Eisenbach v. Zatzkin et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment , Plaintiff's claims against Defendant are Dismissed with Prejudice.(Signed by Judge Keith P Ellison) Parties notified.(arrivera, 4)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
MARK ZATZKIN, et al,
October 17, 2016
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL ACTION NO. 4:15-CV-1685
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Pending before the Court is Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 24).
After considering the parties’ filings and the applicable law, the Court finds that the motion
should be and hereby is granted.
Defendant has raised a defense of qualified immunity. In assessing a qualified immunity
defense, the Court asks two questions: 1) whether Plaintiff has alleged a violation of a
constitutional right, and 2) whether Defendant’s conduct was objectively reasonable in light of
clearly established law at the time the challenged conduct occurred. Anderson v. Creighton, 483
U.S. 635, 639 (1987); Tarver v. City of Edna, 410 F.3d 745, 750 (5th Cir. 2005). “If, upon
viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the [plaintiff], reasonable public officials
could differ on the lawfulness of the defendant’s actions, the defendant is entitled to qualified
immunity.” Haggerty v. Tex. S. Univ., 391 F.3d 653, 655 (5th Cir. 2004).
In this case, the undisputed evidence shows that Plaintiff returned to the scene of
Defendant’s investigation shortly after being told to leave the area. Defendant subsequently
arrested Plaintiff for a violation of Section 38.15 of the Texas Penal Code, interference with
public duties. Although Plaintiff argues that his behavior did not rise to the level of probable
cause for arrest under Section 38.15, he has failed to show that no reasonable officer would have
arrested him under the circumstances. Moreover, courts have previously found arrests to be
lawful under similar circumstances. See Haggerty, 391 F.3d at 657; Spencer v. Rau, 542 F. Supp.
2d 583, 591 n.5 (W.D. Tex. 2007). Given this case law, reasonable public officials could differ
on the lawfulness of arresting Plaintiff under the circumstances. Therefore, Defendant is entitled
to qualified immunity.
It is therefore ORDERED that Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 24)
is GRANTED. Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
SIGNED at Houston, Texas on this the 17th day of October, 2016.
HON. KEITH P. ELLISON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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