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Campbell v. Babaoglu

April 2, 2007

WILLIAM CAMPBELL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
R. C. BABAOGLU, INDIVIDUALLY, CAS CLARK, INDIVIDUALLY, AND KNOX COUNTY, TENNESSEE, A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas A. Varlan United States District Judge

(VARLAN/SHIRLEY)

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This civil rights action is before the Court on defendant Knox County's Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. 25] and defendant Babaoglu and defendant Clark's Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. 28]. Plaintiff William Campbell ("Plaintiff") opposes defendants' motions. [Docs. 34, 43].

The Court has carefully considered the pending motions, along with the parties' briefs, affidavits, and other relevant pleadings. For the reasons set forth herein, defendant Knox County's motion for summary judgment [Doc. 25] will be GRANTED and defendant Babaoglu and defendant Clark's motion for summary judgment [Doc. 28] will be GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

I. Relevant Facts

As the Court is required to do in reviewing a motion for summary judgment, all facts will be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

Plaintiff's amended complaint [Doc. 14] alleges violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. On the evening of October 23, 2004, Plaintiff and his wife, Mary Campbell ("Mrs. Campbell"), began arguing in their home. [Doc. 36, Attachment 2 at p. 27]. After arguing for approximately thirty minutes, Mrs. Campbell called 911. [Id. at pp. 17, 27]. While Mrs. Campbell was speaking to the 911 operator, Alicia Campbell, the daughter of Plaintiff and Mrs. Campbell, took the phone and hung it up. [Id. at p. 27]. The 911 operator then called the Campbell household and Mrs. Campbell answered on a cordless phone. [Id.; Doc. 27, Ex. 3].

Mrs. Campbell asked the 911 operator to have the police come and either remove Plaintiff from the house or to escort Mrs. Campbell from the house. [Doc. 27, Ex. 3; Doc. 36, Attachment 2 at p.2]. Mrs. Campbell informed the 911 operator that Plaintiff had been drinking. [Doc. 27, Ex. 3; Doc. 36, Attachment 2 at p.2]. Mrs. Campbell also told the 911 operator that Plaintiff had been "manhandling" Mrs. Campbell and her daughter and wouldn't let Mrs. Campbell get to the phone. [Doc. 27, Ex. 3; Doc. 36, Attachment 2 at p.2]. Mrs. Campbell also indicated that Plaintiff is a white male and that Plaintiff did not have any weapons. [Doc. 27, Ex. 3]. Alicia Campbell could be heard crying in the background of the 911 tape, at which point the 911 operator asked if Alicia Campbell was "ok," but received no response. [Doc. 27, Ex. 3; Doc. 36, Attachment 2 at p. 2]. Mrs. Campbell informed the 911 operator that she just wanted to get away from the house so she could "get some peace." [Doc. 27, Ex. 3].

Mrs. Campbell asked to remain on the line with the 911 operator while she waited for the police. [Id.]. Mrs. Campbell then told the 911 operator that Plaintiff would not hurt Alicia Campbell, that Alicia Campbell would be fine in the house, but that Mrs. Campbell just wanted to go. [Id.]. Mrs. Campbell stated that "this," presumably arguments between Plaintiff and Mrs. Campbell, had been "going on and off for the thirty-seven years" Plaintiff and Mrs. Campbell had been married. [Id.]. Mrs. Campbell stated that she "had tried to endure it, but [she] just [didn't] think she [could] any more." [Id.]. Mrs. Campbell told the 911 operator that Plaintiff "is a mean drunk when he gets drunk." [Id.]. Mrs. Campbell reiterated that she wanted to be escorted somewhere so that she could get some rest. [Id.].

Plaintiff then began speaking to Mrs. Campbell, at which point Mrs. Campbell asked the 911 operator when the police would arrive. [Id.]. The 911 operator did not have an estimated arrival time for the officers, but assured Mrs. Campbell that they would be there as soon as they could. [Id.]. Plaintiff then asked Mrs. Campbell whom she was talking to; Mrs. Campbell stated that she was speaking to a 911 operator. [Id.]. Mrs. Campbell then informed the 911 operator that she was trying to start her car so she could leave. [Id.]. At that point the phone call and the 911 recording end, either because the cordless phone lost its connection or because someone hung up. [Id.; Doc. 36, Attachment 2 at p. 30].

After the phone call to 911 terminated, Mrs. Campbell handed the cordless phone to Alicia Campbell, asked Alicia to tell the 911 operator to have the police not come, and then drove away. [Doc. 36, Attachment 2 at p. 30]. However, the 911 call ended before Alicia Campbell could relay that information, so the 911 operator did not know that Mrs. Campbell had left the Campbell house and no longer wanted the police to come. [Doc. 27, Ex. 3; Doc. 36, Attachment 2 at p. 30].

Plaintiff and Alicia Campbell then went back inside the Campbell home. [Doc. 36, Attachment 2 at p. 5]. Plaintiff and Alicia Campbell had been inside for approximately one minute when they heard a knock at the door. [Id.]. Alicia Campbell looked through the peephole, then opened the door slightly. [Id.]. Two police officers, defendants Babaoglu and Clark, were at the door. [Id.]. Plaintiff was behind and to the left of Alicia Campbell at this point, so the officers could not see all of Plaintiff's body, nor could they tell if Plaintiff was armed. [Id.]. The officers stated that they were responding to a report of a domestic disturbance. [Id.]. Alicia Campbell then told the officers that Mrs. Campbell had made the call, but that Mrs. Campbell had left the home. [Id. at p. 27]. Alicia Campbell next told the officers that only she and Plaintiff were on the premises. [Id.].

The officers then pushed the door open, entered the Campbell home without permission, and one of the officers shined a flashlight in Plaintiff's face. [Id. at 27-28]. Plaintiff had his hands in his pockets. [Id. at 4]. The officers asked Plaintiff to take his hands out of his pockets; Plaintiff complied, but soon placed his hands back in his pockets to pull his pants up. [Id.]. The officers asked Plaintiff two or three more times to take his hands out of his pockets, with Plaintiff complying for a brief period before again placing his hands in his pockets. [Id.]. After asking Plaintiff three or four times to take his hands out of his pockets, the officers pushed Plaintiff against the wall of the foyer and then down onto the stairs. [Id.]. Plaintiff sustained a cut to his head during this incident. [Id. at p. 6]. Plaintiff was placed in handcuffs, but was not beaten, punched, or otherwise attacked. [Id.].

When the officers entered the house, Alicia Campbell called Mrs. Campbell's cell phone. [Id. at p. 18]. When the officers attempted to restrain Plaintiff, Alicia Campbell told Mrs. Campbell "Oh my God. They're killing my daddy. Oh my God. They're killing my daddy." [Id.]. Mrs. Campbell then turned her vehicle around and returned home. [Id.]. After Mrs. Campbell returned, defendant Clark approached Mrs. Campbell and prevented Mrs. Campbell from approaching Alicia Campbell or Plaintiff. [Id.]. At the same time, defendant Babaoglu escorted Plaintiff to Babaoglu's patrol car. [Id.]. Plaintiff then asked Mrs. Campbell if she had wanted this to happen. [Id.]. In response, defendant Babaoglu slammed Plaintiff's head into the back of Babaoglu's patrol car. [Id.].

At this point Mrs. Campbell started crying and told defendant Clark that she thought the 911 call had been cancelled and asked the officers not to take Plaintiff to jail. [Id.]. Mrs. Campbell also told Defendant Clark that "There's no reason to take him to jail. He's not assaulted me. He's not assaulted our daughter. There's no reason to do this." [Id.]. Defendant Babaoglu then took Plaintiff around to the side of Babaoglu's car, slammed Plaintiff's head into the top of the car, and then placed Plaintiff inside the car. [Id.]. Plaintiff was then driven to a nearby Wiegels, where he was inspected by paramedics. [Id. at p. 8].

Plaintiff was then taken to jail. [Id.]. Plaintiff was held overnight and then released on bond. [Id. at p. 23]. Approximately a month later the charges against Plaintiff were dismissed. [Id.].

II. Standard of Review

Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c), summary judgment is proper if "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." The burden of establishing there is no genuine issue of material fact lies upon the moving party. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 n.2 (1986). The court must view the facts and all inferences to be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Burchett v. Kiefer, 310 F.3d 937, 942 (6th Cir. 2002). To establish a genuine issue as to the existence of a particular element, the non-moving party must point to evidence in the record upon which a reasonable jury could find in its favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The genuine issue must also be material; that is, it must involve facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Id.

The judge's function at the point of summary judgment is limited to determining whether sufficient evidence has been presented to make the issue of fact a proper jury question, and not to weigh the evidence, judge the credibility of witnesses, or determine the truth of the matter. Id. at 249. Thus, "[t]he inquiry performed is the threshold inquiry of determining whether there is the need for trial -- whether, in other words, there are any genuine factual issues that ...


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