "failure to train and promulgate policy." Brief of Bobbie J. Coleman, at iv. Her claims against appellants arise from their actions on the night of Coleman's suicide. Pendent appellate jurisdiction does not arise merely because Mrs. Coleman complains the defendants all violated the same constitutional amendment and caused the same harm. Nor does it arise because the defendants all asserted qualified immunity defenses.

We can meaningfully review Mrs. Coleman's claims against appellants without examining the training policies and procedures. And, resolving appellants' qualified immunity defenses does not necessarily resolve Parkman's and Halbert's rights. Mrs. Coleman does not assert that appellants trained personnel or formed policy. Indeed, our resolution of this appeal demonstrates that these cases are not inextricably intertwined because we resolve appellants' arguments without mentioning Halbert, Parkman, or the training policies that form the basis of Mrs. Coleman's complaint against Parkman and Halbert. Thus, we dismiss the cross-appeal because it is not an appeal from a final judgment, it does not fall within the collateral order doctrine, and it does not fall within our pendent appellate jurisdiction.


When a defendant asserts qualified immunity, we must perform two inquiries in "proper sequence." Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 200, 121 S.Ct. 2151, 150

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