from the United States District Court for the Western
District of Texas
KING, ELROD, and GRAVES, Circuit Judges.
E. GRAVES, JR., Circuit Judge
case stems from a series of increasingly intrusive body
searches performed by state medical staff during a border
stop in El Paso, Texas. The district court dismissed
Appellant's claims based on qualified immunity, failure
to allege a valid claim for county liability under §
1983, and failure to meet Texas state tort standards. We
The Search and Seizure
Gloria Bustillos ("Bustillos") is a U.S. citizen.
On September 19, 2013, Bustillos was crossing the Paso del
Norte bridge from Juarez, Mexico, to El Paso, Texas.
Bustillos did not have any illegal drugs or contraband. After
presenting her passport to Customs and Border Protection
agents, Bustillos was immediately taken into custody despite
telling agents that she was not in possession of narcotics.
An increasingly intrusive series of searches followed.
two female agents conducted a pat down. The agents found no
drugs. The agents then held Bustillos for a K-9 search. The
K-9 failed to alert to the presence of drugs. Two agents then
took Bustillos to a restroom, where they ordered her to pull
down her pants and underwear and bend over slightly. The
agents conducted a visual inspection of Bustillos'
vaginal and anal area. Again, the agents found no drugs.
Despite no evidence of drugs, the agents placed tape on
Bustillos' legs and abdomen, handcuffed her, and
transported her to the University Medical Center (the
"Hospital") in El Paso.
Hospital, Doctors Michael Parsa and Daniel Solomin (the
"Doctors") ordered a series of x-rays to search for
drugs. The x-rays revealed no drugs. The Doctors then
performed a pelvic exam. Again, the pelvic exam evidenced no
drugs. Solomin then conducted a rectal exam. Yet again,
Solomin found no evidence of drugs. As part of these
searches, the Doctors, and Nurses Lynette Telles and Frank
Mendez (the "Nurses"),  allegedly
"brutally" probed Bustillos' cavities in the
presence of hospital personnel. Bustillos did not consent to
any of the above searches.
approximately 4:00 a.m. the next morning, after finding no
evidence of narcotics, the Doctors released Bustillos to CBP
agents, who drove Bustillos to the international bridge and
September 18, 2015, Bustillos filed a complaint in a Texas
state court alleging Bivens and § 1983 claims
against various state and federal actors. The Hospital timely
removed the case to federal court.
to this appeal, Bustillos alleged § 1983 claims under
the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments against the
Doctors and Nurses in their individual capacities. Bustillos
further asserted a § 1983 claim against the El Paso
County Hospital District/University Medical Center (the
"District") under a county liability
theory. Bustillos next asserted a claim under the
Texas Tort Claims Act ("TTCA") against the
District. Though not listed as a cause of action, Bustillos
maintained below, and on appeal, that she asserted
intentional tort claims against the Doctors and Nurses under
the relevant defendants filed motions to dismiss under
12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1), asserting various immunity theories.
Solomin also filed a motion for a protective order, seeking
to prevent discovery until the district court ruled on his
qualified immunity defense.
ruling on the protective order, the district court granted
the motions to dismiss on all claims. The district court
granted qualified immunity to the individual defendants
against the § 1983 claims and held that the tort claims
failed on immunity and Texas statutory grounds. As to the
District, the court found that Bustillos had failed to
sufficiently allege any of the necessary elements for county
liability under § 1983 and failed to timely give notice
for her state tort claims.
appeal timely followed.
arguments on appeal can be divided into three broad
categories. First, she challenges the dismissal of her
constitutional claims. Second, she challenges dismissal of
her state tort claims. Third, she challenges the district
court's failure to allow ...