614 F.3d 1185 (10th Cir. 2010), 09-6157, Dodds v. Richardson
|Citation:||614 F.3d 1185|
|Opinion Judge:||BALDOCK, Circuit Judge.|
|Party Name:||Thomas Carl DODDS, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Randy RICHARDSON, Sheriff, individually, Defendant-Appellant, Logan County Sheriff's Department; David Landman, Deputy, official capacity, John Doe, Deputies 1-6 (arresting deputies and jailers), individually and in their official capacities; Logan County Sheriff, sued as|
|Attorney:||James Richard McClure, Muskogee, OK, for Plaintiff-Appellee. Eric Devalson Cotton (Christopher James Collins with him on the briefs), Collins, Zorn & Wagner, P.C., Oklahoma City, OK, for Defendant-Appellant.|
|Judge Panel:||Before TYMKOVICH, SEYMOUR, and BALDOCK, Circuit Judges. TYMKOVICH, J., concurring.|
|Case Date:||August 06, 2010|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit|
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Plaintiff Thomas Carl Dodds, Jr. brought this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit, alleging Defendant former Logan County, Oklahoma Sheriff Randy Richardson violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights by depriving him of his protected liberty interest in posting bail. The district court denied Defendant's claim to qualified immunity in the context of summary judgment, and Defendant appealed. Exercising jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm.
Logan County, Oklahoma sheriff's deputies arrested Plaintiff pursuant to a felony arrest warrant and placed him in the Logan County Jail on Friday, April 6, 2007. An Oklahoma state district court judge set bond for Plaintiff in the arrest warrant in the amount of $5,000. Plaintiff alleges Logan County Jail employees told two individuals who inquired about posting bond on his behalf that he could not post the preset bail until after he was arraigned by a judge. Plaintiff was not arraigned until Monday, April 9. At that time, another state district judge reset bail at $10,000. Plaintiff did not post bail. Later that week, the district court nevertheless released Plaintiff on a personal recognizance bond. The charges against Plaintiff underlying the arrest warrant were eventually dismissed in September 2007. Subsequently, Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against, among others, Defendant in his individual capacity. Plaintiff asserted in his complaint he " had a liberty interest in the pre-set bond under the Fourteenth Amendment," but Defendant denied
him " such, without explanation, in violation of the [United States] Constitution."
Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment claiming he was entitled to qualified immunity because the policy of the Logan County court clerk or district judges prevented individuals charged with a felony from posting bond after hours. According to Defendant, this policy rather than any action taken by him personally caused the alleged deprivation of Plaintiff's liberty. Dodds v. Logan County Sheriff's Dep't., No. 08-CV-00333-R, Order at *2 (W. D.Okla. Aug. 3, 2009) (Doc. # 75). In an affidavit submitted to the district court and incorporated into Defendant's motion, the Logan County court clerk stated that for " at least the past eighteen years" " Logan County has [had] a local rule preventing individuals charged with a felony from posting bond until they have gone before a judge and been arraigned." Aplt's App. at 138. The clerk also confirmed that " [i]t is the policy of the Court Clerk's office not to permit the Sheriff's office to accept bonds after hours on felony warrants." Id. Evidently, however, no one submitted to the district court or this Court a copy of these local policies or stated definitively who promulgated them. See Dodds, Order at *2 (Aug. 3, 2009).
In response to Defendant's summary judgment motion, Plaintiff did not allege Defendant was one of the jail employees who told him or the individuals who inquired about posting bail on his behalf that he may not post the preset bail until he had been arraigned by a judge. Instead, Plaintiff responded that an Oklahoma sheriff is responsible for his county jail and has a duty to allow an arrestee such as Plaintiff to post bond. Id. (citing 57 Okla. Stat. § 47 (" The sheriff ... shall have charge of the county jail of his county and of all persons by law confined therein, and such sheriff ... is hereby required to conform, in all respects, to the rules and directions promulgated pursuant to [74 Okla. Stat. § 192] and of the district judge and communicated to him by the proper authority." ); 22 Okla. Stat. § 1101(A) (" Except as otherwise provided by law, bail ... shall be admitted upon all arrests in criminal cases where the offense is not punishable by death and in such cases it may be taken by and of the persons ... authorized by law to arrest, [and] to imprison offenders...." ); Okla. Att'y. Gen. No. 69-138 (1969) (" In criminal cases except cases punishable by death ... a sheriff is required to accept bail, under the terms of [22 Okla. Stat. § 1101 (1961) ], for those persons jailed at times other than the normal working hours of the Court, provided proper bail has been set as provided by law." )). Plaintiff further asserted that the court clerk had no authority to create or maintain its policies at the jail or to dictate bail policy to the sheriff. Id. Therefore, according to Plaintiff, by acquiescing in the operation of the clerk's non-binding policies at the jail, Defendant breached the duties imposed by Oklahoma law to accept bail and to maintain the jail himself, and deprived Plaintiff of his liberty interest in posting the preset bail, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id.
The district court denied Defendant's motion for summary judgment, concluding:
By accepting or acquiescing in a policy set by the Logan County Court Clerk or district court judges purportedly prohibiting individuals who have been arrested from posting bond until they have appeared before a judge and have been arraigned and or prohibiting the sheriff's office from accepting bond, Defendant Richardson knew or should have known that Logan County deputies and jailers would violate the constitutional rights of arrestees like Plaintiff whose bail had been preset in his arrest warrant by refusing to allow them to post bail in the amount set or accept bail,
because under Oklahoma law, a sheriff is required to accept bail which has already been set for persons jailed at times other than the normal working hours, and individuals have a liberty interest in being freed of detention once the amount of their bail is set. See Gaylor v. Does, 105 F.3d 572, 576 (10th Cir.1997). It may reasonably be inferred that Defendant Richardson, who was the supervisor of the deputies and jailers for Logan County, exhibited deliberate indifference to the due process rights of arrestees whose bail had been pre-set to be free of detention by acquiescing in the Logan County policy and that his acquiescence caused or contributed in causing the deprivation of Plaintiff's due process rights by another or others. Accordingly, Defendant Richardson has failed to show that he cannot be liable for participating or acquiescing in the deprivation of Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights. See e.g., Serna v. Colorado Department of Corrections, 455 F.3d 1146, 1151-52 (10th Cir.2006).
Id. at *3-*4. The district court had previously concluded in another order that when Plaintiff was prevented from paying the bond set in his arrest warrant pursuant to these aforementioned policies, he " was unnecessarily detained without a legitimate goal (none is asserted) in violation of his due process rights." Dodds v. Logan County Sheriff's Dep't., No. 08-CV-00333-R, Order at *4, (W.D.Okla. July 9, 2009) (Doc. # 61) (denying the motion for summary judgment by Defendant Sheriff of Logan County in his official capacity).
Defendant appeals, challenging the district court's denial of qualified immunity. First, in his opening brief he maintains Plaintiff has failed to show that he was personally involved in preventing Plaintiff from posting bail. Second, he asserts Plaintiff has not demonstrated that he acted with the state of mind (" knowingly or with ‘ deliberate indifference’ that a constitutional violation would occur" ) required to impose § 1983 supervisory liability upon him. Third, Defendant argues our decision in Gaylor v. Does, 105 F.3d 572 (10th Cir.1997), does not clearly establish that his compliance with a policy that prevents an arrestee from posting preset bail subjects him to liability in his individual capacity.
The Supreme Court has recognized a number of immunities from § 1983 suit and liability, including qualified immunity. Lawrence v. Reed, 406 F.3d 1224, 1229 (10th Cir.2005). " The doctrine of qualified immunity protects government officials ‘ from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.’ " Pearson v. Callahan, __ U.S. __, 129 S.Ct. 808, 815, 172 L.Ed.2d 565 (2009) (quoting Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818, 102 S.Ct. 2727, 73 L.Ed.2d 396 (1982)). Once a defendant asserts qualified immunity, the plaintiff bears the burden of satisfying a " ‘ strict two-part test.’ " McBeth v. Himes, 598 F.3d 708, 716 (10th Cir.2010) (quoting Bowling v. Rector, 584 F.3d 956, 964 (10th Cir.2009)). " The plaintiff must establish ‘ (1) that the defendant violated a constitutional or statutory right, and (2) that this right was clearly established at the time of the defendant's conduct....’ " Id. (quoting Bowling, 584 F.3d at 964).
We possess " ‘ interlocutory jurisdiction over denials of qualified immunity at the summary judgment stage to the extent that they turn on an issue of law.’ " Zia Trust Co. ex rel. Causey v. Montoya, 597 F.3d 1150, 1152 (10th Cir.2010) (quoting Fogarty v....
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