James Freels v. County of Tipton, Tennessee, et al
OPINION filed : We conclude that the district court did not err in granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. We agree with the district court that the officers reasonably accommodated Freels's disability, and consequently we do not decide whether the ADA applies to arrests. On all other issues, we AFFIRM the entry of judgment in favor of defendants for the reasons set forth in the district court's opinion. Decision not for publication pursuant to local rule 206. Alice M. Batchelder, Chief Circuit Judge; R. Guy Cole , Jr., Circuit Judge (authoring) and Deborah L. Cook, Circuit Judge.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 11a0876n.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
COUNTY OF TIPTON, TENNESSEE; J.T.
“PANCHO” CHUMLEY; GERALD SPENCER;
CLARK DUNLAP; BOB BEANBLOSSOM,
TIPTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT,
Dec 21, 2011
LEONARD GREEN, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT
COURT FOR THE WESTERN
DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
BATCHELDER, Chief Judge; COLE and COOK, Circuit Judges.
COLE, Circuit Judge. Plaintiff-Appellant James Freels sues Defendant-Appellees County
of Tipton, Tennessee; Sheriff J.T. “Pancho” Chumley; Chief Deputy Clark Dunlap; Deputy Bob
Beanblossom; Deputy Gerald Spencer; and Defendant Tipton County Sheriff’s Department
(collectively, “Tipton”). At the district court level, he brought numerous claims under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging constitutional and statutory violations, as well as several state law claims. The
district court granted all of Tipton’s motions for summary judgment on all federal claims, finding
that the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. It declined to exercise jurisdiction over the
Freels v. County of Tipton, Tennessee, et al.
state law claims. On appeal, Freels challenges two of the district court’s conclusions: that the
defendants did not violate his Fourth Amendment right to an arrest free from excessive force, and
that defendants did not violate Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131
et seq., by failing to reasonably accommodate his disability during the arrest.
On October 12, 2007, Plaintiff-Appellant James Freels went to the Sheriff’s Department,
housed in the Tipton County Justice Center, to obtain incident reports concerning a recent property
dispute with his neighbor. After obtaining the report, Freels proceeded to the clerk’s office to initiate
a criminal warrant against his neighbor. At the clerk’s office, Freels identified himself by name. An
employee recognized his name as corresponding to an outstanding arrest warrant for a minor
misdemeanor and, pursuant to city policy, summoned the Sheriff’s Department. Defendants Chief
Deputy Clark Dunlap, Deputy Beanblossom, and Deputy Jay Rodriguez proceeded to the clerk’s
office, where they placed Freels under arrest, confiscated his cane, and escorted him to the jail,
located elsewhere in the building.
We review a grant of summary judgment de novo. See Coble v. City of White House, Tenn.,
634 F.3d 865, 867 (6th Cir. 2011). Upon hearing oral argument and carefully considering the
arguments and record on appeal, we conclude that the district court did not err in granting
Defendants’ motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. We agree with the district
court that the officers reasonably accommodated Freels’s disability, and consequently we do not
decide whether the ADA applies to arrests. On all other issues, we AFFIRM the entry of judgment
in favor of defendants for the reasons set forth in the district court’s opinion.
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