Meade v. Grubbs, No. 128

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore HOLLOWAY, Chief Judge, BARRETT, Circuit Judge, and SAM; HOLLOWAY
Citation841 F.2d 1512
Docket NumberNo. 128,No. 84-2631
Decision Date11 March 1988
PartiesKenneth Ray MEADE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. GRUBBS, Badge, individually and as a deputy sheriff of the County of Oklahoma, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

Page 1512

841 F.2d 1512
10 Fed.R.Serv.3d 1137
Kenneth Ray MEADE, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
GRUBBS, Badge No. 128, individually and as a deputy sheriff
of the County of Oklahoma, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
No. 84-2631.
United States Court of Appeals,
Tenth Circuit.
March 11, 1988.

Page 1517

Michael Gassaway of Hughes, Nelson & Gassaway, Oklahoma City, Okl. (John B. Monnet, was also on the brief), for plaintiff-appellant.

Charles S. Rogers, Asst. Dist. Atty., Oklahoma City, Okl. (Robert H. Macy, Dist. Atty., Oklahoma City, Okl., was also on the brief) for defendants-appellees Grubbs, Sharp, Buchanan, Darrell, Snyder, and Bd. of Com'rs of Oklahoma County.

Linda L. Gray, Asst. Atty. Gen., Oklahoma City, Okl. (Michael C. Turpen, Atty. Gen. of Oklahoma, was also on the brief), for defendants-appellees Henslee, Reed, Coffelt, McBride, Mueller, Rayburn, Leavitt, and Turpen.

Frederic B. Aurin, Jr., Dept. of Human Services, Oklahoma City, Okl. (Charles Lee Waters, General Counsel and Richard W. Freeman, Jr., Asst. General Counsel, Dept. of Human Services, were on the brief), for defendant-appellee Robert Fulton.

Before HOLLOWAY, Chief Judge, BARRETT, Circuit Judge, and SAM, District Judge *

HOLLOWAY, Chief Judge.

Plaintiff Meade filed a pro se complaint on July 3, 1984 alleging physical violence and denial of medical care by three Oklahoma County sheriffs, and emotional distress. The complaint also named several Oklahoma state and county officials as defendants. Meade amended his complaint twice, changing allegations and eliminating and adding defendants. In his Second Amended Complaint Meade invoked 42 U.S.C. Secs. 1983 and 1988 (1982) and the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and named as defendants in their individual and official capacities: (1) Deputy Grubbs, John Doe # 1, John Doe # 2, etc., deputy sheriffs of Oklahoma County; (2) J.D. Sharp, the Sheriff of Oklahoma County; (3) F.G. "Buck" Buchanan, Shirley Darrell and Fred Snyder, County Commissioners of Oklahoma County; (4) Bill Henslee, Carl W. Reed, Jr., Norman Coffelt, David McBride, Richard Mueller and K.O. Rayburn, members and officers of the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training; (5) Robert Fulton, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services; (6) Joan Leavitt, M.D., the Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Health; and (7) Michael C. Turpen, Attorney General of Oklahoma.

Between August 31 and September 24, 1984, the defendants filed a series of motions under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. On October 4 Michael Gassaway

Page 1518

filed an entry of appearance as attorney for Meade. That day Gassaway also filed an Application for Extension of Time until October 15 to respond to the defendants' motions to dismiss. Gassaway stated that he had been recently hired by Meade and the time was necessary to permit him to properly respond to the motions. 1

On October 10, 1984, the district judge denied Gassaway's Application for Extension of Time on the ground that the application failed to comply with Local Rule 14(H). 2 I R. 71. Two days later the judge sua sponte set a hearing for October 18 on the defendants' motions to dismiss. After the hearing the judge dismissed with prejudice Meade's action against all of the named defendants in their individual and official capacities on two grounds: (1) the complaint failed to state a claim, and (2) Meade had not filed a response to the motions to dismiss in accordance with Local Rule 14(A). 3 I R. 77. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

I. THE FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The facts as alleged in plaintiff Meade's pro se Second Amended Complaint are as follows:

At approximately 5:00 p.m. on March 25, 1983, Meade was arrested by two Warr Acres police officers and placed in custody in the Warr Acres municipal jail. While there Meade requested medical attention, indicating to the two arresting officers that he was experiencing severe, sharp pains in his chest, and feeling faint and unable to breathe. The officers responded that he could see a doctor when he arrived at the Oklahoma County jail.

About 7:00 p.m. that evening, Meade was taken to the eleventh floor of the Oklahoma County jail. When Meade arrived at the booking area, he began to feel faint again and bent down so that he would not pass out. Grubbs, a deputy sheriff of Oklahoma County, approached Meade and allegedly "without cause or justification, deliberately kicked plaintiff's left thigh and told plaintiff to get up, to which plaintiff responded that he was feeling faint and, in reply, Defendant GRUBBS grabbed and twisted plaintiff's fingers in a violent manner to force him to rise." I R. 36. Grubbs then placed Meade in custody. In doing so Grubbs purportedly used excessive and unjustified force, slamming Meade's head into barred walls, dragging him by the hair of his head, choking him and twisting his arm, applying a marker against his neck, and beating and kicking him on the side, face, head, legs and stomach.

Other deputy sheriffs of Oklahoma County--identified in Meade's complaint as "John Doe # 1, John Doe # 2, etc."--allegedly acquiesced in the beating by failing to stop Grubbs and assisted Grubbs by holding Meade's head in an armlock to allow other deputies to beat him, violently applying their knuckles into Meade's temple, and beating and kicking Meade in the side, face, head, legs, groin and stomach. The deputies

Page 1519

also wrapped chains around the entire length of Meade's forearms. Throughout the attack, Grubbs and the other unidentified deputies threatened Meade, putting him in fear of his life. The attack began long after Meade's arrest and several hours after he had been placed in custody. Meade did not resist or use any force of his own.

After the attack, Meade allegedly requested medical assistance. He was told that medical help would be forthcoming; however, no such treatment was ever provided. As a result, Meade sustained serious physical and emotional injuries. According to Meade, this was a malicious and excessive use of force which violated Oklahoma law and the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. 4

Meade's Second Amended Complaint also asserted that the Sheriff of Oklahoma County (J.D. Sharp) and various members of the Board of County Commissioners for Oklahoma County (F.G. "Buck" Buchanan, Shirley Darrell and Fred Snyder) exhibited a deliberate and wilful indifference to Meade's medical needs, violating his constitutional rights to due process and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. According to Meade, the Sheriff and the Commissioners engaged in the common practice and pattern of failing to exercise reasonable care in the employment of deputy sheriffs, to provide adequate training for deputy sheriffs in circumstances involving the use of force to effect an arrest, and to properly supervise deputies or adopt adequate disciplinary policies for their misconduct. These acts, Meade contended, constituted deliberate indifference and/or gross and reckless negligence regarding Meade's constitutional rights, directly resulting in Meade's injuries.

Meade's complaint also charged that Attorney General Turpen, and six members of the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (Henslee, Reed, Coffelt, McBride, Mueller and Rayburn) engaged in the common practice and pattern of improperly training, or enforcing training requirements for Oklahoma law enforcement officers on the use of force in arresting a suspect. Moreover, these seven defendants failed to provide adequate investigation and enforcement policies and procedures for the enforcement of state statutory requirements. Such violations of state law allegedly constituted a deliberate indifference and/or gross and reckless negligence with respect to Meade's constitutional rights.

The complaint alleged that Turpen, Fulton (the Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services), and Joan Leavitt, M.D. (the Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Health) engaged in the common practice and pattern of failing to exercise reasonable care in the enforcement of state standards for county jails pertaining to admission and release procedures, security measures, staff training and provision of adequate medical care. Moreover, according to Meade, Turpen, Fulton and Leavitt failed to provide adequate training for Oklahoma law enforcement officers in circumstances involving the use of force to make an arrest and the provision of adequate medical care to pretrial detainees. Finally, these defendants purportedly failed to provide adequate investigation and enforcement policies with respect to state statutory requirements. Such acts, Meade's complaint contends, constituted deliberate indifference and/or gross and reckless negligence, which directly resulted in Meade's physical and emotional injuries.

Meade averred that he incurred medical expenses of approximately $7,000; endured severe pain and suffering; and sustained permanent bodily injury. His complaint demanded judgment against all the defendants, jointly and severally, as well as recovery for lost wages, compensatory damages and punitive damages.

II. LOCAL RULE 14(A)

One ground for the dismissal was that Meade failed to respond to the motions

Page 1520

to dismiss as required by Local Rule 14(A). Meade argues that the circumstances did not justify dismissal with prejudice, which was an abuse of discretion. We agree. 5

In Meeker v. Rizley, 324 F.2d 269 (10th Cir.1963), we reversed a default judgment against a pro se plaintiff for his failure to appear at a pretrial conference. The plaintiff had filed a motion alleging inability to employ counsel and the impracticability of holding a pretrial conference. We held that in the circumstances the entry of judgment and refusal to vacate it were a clear abuse of discretion. We...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1001 practice notes
  • Habeeb v. Castloo, No. CV 05-24 GF SEH.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Montana)
    • June 2, 2006
    ...v. City of Los Angeles, 946 F.2d 630, 646 (9th Cir.1991)(quoting Clay v. Conlee, 815 F.2d 1164, 1170 (8th Cir.1987); Meade v. Grubbs, 841 F.2d 1512, 1528 (10th Cir. 1988) (citation omitted); Bordanaro v. McLeod 871 F.2d 1151, 1163 (1st Cir. A failure to train claim succeeds "only where......
  • Glover v. Gartman, No. CIV 11–0752 JB/LAM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • September 27, 2012
    ...death of an inmate or detainee. Gaston v. Ploeger, 229 Fed.Appx. 702, 712 (10th Cir.2007) (unpublished opinion)(quoting Meade v. Grubbs, 841 F.2d 1512, 1527 (10th Cir.1988)). Although T. Glover alleges that Rice provided D. Glover razor blades to shave and then left D. Glover “with the razo......
  • Gerald v. Locksley, No. CIV 10–0721 JB/LFG.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • May 6, 2011
    ...personal participation, or his failure to supervise.” Kiesling v. Troughton, 107 F.3d 880, at *2 (10th Cir.1997)(citing Meade v. Grubbs, 841 F.2d 1512, 1527 (10th Cir.1988)). They can be held liable only for their own unconstitutional or illegal policies, and not for the tortious acts of th......
  • Dickerson v. Leavitt Rentals, Civil Action No. 97-2584-EEO.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Kansas
    • February 11, 1998
    ...than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9, 101 S.Ct. 173, 66 L.Ed.2d 163 (1980); see Meade v. Grubbs, 841 F.2d 1512, 1526 (10th Cir. 1988). Nevertheless, a pro se litigant is still obligated to follow the same rules of procedure as any other litigant. See......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
999 cases
  • Habeeb v. Castloo, No. CV 05-24 GF SEH.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Montana)
    • June 2, 2006
    ...v. City of Los Angeles, 946 F.2d 630, 646 (9th Cir.1991)(quoting Clay v. Conlee, 815 F.2d 1164, 1170 (8th Cir.1987); Meade v. Grubbs, 841 F.2d 1512, 1528 (10th Cir. 1988) (citation omitted); Bordanaro v. McLeod 871 F.2d 1151, 1163 (1st Cir. A failure to train claim succeeds "only where the ......
  • Glover v. Gartman, No. CIV 11–0752 JB/LAM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • September 27, 2012
    ...death of an inmate or detainee. Gaston v. Ploeger, 229 Fed.Appx. 702, 712 (10th Cir.2007) (unpublished opinion)(quoting Meade v. Grubbs, 841 F.2d 1512, 1527 (10th Cir.1988)). Although T. Glover alleges that Rice provided D. Glover razor blades to shave and then left D. Glover “with the razo......
  • Gerald v. Locksley, No. CIV 10–0721 JB/LFG.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • May 6, 2011
    ...personal participation, or his failure to supervise.” Kiesling v. Troughton, 107 F.3d 880, at *2 (10th Cir.1997)(citing Meade v. Grubbs, 841 F.2d 1512, 1527 (10th Cir.1988)). They can be held liable only for their own unconstitutional or illegal policies, and not for the tortious acts of th......
  • Dickerson v. Leavitt Rentals, Civil Action No. 97-2584-EEO.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Kansas
    • February 11, 1998
    ...than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9, 101 S.Ct. 173, 66 L.Ed.2d 163 (1980); see Meade v. Grubbs, 841 F.2d 1512, 1526 (10th Cir. 1988). Nevertheless, a pro se litigant is still obligated to follow the same rules of procedure as any other litigant. See Gree......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT