Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wallway v. Schneider

United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division

November 1, 2018

RANDY RAYMOND WALLWAY, Plaintiff,
v.
MHP OFFICER SCHNEIDER, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Jeremiah C. Lynch United States Magistrate Judge.

         Before the Court is Defendant Officer James Schneider's Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 motion for summary judgment requesting the Court dismiss Plaintiff Randy Wallway's amended complaint filed against him. For the reasons discussed, the Court recommends the motion be granted, and this case be dismissed.

         I. Background

         Wallway is appearing pro se in this action. His pleading alleges as follows:

         On May 23, 2014, Wallway was at a hospital in Kalispell, Montana, for a blood alcohol test. While at the hospital he complained he had an injured shoulder, but the medical staff performed an x-ray and did not “find anything wrong.” (Doc. 11 at 6 of 8.)

         Wallway states that when he left the hospital Defendant Montana Highway Patrol Officer James Schneider arrested him in the hospital's parking lot and placed Wallway in handcuffs. Wallway states he informed Schneider that his shoulder was injured, but Schneider allegedly grabbed Wallway from behind, threatened Wallway that he would “fix” his shoulder, and hit his shoulder “really hard and drove [Wallway] to [his] knees.” (Doc. 11 at 6 of 8.) Wallway alleges Schneider slammed his shoulder so hard that it caused further and extensive physical injury to his shoulder. Therefore, Wallway alleges Schneider is liable for the excessive use of force during the course of his arrest.

         Schneider moves for summary judgment arguing the undisputed facts demonstrate he did not use excessive force to affect Wallway's arrest. Alternatively, Schneider argues he is entitled to qualified immunity from liability on Wallway's claim. Wallway has not filed either a brief in response to the motion as required by L.R. 7.1(d)(1)(B), or a statement of disputed facts as required by L.R. 56.1(b).

         II. Applicable Law - Summary Judgment Standards

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) entitles a party to summary judgment “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court views the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draws all justifiable inferences in the non-moving party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986); Betz v. Trainer Wortham & Co., Inc., 504 F.3d 1017, 1020-21 (9th Cir. 2007).

         As noted, Wallway did not file a brief in opposition to Schneider's motion, and the deadline for doing so has passed. Nonetheless, the Ninth Circuit has made clear that a district court may not grant “summary judgment simply because a party fails to file an opposition or violates a local rule, ” and the court must “analyze the record to determine whether any disputed material fact [is] present.” Ahanchian v. Xenon Pictures, Inc., 624 F.3d 1253, 1258 (9th Cir. 2010). See also Martinez v. Stanford, 323 F.3d 1178, 1182 (9th Cir. 2003) (explaining that “a nonmoving party's failure to comply with local rules does not excuse the moving party's affirmative duty under Rule 56 to demonstrate its entitlement to judgment as a matter of law”).

         Finally, because Wallway is proceeding pro se the Court must construe his documents liberally and give them “the benefit of any doubt” with respect to Schneider's summary judgment motion. Frost v. Symington, 197 F.3d 348, 352 (9thCir. 1999). See also Erickson v. Pardus 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).

         III. Discussion

         Wallway's claim alleges Schneider violated his right against an unreasonable seizure protected by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Therefore, the claim is cognizable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section 1983 permits claims under federal law against a local governmental entity, or a state official or employee, if the plaintiff can establish that the defendant was (1) acting under color of state law, and (2) deprived the plaintiff of a federal right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States. Kirtley v. Rainey, 326 F.3d 1088, 1092 (9th Cir. 2003).

         Wallway's right under the Fourth Amendment is the right to be free from unreasonable seizures by state officers. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 394-95 (1989). The Fourth Amendment prohibits an officer from exceeding “the bounds of reasonable force in effecting ‘an arrest, investigatory stop, or other seizure.'” Shafer v. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.