United States District Court, W.D. Texas, Austin Division
SPARKS SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
REMEMBERED on this day the Court reviewed the file in the
above-styled case, and specifically Defendants Randy Dear,
Manuel Jimenez, Michael Nguyen, and Rolando Ramirez
(collectively, Officers)' Motion Summary Judgment [#47],
Plaintiff Grady Bolton's Response [#48], in opposition,
and the Officers' Reply [#49] thereto as well as the
Officers' Motion to Strike [#50]. Having reviewed the
documents, the governing law, and the file as a whole, the
Court now enters the following opinion and
alleges the Officers are liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for unlawful detention and excessive force in violation of
the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
February 9, 2015, Plaintiff was attending a friend's
bachelor party. He and a group of male friends visited a
variety of bars on Sixth Street in Austin. During the
evening, Plaintiff claims he had between five and ten beers.
Mot. Summ. J. [#47-2] Ex. 1 (Bolton Dep. at 27:9-17). Just
before 2 a.m., employees of the bar the friends were visiting
asked everyone to leave, but Plaintiffs group of friends has
just ordered another round. Id. at 32:7-33:7. As
Plaintiff was finishing his beer, a bar employee hit the beer
out of Plaintiff s hand. Id. at 33:12-34:8. Another
employee carried Plaintiff from the bar in a bear hug and put
Plaintiff out on the sidewalk, about five to ten feet from
the bar's door. Id. at 34:9-36:11.
the bar employees reported the group of friends to Austin
Police Department Officers who were already present on Sixth
Street. Id. at 37:4-39:12. What happened next is
disputed. In sum, Plaintiff claims he was attempting to
follow orders to leave the area when Officers Jimenez,
Johnson, and Nguyen began using force against him without
provocation. The Officers claim Plaintiff refused to
follow police orders and was intoxicated and aggressive,
necessitating the use of force.
it is undisputed the Officers did use force against
Plaintiff. Officer Jimenez grabbed Plaintiffs wrist and
twisted it behind Plaintiffs back. Officer Jimenez also
pushed Plaintiff and attempted to execute a leg sweep.
Officer Johnson hit Plaintiff in the neck in an effort to
effect a brachial stun. Ultimately, Plaintiff, Officer
Jimenez, and Officer Johnson ended up on the ground. Officer
Johnson continued to hit Plaintiff, and Officer Nguyen
repeatedly kneed Plaintiff in the shoulder.
claims he lost consciousness, but the Officers claim
Plaintiff remained alert. Eventually, Plaintiff was
handcuffed, lifted to the curb, and subsequently transported
to the Travis County Jail, where the nurse refused to admit
him. Plaintiff was then taken to the University Medical
Center at Brackenridge for treatment of his injuries.
Plaintiff was charged with resisting arrest, but the charge
was later dismissed.
February 3, 2017, Plaintiff filed this suit. The Officers now
move for summary judgment and object to the evidence
Plaintiff submitted in opposition to the motion for summary
Legal Standard-Summary Judgment
judgment shall be rendered when the pleadings, the discovery
and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 323-25 (1986); Washburn v. Harvey, 504
F.3d 505, 508 (5th Cir. 2007). A dispute regarding a material
fact is "genuine" if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict in favor of the
nonmoving party. Andersonv. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). When ruling on a motion for
summary judgment, the court is required to view all
inferences drawn from the factual record in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986);
Washburn, 504 F.3d at 508. Further, a court
"may not make credibility determinations or weigh the
evidence" in ruling on a motion for summary judgment.
Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S.
133, 150 (2000); Anderson, 477 U.S. at
the moving party makes an initial showing that there is no
evidence to support the nonmoving party's case, the party
opposing the motion must come forward with competent summary
judgment evidence of the existence of a genuine fact issue.
Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. Mere conclusory
allegations are not competent summary judgment evidence, and
thus are insufficient to defeat a motion for summary
judgment. Turner v. Baylor Richardson Med. Ctr., 476
F.3d 337, 343 (5th Cir. 2007). Unsubstantiated assertions,
improbable inferences, and unsupported speculation are not
competent summary judgment evidence. Id. The party
opposing summary judgment is required to identify specific
evidence in the record and to articulate the precise manner
in which that evidence supports his claim. Adams v.
Travelers Indent. Co. of Conn., 465 F.3d 156, 164 (5th
Cir. 2006). Rule 56 does not impose a duty on the court to
"sift through the record in search of evidence" to
support the nonmovant's opposition to the motion for
summary judgment. Id.
disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit
under the governing laws will properly preclude the entry of
summary judgment." Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 248. Disputed fact issues that are "irrelevant and
unnecessary" will not be considered by a court in ruling
on a summary judgment motion. Id. If the nonmoving
party fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to its case and on which it
will bear the burden of proof at trial, summary judgment must
be granted. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-23.