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Ayers v. Anderson

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

January 14, 2020



          Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge

         This matter is before the Court on second motion for summary judgment by Defendants. DN 58. Plaintiff filed a response. DN 59. This matter is now ripe for adjudication. For the reasons below, Defendants' motion for summary judgment will be granted.

         I. Legal Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the moving party can show “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247- 48 (1986). A genuine issue for trial exists when “there is sufficient evidence favoring the non-moving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party.” Id. In undertaking this analysis, the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 378 (2007).

         The party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of proof for establishing the nonexistence of any issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). They can meet this burden by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record” or “showing that the materials cited do not establish the…presence of a genuine dispute.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(C)(1). This burden can also be met by demonstrating that the nonmoving party “fail[ed] 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.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. The nonmoving party also “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986).

         II. Factual Background

         Defendants are employees of the Kentucky Department of Corrections, Division of Probation and Parole (“Probation”). DN 7 at 1. William Ayers (“Ayers”) was convicted of a felony in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for failing to file state income tax returns. DN 35 at 1. Ayers was sentenced to five years of supervised probation with a variety of conditions, including the payment of court costs, a fine, and the completion of 100 community service hours. DN 35 at 1. Ayers did not comply with the conditions of his probation, and on February 24, 2015, Judge Susan Schultz Gibson of the Jefferson County Circuit Court, Kentucky, set additional deadlines for compliance. DN 30-2 at 1-3. In her order, Judge Gibson also authorized Probation to “impose graduated sanctions pursuant to KRS 439.553 for violation of the conditions of probation.” DN 22-1 at 11.

         According to the record before the Court, Ayers continued to violate the conditions of his probation. In a “Violation of Supervision Report, ” dated July 10, 2015, Ayers' probation officer, Tim Anderson (“Anderson”), documented Ayers' failure to pay fines and court costs. DN 22-1 at 6. According to the report, Anderson stated to Ayers that Probation would apply graduated sanctions if Ayers continued to violate the terms of his probation. DN 22-1 at 6. In a “Violation Report with Graduated Sanctions, ” dated August 13, 2015, Anderson documented Ayers' continued failure to comply with sanctions. DN 30-3 at 1. On that report, Ayers did not initial either of the following statements in the section titled “Initials:”

______I am admitting that I am guilty of each and every violation contained in this form and agree to the recommended graduated sanction(s). For Discretionary Detention, I agree to serve days in custody _____from to ____.
______I am declining imposition of the graduated sanction(s) and request a hearing before the releasing authority.

DN 30-3 at 1. However, Ayers did sign the report less than an inch below the following statement:

I understand that I have the right to a hearing before the releasing authority and the right to be represented by a lawyer at my hearing, including the right to a Public Defender (at no cost) if I cannot afford to hire a lawyer. I understand the violations set forth above and I hereby state that I do not want and hereby waive my right to have a hearing. I further state that I do not want and hereby waive my right to be represented by a lawyer in this matter. I hereby freely and voluntarily admit violating the conditions of my probation/parole as set forth above. Instead of having a hearing, I hereby agree to accept the above sanctions, as recommended by my Probation and Parole Officer. I also agree to resume compliance with all the terms and conditions of my probation/parole and I further understand that should I violate any of the terms and conditions of my probation/parole or should I fail to abide by the above recommended sanctions that I will be subject to arrest and to revocation of my probation/parole. Other than the sanctions as listed above I have not been promised anything to agree to this waiver and I hereby sign this waiver freely and voluntarily and state that I am not under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or other drugs.


         Ayers admits that when he reported to Probation on September 15, 2015, he “actually was in violation of probation…for not completing Community Service on time despite a good faith effort.” DN 59 at 2. Anderson “offered the graduated sanction of 30 days of electronic monitoring due to non completion of community service hours as court ordered” but “Mr. Ayers refused the graduated sanction that was offered.” DN 22-1 at 7. Ayers alleges that, at this point in the meeting, Anderson and another probation officer “grab[ed] Plaintiff without his permission, and twisted his arms behind his back and placed hand-cuffs on his wrists, and pushed him down onto a chair causing pain and humiliation.” DN 1-1 at 1. Ayers was arrested and detained on a probation violation detainer. DN 22-1 at 7. Ayers remained in custody until September 23, 2015, when he appeared before Judge Gibson and was released. DN 30-4 at 1. On October 21, 2015, Ayers appeared before Judge Gibson for a revocation hearing. DN 30-5 at 1. Judge Gibson found that the nine days Ayers spent in custody on detainer satisfied the graduated sanctions and ordered him to complete the remaining 42 hours of community service of his sentence within 90 days. DN 30-5 at 1.

         III. Procedural History

         Ayers, appearing pro se, filed a complaint in this Court on Sep 8, 2016 against Defendants Tim Anderson, Bob Rodriguez, and unnamed Defendants John Doe and Jane Doe. DN 1 at 1. In his complaint, Ayers made the following claims based on his detention beginning September 15, 2015: Fourth Amendment unreasonable search and seizure, Fourteenth Amendment due process, Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment, false imprisonment, [1] extreme emotional distress, defamation per se, assault and battery. On March 22, 2018, this Court dismissed Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth ...

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