United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. MARKS CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
pending before the Court is a motion for summary judgment
filed on March 2, 2018 by Defendants City of Montgomery
(“the City”) and Jeremy Browning
(“Browning”). (Doc. 11).
Plaintiffs, Amber Jernigan and Taylor Jernigan (“the
Jernigans”), originally filed a complaint in this case
on January 23, 2017, bringing claims of outrageous conduct,
false imprisonment, and false arrest (count one) and
deliberate indifference (count two). In response to the
motion for summary judgment, the Jernigans have clarified
that they intend to bring claims of false arrest/false
imprisonment under the Fourth Amendment pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Browning individually; state law claims
for false arrest/false imprisonment against Browning and the
City; a claim of negligent training against the City; and a
fourteenth amendment deliberate indifference failure to train
claim against the City. (Doc. 19 at 9 & 18,
consideration of the briefs, evidence, and applicable law,
and for the reasons that follow, the motion for summary
judgment is due to be GRANTED as to the federal claims and
the Court will decline to exercise jurisdiction over the
Court can exercise subject matter jurisdiction over this
dispute pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1367.
Personal jurisdiction and venue are uncontested.
judgment is proper if the evidence shows ‘that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.'”
Hornsby-Culpepper v. Ware, 906 F.3d 1302, 1311 (11th
Cir. 2018) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a)). “[A] court
generally must view all evidence and make all reasonable
inferences in favor of the party opposing summary
judgment.” Fla. Int'l Univ. Bd. of Trs. v. Fla.
Nat'l Univ., Inc., 830 F.3d 1242, 1252 (11th Cir.
2016). However, “conclusory allegations without
specific supporting facts have no probative value.”
Jefferson v. Sewon Am., Inc., 891 F.3d 911, 924-25
(11th Cir. 2018). If the record, taken as a whole,
“could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for
the non-moving party, ” then there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact. Hornsby-Culpepper,
906 F.3d at 1311 (citing Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986)).
movant bears the initial burden of demonstrating that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact, and the movant
must identify the portions of the record which support this
proposition. Id. (citing Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)). The movant may carry
this burden “by demonstrating that the nonmoving party
has failed to present sufficient evidence to support an
essential element of the case.” Id. The burden
then shifts to the non-moving party to establish, by going
beyond the pleadings, that a genuine issue of material fact
exists. Id. at 1311-12.
facts, taken in a light most favorable to the non-movants,
are as follows:
January 23, 2016, the Jernigans, who are a married couple,
were home with their four-year-old daughter. Defendant
Browning, a police officer with the City, came to their home
and asked to speak with Taylor Jernigan. Taylor Jernigan was
in the shower but dressed and stepped outside to speak to
Browning. (Doc. 18-1 at 2). Browning told him to turn around
and put his hands behind his back because Browning had a
warrant for his arrest. (Doc. 18-1 at 2). Taylor Jernigan was
handcuffed. (Doc. 18-1 at 2). Browning said that a warrant
had been sworn out for harassment for Taylor and Amber
Jernigan. (Doc. 18-1 at 2-3). When Taylor Jernigan inquired,
Browning confirmed that he was also arresting Amber Jernigan.
(Doc. 18-1 at 3). Amber Jernigan arranged for childcare for
their daughter, and when her grandfather arrived to care for
the child, the Jernigans were taken to Browning's police
vehicle. (Doc. 18-1 at 4). Amber Jernigan was also placed in
handcuffs. (Doc. 18-1 at 4). The Jernigans were placed in the
rear of the patrol vehicle. (Doc. 18-1 at 4).
has stated in a deposition that he had done an outstanding
warrant inquiry on the computer in his car and discovered
what he assumed were warrants outstanding on both Jernigans.
(Doc. 11-1 at 13: 21-15: 10). He explained that his field
training officer trained him that the list on the computer
was for misdemeanors and felonies. (Doc. 11-1 at p. 18:
13-16). Browning stated in his deposition that he was not
aware that summonses could be on the list. (Doc. 11-1 at 18:
18-20). Browning also stated the case number for the
Jernigans was 216S00015, and that the “S” stands
for “summons, ” which he would have known if had
he been trained that the “S” stood for
“summons.” (Doc. 11-1 at 19: 10-20: 3). He
further stated that he does not recall whether he received
training as City of Montgomery police department patrolman on
what a summons was. (Doc. 18-2 at 20:19-21:4).
Jernigans sat in the back of the police vehicle for nearly
forty minutes. (Doc. 18-1 at 4). Browning then received a
radio call and discovered that the Jernigans had summonses,
not warrants, against them. (Doc. 18-1 at 4). Browning
released the Jernigans and the summonses were eventually
dismissed. (Doc. 18-1 at 5).
Court will separately address the federal and state law
claims, beginning with the basis for summary judgment motion
as to the federal claims.
Fourth Amendment Claim Against Browning Individually
Defendants have moved for summary judgment as to the federal
claim asserted against Browning on the basis of qualified
immunity. Qualified immunity protects government officials
from suit if they are “performing discretionary
functions” and “their conduct does not violate
clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of