United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant Ed Schlueter's
Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 135], Defendants St.
Louis County and St. Louis County Police Chief John
Belmar's Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 77], and
Plaintiff Howard Liner's Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment [Doc. No. 84]. The parties oppose the respective
motions. The motions have been fully briefed.
Court's previous Opinion, Memorandum and Order dated
October 5, 2018 [Doc. No. 129] (“Previous Order”)
fully disposed of two of the three named Plaintiffs'
claims. The claims of Howard Liner (“Liner”)
against Defendants John Doe 1-2, St. Louis County and John
Belmar (“Belmar”) were stayed pending
substitution of named defendants pursuant to this Court's
Order to Substitute and Serve the Doe Defendants [Doc. No.
128]. Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint
substituting Defendant Ed Schlueter (“Schlueter”)
as and for the Doe Defendants. Therefore, the claims and
parties presently before the Court are Counts I, II and III,
each alleged by Plaintiff Liner against Defendants St. Louis
County, Belmar, and Schlueter.
Court now considers Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment with respect to Liner's claims against St. Louis
County and Belmar and Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment with respect to Liner's claims, as they
were not ruled on in the Previous Order. Also considered
herein is Defendant Schlueter's separate Motion for
reasons set forth below, Plaintiff Liner's motion for
summary judgment as to Count I is denied. Defendant
Schlueter's motion for summary judgement is denied as to
Count I and Count III, and granted as to Count II. Defendants
St. Louis County and Belmar's motion for summary judgment
is granted as to Count I and Count II, and denied as to Count
Missouri State Law, a law enforcement officer “may
arrest on view, and without a warrant, any person the officer
sees violating or who such officer has reasonable grounds to
believe has violated any ordinance or law of this state,
including a misdemeanor or infraction, over which such
officer has jurisdiction.” 544.216 RSMo. A
“wanted, ” which is entered into a computer
system by a law enforcement officer, identifies a person who
is wanted for a crime, but for whom no warrant has been
issued. Wanteds differ from warrants in that no judicial
determination of probable cause is required to enter a
wanted. If a St. Louis County Police officer encounters a
person with a wanted entered against him or her, the officer
is authorized by St. Louis County Police Department
(“SLCPD”) policy to take that person into
custody. The wanted, as displayed to the arresting officer,
does not include a description of the probable cause on which
it is based.
Previous Order, this Court held that wanteds are a type of
warrantless arrest, and therefore permissible only if the
wanted is based on probable cause.
Not In Dispute
underlying “wanted” in this matter was issued by
Schlueter on August 25, 2015. It identified Liner as wanted
for the theft of a set of 22 inch vehicle wheels and tires
from Jaylyn Davis.
facts, Schlueter's August 25, 2015 Investigative Report
is undisputed as representative of what Schlueter heard,
observed, and believed at the time he issued the wanted. For
their motions for summary judgement, however, Defendants rely
heavily on Schlueter's deposition. The deposition was
taken more than 17 months after the events of August 25, 2015
and includes details about the incident that were not
mentioned in the Investigative Report. Liner objects to
Defendants' characterization of the latter provided
details as undisputed fact.
facts not in dispute, as recorded in Schlueter's
Investigation Report, are summarized as follows. At 7:34 p.m.
on August 25, 2015, Schlueter was dispatched to a residence
on a larceny call. After he arrived at the residence,
Schlueter “contacted the victim identified as Jaylyn
Davis.” It is undisputed that Davis was not at the
residence when Schlueter arrived, and that Schlueter only
spoke to Davis on the phone. Davis stated that he and Liner
had been in the front yard, where Davis was trying to sell
stereo equipment to Liner. Liner was an acquaintance of
Davis. Davis went inside to get some other items he wanted to
sell. When he came back out, Davis noticed that Liner was
gone and four wheels and tires were missing from the front
yard. Davis stated that the wheels and tires were rented from
“Rent ‘N'Roll” and had an estimated
value of $3, 000.00.
told Schlueter that he observed Liner driving away in a
silver BMW with Illinois license plates. Davis also told
Schlueter that one neighbor had observed a black male putting
the wheels into the back of a silver BMW.
attempted, but was unable to contact the neighbor, or anyone
else, at the address Davis gave him. Schlueter further
canvassed the area “with negative results.”
Schlueter then entered the wanted for Liner.
p.m. on October 5, 2015, Liner was arrested by the St. Louis
Metro Police and taken into custody. The only charge listed
on the Metro Police processing document refers to a document
with the same reference number as the wanted entered by
Schlueter on August 25, indicating that Liner was arrested
based solely on the outstanding wanted. Liner was then taken
into the custody of St. Louis County Police at 6:30 p.m.
Schlueter canceled the wanted after he was notified that
Liner was in custody.
October 6, Schlueter interviewed Liner in custody. Liner
waived his Miranda rights and told Schlueter that on August
25, he and Davis had argued about money on the phone. Liner
said that he had owed Davis for some stereo equipment he
bought, but that he was not going to pay Davis back because
Davis had stolen money from Liner's house. Liner's
stepdaughter was a friend of Davis, and had let him into
Liner's house. Liner told Schlueter that Davis was trying
to sell the wheels and other stolen items on Craigslist.
told Schlueter that he had been out with his girlfriend on
August 25th, and was not at Davis' home. Liner ...