United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
A. VARLAN CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is defendant Officer Bradley Cox's motion for
reconsideration of the Court's ruling on defendants'
motion for summary judgment [Doc. 95]. Plaintiff responded in
opposition to defendant's motion [Doc. 98] and Officer
Cox replied [Doc. 99]. For the reasons explained below, the
Court will grant Officer Cox's motion to reconsider and
dismiss each of plaintiffs' remaining claims.
to the evidence submitted to the Court, defendant Officer
Bradley Cox responded to a call reporting domestic trouble at
Kathy Stalnaker's residence [Doc. 30-1 p. 1]. Ms.
Stalnaker is plaintiff Patty Jelsma's (hereinafter
“plaintiff”) mother [Doc. 34-1]. Officer Cox
submits that Ms. Stalnaker informed him that she had been in
an argument with plaintiff, in which plaintiff pushed her and
threw Ms. Stalnaker's cell phone [Doc. 30-1 pp. 1-2].
Officer Cox further states that Ms. Stalnaker told him that
she locked plaintiff out of a bedroom [Id. at 2].
When plaintiff could not get inside, she began banging on the
door [Id.]. He submits that Ms. Stalnaker had a
“mark on her left hand” at the time, supposedly
from the altercation [Id.].
declaration, Officer Cox notes that plaintiff came out of the
house and stood next to her vehicle once the officers arrived
at the house [Id.]. According to Officer Cox, when
he explained that he needed to prepare a report for domestic
assault and requested to see plaintiff's identification,
she allegedly stated that she did not have to provide him
with her identification [Id.]. Officer Cox states
that plaintiff then began to yell and refused to provide him
with her identification when he asked for it “several
more times” [Id.].
states that she attempted to videotape her interaction with
Officer Cox on her cell phone, and she submitted the video as
an exhibit [Docs. 34-1; 34-2 (hereinafter “Cell Phone
Video”)]. In the video, plaintiff informs Officer Cox
that she is recording their conversation, to which he
replies, “that's fine, ” before requesting to
see her license again [Cell Phone Video]. Plaintiff then
attempts to focus her camera on Officer Cox's nametag
[Id.]. In response, Officer Cox appears to walk
toward plaintiff, and the cell phone then moves to record the
car behind plaintiff [Id.]. The cell phone video
then proceeds to shake, as if the parties are in a struggle,
before eventually going blank [Id.]. Plaintiff,
nonetheless, can be heard in the background saying,
“Sir, I'm asking if I did something wrong, ”
and, “are you detaining me?” repeatedly, while it
sounds like plaintiff is being handcuffed [Id.].
Cox states that he advised plaintiff to put down her cell
phone and to not call anyone until they were done speaking,
but that she pushed her cell phone into his chest [Doc. 30-1
p. 2]. He then states that he needed to grab plaintiff's
hand and arm for his safety, but she pulled away and turned
toward her vehicle [Id.]. Officer Cox then states he
proceeded to grab plaintiff's other arm, move her to the
ground, and place handcuffs on her [Id.]. Plaintiff
states this occurred despite the fact that she did not
attempt to harm Officer Cox in any way or engage in any other
type of provocation [Doc. 34-1]. Officer Cox then arrested
plaintiff for domestic assault, disorderly conduct, and
resisting arrest [Doc. 34-2]. All of the charges were later
filed claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Knox County,
Tennessee for wrongful reinstatement, and against Officer Cox
in his individual capacity for false arrest and excessive
force [Docs. 1, 26]. Plaintiff's husband filed claims
against both defendants under Tennessee law for loss of
consortium [Docs. 1, 26].
Cox filed a motion for summary judgment [Doc. 30], which the
Court granted in part [Doc. 41]. The Court dismissed
plaintiff's false arrest claim but denied summary
judgment as to plaintiff and plaintiff's husband's
other claims against Officer Cox. The Court stayed the case
pending resolution of Officer Cox's interlocutory appeal
of the Court's summary judgment order [Doc. 48], and
subsequently lifted the stay after the Court's summary
judgment decision was affirmed [Doc. 59].
interim, defendants filed motions in limine and/or to dismiss
in which they argued, in part, that fifty-three requests for
admission served on plaintiff be deemed admitted pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36(b) because of
plaintiff's failure to timely respond to the requests
[Docs. 54, 57]. The Court referred these motions to
Magistrate Judge Shirley [Doc. 60], who granted the motions
with regard to each of the fifty-three requests for admission
[Doc. 79]. The admissions include, among others, the
. Immediately after Mrs. Jelsma was placed
under arrest, she had no visible injuries.
. Mrs. Jelsma never complained of any
injuries after she was arrested.
. Plaintiffs are aware of no report or
documentation from a physician or mental health provider
stating an opinion that as a result of Mrs. Jelsma's
arrest she sustained serious bodily and emotional injuries
and permanent injuries.
. No physician or mental health provider has
stated an opinion that as a result of Mrs. Jelsma's
confrontation with Officer Cox she sustained physical and
emotional injuries or permanent injuries.
.Officer Cox was advised that there was a
“1083” (domestic trouble) occurring at
Ms.Stalnaker's residence and that the resident's
27-year-old daughter (Mrs. Jelsma) was uncontrollable and
. Officer Cox was dispatched to the
residence for a possible domestic assault.
. Mrs. Jelsma had physically assaulted her
mother, Ms. Stalnaker, by pushing her and knocking her
glasses off of her face.
. Officer Cox was advised by Ms. Stalnaker
that she was in fear of Ms. Jelsma.
. Mrs. Jelsma was a suspect of domestic
violence when Officer Cox began interviewing her.
. Officer Cox told Mrs. Jelsma because the
situation involved a domestic matter that he needed Mrs.