820 F.2d 194 (6th Cir. 1987), 86-5732, Vinson v. Campbell County Fiscal Court

Docket Nº:86-5732.
Citation:820 F.2d 194
Party Name:Sheila VINSON, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CAMPBELL COUNTY FISCAL COURT; Nickie Hornsby; and William Stoll, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:June 04, 1987
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

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820 F.2d 194 (6th Cir. 1987)

Sheila VINSON, Plaintiff-Appellant,


CAMPBELL COUNTY FISCAL COURT; Nickie Hornsby; and William

Stoll, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 86-5732.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

June 4, 1987

Argued April 24, 1987.

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Steven L. Schiller, Newport, Ky., for plaintiff-appellant.

Donald L. Stepner, Covington, Ky., James Kruer, argued, Stephen A. Bailey, Lindhorst & Dreidame, Cincinnati, Ohio, for defendants-appellees.

Before MARTIN and MILBURN, Circuit Judges, and ALDRICH, District Judge [*].

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MILBURN, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff-appellant Sheila Vinson appeals from the district court's entry of summary judgment in favor of defendants-appellees Nickie Hornsby and the Campbell County Fiscal Court in this action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 alleging violations of procedural and substantive due process. For the reasons that follow, we reverse.


The record, read in the light most favorable to plaintiff, discloses the following facts. On March 22, 1982, the Director of Pupil Personnel of the Campbell County School System filed a truancy complaint with the Campbell County Juvenile Services Department stating that plaintiff's children, Elizabeth and Michelle Vinson, were truant from their respective schools. Eight days later, Ms. Hornsby, a Campbell County Juvenile Services Probation Officer, visited an apartment in Highland Heights, Kentucky, where plaintiff was living with a friend. Ms. Hornsby, unable to contact plaintiff by telephone, removed the children from the custody of plaintiff's friend and transported them to the Campbell County Juvenile Services Office.

Plaintiff arrived at the Campbell County Juvenile Services Office later that afternoon and met with Ms. Hornsby and Tom Calme, the Director of Juvenile Services. Ms. Hornsby informed plaintiff that her presence was required at a hearing to be held on May 5, 1982, regarding the children's failure to attend school. Plaintiff responded that she could not attend the hearing because she was being evicted from her apartment, and that she planned to move to Ohio where she had previously resided. Ms. Hornsby then went next door to the Juvenile Court Clerk's Office to procure a summons requiring plaintiff's appearance at the May 5 hearing.

Janet Duty, the Juvenile Court Clerk, informed Ms. Hornsby that a summons could not be issued "without a petition being filed." Ms. Duty explained that the "procedure up to that point" was to "have a petition filed, then a summons issued." Ms. Duty did, however, issue the summons upon the condition that the petition be filed immediately. Although aware of the possible invalidity of the summons, Ms. Hornsby served the summons on plaintiff, commanding her appearance before the Campbell District Court regarding charges that her two children were neglected or abused. Plaintiff acknowledged her receipt of the summons by personally signing it.

On May 4, 1982, Ms. Hornsby filed an "Affidavit and Request For Emergency Custody For Dependent, Neglected, Or Abused Children" in the Campbell District Court. The affidavit reflected Hornsby's knowledge that plaintiff was being evicted from her apartment and that she was moving to Ohio. Plaintiff was not, however, afforded any notice that the custody of her children would be sought at the May 5 hearing.

Plaintiff failed to appear at the May 5 hearing and the court issued a bench warrant for her arrest. The court also entered an Emergency Custody Order, placing custody of plaintiff's children in the Kentucky Department of Human Resources.

On May 11, 1982, Ms. Hornsby, accompanied by William Stoll, requested a copy of the Emergency Custody Order from Ms. Duty, stating that she intended to retrieve the children from Ohio. Ms. Duty reminded Ms. Hornsby that she "could not go directly to any other police department outside of [Kentucky]" and that she "had to go through a procedure called the Interstate Compact." Ms. Duty explained that retrieval of the children had to be handled through the administrator of the Interstate Compact who would contact the Ohio authorities and explained that if the return was "involuntary," a hearing would be held in Ohio. Ms. Hornsby disregarded Ms. Duty's advice and proceeded to Ohio.

Upon her arrival in Ohio, Ms. Hornsby obtained the assistance of a police officer but did not contact the Ohio juvenile authorities nor any Ohio court. Ms. Hornsby located plaintiff, presented the Emergency Custody Order, and demanded custody of the children. After gaining custody of the children, Ms. Hornsby returned to the

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Campbell County Juvenile Services Offices. Upon plaintiff's return to Kentucky, she was arrested for failing to appear at the May 5 hearing and served approximately ten days in jail. At a subsequent hearing, the Campbell District Court found that plaintiff's children were neglected and that it would be in the best interests of the children if they were removed from plaintiff's custody. The court also dismissed the charges arising out of plaintiff's failure to appear in response to the summons.


A. Collateral Estoppel

Plaintiff argues that because the Kentucky state court dismissed, without a hearing, the failure to appear charge arising from the allegedly invalid summons, the magistrate 1 erred in finding plaintiff's false imprisonment claim barred by collateral estoppel. The magistrate, characterizing plaintiff's claim "as one of malicious prosecution and/or abuse of process," reasoned that since plaintiff "had every opportunity to litigate the issue of her allegedly false arrest and imprisonment and/or malicious prosecution and/or abuse of process due to actions of defendant Hornsby at the state court hearing ... she should be collaterally estopped from asserting same in the present section 1983 action."

A state court judgment must be given the same preclusive effect in federal court that it would be given in the courts of the rendering state. Migra v. Warren City School District Board of Education, 465 U.S. 75, 85, 104 S.Ct. 892, 898, 79 L.Ed.2d 56 (1984); City of Canton v. Maynard, 766 F.2d 236, 237 (6th Cir.1985) (per curiam); Fellowship of Christ Church v. Thorburn, 758 F.2d 1140, 1144 (6th Cir.1985) (per curiam). This principle applies to civil rights actions under section 1983 with respect to issues actually litigated (collateral estoppel or issue preclusion) and issues which could have been but were not litigated in the state court proceeding (res judicata or claim preclusion). Migra, 465 U.S. at 81-85, 104 S.Ct. at 896-98; Maynard, 766 F.2d at 238. Giving preclusive effect to state court judgments is, however, inappropriate "where the party against whom an earlier court decision is asserted did not have a full and fair opportunity to litigate the claim or issue decided by the first court." Allen v. McCurry, 449 U.S. 90, 101, 101 S.Ct. 411, 418, 66 L.Ed.2d 308 (1980); see also Haring v. Prosise, 462 U.S. 306, 313, 103 S.Ct. 2368, 2373, 76 L.Ed.2d 595 (1983); Thorburn, 758 F.2d at 1144.

The magistrate obviously confused the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel. Under res judicata or claim preclusion, a final judgment on the merits bars further claims by the parties on the same cause of action. See Cream Top Creamery v. Dean Milk Co., 383 F.2d 358, 361 (6th Cir.1967); Newman v. Newman, 451 S.W.2d 417, 419 (Ky.1970); BTC Leasing, Inc. v. Martin, 685 S.W.2d 191, 197 (Ky.App.1984). Res judicata or claim preclusion is not applicable in the present case because plaintiff's section 1983 action is not the same cause of action as the state's criminal case against her. See Slayton v. Willingham, 726 F.2d 631, 633 (10th Cir.1984) (per curiam); 18 C. Wright, A. Miller & E. Cooper, Federal Practice & Procedure Sec. 4474, at 748 (1981). Under collateral estoppel or issue preclusion, once a court has decided an issue of fact or law necessary to its judgment, that decision is conclusive in a subsequent suit based on a different cause of action involving the parties to the prior litigation. Cream Top Creamery, 383 F.2d at 362; Whittenberg Engineering & Construction Co. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., 390 S.W.2d 877, 883 (Ky.1965). Collateral estoppel or issue preclusion is not applicable in the present case because neither the validity of the summons nor the legality of the arrest was litigated or decided in the prior state court proceeding. See Slayton, 726 F.2d at 634.

B. Due Process

Plaintiff argues that the magistrate erred by granting summary judgment in

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favor of defendants on plaintiff's procedural and substantive due process claims arising out of her alleged false imprisonment. The magistrate viewed plaintiff's claim against Ms. Hornsby as merely procedural and analyzed the claim under the framework announced in Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 101 S.Ct. 1908, 68 L.Ed.2d 420 (1981). The magistrate rejected plaintiff's argument that the "failure to institute an established state procedure is tantamount to an established procedure of inadequate training" and found that "the state could not have anticipated Hornsby's actions." Further, the magistrate determined that plaintiff could have filed an action for false imprisonment or abuse of process in state court and, therefore, dismissed the claim against Ms. Hornsby.

Dismissal of plaintiff's claim against Ms. Hornsby was improper to the extent the claim sought relief for violations of substantive rather than procedural due process rights. The Court's decision in Parratt merely determined when a state's postdeprivation remedies are inadequate to protect a victim's procedural due process rights. When a violation of substantive due process rights is claimed, the existence of state postdeprivation remedies has no bearing on whether a cause of action exists. Wilson v. Beebe, 770 F.2d 578, 585-86 (6th Cir.1985) (en banc); see also...

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