647 F.3d 841 (8th Cir. 2011), 10-2095, Moore v. City of Desloge, Missouri

Docket Nº:10-2095.
Citation:647 F.3d 841
Opinion Judge:RILEY, Chief Judge.
Party Name:Ricky E. MOORE, Plaintiff/Appellant, v. CITY OF DESLOGE, MISSOURI, Defendant/Appellee, Theresa A. Moore; Jason E. Moore, Defendants, Aaron Malady; James Bullock; John Doe 1; John Doe 2, Defendants/Appellees.
Attorney:Arthur G. Muegler, Jr., argued, St. Louis, MO, for appellant. Jeremy D. Bayless, argued, Mark H. Zoole, on the brief, St. Louis, MO, for appellee.
Judge Panel:Before RILEY, Chief Judge, LOKEN and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:July 28, 2011
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 841

647 F.3d 841 (8th Cir. 2011)

Ricky E. MOORE, Plaintiff/Appellant,

v.

CITY OF DESLOGE, MISSOURI, Defendant/Appellee,

Theresa A. Moore; Jason E. Moore, Defendants,

Aaron Malady; James Bullock; John Doe 1; John Doe 2, Defendants/Appellees.

No. 10-2095.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

July 28, 2011

Submitted: March 17, 2011.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Arthur G. Muegler, Jr., argued, St. Louis, MO, for appellant.

Jeremy D. Bayless, argued, Mark H. Zoole, on the brief, St. Louis, MO, for appellee.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, LOKEN and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges.

RILEY, Chief Judge.

After concluding police violated Ricky E. Moore's constitutional rights in seizing items from Moore's residence, a Missouri state trial court suppressed the evidence. Missouri filed an interlocutory appeal of the suppression order in the Missouri Court of Appeals, which was dismissed. Moore then brought this civil rights lawsuit against his ex-wife Theresa Moore (Theresa) and son Jason Moore (Jason), the City of Desloge, Missouri (city), city police officer Aaron Malady (Officer Malady),

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city police chief James Bullock (Chief Bullock), and unidentified defendants. The complaint alleged a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against all defendants for violations of Moore's civil rights, as well as § 1985 and state law claims for civil conspiracy against all defendants. The district court 1 granted Theresa's and Jason's motion to dismiss and granted summary judgment in favor of the remaining defendants. Moore appeals the dismissal of the city, Officer Malady, and Chief Bullock (collectively, the police), alleging various errors. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND2

Moore and Theresa were married in 1972. In 1988, Moore's right hand was crushed at work in a filtration rolling mill, requiring the amputation of three fingers. Moore suffers from several " serious and permanent medical conditions and disabilities" requiring regular treatment. Moore requires daily doses of insulin to manage his diabetes and continuously takes oxygen to treat his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He also suffers from ruptured disks in his spine with bone spurs. In 2004, Moore " was dependent upon numerous prescription drugs to treat his medical condition and to relieve pain, including, but not limited to, the drug oxycontin." According to his complaint, Moore has been " totally disabled and unable to work or support himself" since September 30, 1988.

Moore reports that as late as 1994, he

was financially secure then owning and possessing the following assets (among others)[:] (a) Worker's Compensation settlement related to [the rolling mill accident] in the gross sum of $650,000.00, (b) real estate and home at Bonne Terre, Missouri (free of mortgage debt), (c) several automobiles, (d) cash of at least $100,000.00, (e) valuable gun collection, (f) valuable knife collection, (g) valuable gold coin collection, (h) real estate and home [in] Bismarck, Missouri (free of mortgage debt) and (i) other valuable assets.

Moore claims Theresa set out his daily medicines and insulin until about 1994-95, and then she resolved " to either (a) kill [Moore] to acquire his assets or (b) to divorce [Moore] and take substantially all of [his] assets in the divorce process via unlawful means."

Moore alleges Theresa and Jason, having failed to kill Moore by setting out lethal dosages of medication and insulin, tried to steal his assets by creating a situation where Moore was unavailable to defend against Theresa's divorce action. The alleged conspiracy consisted of Theresa and Jason knowingly giving false information to police in an effort " to wrongfully implicate [Moore] in various crimes." Pursuant to this conspiracy, Moore believed Theresa and Jason convinced a Washington County, Missouri, prosecutor to file a criminal complaint against Moore. On December 12, 2003, the prosecutor charged Moore " with making and possessing an illegal pipe bomb," and, as a result, Moore was " arrested, taken into custody and incarcerated for a substantial period of time."

Moore alleges that on October 9, 2004, Jason met with Officer Malady and, knowing Moore was legally in possession of oxycontin, told Officer Malady that Moore

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was illegally possessing and selling the drug. Jason also told Officer Malady that a warrant for Moore's arrest was outstanding. Officer Malady communicated with radio dispatch and was told the warrant was for unlawful use of a weapon.3 Radio dispatch also informed Officer Malady that " Moore had a warning indicator out on him for possession and use of dangerous weapons." Officer Malady drove to an apartment where Jason said Moore could be found.

The parties dispute what happened next. According to Moore, Officer Malady knocked on Moore's apartment door, and when Moore opened it a crack, Officer Malady,

with great force and extreme violence, illegally hurled the Premises front door fully open knocking [Moore] first against a heater inside Premises and then to the floor; Officer Malady ... thereupon immediately pulled and stuck a fully loaded hand gun in [Moore's] face (while laying on the floor) shouting at [Moore] " Don't move you mother fucker or I'll kill you."

Officer Malady partially disputes Moore's characterization of the arrest, swearing, " I did not, merely by entering the ... residence (or merely by opening or pushing on the door there, if indeed I did so at all), intend to effect the arrest of any person.... If the opening of the door struck, or had any physical effect on, Mr. Moore ... then that was a wholly accidental and unintended effect...."

While in Moore's residence, Officer Malady saw firearms " in plain sight," and he notified dispatch...

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