United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
JESSICA CASTILLO, Individually, and as Next Friend of Ricky Bronx Brumley, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
CITY OF FORT WORTH, TEXAS, ET AL., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MCBRYDE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
for consideration the motion of defendant Officer Christopher
Jones ("Jones") for summary judgment. The court,
having considered the motion, the response of plaintiffs,
Jessica Castillo ("Castillo"), individually and as
next friend of Ricky Bronx Brumley ("Ricky");
Tiffany Meza ("Meza"), individually and as next
friend of Damien Brumley ("Damien"), Adrian Brumley
("Adrian"), and Jason Brumley ("Jason");
and Sonia Perez ("Perez"), as next friend of Sarah
Perez ("Sarah"), the record, the summary judgment
evidence, and applicable authorities, finds that the motion
should be granted. In addition, the court finds that judgment
should be rendered in favor of defendant City of Fort Worth.
operative pleading is their second amended complaint filed
July 7, 2017. Doc. 27. In it, they allege:
Castillo is the mother of Daniel Jon Brumley, Jr.
("Brumley") and the legal guardian of Brumley's
minor son Ricky. Meza is the widow of Brumley and mother of
Damien, Adrian, and Jason, minor children of Brumley, Perez
is the mother of Sarah, another minor child of Brumley.
after 4:00 a.m. on January 17, 2015, Brumley was pulled over
for a traffic stop by Jones, a member of the Fort Worth
Police Department. Jones was driving a K-9 unit, meaning that
the back seat of the car was occupied by a police dog and
cage. Jones spoke with Brumley, then returned to his police
car to check on warrants for Brumley, a process that took
more than five minutes. Brumley had an outstanding warrant
and Jones decided to take him into custody before backup
transport had arrived. Jones ordered Brumley out of his
vehicle and escorted him to the rear of the police car. At
some point a struggle ensued. Jones shot Brumley twice in the
back, then fired two additional shots, including one to the
top of the head, which resulted in Brumley's death. Jones
subsequently claimed that Brumley had a knife and had
attempted to stab him.
sue Jones under 42 U.S.C, § 1983 for use of excessive
force against Brumley. They sue City of Fort Worth for
failure to train and for having a custom and policy of use of
excessive force by its police department.
of the Motion
maintains that he is entitled to qualified immunity.
56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
the court shall grant summary judgment on a claim or defense
if 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); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986) . The movant bears the initial
burden of pointing out to the court that there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett. 477 U.S. 317, 323, 325 (1986). The movant can
discharge this burden by pointing out the absence of evidence
supporting one or more essential elements of the nonmoving
party's claim, "since a complete failure of proof
concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's
case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial."
Id. at 323. Once the movant has carried its burden
under Rule 56(a), the nonmoving party must identify evidence
in the record that creates a genuine dispute as to each of
the challenged elements of its case. Id. at 324;
see also Fed, R. Civ. P. 56(c) ("A party
asserting that a fact ... is genuinely disputed must support
the assertion by . . . citing to particular parts of
materials in the record ...."). If the evidence
identified could not lead a rational trier of fact to find in
favor of the nonmoving party as to each essential element of
the nonmoving party's case, there is no genuine dispute
for trial and summary judgment is appropriate. Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
587, 597 (1986). In Mississippi Prot. & Advocacy
Sys., Inc. v. Cotten, the Fifth Circuit explained:
Where the record, including affidavits, interrogatories,
admissions, and depositions could not, as a whole, lead a
rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving ...