Calzone v. Koster et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER..IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff Ronald Calzone's motion for summary judgment (#14) is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant Sandra Karstens motion for summary judgment (#10) is GRANTED.. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 3/9/18. (MRS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Case No. 4:15-CV-869-SNLJ
MEMORANDUM and ORDER
This matter is before the Court on remand from the Eighth Circuit. Plaintiff
Ronald Calzone claims RSMo. § 304.230 is unconstitutional as applied to him—a farmer
who occasionally operates his 56,000-pound dump truck only in the State of Missouri—
because he is not a member of the closely regulated commercial trucking industry. The
parties have renewed their motions for summary judgment. Because the Court finds
Calzone is a member of the closely regulated commercial trucking industry, his motion
for summary judgment (#14) is denied and the state’s motion for summary judgment
(#10) is granted.
Factual and Procedural Background
Calzone is a Missouri farmer who occasionally operates his dump truck no more
than fifty miles from his farm. The dump truck is licensed with a Missouri 54,000-pound
Superintendent Karsten is automatically substituted for her predecessor under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 25(d).
local license plate that is marked with the letter F, which designates the dump truck as a
farm truck. The truck does not have a U.S. Department of Transportation number on it.
Calzone is not a professional truck driver, and he uses the dump truck only when
transporting agricultural products or supplies to and from his farm.
In June 2013, a Missouri State Highway Patrol corporal stopped Calzone while he
was driving his dump truck on the highway. The corporal told Calzone that he pulled
him over because he “did not recognize the truck or the markings displayed on the
vehicle” and asked to inspect it. Calzone refused, and the corporal then explained that
RSMo. § 304.230 authorized him to stop commercial vehicles and inspect them whether
or not he had probable cause. The corporal warned Calzone if he did not submit to an
inspection, he would issue Calzone a citation. Calzone still refused, so the corporal
issued him a citation for failing to submit to a commercial vehicle inspection. The Phelps
County prosecutor later abandoned the action against Calzone.
Calzone then sued the governor of Missouri, the Missouri attorney general, and the
superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He sought
a declaratory judgment that § 304.230.1, .2, and .7 are unconstitutional on their face and
as applied to him. He asked for a permanent injunction against the enforcement of these
provisions, one dollar in nominal damages, and costs and attorney’s fees. Although the
Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and searches, not all warrantless
seizures are unreasonable. In fact, warrantless inspections involving closely regulated
industries are constitutional when certain conditions are met. New York v. Burger, 482
U.S. 691, 702–03 (1987). As such, this Court held the challenged provisions were not
facially unconstitutional, because they could be applied constitutionally to participants in
the closely regulated commercial trucking industry. This Court also held Calzone’s asapplied challenge must fail because he named as parties the governor, attorney general,
and superintendent, instead of the corporal who pulled him over.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed this Court’s conclusion that the challenged provisions
are not facially unconstitutional. Calzone v. Hawley, 866 F.3d 866, 871 (8th Cir. 2017).
It also affirmed this Court’s conclusion that the governor and attorney general were
improper parties for Calzone’s as-applied challenge. Id. at 872. But the Eighth Circuit
held “Calzone can sue the superintendent in her official capacity for declaratory and
injunctive relief[.]” Id. It remanded so this Court could address the merits of Calzone’s
as-applied challenge. The Eighth Circuit listed two questions this Court may need to
consider to resolve the as-applied challenge: (1) “whether Missouri’s incorporation of the
federal regulations also incorporates the exceptions for farm vehicles that are contained
within those federal regulations, or whether Missouri’s own exceptions at § 307.400.1(2)
and .5 are exclusive” and (2) “whether a partial exemption from the federal regulations
removes an operator from the realm of the closely regulated commercial trucking
Summary Judgment Standard
Pursuant to Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a district court
may grant a motion for summary judgment if all of the information before the court
demonstrates that “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving
party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Poller v. Columbia Broad. Sys., Inc.,
368 U.S. 464, 467 (1962). This Court must construe the facts in the light most favorable
to the nonmoving party, but it need not accept a version of the events that “is blatantly
contradicted by the record, so that no reasonable jury could believe it.” Marksmeier v.
Davie, 622 F.3d 896, 900 (8th Cir. 2010) (quoting Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380
Calzone makes three arguments for why the challenged subsections of § 304.230
are unconstitutional as applied to him. The Court will address each separately.
Even Though Calzone Is Not Engaged in a Business Tied to the
Professional Commercial Trucking Industry, He Is Still Subject to the
Commercial Motor Vehicle Regulations
First, Calzone claims he is not subject to the Fourth Amendment’s closely
regulated industry exception because he is not engaged in any business tied to the
commercial trucking industry. The Eighth Circuit has made clear the commercial
trucking, itself, is a closely regulated industry. Calzone, 866 F.3d at 871. But Calzone
argues he is not a professional truck driver, so he hasn’t voluntarily given up Fourth
Amendment rights like those who choose a career in professional truck driving.
The Court rejected this argument when first ruling on summary judgment:
“Although [Calzone] was not a long-haul common carrier . . ., the fact that [he] was
driving his dump trunk (and not a tractor-trailer filled with goods for sale) is not relevant
to the statute or to the officers who enforce it.” (#27 at 8.) This Court also observed
Calzone held a “commercial” driver’s license and his truck was registered for “local
commercial” use. Finally, § 302.010 defines “commercial motor vehicle” as “a motor
vehicle designed or regularly used for carrying freight and merchandise[.]” This Court
concluded “regardless of to what use [Calzone] put the dump truck, the dump truck was
‘designed’ for carrying freight and was in fact registered as a ‘commercial’ vehicle.
[Calzone] was therefore on notice that he could be randomly stopped and inspected, just
as any other commercial driver would be.” (#27 at 8.) Neither the Eighth Circuit’s
opinion nor Calzone’s supplemental briefing casts doubt on this holding.
Calzone relies on United States v. Seslar, 996 F.2d 1058 (10th Cir. 1993), for the
proposition that the closely regulated industry exception does not justify the warrantless
seizure of someone who was not engaged in a regulated industry. In Seslar, defendants
were not part of the regulated class of “motor carriers,” because they fell outside the
statutory definition of “motor carriers.” Seslar, 996 F.2d at 1062. Thus, the Tenth
Circuit held “the closely regulated industry line of cases does not justify the warrantless
search of unregulated persons” and reasoned that Seslar did not have the reduced
expectation of privacy of persons engaged in a closely regulated industry. Id. at 1063.
This case does not help Calzone for at least two reasons. First, his dump truck is
part of the regulated class of “commercial motor vehicles,” and Calzone does not argue
his truck falls outside the statutory definition. Thus, he was on notice that he could
randomly be stopped and inspected, which reduced his expectation of privacy. Second,
Seslar does not support Calzone’s claim that a person must be engaged in a business tied
to the closely regulated industry to actually be a part of it. Seslar simply fell outside the
statutory definition of the regulated class.
Calzone’s reliance on United States v. Herrera, 444 F.3d 1238 (10th Cir. 2006) is
similarly misplaced. In Herrera, a police officer pulled over Herrera to inspect his
pickup truck. Herrera, 444 F.3d at 1240. “[U]nder Kansas law, ‘commercial vehicles
can be stopped at any time to check for compliance with . . . safety regulations.’” Id. at
1241 (alteration in original) (quoting Kan. Stat. § 74–2108(b)). The government relied
on this law to justify the officer’s stop, but Herrera’s truck did not fall within the
statutory definition of “commercial vehicle,” “because it weighed 10,000 pounds, one
pound short of the definition of a commercial vehicle under Kansas law.” Id. As such,
the Court held “Herrera was not engaging in a closely regulated industry and, thus, would
not have had any reason to know that his truck could be subject to a random inspection.”
Id. at 1245.
Again, Calzone’s truck does fall within the statutory definition of commercial
motor vehicle, so Herrera is unpersuasive. This Court reaffirms its prior conclusion that
Calzone is subject to the commercial trucking industry regulations.
Even Though Calzone is Exempt from Some Regulations, He Is Still
Part of an Industry That Is Closely Regulated
Second, Calzone seems to argue his dump truck is exempt from so many
regulations that the commercial trucking industry—as it applies to him—is not “closely”
regulated. He claims the state “has failed to identify even one significant set of business
regulations unique to the professional commercial trucking industry to which [he] and his
farm truck are subject.” (#43 at 6–7.) This argument gets to the heart of the questions
the Eighth Circuit noted this Court might need to consider to resolve Calzone’s asapplied challenge.
The commercial trucking industry is regulated under both federal law and
Federal Regulation of Commercial Motor Vehicles
“Commercial trucking is subject to extensive federal regulation.” United States v.
Delgado, 545 F.3d 1195, 1202 (9th Cir. 2008); see, e.g., 49 U.S.C. § 31142 (inspection of
commercial motor vehicles); 49 C.F.R. § 391.11 (commercial motor vehicle driver
qualifications); § 391.15 (disqualification of commercial motor vehicle drivers); § 395.3
(driving time for property-carrying commercial motor vehicles); § 395.8 (driver’s
The parties agree Calzone’s dump truck is also a “covered farm vehicle,” 49
C.F.R. § 390.5, and the federal regulations except covered farm vehicles from certain
federal and state requirements. Id. § 390.39. As relevant here, covered farm vehicles are
exempt from any requirement relating to commercial driver’s licenses; controlled
substances and alcohol use testing; physical qualifications and examinations; drivers’
hours of service; and inspection, repair, and maintenance. Id. § 390.39(a).
The parties dispute whether Calzone is exempt from federal requirements other
than those listed in 49 C.F.R. § 390.39.
Missouri Regulation of Commercial Motor Vehicles
Missouri law incorporates the federal regulations for commercial motor vehicles:
Subject to any exceptions which are applicable under section 307.400, the
officers and commercial motor vehicle inspectors of the state highway
patrol, the enforcement personnel of the division of motor carrier and
railroad safety, and other authorized peace officers of this state and any
civil subdivision of this state may enforce any of the provisions of Parts
350 through 399 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, as those
regulations have been and may periodically be amended, as they apply to
motor vehicles and drivers operating in interstate or intrastate commerce
within this state[.]
RSMo. § 390.201. The parties agree Missouri’s incorporation of the federal regulations
includes the exceptions for covered farm vehicles. Missouri law also explicitly makes it
unlawful for any person to operate any commercial motor vehicle as
defined in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 390.5, . . . unless
such vehicles are equipped and operated as required by Parts 390 through
397, Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, as such regulations have been
and may periodically be amended, whether intrastate transportation or
Id. § 307.400.1 (emphasis added). The federal regulations define “commercial motor
vehicle” as “any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate
commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle . . . [h]as a gross vehicle
weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross
combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater[.]” 49
C.F.R. § 390.5. Calzone’s dump truck does not qualify for any of RSMo. § 307.400’s
exceptions, but he is exempt from the Missouri commercial driver’s license requirement.
RSMo. §§ 302.700; 302.775(1).
Finally, “[t]he challenged subsections of . . . [RSMo.] § 304.230 authorize certain
law enforcement officers to stop and inspect commercial motor vehicles for certain
delineated purposes.” Calzone, 866 F.3d at 870–71. Subsection 304.230.1 allows certain
officers to stop and inspect commercial motor vehicles to determine whether they comply
with the size and weight requirements as provided in RSMo. §§ 304.170 to 304.230.
“Subsection 304.230.2 authorizes ‘any highway patrol officer . . . to stop any
[commercial motor vehicle] upon the public highway for the purpose of determining
whether such vehicle is loaded in excess of the provisions of sections 304.170 to
304.230.’” Calzone, 866 F.3d at 871 (alterations in original) (quoting RSMo. §
304.230.2). Subsection 304.230.7 allows certain officers “to conduct commercial motor
vehicle and driver inspections . . . to determine compliance with commercial vehicle
laws, rules, and regulations.”
Despite the Various Exemptions, Calzone and His Dump Truck
Are Still Closely Regulated
Now, the Court must decide whether Calzone and his dump truck are still “closely
regulated” such that he has a lowered expectation of privacy. Without deciding exactly
where the dividing line is, this Court finds Calzone’s dump truck is on the closely
regulated side of it.
Calzone claims the state “has failed to identify even one significant set of business
regulations unique to the professional commercial trucking industry to which [he] and his
farm truck are subject.” (#43 at 6–7.) This Court disagrees.
While Calzone is not subject to the regulations that exempt covered farm vehicles,
he is still subject to all other federal commercial vehicle regulations. Again, Missouri
law incorporates the federal commercial vehicle regulations, “as they apply to motor
vehicles and drivers operating in interstate or intrastate commerce within this state[.]”
RSMo. § 390.201 (emphasis added). The Missouri General Assembly did not limit the
purview of the statute to interstate commerce. Instead, it extended the federal regulations
to cover commercial motor vehicles operating in both interstate and intrastate commerce.
This is clear from the text. For some reason, Calzone totally ignores the plain language
that extends the federal regulations.
Similarly, RSMo. § 307.400 also applies to Calzone and his dump truck. He
argues it does not because the statute adopts 49 C.F.R. § 390.5’s definition—which
includes the interstate commerce jurisdictional hook—definition of commercial motor
vehicle. Because he does not use his dump truck in interstate commerce, Calzone argues
this statute does not apply to him. But Calzone does not read far enough. Section
307.400 applies to commercial motor vehicles, “whether intrastate transportation or
interstate transportation.” RSMo. § 307.400 (emphasis added). Again, the Missouri
General Assembly did not limit the purview of the statute to interstate commerce. See
also Mo. Highways & Transp. Comm’n v. Wilsons Trucking, LLC, Mo. Admin. 11-0742
MC, at *3 (Dec. 13, 2011) (concluding respondent violated RSMo. § 307.400, even
though respondent only used the truck at issue in intrastate commerce). Calzone ignores
this language and extension as well.
Finally, Calzone is still subject to suspicionless stops and inspections under
RSMo. § 304.230, because his dump truck falls under Missouri’s definition of
commercial motor vehicle.
In light of all this, the Court finds that Calzone and his dump truck are not
removed “from the realm of the closely regulated commercial trucking industry.”
Calzone, 866 F.3d at 872.
Section 304.230 Properly Limits the Discretion of Inspecting Officers
Third, Calzone argues inspecting officers act with “unbridled discretion” in
deciding which vehicles to stop, because the Missouri State Highway Patrol “had
established no standards, no guidelines, no policies that would dictate which vehicles
[inspecting officers] would subject to roving, suspicionless stops[.]” (#40 at 12.) The
Eighth Circuit held the challenged subsections of § 304.230 are a permissible substitute
for a warrant, because “[t]hey provide notice to commercial truck drivers of the
possibility of roadside inspection by a designated law enforcement officer and . . . limit
the scope of the officer’s inspections to an examination solely for regulatory
compliance.” Calzone, 866 F.3d at 871; see also Delgado, 545 F.3d at 1202–03. Thus,
this argument fails.
Because Calzone is a member of the closely regulated commercial trucking
industry, his motion for summary judgment (#14) is denied and the state’s motion for
summary judgment (#10) is granted.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff Ronald Calzone’s motion for summary
judgment (#14) is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant Sandra Karsten’s motion for
summary judgment (#10) is GRANTED.
day of March 2018.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?