Carolyn Constantine v. Daryn Gadeken, et al
OPINION filed : for the reasons stated in the district court's well-reasoned opinion, we AFFIRM, decision not for publication. Martha Craig Daughtrey, Circuit Judge; David W. McKeague, Circuit Judge, authoring; and Bernice Bouie Donald, Circuit Judge.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 14a0303n.06
Case No. 13-6152
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
DARYN GADEKEN; COFFEE COUNTY,
Apr 23, 2014
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT
COURT FOR THE EASTERN
DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
BEFORE: DAUGHTREY, McKEAGUE, and DONALD, Circuit Judges.
DAVID W. McKEAGUE, Circuit Judge. This case arises from the prosecution of
Carolyn Constantine for eight counts of enticing a child to purchase alcoholic beverages or
purchasing alcoholic beverages for a child, Tenn. Code. Ann. § 39-15-404, and four counts of
contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Tenn. Code. Ann. § 37-1-156.
Constantine filed this civil complaint against Gadeken and Coffee County, Tennessee in
state court asserting several claims including: (1) false arrest and malicious prosecution against
Gadeken in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments of
the U.S. Constitution; (2) false imprisonment and malicious prosecution against Gadeken in
violation of Tennessee law, and for which the County may be liable pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann.
Section 8-8-302. R. 1, Complaint at 4–7, Page ID # 5–9. The Defendants removed the case to
Case No. 13-6152, Constantine v. Gadeken
federal court and then filed a motion to dismiss, asserting that the claims are barred by qualified
immunity and that Constantine failed to state a claim for relief. R. 4, Mot. to Dismiss at 1–2,
PageID # 16–17. In response, Constantine moved to amend her complaint to allege additional
facts for consideration. R. 10, Mot. to Amend at 1, PageID # 37.
The district court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss on all claims and declined to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Constantine’s state law claims. The district court held
that Gadeken was entitled to qualified immunity1 because Constantine failed to demonstrate that
Gadeken lacked probable cause in regard to her arrest and prosecution. A grand jury indicted
Constantine. The Sixth Circuit has made clear that “the finding of an indictment, fair upon its
face, by a properly constituted grand jury, conclusively determines the existence of probable
cause for the purpose of holding the accused to answer.” Barnes v. Wright, 449 F.3d 709, 716
(6th Cir. 2006) (quoting Higgason v. Stephens, 288 F.3d 868, 877 (6th Cir. 2002)) (internal
quotation marks omitted). There is an exception to this rule for indictments “obtained wrongfully
by defendant police officers who knowingly present false testimony to the grand jury.” Cook v.
McPherson, 273 F. App’x 421, 424 (6th Cir. 2008). Gadeken was a witness at the grand jury
proceedings, which is where Constantine alleges Gadeken presented false testimony. However,
Constantine failed to present any facts that would allow this Court to infer that Gadeken
presented false testimony to the grand jury. The district court found that Constantine’s “factual
The district court discussed the two-part qualified immunity test articulated by the Supreme
Court in Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 201 (2001). The Saucier Court mandated that courts first
determine whether “the facts alleged show the officer’s conduct violated a constitutional right[.]”
Id. If a constitutional right had been infringed, the courts could consider “whether the right was
clearly established . . . in light of the specific context of the case.” Id. In Pearson v. Callahan,
555 U.S. 223 (2009), the Court overrode that procedural mandate, recognizing the impracticality
of the requirement. However, the Pearson Court indicated that lower courts may still use the
Saucier test and have discretion in determining which prong to consider first. Id. at 236; Jones v.
Byrnes, 585 F.3d 971, 975 (6th Cir. 2009) (per curiam).
Case No. 13-6152, Constantine v. Gadeken
allegations consist[ed] almost entirely of her own inferences, subjective beliefs, and legal
conclusions framed as factual statements.” Accordingly, without facts to establish more than a
mere possibility that Gadeken presented false testimony to the grand jury, the indictment
conclusively established that Gadeken had probable cause against Constantine.
After carefully reviewing the district court opinion, the briefs, and the record in this case,
we conclude that the district court did not err in granting Defendants’ motion to dismiss or
denying Constantine’s motion to amend. As the district court correctly set out the applicable law
and correctly applied that law to the well-pleaded factual allegations, issuance of a full written
opinion by this Court would serve no jurisprudential purpose.
Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the district court’s well-reasoned opinion, we
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