United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING OFFICER DANIEL COLLINS AND
THE BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON COUNTS
III AND IV RESPECTIVELY
Order dated June 2, 2017, the Court resolved many of the
claims in this suit, and then directed the parties to submit
supplemental briefing that addressed the remaining claims.
(Doc. 80.) The Court has reviewed the supplemental briefing
and now grants summary judgment to Defendants on the
suit arises from an arrest of Plaintiff Adam Henke. The
Court's prior Order discusses the facts in great detail,
(Doc. 80, pp. 3-6), and the discussion will not be recounted
here. The Amended Complaint alleges that (1) the arresting
officer, Daniel Collins, administered excessive force during
the arrest, (2) three John Doe Defendants arrived on the
scene and also administered excessive force during the
arrest, and (3) three more John Doe Defendants administered
excessive force at the police station. The Amended Complaint
asserts the following claims:
• Count I asserts constitutional claims against Officer
Collins and the John Doe Defendants,
• Count II also asserts constitutional claims against
Officer Collins and the John Doe Defendants,
• Count III asserts a constitutional claim against the
Board of Police Commissioners, (“the Board”) for
failing to instruct, supervise, control, and discipline
Officer Collins and the John Doe Defendants,
• Count IV asserts a negligence claim against all
• Count V does not assert a cause of action, but instead
seeks punitive damages.
Court's June 2 Order (1) dismissed the John Doe
Defendants from all counts because they had not been named or
served, (2) granted Officer Collins summary judgment on
Counts I and II, (3) granted the Board summary judgment on
Count III to the extent that it was premised on Officer
Collins' conduct, and (4) granted the Board summary
judgment on Count IV. (Doc. 80.) This left (1) Count IVs
negligence claim against Officer Collins and (2) Count III
's constitutional claim against the Board, to the extent
the claim was based on the John Doe Defendants' conduct.
The parties were directed to provide supplemental briefing on
those claims; specifically, the parties were to address (1)
whether Officer Collins is entitled to official immunity (as
opposed to sovereign immunity) on Count IV's negligence
claim and (2) whether Plaintiffs claims against the Board
based on the John Doe Defendants' allegedly
unconstitutional conduct could proceed. (Doc. 80, pp. 14-16.)
The Court has reviewed the parties' supplemental filings,
and now concludes that summary judgment on the remaining
claims is warranted.
moving party is entitled to summary judgment on a claim only
upon a showing that “there is no genuine issue of
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law.” See generally
Williams v. City of St. Louis, 783 F.2d 114, 115 (8th
Cir. 1986). “[W]hile the materiality determination
rests on the substantive law, it is the substantive law's
identification of which facts are critical and which facts
are irrelevant that governs.” Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Thus,
“[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly
preclude the entry of summary judgment.” Wierman v.
Casey's Gen. Stores, 638 F.3d 984, 993 (8th Cir.
2011) (quotation omitted). In applying this standard, the
Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to
the non-moving party, giving that party the benefit of all
inferences that may be reasonably drawn from the evidence.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587-88 (1986); Tyler v. Harper, 744
F.2d 653, 655 (8th Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 470
U.S. 1057 (1985). A party opposing a motion for summary
judgment may not simply deny the allegations, but must point
to evidence in the Record demonstrating the existence of a
factual dispute. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1); Conseco Life Ins.
Co. v. Williams, 620 F.3d 902, 909-10 (8th Cir. 2010).
Count IV - Officer Collins' Entitlement to Official
IV alleges that Officer Collins was negligent in his use of
force and in “escalating the use of force without
trying lesser means of restraint and without adequate
provocation.” (Doc. 22, ¶ 63.) In his supplemental
briefing, Plaintiff clarifies that he alleges Officer Collins
acted negligently by having his weapon drawn, failing to act
calmly, and using more force than was necessary to remove
Plaintiff from his car after he refused to exit on his own.
(Doc. 82, pp. 1-2, 4-5.) However, Officer Collins is entitled
to official immunity for these decisions and actions.
“Under Missouri law, official immunity ‘protects
public employees from liability for alleged acts of
negligence committed during the course of their official
duties for the performance of discretionary acts.'”
K.B. v. Waddle, 764 F.3d 821, 824 (8th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Southers v. City of Farmington, 263 S.W.3d
603, 610 (Mo. 2008) (en banc)). An “officer's
decision to use force in the ...