787 F.3d 882 (8th Cir. 2015), 14-1931, Greenman v. Jessen

Docket Nº:14-1931
Citation:787 F.3d 882
Opinion Judge:KELLY, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:Mark Alan Greenman, Plaintiff - Appellant v. Officer Jeremiah Jessen; Sgt. Jason Nelson; Chief Ed Belland; City of Medina; Steven M. Tallen, Defendants - Appellees
Attorney:For Mark Alan Greenman, Plaintiff - Appellant: Jordan S. Kushner, Minneapolis, MN. For Officer Jeremiah Jessen, Sgt. Jason Nelson, Chief Ed Belland, City of Medina, Defendant - Appellees: William J. Everett, Pamela L. VanderWiel, Anna L. Yunker, Everett & Vanderwiel, Rosemont, MN. For Steven M. T...
Judge Panel:Before LOKEN, BRIGHT, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:May 28, 2015
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
SUMMARY

Medina police officers arrested Greenman on three separate occasions for, among other things, operating his Segway while under the influence of alcohol (DWI) in violation of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 169A. Greenman filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, asserting that the officers and city prosecutor violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, his due-process... (see full summary)

 
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787 F.3d 882 (8th Cir. 2015)

Mark Alan Greenman, Plaintiff - Appellant

v.

Officer Jeremiah Jessen; Sgt. Jason Nelson; Chief Ed Belland; City of Medina; Steven M. Tallen, Defendants - Appellees

No. 14-1931

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 28, 2015

Submitted December 11, 2014.

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Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis.

For Mark Alan Greenman, Plaintiff - Appellant: Jordan S. Kushner, Minneapolis, MN.

For Officer Jeremiah Jessen, Sgt. Jason Nelson, Chief Ed Belland, City of Medina, Defendant - Appellees: William J. Everett, Pamela L. VanderWiel, Anna L. Yunker, Everett & Vanderwiel, Rosemont, MN.

For Steven M. Tallen, Defendant - Appellee: George C. Hoff, Justin Lee Templin, Hoff & Barry, Eden Prairie, MN.

Before LOKEN, BRIGHT, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

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KELLY, Circuit Judge.

Mark Greenman filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against the City of Medina, Minnesota, three Medina police officers, and Steven M. Tallen, the prosecutor for the City of Medina. Greenman asserted the police officers and city prosecutor violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, his Fourteenth Amendment

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due-process rights, and his First Amendment rights to free speech and to petition the government for redress of grievances. He further alleged the City of Medina was liable for not properly training and supervising its police officers. He also filed several state-law claims. The district court1 dismissed all the federal claims, on the basis that the police officers and city prosecutor were entitled to qualified immunity, and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Greenman's state-law claims. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm.

I. Background

The facts, construed in the light most favorable to Greenman,2 are as follows. Medina police officers arrested Greenman on three separate occasions for, among other things, operating his Segway while under the influence of alcohol (DWI) in violation of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 169A. According to Greenman's complaint, a Segway is " a two-wheeled battery-operated device, where the operator stands upright and can make it move by leaning on the handle."

The first arrest took place on August 17, 2010, when Officer Jeremiah Jessen stopped Greenman at approximately 8:56 p.m. after he observed Greenman driving his Segway on a roadway in Medina. This was after sunset, and Officer Jessen observed that the Segway did not have a headlight or other lights. Officer Jessen ultimately arrested and detained Greenman. On October 15, 2010, Sergeant Jason Nelson filed a formal criminal complaint against Greenman, charging him with (1) gross misdemeanor DWI, (2) misdemeanor DWI, (3) misdemeanor careless driving, and (4) possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle.3 The misdemeanor careless driving charge was later amended to a petty misdemeanor charge of operating his Segway without due care, and the possession charge was amended to reflect a smaller amount of marijuana.

Greenman moved to dismiss the charges for lack of probable cause. On June 17, 2011, Hennepin County District Court Judge Ronald Abrams dismissed the two DWI charges and the marijuana charge but found probable cause for the charge of failing to operate an electric personal assistive mobility device with due care.4 In dismissing the DWI charges, Judge Abrams held a Segway was not a " motor vehicle" for purposes of the DWI statute. Following a bench trial, Greenman was acquitted of operating his Segway without due care. The City of Medina did not appeal.

The second arrest took place on February 4, 2012, when Officer Jessen again arrested Greenman, this time for operating his Segway while intoxicated and without due care. On March 22, 2012, Police Chief

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Ed Belland signed and filed a formal criminal complaint in Hennepin County District Court, alleging two counts of gross misdemeanor DWI and one count of failing to operate an electric personal assistive mobility device with due care.5 Hennepin County District Court Judge Denise D. Reilly found probable cause existed for the arrest.

On March 16, 2012, Greenman was arrested a third time. This time, Sergeant Nelson found Greenman lying on a sidewalk next to his Segway. After Greenman failed field sobriety tests, Sergeant Nelson arrested him for operating his Segway while intoxicated and for operating it without due care.

Greenman moved to dismiss the DWI charges stemming from his second arrest. Judge Reilly dismissed the DWI charges on August 29, 2012, concluding--like Judge Abrams--that a Segway is not a " motor vehicle" for purposes of the DWI statute. The charge of failing to operate an electric personal assistive mobility device with due care remained pending. This time, the City of Medina appealed, and on January 22, 2013, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, affirmed the district court, holding, " a Segway is not a motor vehicle within the meaning of the impaired-driving code." State v. Greenman, 825 N.W.2d 387, 393 (Minn. Ct.App. 2013). On March 1, 2013, following the Court of Appeals decision, the Hennepin County Attorney6 voluntarily dismissed the charges stemming from Greenman's third arrest. On June 20, 2013, Greenman pleaded guilty to a petty misdemeanor charge of operating a Segway on a roadway, in violation of Minnesota Statute § 169.212.2(c), arising from his second arrest.

Greenman filed the underlying lawsuit on July 8, 2013. In his § 1983 complaint, Greenman asserted violations of his Fourth and First7 Amendment rights in connection with all three arrests. He also asserted the second and third arrests violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process and alleged he was arrested and prosecuted in deliberate disregard of a court order establishing that driving a Segway while intoxicated is not a crime. He further contended that the police officers and city prosecutor conspired to deprive him of his rights by arresting and prosecuting him, and that the City of Medina was liable under § 1983 for failing to properly train and supervise its police officers.8

The district court dismissed Greenman's § 1983 claims, finding that the officers and prosecutor were entitled to qualified immunity because, at the time of the arrests, it was not clearly established that Minnesota's DWI statute did not apply to a person operating a Segway while intoxicated, and therefore a reasonable officer could have believed that operating a Segway while intoxicated violated the DWI statute. The court dismissed the state-law claims without prejudice. Greenman appeals.

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II. Discussion

We review de novo both the grant of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). Ashley County, Ark. v. Pfizer, Inc., 552 F.3d 659, 665 (8th Cir. 2009). The grant of either motion is " appropriate only when there is no dispute as to any material facts and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a latter of law." Id. (quotation omitted). A court generally may not consider materials outside the pleadings when deciding a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim or for judgment on the pleadings. Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., 186 F.3d 1077, 1079 (8th Cir. 1999). Courts...

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