Adrian Eaglin v. McCall
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Motion disposition in opinion--granting Motion to appoint/assign counsel [999943943-3]; denying Motion for transcripts at government expense [999966816-2]. Originating case number: 0:14-cv-04003-PJG. Copies to all parties and the district court. .. [16-7171]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
ADRIAN T. EAGLIN,
Plaintiff - Appellant,
Defendant - Appellee,
LARRY CARTLEDGE, Warden; FLORENCE MAUNEY, Assistant Warden;
CURTIS EARLLY; RICHARD TURNER; WILLIAMS, Captain; VERNON
MILLER, Captain; SUSAN DUFFY, Captain; SPRINGS, Captain; KEVIN HORN,
Lieutenant; WESSINGER, Lieutenant; THURBER, Sergeant; DANIEL COTTER,
Sergeant; PALMER, Sergeant; BLACKBURN, Sergeant; RAGLAND, Sergeant;
VALERO, Sergeant; CHRISTOPHER T. DILLARD, Correctional Officer;
GARDNER, Correctional Officer; N. MORGAN, Correctional Officer;
BOATWRITE, Correctional Officer; R. MARTIN, #053630, Correctional Officer;
LUVETT, Correctional Officer; BROWN, Correctional Officer; MERCK,
Correctional Officer; HAGAN, Investigator; C. HINDENBURG, II, G.C.; NANCY
MURCHANT, Mail Clerk; TAMARA CONWELL, Mail Clerk; BENJAMIN
LEWIS, Doctor; AME ENLOE, Nurse Practitioner; MATHEW L. HARPER, Nurse
Administrator; KATHERINE W. BURGESS, Nurse; LINDSEY HARRIS, Nurse;
DAWN R. CHASE, Nurse; SERGEANT FISH, Sergeant; BRYANT STERLING;
BRYAN DEGEOGIS; CASHWELL, Lieutenant,
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Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, at Rock
Hill. Paige Jones Gossett, Magistrate Judge. (0:14-cv-04003-PJG)
Submitted: February 24, 2017
Decided: May 10, 2017
Before TRAXLER and FLOYD, Circuit Judges, and DAVIS, Senior Circuit Judge.
Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Howard W. Anderson III, LAW OFFICE OF HOWARD W. ANDERSON III, LLC,
Pendleton, South Carolina, for Appellant. James Victor McDade, DOYLE, O’ROURKE,
TATE & MCDADE, PA, Anderson, South Carolina, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Adrian T. Eaglin appeals after a jury returned a verdict in favor of Sergeant McCall
on his excessive force claim raised pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2012). Eaglin contends
that the magistrate judge committed error during jury selection and in sealing the juror
questionnaires. * We affirm the magistrate judge’s judgment entered in favor of McCall,
but vacate the magistrate judge’s order overruling Eaglin’s objections to the sealing of the
questionnaires, and remand for further proceedings.
Eaglin contends that the magistrate judge erred in seating a jury of eight and not
allowing him to reserve a peremptory challenge in order to seat a jury of nine. “[A] jury
of six satisfies the Seventh Amendment’s guarantee of trial by jury in civil cases.”
Colgrove v. Battin, 413 U.S. 149, 160 (1973). Additionally, Fed. R. Civ. P. 48(a)
authorizes a jury of “at least 6 and no more than 12 members.” A district court has broad
discretion in managing the use of peremptory challenges. See Alaska Rent-A-Car, Inc. v.
Avis Budget Group, Inc., 738 F.3d 960, 967 (9th Cir. 2013); In re Air Crash Disaster, 86
F.3d 498, 519 (6th Cir. 1996). We discern no reversible error in how the magistrate judge
conducted jury selection.
We next turn to the magistrate judge’s order overruling Eaglin’s pretrial objections
to the sealing of the juror questionnaires, reviewing the magistrate judge’s order de novo.
Doe v. Pub. Citizen, 749 F.3d 246, 269 (4th Cir. 2014). Under the First Amendment and
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) (2012), the parties consented to proceed before the
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common law, “court proceedings are presumptively open to public scrutiny.” Id. at 265.
“The common-law presumptive right of access extends to all judicial documents and
records, and the presumption can be rebutted only by showing that countervailing interests
heavily outweigh the public interests in access.” Id. at 265-66 (internal quotation marks
omitted). Under the First Amendment, “access may be restricted only if closure is
necessitated by a compelling government interest and the denial of access is narrowly
tailored to serve that interest.” Id. at 266 (internal quotation marks omitted). This
presumption of access applies to written juror questionnaires. See In re S.C. Press Ass’n,
946 F.2d 1037, 1040-42 (4th Cir. 1991); see also In re Access to Jury Questionnaires, 37
A.3d 879, 886 (D.C. 2012) (“Every court that has decided the issue has treated jury
questionnaires as part of the voir dire process and thus subject to the presumption of public
Prior to sealing a document, “a district court [must] first determine the source of the
right of access with respect to each document, because only then can it accurately weigh
the competing interests at stake.” Doe, 749 F.3d at 266 (internal quotation marks omitted).
Next, the district court “must determine whether a compelling governmental interest
negates the public’s presumptive right of access to these documents.” Id. at 269. Here, the
magistrate judge’s text order overruling Eaglin’s objection to the sealing of the
questionnaires does not indicate that it conducted this inquiry and thus we are unable to
engage in meaningful appellate review of the magistrate judge’s order. Therefore, we
vacate the magistrate judge’s order overruling Eaglin’s objections. But because this error
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does not affect the fairness of Eaglin’s trial, we do not disturb the jury’s verdict. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 61.
Accordingly, we affirm the magistrate judge’s judgment entered in favor of McCall.
We vacate the magistrate judge’s order overruling Eaglin’s objections to the sealing of the
juror questionnaires, and remand for further proceedings on this issue. We further deny
Eaglin’s motion for transcripts at government expense and grant the motion for
appointment of counsel. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal
contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would
not aid the decisional process.
AFFIRMED IN PART,
VACATED IN PART,
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