United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
TABATHA LYNN SHADBURNE, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
BULLITT COUNTY, KENTUCKY, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. Hale, Judge United States District Court
putative class action, Plaintiff Tabatha Lynn Shadburne seeks
to represent a class of individuals whom Bullitt County
Jailer Martha Knox allegedly strip-searched upon admission to
the Bullitt County Jail without reasonable suspicion that
they were carrying weapons or contraband, in violation of the
United States Constitution. (Docket No. 1, PageID # 1)
Defendants move for summary judgment, correctly arguing that
recent Supreme Court precedent forecloses that federal claim.
(See D.N. 7) In her response to Defendants'
motion, as well as various supplemental filings with the
Court, Shadburne maintains that Defendants have misconstrued
her complaint and that her claim is not barred. (See,
e.g., D.N. 10) Defendants have not misconstrued
Shadburne's claim, however. Rather, Shadburne
recharacterizes her claim in an attempt to amend her
complaint through a response to a motion for summary
judgment. Because the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not
allow this practice, Shadburne's federal claim-as it is
pleaded in her complaint-fails as a matter of law. The Court
will therefore grant Defendants' motion for summary
judgment and dismiss Shadburne's federal claim. Having
disposed of the only basis for subject-matter jurisdiction,
the Court will decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over Shadburne's state-law claims and dismiss those
claims without prejudice.
following facts are undisputed. (See D.N. 10; D.N.
12) Shadburne was arrested on December 8, 2016, on a bench
warrant issued by the Bullitt County Family Court. (D.N. 1,
PageID # 5) Prior to her arrest, the Family Court set her
bond at $350. (Id.) Shadburne alleges that upon
arriving at the Bullitt County Jail, she told the processing
officers that she had enough money on her person to post
bond. (Id.) Nevertheless, the officers took her to a
private room to conduct a strip search as part of the
Jail's intake policy. (Id.) After the search,
Shadburne was placed in a holding cell with another female
detainee. (Id.) Once the officers had finished
processing the other detainees in the intake queue, they
processed Shadburne's bond payment and released her.
action, Shadburne seeks to represent all persons
“arrested for minor offenses, or no offenses at all,
who were required by the Defendants . . . to remove their
clothing for a visual inspection on admission to the Jail
despite the absence of any reasonable suspicion that they
were carrying or concealing weapons or contraband.”
(D.N. 1, PageID # 1) Shadburne pursues damages under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 for Defendants' alleged
unconstitutional actions. (Id., PageID # 8) She also
asserts two claims under Kentucky common law and seeks
declaratory judgment and permanent injunctive relief.
(Id., PageID # 8-9)
move for summary judgment, arguing that Shadburne's
federal claim is foreclosed by Supreme Court precedent. (D.N.
7-1) Defendants also move to stay discovery (D.N. 35) and to
supplement their motion for summary judgment (D.N. 21).
Meanwhile, Shadburne moves to stay resolution of
Defendants' motion for summary judgment pending
discovery. (D.N. 11) She also moves to supplement her
response to Defendants' motion for summary judgment (D.N.
18; D.N. 20; D.N. 39), to lift or stay the protective order
established in this case (D.N. 36; D.N. 46), and to compel
discovery (D.N. 38).
judgment is proper “if the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). To survive a motion for summary judgment, the
nonmoving party must establish a genuine issue of material
fact with respect to each element of each of its claims.
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323 (1986). Entry of
summary judgment is appropriate “against a party who
fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence
of an element essential to that party's case, and on
which that party will bear the burden of proof at
trial.” Id. at 322. For purposes of summary
judgment, the Court must view the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Loyd v. Saint Joseph
Mercy Oakland, 766 F.3d 580, 588 (6th Cir. 2014) (citing
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255
Section 1983 Claim
argue that Shadburne's § 1983 claim is foreclosed by
a recent Supreme Court decision. (See D.N. 7-1) In
Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of
Burlington, the Supreme Court held that officials may
conduct suspicionless strip searches on detainees committed
to the facility's general population without violating
the Constitution. 566 U.S. 318, 330-39 (2012). In light of
Florence, Shadburne's federal claim fails as a
matter of law. First, given her complaint's repeated
references to “suspicion” and “reasonable
grounds, ” the class allegation that Shadburne asserts
in her complaint is the exact claim rejected in
Florence. (See D.N. 1, PageID # 1
(“Shadburne files this action . . . on behalf of all
persons . . . who were required by the Defendants . . . to
remove their clothing . . . despite the absence of any
reasonable suspicion that they were carrying or
concealing weapons or contraband.” (emphasis added));
id., PageID # 2 (“The class consists of all
individuals arrested for minor offenses who were required to
remove their clothing for a visual inspection on admission to
the jail, despite the absence of any reasonable
suspicion that they were carrying or concealing weapons
or contraband.” (emphasis added)); id., PageID
# 3 (“Plaintiff alleges . . . that Defendants regularly
require all persons arrested for non-violent minor offenses .
. . to remove their clothing . . . even though there exist
no reasonable grounds for believing that weapons or
contraband have been concealed upon their persons.”
(emphasis added))) Second, Shadburne's individual
allegation also fails, as it too is the exact claim rejected
in Florence. (See D.N. 1, PageID # 5
(“At the time of her arrest and booking . . .
[Shadburne] was a . . . woman . . . who had never been
charged with a crime in her life . . . and for whom there
could be no suspicion, reasonable or otherwise, she
carried contraband in her body.” (emphasis added));
id., PageID # 6 (“Neither her behavior, nor
her background, gave Defendants any reasonable
grounds for believing that she might be carrying or
concealing weapons or other contraband.” (emphasis
that Florence forecloses her federal claim as it is
pleaded in her complaint, Shadburne recharacterizes her claim
in her response to Defendants' motion for summary
judgment. (See D.N. 10, PageID # 36 (“The
Plaintiff's claim is broader than [what was rejected in
Florence]: She claims she was strip searched . . .
by a jail which lacked authority to detain her at all,
because the conditions of her bail, payment of $350.00,
w[ere] met the second she walked through the door.”))
She also alleges that she falls outside
Florence's scope, as she was not bound for the
jail's “general population.” (Id.,
PageID # 44) But Shadburne may not amend her complaint
through arguments in her response to a motion for summary
judgment. Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. WM Music Corp.,
508 F.3d 394, 400 (6th Cir. 2007); see also Tucker v.
Union of Needletrades, Indus. & Textile Emps., 407
F.3d 784, 788 (6th Cir. 2005). In her complaint, Shadburne seeks
to represent all persons whom Defendants allegedly
strip-searched without reasonable suspicion. (See
D.N. 1, PageID # 1) Now, in her response to Defendants'
motion for summary judgment, Shadburne presumably seeks to
represent all persons who had the ability to post bond upon
arrival at the jail but were detained and strip-searched
anyway-or individuals who were strip-searched despite not
being committed to the jail's general
population. These are fundamentally different classes,
however, that would rely on different legal grounds for
relief. Shadburne may not change the class definition in a
response to a motion for summary judgment. See Bridgeport
Music, Inc., 508 F.3d at 400; Tucker, 407 F.3d
analysis is the same for Shadburne's individual
allegation. While her complaint alleges one claim (i.e.,
Defendants violated her constitutional rights by
strip-searching her without reasonable suspicion), her
response brief changes her claim substantially (i.e., because
she had enough money to post bond, she was not bound for the
jail's general population and thus
Florence's holding is inapplicable). Indeed, at
moments in her response brief, Shadburne insinuates that her
claim is actually one of illegal detention. (See
D.N. 10, PageID # 40) But illegal detention is a different
constitutional claim than the illegal-search claim asserted
in her complaint. Cf. Dean v. Earle, 866 F.Supp.
336, 339 (W.D. Ky. Oct. 28, 1994) (“[A] plaintiff
alleging false imprisonment under § 1983 must establish
that his imprisonment was without legal authority.”);
Kick v. Christian Cty., Ky., No. 5:16-CV-00074-TBR,
2017 WL 2312698, at *3 (W.D. Ky. May 26, 2017)
(“Determining the reasonableness of a strip search
under the Fourth Amendment requires a balancing of the need
for the particular search against the invasion of personal
rights that the search entails.” (internal quotations
omitted)). In fact, the complaint makes only a passing
reference in its facts section to Shadburne's ability to
make bond and never mentions anything concerning an illegal
detention. (See D.N. 1, PageID # 5) Shadburne may
not amend her complaint at this stage of the proceedings.
See Bridgeport Music, Inc., 508 F.3d at 400;
Tucker, 407 F.3d at 788.
there is simply no ambiguity regarding the nature of
Shadburne's claims. In the complaint, in support of her
allegations, Shadburne cites three cases, all of which
pre-date Florence and two of which were expressly or
implicitly abrogated by Florence's holding.
See Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 (1979),
examined by Florence, 566 U.S. 318; Masters v.
Crouch, 872 F.2d 1248 (6th Cir. 1989), abrogation
recognized by T.S. v. Doe, 742 F.3d 632 (6th Cir. 2014);
Kimberly Miracle v. Bullitt County, Kentucky, No.
05-130-C, 2009 WL 2240390, at *1 (W.D. Ky. July 24, 2009),
relevant part implicitly ...