Haywood v. Hough, 043020 FED6, 19-1629

Docket Nº:19-1629, 19-1657, 19-1668
Opinion Judge:LARSEN, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:BARBARA HAYWOOD, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LAWRENCE HOUGH (19-1629); PAUL EAGLE (19-1657); PETER HUBBARD (19-1668), Defendants-Appellants.
Judge Panel:Before: GILMAN, DONALD, and LARSEN, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:April 30, 2020
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

BARBARA HAYWOOD, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

LAWRENCE HOUGH (19-1629); PAUL EAGLE (19-1657); PETER HUBBARD (19-1668), Defendants-Appellants.

Nos. 19-1629, 19-1657, 19-1668

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

April 30, 2020

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PUBLICATION

ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN

Before: GILMAN, DONALD, and LARSEN, Circuit Judges.

LARSEN, Circuit Judge.

Barbara Haywood brought this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that three state officers falsely arrested her and that one of the three officers illegally searched her hotel room. The officers moved for summary judgment, asserting qualified immunity as an affirmative defense. The district court denied their motions in relevant part, and the officers now appeal. We AFFIRM in part, VACATE in part, and REMAND. We also DENY Haywood's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

I.

This is an appeal from the denial of summary judgment for three officers' claims to qualified immunity. In this posture, we generally must "accept the facts assumed by the district court, which in turn considered the record in the light most favorable to [Haywood], the nonmoving party." Jones v. City of Elyria, 947 F.3d 905, 913 (6th Cir. 2020). We recount the facts accordingly.

On February 14, 2016, Haywood traveled to Chippewa Correctional Facility in Kinross, Michigan to visit her husband, Lonnell Haywood, an inmate imprisoned there. She kissed her husband upon greeting him in the prisoner visitation room. While they were kissing, corrections officer Cassandra Wilcox observed "what appeared to be a green object being passed by mouth from Mrs. Haywood to Mr. Haywood. Ms. Haywood had a difficult time getting the object into Mr. Haywood's mouth and Mr. Haywood had a difficult time swallowing the object." Wilcox believed the object "may have been marijuana" and informed her shift supervisor. It is a felony in Michigan to give a controlled substance to a prisoner or bring a controlled substance into a correctional facility. See Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 800.281, .285.

Peter Hubbard, a corrections officer employed by the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), was informed of Wilcox's observations. He approached Barbara Haywood at the conclusion of her visit and asked her to accompany him. She agreed and followed him to a nearby conference room where Paul Eagle, a police officer with the Kinross Police Department, was waiting for them. Hubbard asked Haywood whether she had passed marijuana to her husband. She denied that she had, joking instead that she had passed him a Jolly Rancher candy.

Hubbard and Eagle detained Haywood in the conference room for forty minutes until Lawrence Hough came to the scene. Hough is both an MDOC inspector and a Chippewa County deputy sheriff. Once Hough arrived, the three officers escorted Haywood to the prison lobby, where she was handcuffed. Hough then repeatedly threatened to take Haywood to jail unless she consented to a search of her car, which was on prison grounds. She agreed because she felt, in her own words, "scared to death." Hubbard and Eagle searched the car and found a small quantity of marijuana. Haywood was then placed in the front seat of Hough's police car. While she was being placed, the officers mocked her for being a white woman married to a black man.

Once Haywood was in the car, Hough again threatened to take her to jail if she did not permit him to search her hotel room. Feeling threatened, she agreed. Upon searching her room, Hough found another small quantity of marijuana as well as Haywood's expired Michigan Medical Marijuana Program card. Hough then transported Haywood back to the prison, where he released her. Haywood was subsequently charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana in state court.

The following year Haywood, acting pro se, brought suit against Hubbard, Eagle, and Hough, alleging nine causes of action under § 1983 and Michigan law. The officers, who are separately represented, each filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting qualified immunity as a defense to Haywood's federal claims. A magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation (R&R) recommending that the district court grant the officers' motions on seven of Haywood's nine claims. The R&R recommended allowing Haywood's § 1983 claim against all three officers of false arrest to proceed to trial, as well as her § 1983 claim against Hough for illegally searching her hotel room. Haywood v. Hough, No. 1:17-CV-508, 2019 WL 3046850, at *12 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 25, 2019).

The R&R determined that Wilcox's observations did not give the officers probable cause to arrest Haywood but did create reasonable suspicion to perform an investigatory stop pursuant to Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). Although Haywood's detention was initially lawful, the R&R concluded, under clearly established law reasonable suspicion did not permit Hubbard and Eagle to continue holding Haywood for forty minutes until Hough arrived. The long delay converted the Terry stop to an arrest without probable cause in violation of Haywood's Fourth Amendment rights. The R&R further concluded that Hough did not have probable cause to arrest Haywood under clearly established law at the time he arrived on the scene. Probable cause did not exist until the officers discovered marijuana in her car. The R&R recommended denying qualified immunity to all three officers because they violated Haywood's clearly established Fourth Amendment rights. As for the illegal search claim, the R&R determined that Hough should be denied qualified immunity because a reasonable jury could find that Haywood did not validly consent to the search.

Each of the officers filed objections to the R&R, as did Haywood. The district court overruled the objections and adopted the magistrate judge's R&R in full. Haywood v. Hough, No. 1:17-CV-508, 2019 WL 2314685, at *3 (W.D. Mich. May 31, 2019). The three officers each timely filed a notice of appeal.

After Eagle filed his opening brief, Haywood filed a motion to dismiss his appeal. She argued that Eagle had impermissibly challenged the district court's factual assumptions, which deprived this court of jurisdiction over his appeal. Eagle filed a response, to which Haywood replied. A motions panel of this court concluded that "Eagle's brief does not simply concede the facts in the light most favorable to Haywood." Haywood v. Eagle, No. 19-1657, slip op. at 2 (6th Cir. Dec. 23, 2019) (order). But because "we can separate the reviewable issues from the unreviewable ones" "[i]n a case where the factual and legal issues are intertwined," the motions panel referred Haywood's motion to this panel to consider along with the merits of the appeal. Id., slip op. at 2-3.

II.

"We review a district court's ruling on a summary judgment motion de novo." Sparks v. EquityExperts.org, LLC, 936 F.3d 348, 351 (6th Cir. 2019). Summary judgment is warranted only "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "We also review de novo the grant or denial of qualified immunity." Bey v. Falk, 946 F.3d 304, 311 (6th Cir. 2019).

"Qualified immunity attaches when an official's conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known." City of Escondido v. Emmons, 139 S.Ct. 500, 503 (2019) (per curiam) (quoting Kisela v. Hughes, 138 S.Ct. 1148, 1152 (2018) (per curiam)). When an officer raises a qualified immunity defense, we determine (1) "whether the officer's conduct violated a constitutional right" and (2) "whether that right was clearly established at the time of the incident." Watson v. Pearson, 928 F.3d 507, 510 (6th Cir. 2019). We may evaluate the two prongs in either order. Reich v. City of Elizabethtown, 945 F.3d 968, 978 (6th Cir. 2019).

"Ordinarily, an order denying summary judgment is not a final order from which a party may appeal." Jones, 947 F.3d at 912. Under the collateral order doctrine, however, "a district court's denial of a claim of qualified immunity, to the extent that it turns on an issue of law, is an appealable 'final decision' within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1291." Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 530 (1985). In this posture, we do not have jurisdiction to consider "purely fact-based" challenges to the district court's decision. McDonald v. Flake, 814 F.3d 804, 812 (6th Cir. 2016). Instead, we generally "take, as given, the facts that the district court assumed when it denied summary judgment" and determine whether, on those facts, the appellants are entitled to qualified immunity. Johnson v. Jones, 515 U.S. 304, 319 (1995).

III.

All three officers appeal the district court's decision denying them qualified immunity for Haywood's false arrest claim. We affirm the district court's judgment as to Hubbard and Hough, but vacate its judgment as to Eagle.

A.

Hubbard argues that he is entitled to qualified immunity for Haywood's false arrest claim because he lacked the authority to end Haywood's detention. He claims that, as a corrections officer, he is not a "peace officer" under Michigan law and therefore may not "[p]erform the functions of a peace officer," including making arrests and conducting criminal investigations. See Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.215. To the extent he participated in Haywood's arrest, he contends that he did so at the direction of Eagle and Hough; he had no independent authority as a corrections officer to detain her. He concludes that because it is not clearly established that a corrections officer is unable to rely on the directions of a police officer in the circumstances he faced, he is...

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