853 F.3d 866 (6th Cir. 2017), 16-5552, Moore v. City of Memphis

Docket Nº:16-5552
Citation:853 F.3d 866
Opinion Judge:KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:RONALD MOORE; GINA WALDROP; DONALD MOORE, JR., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. CITY OF MEMPHIS; PHILLIP PENNY, Defendants-Appellees
Attorney:Jeffrey S. Rosenblum, ROSENBLUM & REISMAN, P.C., Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellants. Richard J. Myers, GLANKLER BROWN, PLLC, Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellee City of Memphis. Betsy McKinney, GODWIN, MORRIS, LAURENZI & BLOOMFIELD, P.C., Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellee Penny. Jeffrey S. Rosenblum,...
Judge Panel:Before: BATCHELDER, SUTTON, and KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judges. ALICE M. BATCHELDER, Circuit Judge, concurring.
Case Date:April 10, 2017
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
SUMMARY

Memphis animal-control officer Lynch investigated a third complaint of animal cruelty at Moore's house. Moore did not come to the door. Moore’s neighbor, Hillis, told Lynch that Moore had threatened her and that she was “terrified” of him. Backup arrived. Moore opened the door, gestured as if he had a weapon, and shut the door. A second visit was equally unsuccessful. The next day, Hillis... (see full summary)

 
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Page 866

853 F.3d 866 (6th Cir. 2017)

RONALD MOORE; GINA WALDROP; DONALD MOORE, JR., Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

CITY OF MEMPHIS; PHILLIP PENNY, Defendants-Appellees

No. 16-5552

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

April 10, 2017

Argued February 1, 2017

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee at Memphis. No. 2:14-cv-02089--S. Thomas Anderson, District Judge.

ARGUED:

Jeffrey S. Rosenblum, ROSENBLUM & REISMAN, P.C., Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellants.

Richard J. Myers, GLANKLER BROWN, PLLC, Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellee City of Memphis.

Betsy McKinney, GODWIN, MORRIS, LAURENZI & BLOOMFIELD, P.C., Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellee Penny.

ON BRIEF:

Jeffrey S. Rosenblum, Marc E. Reisman, ROSENBLUM & REISMAN, P.C., Memphis, Tennessee, Howard B. Manis, MANIS LAW FIRM, Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellants.

Richard J. Myers, GLANKLER BROWN, PLLC, Memphis, Tennessee, Henry L. Klein, APPERSON CRUMP PLC, Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellee City of Memphis.

Betsy McKinney, Deborah Godwin, GODWIN, MORRIS, LAURENZI & BLOOMFIELD, P.C., Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellee Penny.

Before: BATCHELDER, SUTTON, and KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judge.

Phillip Penny, a Memphis police officer, fatally shot Donald Moore, Sr., after Moore pointed a gun at him during the execution of a search warrant at Moore's home. Moore's children sued Penny and the City of Memphis under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging constitutional violations that they say resulted in Moore's death. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants, holding that they did not violate Moore's constitutional rights. We affirm.

I.

On September 5, 2012, Memphis Animal Services received its third complaint regarding potential animal cruelty at Moore's home. The following month, an animal-control officer, Carol Lynch, went to Moore's residence to investigate. Moore did not come to the door initially, but Lynch spoke to Moore's neighbor, Tammy Hillis, who said that Moore had threatened her and that she was " terrified" of him. Lynch then called the Memphis Police Department for support, and two officers joined her at the scene. This time, Moore came to the front door and gestured with his hand behind his back as if he had a weapon. The police officers asked to see Moore's hands, at which point Moore cursed, backed into the house, and shut the door. One of the officers tried to tell Moore through the door that they just wanted to talk to him about his animals, but Moore responded with more curses.

Soon thereafter, Lynch and John Morgret, a criminal investigator with the Memphis Humane Society, met with Lieutenant Martin Kula and Officer Scott Edwards of the Memphis Police Department. Based on Lynch's statement, Lieutenant Kula thought that Moore might be unstable. But Officer Edwards--who was trained in dealing with people with mental illness--saw nothing in Moore's records to indicate that he had a history of violence or was mentally ill.

On January 8, 2013, Officer Edwards and Lynch went to Moore's home. Moore refused to open the door, but through it Officer Edwards told Moore that Animal Services merely wanted to ensure that his animals were healthy. Moore kept his door closed, ordered them off his property, and called 911. His call was directed to Lieutenant Kula, who tried unsuccessfully to get Moore to cooperate. After their interactions with Moore that day, both Officer Edwards and Lieutenant Kula thought that Moore was angry but not mentally ill. The next day, Hillis told Lynch that, after the officers had left the day before, Moore came out of his house...

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