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Parrish v. Dingman

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

January 2, 2019

Matthew Wade Parrish Plaintiff- Appellant
v.
Jason Dingman, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Hamilton County Jailer; Dennis Hagenson, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Hamilton County Sheriff; Hamilton County, Iowa Defendants - Appellees

          Submitted: October 17, 2018

          Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Ft. Dodge

          Before WOLLMAN, COLLOTON, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.

          BENTON, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Matthew Wade Parrish sued jailer Jason D. Dingman, Sheriff Dennis Hagenson, and Hamilton County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Iowa law. The district court[1] granted qualified immunity to Dingman and summary judgment to the defendants. Parrish v. Dingman, 2017 WL 5560280 (N.D. Iowa Nov. 17, 2017). Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court affirms.

         I.

         An Iowa state trooper stopped Parrish at a checkpoint. After testing for sobriety and finding marijuana in the vehicle, police transported him to the Hamilton County Jail. Dingman conducted the booking procedure.

         During booking, Parrish told Dingman he had several physical impairments from breaking his right femur and right arm in a motorcycle accident five years earlier. Dingman had heard about the accident and knew Parrish had significant injuries. Parrish walked with a limp. He told Dingman that he wears prescription glasses for double vision and special orthotic shoes because his right leg is shorter than his left. Dingman let him keep his shoes and glasses in the holding cell. Parrish also asked for an isolated cell due to his physical impairments. After completing intake, Dingman gave Parrish a mattress to make him more comfortable and escorted him to the male holding cell. During booking and intake, Parrish was cooperative.

         Surveillance video captured what happened next. Parrish walked through the cell door holding the mattress in front of his chest. Dingman was behind him. Seeing another inmate in the cell, Parrish turned to face Dingman and asked again for an isolated cell. Dingman shook his head no. Parrish then stepped forward toward the open cell door "to get the doorway open to get [Dingman's] answer." The mattress protruded through the cell door.

         Dingman believed Parrish was attacking him and trying to leave the holding cell. He was concerned Parrish could use the mattress as a shield. Dingman then stepped into the cell, pushed Parrish into the wall, leveraged him to the floor with his hands on Parrish's arm and neck, and handcuffed him. Parrish's right wrist was swollen and bruised from the handcuffs. He later received chiropractic treatment for lower back pain and four injured ribs. He also sought mental health treatment.

         Parrish sued Dingman, Hagenson, and Hamilton County under federal and state law. The officers and the County invoked qualified and statutory immunity. The district court granted them summary judgment. Parrish appeals his claims against Dingman for excessive force and assault and battery, and his claim against the County for respondeat superior liability.

         II.

         This court reviews de novo the grant of summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity, "viewing the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and drawing all reasonable inferences in that party's favor." Chambers v. Pennycook, 641 F.3d 898, 904 (8th Cir. 2011). Qualified immunity shields Dingman from liability in this § 1983 action unless Parrish can show: (1) that Dingman "violated a statutory or constitutional right, and (2) that the right was 'clearly established' at the time of the challenged conduct." Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 563 U.S. 731, 735 (2011), quoting Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982).

         Parrish's excessive-force claim is governed by the Fourth Amendment's objective reasonableness standard. Hicks v. Norwood, 640 F.3d 839, 842 (8th Cir. 2011) ("It is settled in this circuit that the Fourth Amendment's 'objective reasonableness' standard for arrestees governs excessive-force claims arising during the booking process."). To prove a constitutional violation, Parrish must show that Dingman's use of force was not objectively reasonable under the particular circumstances. Brown v. City of Golden Valley, 574 F.3d 491, 496 (8th Cir. 2009). Objective reasonableness is "judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight." Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396 (1989). In determining objective reasonableness, a court may look to "the relationship between the need for the use of force and the amount of force used; the extent of the plaintiff's injury; any effort made by the officer to temper or to limit the amount of force; the severity of the security problem at issue; the threat reasonably perceived by the officer; and whether the plaintiff was actively resisting." Zubrod v. Hoch, 907 F.3d 568, 577 (8th Cir. ...


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