Andrea Espinosa, et al v. Uvaldo Zamora, et al


UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [10-40190 Affirmed ] Judge: CDK , Judge: FPB , Judge: JWE Mandate pull date is 11/01/2010 [10-40190]

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Andrea Espinosa, et al v. Uvaldo Zamora, et al Doc. 0 Case: 10-40190 Document: 00511259412 Page: 1 Date Filed: 10/11/2010 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS United States Court of Appeals FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT Fifth Circuit FILED October 11, 2010 N o . 10-40190 S u m m a r y Calendar Lyle W. Cayce Clerk A N D R E A SIAS ESPINOSA; RENE ESPINOSA; GLORIA GARCIA; CESAR GARCIA, P la in t if f s - A p p e lla n t s v. U V A L D O ZAMORA, Raymondville Chief of Police; THE CITY OF RAYMONDVILLE, TEXAS; ELISEO BARNHART, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Justice of the Peace and County Judge of Willacy County Texas, also known as Cheyo D e fe n d a n t s -A p p e lle e s A p p e a l from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Brownsville Division U S D C No. 1:09-cv-00008 B e fo r e KING, BENAVIDES, and ELROD, Circuit Judges. P E R CURIAM:* T h e r e is only one issue properly raised and argued and it is dispositive of t h is appeal. The question presented is the propriety of the district court's ruling Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR. R. 47.5.4. * Case: 10-40190 Document: 00511259412 Page: 2 Date Filed: 10/11/2010 No. 10-40190 t h a t Plaintiffs' evidence fails to create a genuine issue of material fact regarding w h e t h e r the 2007 grand jury indictment leading to the arrest of the Plaintiffs w a s "tainted" by the actions of Defendants Eliseo Barnhart and/or Uvaldo Z a m o r a . Finding no error, we AFFIRM. This Court reviews a district court's grant of summary judgment de novo, applying the same standards as the district court. E.g., Hirras v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., 95 F.3d 396, 399 (5th Cir. 1996). Summary judgment is proper if the record reflects "that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The Plaintiffs raised several claims in the district court. However, as p r e v io u s ly indicated, the only remaining issue on appeal is whether the P la i n t i f fs raised a fact issue with respect to their claim that the actions of D e fe n d a n t s Barnhart and Zamora "tainted" the 2007 grand jury proceedings t h a t resulted in the indictment and arrest of the Plaintiffs. See Shields v. Twiss, 3 8 9 F.3d 142, 150 (5th Cir. 2004) (explaining that Fourth Amendment "claims m a y be maintained if the plaintiff affirmatively shows that the deliberations of t h a t intermediary were in some way tainted by the actions of the defendants.") (in t e r n a l quotation marks and citation omitted). The complaint alleged that Defendant Barnhart had sexually assaulted P la in t iff Andrea Espinosa and that she reported it to the authorities. The c o m p la in t further alleged that, in an attempt to discredit Espinosa, Defendant B a r n h a r t conspired with Defendant Chief of Police Zamora to have her charged w it h extortion. Although the unsworn complaint alleges that Barnhart falsely a c c u s e d her of extortion, the Plaintiffs did not file a sworn statement that B a r n h a r t 's claim of extortion was false. Thus, there is no competent summary ju d g m e n t evidence demonstrating either that Barnhart's claim of extortion was fa ls e or that Zamora knew it was false. The Plaintiffs rely on District Attorney 2 Case: 10-40190 Document: 00511259412 Page: 3 Date Filed: 10/11/2010 No. 10-40190 J u a n Guerra's affidavit in support of their claim. In his affidavit, Guerra states t h a t the investigation revealed no evidence of extortion but it does not provide t h a t Barnhart's claim was false.1 Because the Plaintiffs failed to show a c o n s t it u t io n a l violation, the district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of Willacy County and the City of Raymondville. James v. Harris C o u n ty , 577 F.3d 612, 617 (5th Cir. 2009). Under these circumstances, we c o n c lu d e that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment. To the extent that Guerra offers an opinion that the actions of Barnhart and Zamora were malicious, there is no evidence from which one could infer that Zamora knew Barnhart's account was false and Barnhart did not offer testimony to the 2007 grand jury that indicted the plaintiffs. This case might be closer if the action were based on a similar indictment against the plaintiffs returned in 2006. While Barnhart did not testify before the 2007 grand jury, Barnhart testified before the grand jury retuning the 2006 indictment. However, the claims based on that indictment were correctly dismissed as barred by limitations and no appeal from that ruling has been made. 1 3

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