Raspberry v. Johnson, No. Civ.A. 98-D-1271-N.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
Writing for the CourtMent
Citation88 F.Supp.2d 1319
Docket NumberNo. Civ.A. 98-D-1271-N.
Decision Date18 February 2000
PartiesStacey RASPBERRY, Plaintiff, v. Herbie JOHNSON, et al., Defendants.
88 F.Supp.2d 1319
Stacey RASPBERRY, Plaintiff,
v.
Herbie JOHNSON, et al., Defendants.
No. Civ.A. 98-D-1271-N.
United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division.
February 18, 2000.

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COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

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Susan Graham James, Denise A. Simmons, Montgomery, Alabama, for plaintiff.

C. Winston Sheehan, Jr., Allison L. Alford, Montgomery, Alabama, for defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DE MENT, District Judge.


Before the court is a Motion For Summary Judgment ("Mot.") and Brief In Support thereof ("Def.s' Br."), filed November 17, 1999 by Defendants Herbie Johnson, Doug Cable, Bill Pace, Clyde Chambliss, Jr., Jim Ross, A.G. Carter, and Carl Johnson (herein referred to collectively as "Defendants"). On December 15, 1999, Plaintiff filed a Response To Defendants' Motion ("Pl.'s Resp."). Defendants filed a Reply Brief In Support of Motion For Summary Judgment ("Def.s' Reply") on December 22, 1999. After careful consideration of the arguments of counsel, the relevant law, and the record as a whole, the court finds that Defendants' Motion is due to be granted in part. However, the court finds that Plaintiff shall be granted limited leave of court to amend his Complaint and Defendants shall be granted limited leave of court to amend their Motion. Therefore, the court will reserve ruling on the remainder of Defendant's Motion not granted herein.

I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

The court properly exercises subject matter jurisdiction over this action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal question jurisdiction), 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Civil Rights Act of 1871, as amended). The Parties do not contest personal jurisdiction or venue.

II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

On a motion for summary judgment, the court is to construe the evidence and factual inferences arising therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 26 L.Ed.2d 142 (1970). Summary judgment can be entered on a claim only if it is shown "that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled

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to judgment as a matter of law." FED.R.CIV.P. 56(c). As the Supreme Court has explained the summary judgment standard:

[T]he plain language of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. In such a situation, there can be no `genuine issue as to any material fact,' since a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial.

Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986) (citing FED.R.CIV.P. 56(c)).

The trial court's function at this juncture is not "to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986) (citations omitted). A dispute about a material fact is genuine if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505; see also Barfield v. Brierton, 883 F.2d 923, 933 (11th Cir.1989).

The party seeking summary judgment has the initial burden of informing the court of the basis for the motion and of establishing, based on relevant "portions of `the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,'" that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548 (citing FED. R.CIV.P. 56(c)). The mechanics of satisfying the initial burden vary, however, depending upon which party, the movant or the nonmovant, bears the burden of proof at trial. See Fitzpatrick v. City of Atlanta, 2 F.3d 1112, 1115 (11th Cir.1993) (detailing the nature of the parties' responsibilities when preparing or defending against a motion for summary judgment).

Once this initial demonstration under Rule 56(c) is made, the burden of production, not persuasion, shifts to the nonmoving party. The nonmoving party must "go beyond the pleadings and by [his or] her own affidavits, or by the `depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file,' designate `specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324, 106 S.Ct. 2548 (citing FED.R.CIV.P. 56(e)). In meeting this burden, the nonmoving party "must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). That party must demonstrate that there is a "genuine issue for trial." FED.R.CIV.P. 56(e); see also Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505. An action is void of a material issue for trial "[w]here the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party." Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348.

III. BACKGROUND

On November 15, 1996, Plaintiff was riding with Leo Lee ("Lee") in Lee's red Toyota Tercel. (Compl. ¶ 5; Pl.'s Resp. at 15.) Sometime during that evening, Lee's vehicle ran out of gas on County Road 41 in Autauga County, Alabama. (Pl.'s Resp. at 15.) After unsuccessfully trying to locate some gas, both men returned to the car and went to sleep. (Pl.'s Aff. at 1.)

On the same night, Defendant Doug Cable (Deputy Cable) was on duty as Deputy Sheriff for the Autauga County Sheriff's Department. (Cable's Aff. at 2.) He worked as a Canine Officer with his dog, Marko, who accompanied him that evening. (Id.) During the course of his shift, Deputy Cable received reports of "gun shots" being fired in various locations

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around Autaugaville and was told to "be on the lookout for a small red car occupied by two white males in the Autaugaville area." (Id. at 2-3.) Deputy Cable was further informed that Plaintiff and Lee had purchased ammunition from a local store that day. (Id. at 3.) Deputy Cable was familiar with both of these individuals and he knew that Plaintiff had recently been convicted for receiving a stolen "handgun." (Id. at 2.) On the night in question, Plaintiff was free on bond awaiting sentencing on that conviction.1 (Id.; Pl.'s Resp. at 20-21.)

After receiving the aforementioned reports, Deputy Cable proceeded to search for the suspect vehicle. While conducting this search, Deputy Cable received another report "that a small red car with two white males had wrecked on County Road 41." (Cable's Aff. at 3.) He then proceeded to County Road 41 where he found Lee's vehicle on the side of the road. (Id.) Suspecting that this was the vehicle he had been searching for, Deputy Cable pulled over and began conducting a felony stop procedure. (Id.)

Deputy Cable exited his car and ordered Plaintiff and Lee to "place their hands out of the side windows." (Id.; Pl.'s Aff. at 1.) He then instructed Plaintiff to open the car door, place his hands on top of his head, and walk backwards down the passenger side of the vehicle to the trunk area of the car. (Id.; Pl.'s Aff. at 1.) Plaintiff followed these instructions and stopped when reaching the trunk area of Lee's car. (Pl.'s Aff. at 1.)

At this point, the record contains disputed facts as to what transpired next.2 However, the court must view the record in the light most favorable to Plaintiff. See Welch v. Celotex Corp., 951 F.2d 1235, 1237 (11th Cir.1992); see also Smith v. Mattox, 127 F.3d 1416, 1417 (11th Cir. 1997) (holding that when deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court must "draw[] all reasonable inferences from the record evidence that are favorable to the nonmovant plaintiff"). Therefore, the court recites the ensuing incident as alleged by Plaintiff.

Plaintiff asserts that he complied with all instructions given to him by Deputy Cable. (Id.) However, Plaintiff submits that when he "reached the area past the trunk of the vehicle" Deputy Cable shot him in the back of the head without justification. (Pl.'s Aff. at 2-3.) In his affidavit, Plaintiff summarizes the incident by stating that

Officer Cable shot me in the back of the head with what I now know was a .40 caliber pistol. I was unarmed and in full compliance with his instructions. There was nothing that occurred from the time of Officer Cable's arrival on the scene where he eventually shot me, that justified his having shot me. I have suffered tremendously both physically and mentally

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as a result of this shooting and will continue to have problems.

(Id.)

After the shooting incident, Plaintiff was transported to Jackson Hospital where he received emergency medical treatment for "a 10 cm wound to the posterior aspect of the scalp consistent with a grazing bullet injury." (Def.s' Ex. 6 at 85) (Jackson Hospital & Clinic Emergency Room Report.) Later that evening, Plaintiff was discharged in stable condition and placed in the custody of Defendant James "Herbie" Johnson ("Sheriff Johnson"), Sheriff of Autauga County. (Id. at 86; Pl.'s Resp. at 14.) Sheriff Johnson had Plaintiff taken to the Autauga County Jail on charges of Reckless Endangerment.3 (Pl.'s Resp. at 21.)

The next day, Plaintiff "became sicker and requested to go back to the hospital repeatedly." (Id. at 14.) However, Plaintiff's requests were denied until later in the day when representatives from Jackson Hospital contacted the jail asking that Plaintiff be re-admitted for follow-up treatment.4 (Id.); (Def.s' Ex. 6 at 72-74) (Jackson Hospital & Clinic Emergency Room Report.) Soon thereafter, the Autauga County Sheriff's Department...

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1 practice notes
  • Vincent v. Reyes, Case No. 19-cv-00329-RMI
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • October 5, 2020
    ...in his opposition [to a motion for summary judgment], the Court deems his claims abandoned."); see also Raspberry v. Johnson, 88 F. Supp. 2d 1319, 1327-28 (M.D. Ala. 2000) (noting that plaintiff alleged violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments in his complaint, but that he "fails ......
1 cases
  • Vincent v. Reyes, Case No. 19-cv-00329-RMI
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • October 5, 2020
    ...in his opposition [to a motion for summary judgment], the Court deems his claims abandoned."); see also Raspberry v. Johnson, 88 F. Supp. 2d 1319, 1327-28 (M.D. Ala. 2000) (noting that plaintiff alleged violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments in his complaint, but that he "fails ......

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