759 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 2014), 13-3132, Hayward v. Cleveland Clinic Found.
|Citation:||759 F.3d 601|
|Opinion Judge:||CLAY, Circuit Judge.|
|Party Name:||ESSEX HAYWARD; ANNIE HAYWARD; AARON HAYWARD, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION, et al., Defendants-Appellees|
|Attorney:||Samuel S. Riotte, Chesterland, Ohio, for Appellants. James R. Wooley, JONES DAY, Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellees. Samuel S. Riotte, Chesterland, Ohio, for Appellants. James R. Wooley, Katie M. McVoy, JONES DAY, Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellees.|
|Judge Panel:||Before: CLAY and ROGERS, Circuit Judges; LUDINGTON, District Judge.[*]|
|Case Date:||July 21, 2014|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit|
Argued December 5, 2013.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Cleveland. No. 1:12-cv-00002--Dan A. Polster, District Judge.
Plaintiffs Aaron, Annie, and Essex Hayward appeal the district court's orders granting Defendants' motions for judgment on the pleadings. Following an altercation between Plaintiffs and Defendants (officers of the Cleveland Clinic Police Department (" CCPD" )), which occurred at the home of Annie and Essex Hayward, Plaintiff Aaron Hayward pleaded guilty to willfully fleeing a police officer and resisting arrest, admitting that he physically injured an officer in the process. Plaintiffs subsequently filed federal civil rights claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law tort claims against Defendants. During the extensive filing of complaints and answers, Defendants moved twice for judgment on the pleadings. The district court first dismissed some of the claims on the merits, and eventually dismissed all of the claims in an order dated January 11, 2013. Plaintiffs timely appealed the dismissal of their claims. For the reasons that follow, this Court REVERSES the district court's order dismissing Annie and Essex Hayward's § 1983 claim for illegal home entry and their state law intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, and REMANDS for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. The Court AFFIRMS the district court's order granting Defendants' motions for judgment on the pleadings as to Plaintiffs'
other claims, including Aaron Hayward's § 1983 claims and Annie and Essex Hayward's state law assault claim.
A. Factual Background
Plaintiffs and Defendants differ in their versions of the relevant events. Because this appeal comes before us on a motion for judgment on the pleadings, we " construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff[s] [and] accept the plaintiff[s'] factual allegations as true." Heinrich v. Waiting Angels Adoption Servs., Inc., 668 F.3d 393, 403 (6th Cir. 2012). Therefore, this Court considers the facts as alleged by Plaintiffs in their complaints.
Plaintiffs allege that Aaron Hayward was driving home from his parents' store early in the morning, around 4:00 a.m. on January 23, 2011, when a CCPD SUV pulled up behind him and followed him until he turned into his driveway and parked his car. Up to this point, the officer's marked SUV neither sounded a siren nor flashed its lights. The officer yelled, " Hey you, come over here, boy," at Aaron as he exited his car and entered the home that he shared with his parents, Annie and Essex Hayward. (R. 1, Compl., at 12.)1 Defendants admit that up to the time Aaron entered the home, it was not communicated to Aaron that he was under arrest.
When Aaron ignored the officer's order, the officer radioed for additional help, claiming that he was attempting to make a traffic stop, but did not indicate that there was any danger to himself or any individuals inside the home. Approximately ten to fifteen minutes later, five additional officers arrived at the scene. They began pounding on the Haywards' front door, demanding that they " open the fucking door." (R. 30, Second Am. Compl., at 477.) Plaintiffs Annie and Essex Hayward awoke to the sounds of the pounding on the door. Once downstairs, they saw blue and red flashing lights and several men who appeared to be police officers. Plaintiff Essex Hayward opened the main, wooden door to their home and Defendants continued trying to force their way through the outer security door. At that time, realizing that the men were Cleveland Clinic security officers, Essex Hayward mentioned calling the actual Cleveland police to their home. At some point during this encounter, Plaintiffs realized that the officers were wearing police badges depicting the Ohio state seal.
Plaintiffs shut the main, wooden door once again and Defendants forced open the outer security door by breaking its glass. At this time, the outer security door now ajar, Aaron used his foot and body to prevent the officers from breaking down the main door. So the officers became more aggressive in attempting to enter the home. They used the butt of a shotgun to shatter the main door's small window. Once that occurred, Annie and Essex called 911. One of the officers then stuck a taser through the shattered window and blindly fired into Plaintiffs' home. Eventually, Defendants struck Aaron with taser probes, which he was able to remove from his body. The officer blindly deployed the taser for a second time, striking Aaron again and this time causing him to fall to the ground. Once Aaron was no longer pressed up against the wooden door, Defendants broke through the main door and poured into Plaintiffs' home. They tased Aaron again to gain control, as he continued struggling to defend and protect himself and his parents. Defendants then dragged Aaron outside to the driveway,
where they allegedly beat him with their batons, kicked him in the head and other parts of his body, stunned him with a taser, and called him a " black nigger" before they handcuffed and officially arrested him. ( Id. at 469.)2 Plaintiffs claim that Aaron was tased altogether in excess of thirty seconds.
At this point, the officers demanded identification from Annie and Essex. After Essex questioned their demand, at least one of the officers threatened to punch Annie and Essex in the face, break their teeth, and take them to jail if they failed to comply with the order and present identification.
Plaintiffs allege that throughout the encounter, Aaron yelled that he had not done anything wrong, and the officers failed to indicate the purpose of the arrest. Additionally, Plaintiffs allege that they were verbally abused by Defendants, who made threats and used racial epithets throughout the encounter.
B. Procedural History
After this incident, Plaintiff Aaron Hayward pleaded guilty to willfully fleeing a police officer and resisting arrest under Ohio Revised Code § 2921.33, admitting that he physically injured an officer in the process. Plaintiff and his parents, Annie and Essex Hayward, subsequently brought a § 1983 suit against the officers. In their joint complaint, they alleged various constitutional violations, including excessive force and illegal home entry, as well as various state law claims such as assault and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The district court requested additional briefing on the issue of whether Defendants were state actors such that § 1983 claims could be alleged against them. Plaintiffs subsequently filed a first amended complaint on January 10, 2012, which continued to allege the same § 1983 and state law claims, but added information to prove that the officers were, in fact, state actors. That issue is not in dispute before this Court. Defendants filed an answer and a motion for judgment on the pleadings on February 14, 2012.
Based on its interpretation of Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 114 S.Ct. 2364, 129 L.Ed.2d 383 (1994), the district court issued an order on April 3, 2012, explaining that Plaintiffs' first amended complaint would be dismissed if Plaintiffs did not submit a second amended complaint eliminating all pre-arrest claims and only including post-arrest § 1983 claims. The order stated, " To avoid application of Heck to their § 1983 claim, Plaintiffs must allege and prove that the Cleveland Clinic police officers used force against Aaron after the arrest had already been effectuated, i.e . after Aaron had been arrested and subdued." (R. 29, 4/3/2012 Order, at 462.) The district court indicated, however, that Plaintiffs could retain their state law claims in the second amended complaint as previously alleged in the first amended complaint. Thereafter, Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on April 13, 2012. Plaintiffs continued to allege their state law claims for assault and battery as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress. However, responding to the district court's order, they removed their claims based on the officers' pre-arrest conduct. Instead, they asserted claims for search and seizure, privacy, post-arrest excessive force, and failure to train.
Following submission of Plaintiffs' second amended complaint, Defendants again moved for partial summary judgment on the pleadings on May 4, 2012. On July 11, 2012, the district court granted the motion. Specifically, the court rejected Plaintiffs' state law claims. The court held that Annie and Essex's battery claim failed because they did not allege that " the officers touched them." (R. 50, 7/11/2012 Op. and Order, at 723.) Moreover, the court concluded that Annie and Essex's assault claim was without merit because they had not pleaded any " physical gesture . . . indicating an offensive touching was imminent." ( Id. at 724 (internal quotation marks omitted).) Finally, the court rejected all three Plaintiffs' intentional infliction of emotional distress claims as either barred by...
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