388 F.3d 669 (8th Cir. 2004), 03-3787, Hayes v. Faulkner County, Ark.

Docket Nº:03-3787.
Citation:388 F.3d 669
Party Name:James M. HAYES, Appellee, v. FAULKNER COUNTY, ARKANSAS; Marty Montgomery, Sheriff of Faulkner County, Arkansas, in his individual and official capacities; Kyle Kelley, Jail Administrator, in his individual and official capacities, Appellants.
Case Date:October 29, 2004
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

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388 F.3d 669 (8th Cir. 2004)

James M. HAYES, Appellee,


FAULKNER COUNTY, ARKANSAS; Marty Montgomery, Sheriff of Faulkner County, Arkansas, in his individual and official capacities; Kyle Kelley, Jail Administrator, in his individual and official capacities, Appellants.

No. 03-3787.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

October 29, 2004

Submitted: Sept. 17, 2004

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Michael R. Rainwater, argued, Little Rock, Arkansas (Jason E. Owens, Little Rock, Arkansas on the brief), for appellant.

Gordon S. Rather, Jr., argued, Little Rock, Arkansas (Claire Shows Hancock, Little Rock, Arkansas on the brief), for appellee.

Before MURPHY, MCMILLIAN, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.

BENTON, Circuit Judge.

James M. Hayes sued Faulkner County and its sheriff and jail administrator under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district court 1 ruled that his 38-day pre-appearance detention violated his right to due process, and entered judgment against Faulkner County and individually against jail administrator Kyle Kelley. Jurisdiction being proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this Court now affirms.

In 1997, a police officer ticketed Hayes for not having automobile tags and vehicle insurance. Hayes failed to appear at his municipal court hearing; bench warrants issued. Stopped for a traffic violation on April 3, 1998, Hayes was arrested on the warrants, given a court date of May 11, and jailed at the Faulkner County Detention Center. He did not post the $593 cash-only bond. He remained in jail at the Center until appearing before the court on May 11.

While in jail, Hayes sent four grievances to Kelley, who had primary responsibility to oversee the Center. The first three were on April 16 (requesting a money order), April 18 (requesting medication), and April 19 (requesting medication). On April 26, Hayes hand-wrote a grievance stating,

I've been here for 23 days and have not been to court. According Prompt First Appearance Rule 8.1 I should seen a judge within 72 hrs. I have yet to be told when I will go to court. I also know that the arresting told booking to hold me back. I want to know when you plan to obay the law and allow me to go to court?

Kelley's written response: "I don't set people up for court. I hope you go to court & are able to get out. Write the booking officer to find out about your court date."

Kelley testified he would have followed the same course of conduct if Hayes had been jailed for 99 days. He said he wanted to obey the court and was not trying to be disobedient as a jailer or law enforcement officer. During the detention, the court met on April 13 and April 29. Though an April 29 appearance date was entered on Hayes's booking card, he did

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not have the opportunity to appear before a judge until May 11.

The issue is a pretrial detainee's right to a prompt appearance in court, after arrest by warrant. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment controls. Spencer v. Knapheide Truck Equip. Co., 183 F.3d 902, 905 (8th Cir. 1999), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 1157, 120 S.Ct. 1165, 145 L.Ed.2d 1076 (2000). This Court reviews de novo questions of law arising under the Constitution. Estate of Davis v. Delo, 115 F.3d 1388, 1394 (8th Cir. 1997).

The Seventh Circuit decided similar cases in Coleman v. Frantz, 754 F.2d 719 (7th Cir. 1985) and Armstrong v. Squadrito, 152 F.3d 564 (7th Cir. 1998). In Coleman, an 18-day detention after arrest by warrant, but before initial appearance, violated Coleman's substantive due process rights. 754 F.2d at 723-24; cf. Davis v. Hall, 375 F.3d 703, 713-14 (8th Cir. 2004). Citing the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth amendments, the Seventh Circuit stated, "Almost every element of a 'first appearance' under state statutes or the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure serves to enforce or give meaning to important individual rights that are either expressly granted in the Constitution or are set forth in Supreme Court precedent." Coleman, 754 F.2d at 724. An extended pretrial detention without an initial appearance "substantially impinges upon and threatens" all of those specific rights. Id. Thus, the "ultimate effect" of Coleman's 18-day detention was a denial of substantive due process. Id.

The Seventh Circuit followed Coleman in the Armstrong case, where a 57-day detention on a (civil) body-attachment warrant without an initial appearance violated substantive due process. The court looked to the totality of circumstances. Armstrong, 152 F.3d at 570, citing County of Sacramento v. Lewis, 523 U.S. 833, 850, 118 S.Ct. 1708, 140 L.Ed.2d 1043 (1998). It considered three questions: (1) whether the Due Process Clause prohibits an extended detention, without an initial appearance, following arrest by a valid warrant; (2) whether the defendants' conduct offended the standards of substantive due process; and (3) whether the totality of circumstances shocks the conscience. Armstrong, 152 F.3d at 570. By that analysis, the 38-day detention here violates substantive due process.

First, the Due Process Clause forbids an extended detention, without a first appearance, following arrest by warrant. The Seventh Circuit so held in Coleman and Armstrong, following two Fourth Amendment cases, Gerstein v. Pugh, 420 U.S. 103, 95 S.Ct. 854, 43 L.Ed.2d 54 (1975) and Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 99 S.Ct. 2689, 61 L.Ed.2d 433 (1979). In Gerstein, invalidating an extended warrantless detention, the Supreme Court wrote, "The consequences of prolonged detention may be more serious than the interference occasioned by arrest. Pretrial confinement may imperil the suspect's job, interrupt his source of income, and impair his family relationships." 420 U.S. at 114, 95 S.Ct. 854. In Baker, the Supreme Court reiterated its concern with "extended restraint of liberty following arrest" in the context of a mistaken arrest under a valid warrant after a judge found probable cause. See Coleman, 754 F.2d at 723, quoting Gerstein, 420 U.S. at 114, 95 S.Ct. 854. The Baker Court wrote, "Obviously, one in respondent's position could not be detained indefinitely in the face of repeated protests of innocence even though the warrant under which he was arrested and detained met the standards of the Fourth Amendment." Baker, 443 U.S. at 144, 99 S.Ct. 2689.

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Second, this Court considers whether the defendants' conduct offends the standards of substantive due process. Deliberate indifference to prisoner welfare may sufficiently shock the conscience to amount to a substantive due process violation. County of Sacramento, 523 U.S. at 853, 118 S.Ct. 1708. "[L]iability for deliberate indifference to inmate welfare rests upon the luxury enjoyed by prison officials of having time to make unhurried judgments, upon the chance for repeated reflection, largely uncomplicated by the pulls of competing obligations." Id. at 853, 118 S.Ct. 1708. This Court considers the County's official policy separately from Kelley's individual conduct.

As for the County, this Court examines the policy the district court found deliberately indifferent. "A plaintiff may establish municipal liability under § 1983 by proving that his or her constitutional rights were violated by an 'action pursuant to official municipal policy'...." Ware v. Jackson County, 150 F.3d 873, 880 (8th Cir. 1998), quoting Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). A "policy" is a "deliberate choice to follow a course of action ... made from among various...

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