Lonker v. Lyden et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 83 defendant Darren Chambers' Motion for Summary Judgment on plaintiff's claims. Signed by District Judge John W. Lungstrum on 05/04/2017. (ses)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF KANSAS
Case No. 16-2097-JWL
in his individual capacity and
in his official capacity as Sumner County Sheriff,
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Plaintiff Brooklyn Lonker asserts claims against defendant Sheriff Darren Chambers
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that former Deputy Sheriff Jared Lyden violated her rights
under the First and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution after she was detained
and handcuffed in a patrol car following a traffic stop. Plaintiff asserts that defendant Sheriff
Chambers, individually and in his official capacity as Sheriff, was deliberately indifferent to
plaintiff in failing to properly train and supervise Deputy Lyden. This matter is presently before
the court on defendant Darren Chambers’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims
As will be explained, while the court has concerns about the conduct of Deputy
Lyden and, more specifically, the manner in which he carried out his role in this traffic stop, the
court finds that plaintiff has failed to present evidence from which a reasonable jury could find
Sheriff Chambers liable for any constitutional violations which plaintiff contends occurred. The
motion, then, is granted.
The following facts are uncontroverted or related in the light most favorable to plaintiff
as the nonmoving party.1 Deputy Sheriff Jared Lyden began his employment with the Sumner
County Sheriff’s Department in January 2012. Because he was already a certified law
enforcement officer at that time, he was assigned to a field training officer, Sergeant Campbell,
in the Sheriff’s Department. That training concluded on March 11, 2012. At that time, Sheriff
Chambers recommended that Deputy Lyden obtain mental health counseling based on concerns
that Deputy Lyden “was very aggressive on the job, making unnecessary arrests, [and] stopping
. . . residents and writing tickets that put him at odds with agency protocols, procedures and
culture within the department.” Deputy Lyden’s first mental health consultation was held on
March 14, 2012. That meeting lasted roughly 30 minutes and the counselor, after the meeting,
made certain “initial” recommendations to the Sheriff’s Department.
recommendations included having Deputy Lyden complete 3 to 5 days of additional field
training with a “seasoned” deputy in the department and scheduling a follow-up session with the
counselor. Consistent with those recommendations, Deputy Lyden was assigned to Sergeant
Wylie, a field training officer. Sergeant Wylie completed field training reports for March 15,
2012; March 16, 2012; and March 17, 2012. Plaintiff does not dispute that Sergeant Wylie’s
training was received well by Deputy Lyden and that Sergeant Wylie perceived that Deputy
Lyden was improving with his guidance. A follow-up session was scheduled and held on March
Although the factual detail set forth in this section exceeds what is necessary to resolve the
pending motion, the court believes it helpful to describe fully the circumstances concerning the
26, 2012. That meeting lasted approximately 10 minutes. The consultation report identified the
following final recommendations:
1. Jared will likely need continued mentoring, and should be monitored to gauge
2. If this arrangement is not possible or practical, then re-assignment to a more
controlled supervised position might be considered if one exists.
Sheriff Chambers testified that he did not do anything “specifically” to follow up on that
recommendation and that he did not provide any “additional” mentoring or monitoring to
Deputy Lyden beyond what is normally provided to deputies over the course of their
employment. In that regard, the evidence demonstrates that the Sheriff’s Office provided
routine training and supervision to all deputies through the review of written reports submitted
by each deputy and through regular monitoring by supervisors.
The record contains no evidence of any specific incidents of Deputy Lyden making
unnecessary or over-zealous arrests or detentions until January 2014. At that time, Deputy
Lyden testified in a suppression hearing before a Sumner County District Judge. According to
plaintiff, Deputy Lyden testified at that hearing about a DUI traffic stop that he had conducted
and the district judge, after viewing the dash cam recording, found that Deputy Lyden’s
description of events did not comport with the recording. Deputy Lyden testified in this case
that, during the suppression hearing, the district judge determined that Deputy Lyden lacked
probable cause to administer a field sobriety test.
The facts giving rise to this case occurred the following month, in February 2014.
Officer Jeff Cole of the Conway Springs, Kansas police department was patrolling just north of
the city limits around 12:30am on February 16, 2014. A vehicle passed Officer Cole’s patrol car
and the driver of the vehicle failed to dim the vehicle’s high-beam headlights. Officer Cole
confirmed through radar that the vehicle was traveling 37 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour
zone. Officer Cole turned his patrol car around and stopped the vehicle because the driver was
speeding and failed to dim the high-beam headlights.2 In addition to the driver, later identified
as Haley Rau, two passengers were in the vehicle. One passenger, Kylie Boswell, was riding in
the front passenger seat and the other passenger, plaintiff Brooklyn Lonker, was riding in the
rear of the vehicle.
All three occupants of the vehicle were female high-school students
returning from a bonfire party that they had attended together just south of Conway Springs. All
three occupants of the vehicle were minors under the age of 21.
As Officer Cole approached the vehicle, Ms. Rau rolled her window down. Officer Cole
testified that he immediately smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle.
Plaintiff testified that it was “surprising” to her that Officer Cole could smell alcohol because
she had only had one drink, she did not believe that Ms. Boswell had consumed more than that,
and she believed that the smell of the bonfire would be “overwhelming” because they had sat by
it for nearly 45 minutes.3 Ms. Boswell testified that she was “sure” that she smelled “like
bonfire.” Officer Cole asked Ms. Rau for her driver’s license and advised her that she was
traveling over the speed limit and had left her high-beam lights on. Ms. Rau told Officer Cole
that she did not have her license but she provided her name and birthdate, which revealed she
was 16 years of age. Officer Cole confirmed with dispatch that Ms. Rau had a valid driver’s
The legality of the initial traffic stop is not challenged.
Plaintiff cites to additional deposition testimony (Lonker depo. at 163-164) to support her
allegations concerning the bonfire smell, but that excerpt was not included in the record and the
court cannot consider it.
license and had no warrants. He testified that he then asked for identification from the two
passengers because they were minors and there was an odor of alcohol. Ms. Boswell did not
have her license but identified herself by name and birthdate, which revealed that she was 17
years of age. Similarly, plaintiff identified herself by name and birthdate, which revealed that
she was 18 years of age.
Officer Cole advised the occupants of the car that he could smell alcohol and he asked
whether anyone had consumed alcohol that evening.
Ms. Rau advised him that she had
consumed “one or two sips” of alcohol before the girls had left her house for the bonfire party.
Officer Cole asked Ms. Rau to exit the vehicle to perform a field sobriety test. She then
consented to a preliminary breath test (PBT). Because the Conway Springs police department
did not have PBT equipment, Officer Cole advised Ms. Rau that he was going “to radio and ask
for one.” Officer Cole then asked for assistance from the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office.
While the record is not entirely clear, it appears that Deputy Lyden was the closest on-duty
deputy with a PBT meter. The Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) log shows that Deputy Lyden
was contacted at 12:50am. At that time, he was working on the opposite side of the county—
approximately a 45-minute drive from Officer Cole’s location. It is undisputed that Deputy
Lyden arrived at Officer Cole’s location at 1:37am, as evidenced by the CAD log.
When Deputy Lyden arrived at the scene, he did not activate his emergency lights.
Deputy Lyden knew that if he did not activate his emergency lights, his dash camera could not
save the recording of the stop. Plaintiff suggests that Deputy Lyden’s conduct in this regard was
intentional because, just one month prior, a Sumner County district judge had concluded in the
context of a suppression hearing that Deputy Lyden’s testimony contradicted what was shown
on the dash cam recording. When Deputy Lyden arrived on the scene,4 Officer Cole advised
him that the driver had admitted to drinking and that Officer Cole smelled alcohol coming from
inside the vehicle. Deputy Lyden heard Ms. Rau tell Officer Cole, in response to a question
from Officer Cole, that all three of the occupants had been at a party and that all three of the
occupants had been drinking alcohol that evening.5 Deputy Lyden then administered the PBT to
Ms. Rau which yielded a result of .000. At that point, Officer Cole asked Deputy Lyden to
speak to the passengers because, according to his testimony, he could smell alcohol coming
from both plaintiff and Ms. Boswell. Officer Cole testified that Deputy Lyden told him that he,
too, could smell alcohol coming from both plaintiff and Ms. Boswell.
After administering the PBT to Ms. Rau, Deputy Lyden approached the front passenger
window and addressed both plaintiff and Ms. Boswell. He advised them that he could smell the
odor of alcohol. When Deputy Lyden began directing questions to Ms. Boswell, plaintiff spoke
up and said, “We’re not going to answer questions.” Deputy Lyden warned plaintiff that he
would arrest her for interfering with an investigation.
After repeated attempts to elicit
information (or an admission) from plaintiff and Ms. Boswell about whether they had been
consuming alcohol, Deputy Lyden instructed plaintiff and Ms. Boswell to exit the vehicle. They
complied and stood at the rear of the vehicle. Deputy Lyden testified that he could smell alcohol
The record reflects that Deputy Lyden was accompanied by a civilian “ride along” who
remained in Deputy Lyden’s patrol car at all times.
Plaintiff does not controvert that Ms. Rau advised Officer Cole that all three occupants of the
vehicle had been drinking that evening but she objects to Deputy Lyden’s testimony on hearsay
grounds. The objection is overruled. Ms. Rau’s statement is not offered to prove that the
occupants had in fact been drinking alcohol that night but for the purpose of explaining the
information available to Deputy Lyden at the time he decided to detain plaintiff. United States
v. Ibarra-Diaz, 805 F.3d 908, 925 (10th Cir. 2015) (statement made to officer offered to explain
the officer’s conduct did not constitute hearsay).
when plaintiff and Ms. Boswell were standing side by side and, knowing that they were under
the age of 21, believed that they had been unlawfully drinking. When plaintiff and Ms. Boswell
were standing outside the vehicle, plaintiff continued to refuse to answer Deputy Lyden’s
questions about whether and how much alcohol she had consumed and continued to advise Ms.
Boswell not to answer any questions. Both plaintiff and Ms. Boswell refused to submit to a
PBT when Deputy Lyden asked for their consent to administer a PBT. Ultimately, Deputy
Lyden placed handcuffs on plaintiff and put her in the back of his patrol car. Defendant asserts
that plaintiff was placed in handcuffs in the patrol car because plaintiff continued to interrupt
Deputy Lyden’s efforts to communicate with Ms. Boswell and that she was impeding his
investigation. Plaintiff asserts that she never interrupted Deputy Lyden and only told him that
they were not required to answer any questions; that they would not answer questions without an
attorney present; and that they were not required to submit to a PBT. In any event, plaintiff does
not dispute that she was handcuffed and placed in the patrol car no later than 1:56am—less than
20 minutes after Deputy Lyden arrived on the scene. Plaintiff testified that Deputy Lyden, after
plaintiff was placed in the patrol car, “yelled” at plaintiff and said to her, “You just need to
admit to it, or I’m going to take you in” and that if he took her to jail that she “didn’t even want
to know what those people would do to” her. When Ms. Boswell again refused to consent to the
PBT, she was placed in Officer Cole’s vehicle to keep the minors separated and out of the cold
Officer Cole contacted Marla Loehr, Ms. Boswell’s mother, because she was the
registered owner of the vehicle that Ms. Rau had been driving. The officers advised Ms. Loehr
that they could smell alcohol on Ms. Boswell and plaintiff and that, because Ms. Boswell was
underage, their practice was to ask a parent to come and pick them up. At 2:00am, Ms. Loehr
contacted her sister to come and pick her up so that they could then travel to the scene. 6 Ms.
Loehr arrived at the scene at 2:45am. Ms. Loehr consented to a search of the vehicle. The
officers seized three open containers from the vehicle—a can of Natural Light beer that still had
beer in it; a bottle with a Bacardi label on it; and a clear tumbler that contained alcohol.
Knowing that her mother was going to require her to take the PBT anyway, Ms. Boswell
asserted that the alcohol belonged to her. Ms. Loehr told her daughter to consent to the PBT,
which yielded a result of .04. Ms. Boswell then left the scene with her aunt in her aunt’s vehicle
and Ms. Rau drove Ms. Loehr and plaintiff home in the vehicle that Ms. Rau had been driving
that evening. The stop was concluded at approximately 3:00am.
Deputy Lyden failed to write and submit a report following the traffic stop and ultimately
served a two-day suspension for that failure. In September 2014, the Sheriff’s Office served
Deputy Lyden with a Notification of Internal Investigation relating to his conduct during vehicle
stops. Deputy Lyden tendered his resignation immediately after being served with the notice.
Additional facts will be provided as they relate to the specific arguments raised by the
parties in their submissions.
Summary Judgment Standard
“Summary judgment is appropriate if the pleadings, depositions, other discovery
materials, and affidavits demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact and that the
Ms. Loehr had consumed alcohol that evening and could not operate her vehicle because it was
equipped with an ignition interlock device.
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Water Pik, Inc. v. Med–Systems, Inc.,
726 F.3d 1136, 1143 (10th Cir. 2013) (quotation omitted); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). A factual
issue is genuine “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party.” Water Pik, Inc., 726 F.3d at 1143 (quotation omitted). “The nonmoving
party is entitled to all reasonable inferences from the record; but if the nonmovant bears the
burden of persuasion on a claim at trial, summary judgment may be warranted if the movant
points out a lack of evidence to support an essential element of that claim and the nonmovant
cannot identify specific facts that would create a genuine issue.” Id. at 1143-44.
In the pretrial order, plaintiff asserts that Sheriff Chambers’ failure to train and supervise
Deputy Lyden resulted in the constitutional deprivations she suffered and that Sheriff Chambers’
failures reflect deliberate indifference to plaintiff’s constitutional rights. Plaintiff’s failure-totrain claim is asserted against Sheriff Chambers in both his official and individual capacities.
Defendant Chambers first moves for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiff’s claims
against Sheriff Chambers are necessarily premised on an underlying constitutional violation and
no such violations occurred in this case. See Gray v. University of Colo. Hosp. Authority, 672
F.3d 909, 918 n.7 (10th Cir. 2012). Defendant Chambers also moves for summary judgment on
the grounds that, even assuming that factual disputes exist concerning whether Deputy Lyden
violated plaintiff’s constitutional rights, there is no evidence from which a jury could reasonably
conclude that any violation was caused by any alleged deliberate indifference of Sheriff
Chambers with respect to the training or supervision of Deputy Lyden. See City of Canton v.
Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 388 (1989) (“We hold today that the inadequacy of police training may
serve as the basis for § 1983 liability only where the failure to train amounts to deliberate
indifference to the rights of persons with whom the police come into contact.”). As will be
explained, because the undisputed facts are clearly insufficient to permit a jury to find deliberate
indifference on the part of Sheriff Chambers, the court grants summary judgment in favor of
Sheriff Chambers on plaintiff’s claims.7
A. Standards for Supervisory Liability and Municipal Liability in Failure-to-Train Context
Suing individual defendants in their official capacities under § 1983 is essentially another
way of pleading an action against the county or municipality they represent. Porro v. Barnes,
624 F.3d 1322, 1328 (10th Cir. 2010) (citing Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Serv. of New York, 436
U.S. 658, 690 n.55 (1978); Barney v. Pulsipher, 143 F.3d 1299, 1307 (10th Cir. 1998)).
“[T]here are limited circumstances in which an allegation of a ‘failure to train’ can be the basis
for municipal liability under § 1983.” City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 387 (1989).
However, “the inadequacy of police training may serve as the basis for § 1983 liability only
where the failure to train amounts to deliberate indifference to the rights of persons with whom
the police come into contact.” Id. at 388. Liability arises where “the need for more or different
training is so obvious, and the inadequacy so likely to result in the violation of constitutional
rights, that the policymakers of the city can reasonably be said to have been deliberately
indifferent to the need.” Id. at 390.
For this reason, the court declines to address whether Deputy Lyden violated plaintiff’s First
and Fourth Amendment rights in connection with his detention and arrest of plaintiff.
Plaintiff’s claim against Sheriff Chambers in his individual capacity is also grounded in
the Sheriff’s alleged failure to properly train and supervise Deputy Lyden. Accordingly, this
claim amounts to a claim of supervisory liability. See Cox v. Glanz, 800 F.3d 1231, 1239 (10th
It is unclear whether the “failure to train and supervise” theory of supervisory
liability under § 1983 has survived the Supreme Court’s decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662 (2009). See Keith v. Koerner, 843 F.3d 833, 838 (10th Cir. 2016) (“We have since
recognized that Iqbal may have changed the § 1983 supervisory liability landscape, but we have
not yet had occasion to determine what allegations of personal involvement . . . meet Iqbal’s
stricter liability standard.”). The court need not address that question here because plaintiff’s
claim fails to satisfy the Tenth Circuit’s pre-Iqbal standards. Under that standard, plaintiff, as
with her municipal liability claim, must establish that Sheriff Chambers acted with deliberate
indifference. See Dodds v. Richardson, 614 F.3d 1185, 1196 n.4 (10th Cir. 2010) (“After
Canton, ‘deliberate indifference or reckless disregard’ became the primary governing standard
for supervisory liability.”); Vasquez v. Davis, 2016 WL 6997261, at *2 (D. Colo. Nov. 30, 2016)
(“[T]he Tenth Circuit has all but held that the law of supervisory liability for failure to train or
intervene is functionally interchangeable with the law of Monell liability for similar failures.”).
The deliberate indifference standard may be satisfied when the supervisor or municipality
“has actual or constructive notice that its action or failure to act is substantially certain to result
in a constitutional violation, and it consciously or deliberately chooses to disregard the risk of
harm.” Barney, 143 F.3d at 1307. While notice in most instances is established by proving a
pattern of tortious conduct, “[i]n a narrow range of circumstances, . . . deliberate indifference
may be found absent a pattern of unconstitutional behavior if a violation of federal rights is a
highly predictable or plainly obvious consequence of a municipality’s action or inaction.” Id.
Plaintiff does not contend that the violations here were a highly predictable or plainly obvious
consequence of Sheriff Chambers’ action or inaction. Rather, she contends that Deputy Lyden
engaged in a pattern of tortious conduct sufficient to put Sheriff Chambers on notice of the
substantial likelihood that constitutional violations would occur. To prove the existence of a
pattern of tortious conduct, plaintiff must show a pattern of “similar violations” and not simply
an isolated instance. See id.; City of Canton, 489 U.S. at 390-91 (explaining that an isolated
instance of failure to train a particular officer is not sufficient to infer a policy of failing to train
officers); Connick v. Thompson, 563 U.S. 51, 62 (2011).
B. First Amendment
Aside from the allegations in this case, there is no evidence of any other incident in
which Deputy Lyden allegedly arrested an individual in retaliation for statements made during a
traffic stop or otherwise violated a citizen’s First Amendment rights. According to plaintiff,
Deputy Lyden testified to his belief that he could “arrest citizens for refusing to answer his
questions and violate citizens’ Constitutional rights as long as he thought they were ‘guilty.’”
This is a mischaracterization of Deputy Lyden’s testimony. But even assuming that plaintiff had
fairly characterized the testimony, it does not establish liability on the part of Sheriff Chambers
in his individual or official capacity. While it arguably bears on the First Amendment issue
implicated in this case, it does not permit an inference that Deputy Lyden, in fact, ever arrested
anyone based solely on a refusal to answer his questions or based solely on statements made
during a traffic stop. In the absence of any evidence of any prior incidents involving retaliatory
arrests made by Deputy Lyden (or, for that matter, any incidents involving First Amendment
violations by Deputy Lyden), plaintiff cannot establish a “pattern” of tortious conduct which
would have notified Sheriff Chambers that the Sheriff Department’s training program was
deficient or that a substantial likelihood existed that Deputy Lyden would inflict the
constitutional injury alleged by plaintiff. See Coffey v. McKinley County, 504 Fed. Appx. 715,
719 (10th Cir. 2012) (“One prior incident, even if it was a constitutional violation sufficiently
similar to put officials on notice of a problem, does not describe a pattern of violations.”).
C. Fourth Amendment
In an effort to prove the existence of a pattern of Fourth Amendment violations on the
part of Deputy Lyden sufficient to notify Sheriff Chambers of a problem, plaintiff relies on
evidence concerning the mental health counseling that Deputy Lyden received at Sheriff
Chambers’ request in March 2012 and the January 2014 suppression hearing in which the state
court judge determined that Deputy Lyden lacked probable cause for a DUI arrest. Viewed in
the light most favorable to plaintiff, this evidence is insufficient to establish a pattern of conduct
sufficient to provide the requisite notice to Sheriff Chambers. The evidence concerning the
March 2012 mental health counseling is not evidence of Sheriff Chambers’ deliberate
indifference to a known risk of tortious conduct. To begin, the fact that Sheriff Chambers took
the initiative to send Deputy Lyden for mental health counseling immediately upon the
conclusion of Deputy Lyden’s formal field training cuts against any suggestion that Sheriff
Chambers disregarded any known risk of harm. Moreover, Sheriff Chambers, rather than failing
to train or supervise Deputy Lyden, implemented the initial recommendations of the counselor
by assigning Deputy Lyden to additional days of field training with a seasoned sergeant in the
department. While Sheriff Chambers did not do anything in particular with respect to the final
recommendations, the evidence reflects that Deputy Lyden continued to receive the routine
monitoring that all deputies received in the department. While plaintiff contends that Sheriff
Chambers “ignored” the counselor’s final recommendations, it is not enough to show that there
were “general deficiencies in the county’s training program” for Deputy Lyden. See Lopez v.
LeMaster, 172 F.3d 756, 760 (10th Cir. 1999).
Rather, plaintiff must identify a specific
deficiency that was obvious and closely related to her injury. Id. Plaintiff identifies no specific
deficiency in the training of Deputy Lyden and none is evident from the record, particularly as
there is no evidence of any unnecessary (or, more to the point, unconstitutional) arrests that
prompted the consultation. In other words, there is no evidence in the record of any specific
incidents involving Deputy Lyden as of March 26, 2012 (the date of the counselor’s final
recommendations) that would have provided notice to Sheriff Chambers that additional
mentoring or monitoring (above and beyond what the department provided in the ordinary
course) was required. For this reason, plaintiff’s allegation that Sheriff Chambers should have
provided “continued mentoring” and monitoring does not satisfy her burden of showing that
Sheriff Chambers acted with deliberate indifference to her rights.
Plaintiff also highlights the January 2014 suppression hearing before a Sumner County
District Judge. The court assumes that Sheriff Chambers had knowledge of the state court’s
determination that Deputy Lyden’s arrest lacked probable cause.8
That finding, of course, is not necessarily the same as whether Deputy Lyden violated the
driver’s constitutional rights. See Johnson v. Pottawotomie Tribal Police Dep’t, 411 Fed. Appx.
Chambers’ knowledge of one potential Fourth Amendment violation is not enough to establish
knowledge of a “pattern” of tortious conduct sufficient to show deliberate indifference. See
Coffey v. McKinley Cnty., 504 Fed. Appx. 715, 719 (10th Cir. 2012) (“One prior incident, even
if it was a constitutional violation sufficiently similar to put officials on notice of a problem,
does not describe a pattern of violations.”).
D. Remaining Evidence of Sheriff Chambers’ Purported Knowledge
In support of her argument that Sheriff Chambers had knowledge of a pattern of “ongoing
constitutional violations” by Deputy Lyden, plaintiff identifies several facts that have no bearing
on that issue, including that the environment at the Sheriff’s Office was “chaotic” and that
supervision was “poor”; that a supervisor had trained Deputy Lyden to destroy evidence; that
supervisors and co-workers in the Sheriff’s Office spent on-duty time making offensive
comments on Deputy Lyden’s Facebook page; that a convicted felon and registered sex offender
(whose criminal history was undisputedly unknown to Sheriff Chambers or Deputy Lyden) was
permitted to go on civilian ride-alongs with Deputy Lyden; that Sheriff Chambers stated that he
wished he had ten more deputies “just like” Deputy Lyden; and that Sheriff Chambers instructed
a subordinate to report to KS-CPOST that Deputy Lyden had resigned under ordinary
circumstances. None of these facts, even if true, permit an inference that Deputy Lyden had
195, 200 (10th Cir, 2011) (“State law determinations do not control whether probable cause for
an arrest exists under the Fourth Amendment.”) (citing United States v. Turner, 553 F.3d 1337,
1346 (10th Cir. 2009) (“[I]f officers have probable cause to believe that a crime has been
committed in their presence, they may arrest and search incident to that arrest without violating
the Fourth Amendment, even if such police action is not authorized by state law.”) (citing
Virginia v. Moore, 553 U.S. 164, 178 (2008))).
engaged in a pattern of violating anyone’s constitutional rights (let alone the specific rights at
issue in this case) or, more importantly, that Sheriff Chambers had knowledge of any such
Plaintiff also contends that Deputy Lyden had a “reputation for dishonesty” in the legal
community based solely on an April 2015 journal entry dismissing the charges in the underlying
case against plaintiff. In that journal entry, a Sumner County District Judge notes, as an
alternative basis for dismissing the charges, that the arresting officer “has a reputation in the
legal community for dishonesty” and “allowed important and possibly exculpatory evidence in
his possession to be destroyed.”9 To the extent that plaintiff is attempting to prove that Deputy
Lyden is dishonest, the evidence is clearly inadmissible hearsay. Montes v. Vail Clinic, Inc.,
497 F.3d 1160, 1176 (10th Cir. 2007) (“Under our precedents, we are constrained to disregard . .
. hearsay on summary judgment when, as here, there is a proper objection to its use and the
proponent of the testimony can direct us to no applicable exception to the hearsay rule.”); Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(c)(2) (“A party may object that the material cited to support or dispute a fact
cannot be presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence.”). Moreover, the evidence
is merely a red herring because Deputy Lyden’s credibility is, at most, a peripheral issue in this
case. It was Officer Cole—whose credibility is not attacked—who conducted the initial traffic
stop in this case and who consistently testified that he smelled alcohol coming from the vehicle
and from plaintiff.
It is not clear what evidence Deputy Lyden allegedly allowed to be destroyed. The court
presumes that the district judge was referencing Deputy Lyden’s failure to activate his
emergency lights (and, thus, his dash cam) when he arrived on the scene.
Lastly, plaintiff points to evidence that Sheriff Chambers, in September 2014, initiated an
internal investigation into Deputy Lyden’s conduct during vehicle stops.
concerning the investigation references “strong indications” that Deputy Lyden “violated the
rights of citizens” during traffic stops and specifically references possible violations of the
Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and Deputy Lyden’s use of “coercion to obtain
consent to search” and his detention of parties “beyond what is reasonable.” For two reasons,
this evidence does not establish deliberate indifference on the part of Sheriff Chambers. First,
the evidence does not reflect knowledge of any constitutional violations similar to the violation
Second, the Supreme Court has held that “contemporaneous or subsequent
conduct cannot establish a pattern of violations that would provide “notice to the [municipality]
and the opportunity to conform to constitutional dictates.” Id. at 63 n.7. Moreover, there is
simply no evidence of any “possible violations of the Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments” arising from any incident other than the stop that is the subject of this case.
Indeed, Sheriff Chambers testified that the sole reason for the investigation was “pressure” from
plaintiff’s counsel in this case “as to how Mr. Lyden conducts himself.” He testified that the
purpose of the investigation was to ensure that, contrary to plaintiff’s allegations, a course of
misconduct on the part of Deputy Lyden had not been occurring prior to the stop in this case.
In sum, plaintiff has not shown a pattern of tortious conduct that would have put Sheriff
Chambers on notice that the training and supervision of Deputy Lyden was inadequate and that a
substantial likelihood existed that constitutional violations would occur. Plaintiff, then, has
failed to demonstrate a triable case against Sheriff Chambers for supervisory or municipal
liability under § 1983.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COURT THAT defendant Darren
Chambers’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims (doc. 83) is granted.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 4th day of May, 2017, at Kansas City, Kansas.
s/ John W. Lungstrum
John W. Lungstrum
United States District Judge
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