United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
AMANDA LAWSON; K.B.H., by and through her next of friend, Amanda Lawson; A.L.T., by and through her next of friend, Amanda Lawson; and J.B.T., by and Through his next of friend, Amanda Lawson PLAINTIFFS
JACOB HEDGESPETH DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. STIVERS, CHIEF JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment (DN 37).For the reasons provided below,
Defendant's motion is GRANTED.
April 15, 2016, Officers Jacob Hedgespeth (“Officer
Hedgespeth”) and Jonathan Leigh (“Officer
Leigh”) with the Campbellsville City Police Department
(“CCPD”) responded to a domestic dispute at the
home of Doug Thompson (“Thompson”). (Hedgespeth
Dep. 14:7-17:9, Feb. 13, 2018, DN 37-3). During their
response to the domestic dispute, Thompson told the officers
that he could arrange a meeting in a local fast-food
restaurant's parking lot so that officers could apprehend
William Tompkins (“Tompkins”)-the respective
husband, father, and stepfather of Plaintiffs Amanda Lawson
(“Lawson”), K.B.H., A.L.T., and J.B.T.
(collectively “Plaintiffs”). (Hedgespeth Dep.
19:24-21:16). Officer Hedgespeth knew at the time that
Tompkins had active warrants out for his arrest. (Hedgespeth
officers then arranged for Thompson to meet with Tompkins at
the restaurant later that evening under the surveillance of
at least three members of CCPD with the goal of apprehending
Tompkins. (Hedgespeth Dep. 29:21-32:6). After the officers
waited for some time with Thompson stationed in the
restaurant's parking lot without any sign of Tompkins,
Officer Leigh called the plan off, and the officers left the
scene. (Hedgespeth Dep. 37:4-38:5). After failing to
apprehend him at the restaurant, the officers agreed to look
for Tompkins at his home on Gardner Street. (Hedgespeth Dep.
officers then began to execute their new plan. Officer Leigh
directed officers to assemble in a high school parking lot
near Tompkins' residence and remain there until Tompkins
arrived. (Hedgespeth Dep. 42:3-43:12). Officer Hedgespeth
testified that because Tompkins was a known flight risk, law
enforcement planned to approach on foot from various
directions upon his arrival, announce their presence, and
surround Tompkins so that he could not escape the scene.
(Hedgespeth Dep. 81:10-24).
had been with Tompkins earlier that evening moving their
belongings to another residence in Campbellsville. (Lawson
Dep. 60:16-62:25, Nov. 27, 2017, DN 37-2). After Tompkins
arrived at the Gardner Street residence with Plaintiffs in
his vehicle, Tompkins parked on the street, exited his car
and stood beside it holding a box he had retrieved from
inside the vehicle. (Hedgespeth Dep. 51:5-56:25; Lawson Dep.
60:25-63:23). Upon seeing Tompkins, the officers approached
while announcing their presence with “Campbellsville
Police, ” “[d]on't move, ” and
“[g]et on the ground.” (Hedgespeth Dep. 59:6-7;
Lawson Dep. 63:25-64:1). Rather than complying with these
commands, Tompkins jumped into the car and shut the door.
(Lawson Dep. 64:1-6). Lawson repeatedly yelled at him to
stop, screaming, “[d]on't run with my kids in the
car.” (Lawson Dep. 64:12). Tompkins ignored
Lawson's pleas and drove the vehicle to the right,
directly at Officer Hedgespeth, who was positioned a few feet
from the vehicle's right front headlight. (Hedgespeth
Dep. 58:2-9, 89:24-90:8; Lawson Dep. 64:13-65:2). Officer
Hedgespeth testified that he tried to evade the vehicle by
backing up to his left, but the vehicle was moving faster
than he could retreat. (Hedgespeth Dep. 66:10-16, 79:15-22).
As the vehicle came at him, Officer Hedgespeth responded by
firing four shots aimed at the driver from in front of the
vehicle. (Hedgespeth Dep. 66:23-67:3; Lawson Dep.
64:24-65:3). After the shots, Tompkins' vehicle changed
course away from Officer Hedgespeth and sped off. (Hedgespeth
Dep. 77:4-10; Lawson Dep. 65:4-7). None of the Plaintiffs
were hit by any of the bullets. (Lawson Dep. 111:21-25).
escaping the scene of his run-in with police, Tompkins exited
the car and absconded on foot. (Lawson Dep. 65:4-66:6).
Plaintiffs went to a family member's house, then brought
the vehicle to CCPD for inspection, and took the minor
Plaintiffs to the hospital. (Lawson Dep. 66:22-69:15).
Tompkins was later arrested and eventually pleaded guilty to
wanton endangerment and evading police. (Tompkins Dep.
23:12-25:2, 25:13-25, Feb. 7, 2018, DN 37-4).
brought the present action against Officer Hedgespeth in his
individual capacity under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and
1988 for violations of their federal constitutional rights,
and various state-law claims. (Compl. ¶¶ 1, 7, DN
1). Plaintiffs allege Officer Hedgespeth illegally seized
them without legal process and used unjustifiable force,
intimidation, and excessive force when firing his gun at the
vehicle. (Compl. ¶ 12). Plaintiffs claim that they were
subjected to unwarranted restraint and severe mental and
physical pain because of Officer Hedgespeth's conduct,
and that his actions amounted to cruel and unusual
punishment. (Compl. ¶¶ 15, 18). Plaintiffs also
claim they “sustained physical and mental injuries and
are entitled to their claims for medical expenses, past and
future, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and
suffering, anguish and humiliation and punitive damages,
” in addition to damages for Officer Hedgespeth's
intentional infliction of emotional distress. (Compl.
¶¶ 23, 25).
Hedgespeth now moves for summary judgment on the basis of
qualified immunity, which he argues forecloses
Plaintiffs' federal and state claims. (Def.'s Mem.
Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 12, 31 DN 37-1 [hereinafter Def.'s
Mem.]). In the alternative, Officer Hedgespeth argues
Plaintiffs' claims should be dismissed because they have
either failed to demonstrate the deprivation of any
constitutional right or any state claims under applicable
Kentucky law. (Def.'s Mem. 23, 32-33). Plaintiffs contend
in response that Officer Hedgespeth is not entitled to
qualified immunity because he violated Plaintiffs'
clearly established rights when he shot into the vehicle.
(Pls.' Resp. Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. 8, DN 47
[hereinafter Pls.' Resp.]). Plaintiffs further contend
that they sufficiently alleged facts supporting their state
law claims. (Pls.' Resp. 18-20).
raise claims invoking 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988,
as well as the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to
the United States Constitution. (Compl. ¶ 1). This Court
has “original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising
under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United
States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must
determine whether there is any genuine issue of material fact
that would preclude entry of judgment for the moving party as
a matter of law. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party
bears the initial burden of stating the basis for the motion
and identifying evidence in the record that demonstrates an
absence of a genuine dispute of material fact. See
Celotex Corp. v. Catretti,477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). If
the moving party satisfies its burden, the non-moving party
must then ...