United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
Court has before it a motion for dismiss  filed by
Defendants DeSoto County, Mississippi and Sheriff Bill Rasco.
Having considered the matter, the Court finds the motion
should be granted in part and denied in part.
Jessica Hughes claims that on February 9th, 2018, Defendants
arrested her in violation of her constitutional rights.
According to the complaint, Hughes was seated in the
passenger seat of her car, parked at a restaurant, while she
waited on her husband inside. Am. Compl.  ¶¶ 12.
Defendant Croy, a Southaven police officer, approached
Hughes in the car and informed her that the car had been
parked in a handicap space. Id. ¶¶ 13-14.
questioned Hughes, and according to Hughes, he became very
hostile in his questioning. Id. ¶¶ 16-17.
Hughes called the 911 emergency line in order to reach
Cray's supervisor, but the dispatcher hung up on her. She
called back, and the dispatcher gave her a local number to
contact. Id. ¶I8.
dialed the local number three times, unable to reach anyone
each time. As she made the third call, Croy arrested her for
dialing the emergency line multiple times for a non-
emergency. Id. ¶ 21. At this, time Hughes is
currently facing pending criminal charges stemming from the
arrest in the Southaven Municipal Court. Id. ¶
filed the present suit alleging several § 1983 claims
and seeking injunctive relief, prohibiting Defendants from
"committing conduct of the like, kind, character, and
nature as demonstrated and described in this complaint."
Id. ¶ 28.
County and Sheriff Rascoe argue that because Hughes still
faces pending criminal charges arising out of this incident,
the Younger doctrine requires this court to abstain
from considering Hughes' claims and to dismiss them.
Younger doctrine requires federal courts to abstain
from "hearing claims for injunctive and declaratory
relief '[when] assumption of jurisdiction . . . would
interfere with pending state proceedings, whether of a
criminal, civil, or even administrative character."'
Floyd v. Amite Cnty. Sch. Dist, 376 F.Supp.2d 693,
695 (quoting La. Debating and Literary Ass'n v. City
of New Orleans, 42 F.3d 1483, 1489 (5th Cir. 1995))
(alteration in original). The doctrine is applied to claims
of equitable relief when three conditions are met: "(1)
the federal proceeding would interfere with an 'ongoing
state judicial proceeding'; (2) the state has an
important interest in regulating the subject matter of the
claim; and (3) the plaintiff has 'an adequate opportunity
in the state proceedings to raise constitutional
challenges.'" Bice v. Louisiana Pub. Def.
Bd, 677 F.3d 712, 716 (5th Cir. 2012) (quoting
Middlesex Cnty. Ethics Comm. v. Garden State Bar
Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423, 432, 102 S.Ct. 2515, 73 L.Ed.2d
Interference with a state judicial proceeding
parties agree that the pending charges in the Southaven
Municipal Court are state judicial proceedings. However, that
does not end the Court's inquiry into the first
condition; it is still necessary to determine whether this
proceeding will interfere with the state proceeding.
argues it will not because she seeks to enjoin the Defendants
here from committing the alleged constitutional violations
they committed here in the future, rather than seeking to
enjoin or enforce any conduct in her state case.
interference is not required to satisfy the first condition
of the Younger doctrine, however. Rather,
"[interference is established 'whenever the
requested relief would interfere with the state court's
ability to conduct proceedings, regardless of whether the
relief targets the conduct of a proceeding
directly.'" Bice, 677 F.3d at 717 (quoting
Joseph A. ex rel Wolfe v. Ingram, 275 F.3d 1253,
1272 (10th Cir. 2002)).
grant Hughes injunctive relief, this Court would first have
to determine whether the conduct of Defendants violated her
constitutional rights. In doing so, the Court would have to
determine whether Defendants arrested Hughes without probable
cause to believe she committed a crime. And in doing that,
this Court would make determinations that would affect the
state court proceeding, such as whether the charges brought