Estate of Robert Ethan Saylor v. Richard Rochford
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:13-cv-03089-WMN. Copies to all parties and the district court. . [16-2135]
Pg: 1 of 4
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
THE ESTATE OF ROBERT ETHAN SAYLOR; PATRICIA SAYLOR;
Plaintiffs - Appellees,
RICHARD ROCHFORD; SCOTT JEWELL; JAMES HARRIS,
Defendants - Appellants,
REGAL CINEMAS, INC.; HILL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC.;
FREDERICK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT; FREDERICK COUNTY,
MARYLAND; STATE OF MARYLAND,
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore.
William M. Nickerson, Senior District Judge. (1:13-cv-03089-WMN)
Argued: September 13, 2017
Decided: September 29, 2017
Before WILKINSON, Circuit Judge, NIEMEYER, Circuit Judge, and Raymond A.
JACKSON, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, sitting by
Pg: 2 of 4
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
ARGUED: Daniel Karp, KARPINSKI, COLARESI & KARP, P.A., Baltimore,
Maryland, for Appellants. Jean Mary Zachariasiewicz, BROWN GOLDSTEIN &
LEVY, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellees. ON BRIEF: Sandra D. Lee, KARPINSKI,
COLARESI & KARP, P.A., Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellants. Sharon KrevorWeisbaum, Joseph B. Espo, BROWN GOLDSTEIN & LEVY, Baltimore, Maryland, for
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
Pg: 3 of 4
After Robert Ethan Saylor, an individual with Down syndrome, refused to leave a
movie theater after viewing a movie — he wished to view the movie again although he
had not purchased another ticket — a theater manager called Frederick County Sheriff
deputies to have him removed. While forcefully removing Saylor, the deputies and
Saylor fell to the ground for an unidentified reason, and the deputies then proceeded to
handcuff Saylor while holding him facedown. Saylor, who was obese, stopped breathing
while on the ground, prompting the deputies to remove his handcuffs. He subsequently
died from asphyxia.
Saylor’s family and estate commenced this action against the deputies under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 for excessive force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and against the
deputies and other defendants for other related causes of action. The district court denied
the deputies’ motion for summary judgment, which claimed qualified immunity,
concluding that summary judgment was precluded because of disputed material facts. In
a thorough 65-page opinion, the court analyzed the complex facts of the incident, which
many people witnessed, and identified various material facts that were disputed. For
instance, the court noted disputes about whether Saylor was resisting arrest; to what
degree he resisted; whether the deputies’ or Saylor’s conduct escalated the encounter; and
what the deputies were told beforehand about Saylor’s condition and his likely response
The deputies filed this interlocutory appeal, challenging the district court’s
qualified immunity ruling. Upon reviewing the record, however, we cannot conclude that
Pg: 4 of 4
the district court erred in determining that factual disputes precluded summary judgment.
We therefore affirm the court’s ruling on this issue.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?