Boothby v. Drake, 080411 FED3, 10-4590

Docket Nº:10-4590
Opinion Judge:FUENTES, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:JAMES E. BOOTHBY, Appellant v. GLENN C. DRAKE, II and JACOB ROTHERMEL
Judge Panel:BEFORE: SLOVITER, FUENTES, and FISHER, Circuit Judges
Case Date:August 04, 2011
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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JAMES E. BOOTHBY, Appellant

v.

GLENN C. DRAKE, II and JACOB ROTHERMEL

No. 10-4590

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

August 4, 2011

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) July 14, 2011

On appeal from the United States District Court For the Middle District of Pennsylvania (M.D. 09-cv-1399-JEJ) District Judge: Honorable John E. Jones III

BEFORE: SLOVITER, FUENTES, and FISHER, Circuit Judges

FUENTES, Circuit Judge.

James Boothby appeals from an order granting summary judgment to Pennsylvania State Troopers Glenn C. Drake, II and Jacob Rothermel (collectively "defendants") in an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that alleges false arrest or imprisonment and malicious prosecution, in violation of plaintiff s Fourth Amendment rights. For the reasons set forth below, we will affirm.

I.

We write solely for the parties and therefore discuss only the facts necessary to explain our decision. Boothby began working for Potter County Human Services ("the County") in 1987. In 2008, he was suspended by the County because he faced a non-work-related animal cruelty charge.1 Boothby was concerned about the possibility of termination, so in July of 2008, he requested, and the County permitted, his early retirement.2 Had he not faced disciplinary action, Boothby would not have retired.

On September 5, 2008, Boothby was scheduled to go to the County building to retrieve his belongings and return property. Prior to his arrival, however, employees at the County building observed what appeared to be a pipe bomb in Boothby's cubicle. The Pennsylvania State Police were contacted, and the building was evacuated.

Pennsylvania State Trooper Rothermel arrived at the building, where County employees described the device inside as a bomb. Rothermel entered the building and proceeded to a filing cabinet in Boothby's cubicle, where he observed two pieces of black metal taped together with a nine-volt battery and wires. Rothermel noticed that the window next to the cabinet was open. Rothermel removed the device from the building and placed it in a field for inspection. Later, the bomb squad evaluated the device and observed fresh cut marks on the metal and new tape. The bomb squad then blew the device up, confirming that it was free of any explosive material.

When Boothby arrived at the County building, Rothermel placed him in custody. Boothby was advised of his Miranda rights, and he agreed to speak with Trooper Drake about the device. Boothby told Drake that he had constructed the bomb device 4 or 5 years earlier as a "prop" for a work-place safety training exercise and that he had given a presentation on it. Boothby said that some of his former co-workers would confirm this. Boothby also said that the device had been on his filing cabinet under paperwork for the past 4 or 5 years.

During the investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police interviewed every employee working at Potter County Human Services. Not one employee had ever seen the pipe bomb device before September 5, 2008, and none recalled Boothby giving a presentation. The interviewed employees stated that it was not Boothby, but rather a different employee, who made the...

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