901 F.2d 561 (7th Cir. 1990), 88-2152, Patrick v. Jasper County

Docket Nº:88-2152.
Citation:901 F.2d 561
Party Name:Ronnie L. PATRICK, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. JASPER COUNTY and Sheriff Terry Gilliland, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:April 12, 1990
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 561

901 F.2d 561 (7th Cir. 1990)

Ronnie L. PATRICK, Plaintiff-Appellant,


JASPER COUNTY and Sheriff Terry Gilliland, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 88-2152.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

April 12, 1990

Argued Feb. 15, 1989.

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Hugo E. Martz, Robert D. Truitt, Lyons & Truitt, Valparaiso, Ind., for plaintiff-appellant.

J. Philip Klingeberger, Asst. U.S. Atty., Hammond, Ind., Harry Jennings, Theresa L. Springmann, Spangler, Johnson & Associates, Merrillville, Ind., Shaw R. Friedman, Boklund & Yandt, LaPorte, Ind., for defendants-appellees.

Before COFFEY, EASTERBROOK and RIPPLE, Circuit Judges.

COFFEY, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff-Appellant Ronnie Patrick appeals the order of the district court granting summary judgment for defendants-appellees, Jasper County, Indiana, and Jasper County Sheriff Terry Gilliland in this action filed under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. We affirm.


At approximately 4:00 a.m. on Friday, December 10, 1982, Patrick, accompanied by Ed Ritchie and Ollie Bailey, drove to the Jack Lucas residence in rural Jasper County, Indiana, to retrieve Ritchie's company truck. Upon arriving at Lucas's home, the three men were confronted by law enforcement officials of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") and the Indiana State Police ("ISP"), who informed them that they had "walked into a drug bust." 1 Upon learning Bailey's identity, the law enforcement officials immediately arrested him pursuant to a warrant and took him into custody. The law enforcement officers thereafter searched Patrick and Ritchie to determine if they were in possession of narcotics and/or weapons. Although finding no narcotics in Patrick's possession, the officers did discover three weapons concealed under his jacket: a loaded and cocked .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun for which Patrick did not have a valid license, a Swiss army knife, and a six-inch double-edged field knife. The record does not reflect whether the officers found Ritchie to be in possession of either weapons or narcotics.

Patrick and Ritchie were subsequently arrested for visiting a common nuisance, transported to the Indiana State Police Post in Lowell, Indiana, and detained for several hours. Due to the large number of individuals arrested in association with the "drug bust," the Lowell facility became overcrowded and ISP officials made arrangements to transfer Patrick and some sixty to eighty other detainees, including Ritchie, to the Jasper County Jail in Rensselaer, Indiana, for booking, fingerprinting, photographing and criminal record "wanted" checks. In his deposition, Patrick stated that while he was being booked, he overheard Sheriff Gilliland tell the ISP officer

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"that he [Gilliland] just got off the phone with the Prosecuting Attorney [then-Jasper County Prosecutor, Thomas Fisher]. And he says, 'We can hold him for seventy-two hours without charges.' And he says, 'By then we should come up with something.' " Patrick was detained in the Jasper County Jail for approximately four hours (9:40 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.), but, due to overcrowding, Sheriff Gilliland requested his transfer to another facility. After Gilliland made the necessary arrangements with LaPorte County Sheriff Jan Rose, Patrick was transported by an ISP officer to the LaPorte County Jail, in LaPorte, Indiana, where he was held for an additional thirty-six hours and released on bail after posting bond on Sunday, December 12, 1982. 2 Patrick was not taken before a magistrate for a determination of probable cause to detain him pending the filing of formal charges during his forty hours of confinement. An ex parte probable cause hearing was held on Monday, December 13, 1982, after the Jasper County Prosecutor filed a criminal information charging Patrick with dealing in marijuana, a Class C felony in Indiana. See Ind.Code Sec. 35-48-4-10(b)(2). However, Jasper County Superior Court Judge J. Philip McGraw dismissed the charge for lack of probable cause and denied the prosecutor's request for the issuance of a warrant to arrest Patrick. 3

Patrick filed this 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 action in the district court on December 10, 1984, against Jasper County, Sheriff Terry Gilliland, individually and in his official capacity as Jasper County Sheriff, LaPorte County and Sheriff Jan Rose, individually and in his official capacity as LaPorte County Sheriff, 4 alleging that they had "unlawfully detain[ed] him without a valid arrest warrant, probable cause or other legal basis" in violation of the fourth and fourteenth amendments. 5 On December 1, 1987, Jasper County and Sheriff Gilliland ("Jasper County defendants") filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that they had not violated Patrick's constitutional rights because his four-hour detention in the Jasper County Jail was not unreasonably long. Further, Sheriff Gilliland argued that he was entitled to qualified immunity because his conduct did not violate clearly established law at the time of Patrick's detention. 6 Finally, Jasper County argued that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because Patrick had failed to present any evidence on the question of whether Patrick's allegedly unconstitutional detention had been caused by an official policy or custom of the Jasper County Prosecutor's office and Sheriff's Department. LaPorte County and Sheriff Rose ("LaPorte County defendants") had filed a similar motion on November 30, 1987.

On May 26, 1988, the district court granted the Jasper County defendants' motion, finding that Patrick's statement in his deposition reiterating the conversation between Sheriff Gilliland and the Jasper County Prosecutor was inadmissible hearsay and that, in any event, the conversation was insufficient to establish policy or custom on the part of Jasper County. The court further found: "Gilliland could establish policy for Jasper County for any unconstitutional detention of Patrick.... However, in Answers to Interrogatories, Jasper County stated that the County had a legal duty to accept prisoners produced by federal or state government law enforcement

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officials. Jasper County also stated that Gilliland asked the State Police to find another jail for Patrick due to overcrowding and that Patrick was transferred to LaPorte County Jail. Patrick does not dispute that Gilliland's actions were taken pursuant to Indiana Code Secs. 10-1-1-22 and 35-33-11-3. Patrick was transferred within four to six hours of his arrival at the Jasper County Jail. The statement made by Gilliland that Patrick could be held for seventy-two hours is irrelevant. Patrick was held only four to six hours at the Jasper County Jail, and Patrick does not dispute this. Instead, Patrick attempts to establish a custom or policy via joint action between Jasper County and LaPorte County. This, in essence, is a conspiracy claim, and Patrick's Motion to Amend has been denied on that basis. Patrick does not claim that his detention for four to six hours was excessive. 7 In addition, he does not dispute that Gilliland requested that he be transferred to another facility. Certainly Patrick cannot argue that the Jasper County Sheriff has authority to dictate the actions of the LaPorte County Sheriff. Because his conspiracy and/or custom or policy claims are insufficient, his claims against Jasper County and Gilliland also must fail. As such, Patrick's allegations are insufficient to state an unconstitutional policy or custom as regards Jasper County rendering summary judgment appropriate."

Patrick v. United States, No. H 84-808, slip op. at 19-20 (N.D.Ind. May 26, 1988). 8

The court, however, denied the LaPorte County defendants' summary judgment motion, finding that the evidence in the record was insufficient to determine whether the thirty-six hours Patrick was detained in the LaPorte County Jail was "the minimum period of time necessary to process charges against Patrick and to conduct a probable cause hearing." 9 Shortly after the trial court's denial of their summary judgment motion, the LaPorte County defendants offered and Patrick accepted an out-of-court settlement in lieu of trial on Patrick's claims under section 1983.

Patrick now appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Sheriff Gilliland and Jasper County, arguing that: (1) Patrick's deposition testimony relating the conversation between the Jasper County Prosecutor and Sheriff Gilliland was not hearsay; (2) the conversation between the prosecutor and Sheriff Gilliland in which the prosecutor stated that Patrick could be held for seventy-two hours without charges being filed, as well as Gilliland's actions in detaining and transferring Patrick, constitute an official policy of Jasper County within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983; and (3) Patrick's transfer to the LaPorte County Jail was in violation of Indiana Code Sec. 35-33-11-3 and, thus, amounts to an unlawful transfer in violation of the fourth, fifth and fourteenth amendments. Jasper County and Sheriff Gilliland argue that Patrick has failed to raise an issue of material fact on the question of whether the length of his detention in the Jasper County Jail was unconstitutional and, further, urge us to affirm the district court's finding that Patrick has failed as a matter of law to establish that his detention resulted from an unconstitutional policy or custom of Jasper County.

At the outset, we note that we review de novo the district court's grant of summary judgment for Jasper County and

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Sheriff Gilliland to determine whether there exists no genuine issue of material fact and whether the defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).

"In reviewing a grant of summary judgment, we must view the record and all inferences drawn therefrom in the light most...

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