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Longino v. Hinds County

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

September 11, 2014

HERMAN LONGINO, Plaintiff,
v.
HINDS COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, by and through its Board of Supervisors, HINDS COUNTY SHERIFF, TYRONE LEWIS, in his official capacity; JOHN and JANE DOES 1-24, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

CARLTON W. REEVES, District Judge.

Before the Court are Defendants Hinds County, Mississippi, by and through its Board of Supervisors, and Sheriff Tyrone Lewis, in his official capacity, motion to dismiss [Docket No. 41] and motion for summary judgment [Docket No. 61]. Plaintiff failed to respond to the motion to dismiss, but he did oppose the motion for summary judgment, see, Docket No. 64, to which the defendants filed a reply. Docket No. 67. Having considered the motions and responses, where filed, and being fully advised in the premises, the Court finds that the motions should be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Herman Longino invokes the Court's jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343, alleging that Defendants violated federal and state laws upon his arrest and subsequent incarceration at the Hinds County Detention Center in Raymond, Mississippi. See Plaintiff's Complaint, Docket No. 1, at 3-4 (hereinafter, "Complaint"). The undisputed facts are as follows:

On July 22, 2004, Longino pleaded guilty to 27 counts of false pretenses before the County Court of Hinds County, Mississippi, First Judicial District. See Docket No. 61-3, Exhibit C (hereinafter, "Sentencing Orders"). He was sentenced to three months in the custody of the Hinds County Sheriff's Department, three months suspended, and three months supervised probation; the sentences were imposed to run consecutively on each count. Id. The court ordered Longino to pay restitution as part of his sentence for issuing bad checks. Id. Longino made initial payments pursuant to the sentencing orders but eventually stopped in violation of his probation. Plaintiff's Deposition, Docket No. 61-7, at 53-55 (hereinafter, "Pl.'s Dep.").

A warrant for Longino's arrest was issued for not paying restitution for bad checks. Pearline Campbell, the Bad Check Coordinator for the Hinds County District Attorney's Office, testified that "[i]n or around April 2010, [she] received notification that a motion to revoke Herman Longino's probation had been filed with the County Court of Hinds County... that the Court had issued a warrant for the arrest of Longino and that bond had been set for $35, 000."[1] Docket No. 61-9. The warrant issued by the Court was based on an ore tenus motion presented to the court by the District Attorney's office on April 23, 2010. See Order Extending Probation, Docket 61-5. After receiving notice that a warrant was issued for Longino's arrest, Campbell avers that she personally spoke with Longino and informed him of the revocation motion, the warrant which had been issued and the bond amount.[2] Moreover, Campbell contends that she advised Longino that he needed to make restitution in order to avoid arrest. Docket No. 61-9. But this did not prompt Longino to make any payments.

In September 2011, after having been stopped at a roadblock, Longino was arrested. Docket No. 61-7, at 57-58. He contends he was taken to jail (to the Hinds County Detention Center) where he remained for five to six months before he first saw Pearlene Campbell. Id. at 57. When he finally met with Campbell, she told him to "[g]ive her that money or go to jail... go to prison." Id. at 58.[3] Subsequently, Longino was returned to the Hinds County Detention Center. Id. Although Campbell contends that she "continued to speak with Longino, " that is contradicted by Longino's testimony. But what has not been contradicted is Campbell's contention that she also spoke with Longino's wife and his pastor about "Longino either making payments towards restitution or posting bond." Id. Longino, she contends, "chose not to do either." Id. It was not until March 2012 that Campbell had Longino's case brought before the Hinds County Court, which entered an order extending his probation. The Order was signed on March 13 and entered on March 15. Docket No. 61-5. Campbell avers that she had Longino's case (but apparently not Longino) brought before the court on March 15. Docket No. 61-9. What is generally undisputed is that before March, neither Campbell nor anyone in the district attorney's office brought Longino before a judge from the date of his arrest, and he remained in jail until March 26, 2012.

Procedural History

On March 20, 2013, Longino filed the instant action against Defendants Hinds County and Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis in his official capacity, alleging that his state and federal law rights were violated because, after his arrest, he was unlawfully incarcerated for more than 187 days until he appeared before a judge. In his complaint, Longino listed the following constitutional violations related to his arrest and subsequent incarceration: equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment; right to notice of accusations under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments; right against unreasonable seizure under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments; right to procedural and substantive due process of the law under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments; right to confront witnesses under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments; right to compulsory process under the Sixth Amendment; right to counsel under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments; right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment; and right to reasonable bail under the Eighth Amendment. In addition, Plaintiff alleged a cause of action against Defendants for conspiracy to interfere with his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1985.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Motion to Dismiss

When considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court accepts the plaintiff's factual allegations as true and makes reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). The complaint must contain "more than an unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation, " but need not have "detailed factual allegations." Id. (citation and quotation marks omitted). The plaintiff's claims must also be plausible on their face, which means there is "factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. (citation omitted). The Court need not accept as true "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements." Id. (citation omitted).

Since Iqbal, the Fifth Circuit has clarified that the Supreme Court's "emphasis on plausibility of a complaint's allegations does not give district courts license to look behind those allegations and independently assess the likelihood that the plaintiff will be able to prove them at trial." Harold ...


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