United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
AMANDA KAY RENFROE, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS THE NEXT FRIEND OF S.W.R. PLAINTIFF
ROBERT DENVER PARKER AND RANDALL TUCKER DEFENDANTS
P. JORDAN III CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Madison County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Denver Parker and
Madison County Sheriff Randall Tucker seek summary judgment
on Plaintiff Amanda Kay Renfroe's claims against them in
their individual capacities. Mot. Summ. J. . Renfroe asks
the Court to strike one of Defendants' exhibits in
support of their summary-judgment motion and to strike
certain relief requested in Defendants' memorandum. Mot.
to Strike ; Mot. to Strike . For the following
reasons, Defendants' motion is granted, and the
individual-capacity claims are dismissed. Plaintiff's
motion to strike the relief requested is granted, but her
motion to strike Defendants' exhibit is considered moot.
Finally, Plaintiff will be given 14 days to show cause why
the official-capacity claims should not be dismissed.
Facts and Procedural History
case arises from the fatal shooting of Renfroe's husband,
Michael Wayne Renfroe, by Defendant Parker on June 8,
2018. That morning, Faye Burns Renfroe,
Michael's mother, learned that Michael “was walking
down the side of Highway 43 . . . completely naked.”
Am. Compl.  ¶ 11. According to the Amended
Complaint, Faye “sought assistance from the Madison
County Sheriff's Office . . . in safely and kindly taking
Mike . . . into protective custody pending an involuntary
commitment proceeding.” Id. ¶ 14.
that evening, the Madison County Sheriff's Department
received a 911 call from Willard McDaniel advising
“that he suspected two people may have attempted to
burglarize his truck.” Id. ¶ 17. He
“described the suspects as occupying a white or grey
Ford pick-up truck with a 4-wheeler all terrain vehicle
loaded in the back of the bed.” Id. The
dispatcher then alerted all available units that a possible
burglary was in progress. Defendant Parker responded to the
call and drove to the scene. He knew nothing about Faye's
earlier call to the Madison County Sheriff's Department
seeking to commit Michael.
happened next was recorded on the dashcam in Parker's
patrol car. Driving down a dark and otherwise deserted
street, Parker came upon a white Chevrolet truck parked just
off the road. When Parker stopped his patrol car a reasonable
distance from the truck, Michael emerged, shirtless, from its
driver's side. He took approximately 18 steps toward
Parker with his arms extended out by his side and
then-without verbal instructions from Parker-dropped to his
hands and knees in the middle of the road. Seconds later,
Michael suddenly rose and bull rushed toward Parker yelling,
according to Parker, “Now, motherfucker, let's do
this.” Parker Decl. [17-1] ¶ 13. Parker stands
5'11” and weighs approximately 150 pounds; Michael
was 6'2” and weighed 205 pounds.
response, Parker first attempted non-lethal force by
deploying his taser as Michael approached. Though the darts
hit his chest, Michael continued charging, and approximately
two seconds later, Parker's vehicle was visibly jostled
when Michael apparently reached Parker. The rest of the
encounter occurred beyond the camera's view, though an
audible struggle can be heard in the background. Parker says
Michael tried to choke him and struck him on the side of the
head while pinning Parker against his vehicle. According to
Parker, he realized that he could not escape the assault, so
he drew his weapon and fired four gunshots in rapid
succession into Michael's center mass.
this transpired quickly. The entire encounter-from the time
Michael opened the door to his truck until the fourth gunshot
was fired-lasted less than a minute. And only eight seconds
elapsed between the time Parker deployed his taser and the
filed this lawsuit against Parker and Sheriff Tucker, in
their official and individual capacities, on August 31, 2018.
In her Amended Complaint  she asserts a § 1983 claim
for excessive force as well as state-law tort claims.
Defendants moved for summary judgment “as to the
individual liability claims asserted against them” on
January 31, 2019, and the parties engaged in a brief period
of immunity-related discovery. Mot. Summ. J.  at 1.
Renfroe responded to Defendants' motion and filed two
motions to strike, one aimed at an exhibit Defendants
submitted and the other at a request for relief contained
within Defendants' memorandum. Mot. to Strike ; Mot.
to Strike . The matters raised in all motions have been
fully briefed, and the Court has jurisdiction and is prepared
judgment is warranted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56(a) when evidence reveals no genuine dispute regarding any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. The rule “mandates the
entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery
and upon motion, 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.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
party moving for summary judgment “bears the initial
responsibility of informing the district court of the basis
for its motion, and identifying those portions of [the
record] which it believes demonstrate the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact.” Id. at 323.
The nonmoving party must then “go beyond the
pleadings” and “designate ‘specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'”
Id. at 324 (citation omitted). In reviewing the
evidence, factual controversies are to be resolved in favor
of the nonmovant, “but only when . . . both parties
have submitted evidence of contradictory facts.”
Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th
Cir. 1994) (en banc). When such contradictory facts exist,
the court may “not make credibility determinations or
weigh the evidence.” Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing
Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000). Conclusory
allegations, speculation, unsubstantiated assertions, and
legalistic arguments have never constituted an adequate
substitute for specific facts showing a genuine issue for
trial. TIG Ins. Co. v. Sedgwick James of Wash., 276
F.3d 754, 759 (5th Cir. 2002); Little, 37 F.3d at
1075; SEC v. Recile, 10 F.3d 1093, 1097 (5th Cir.
their motion, Defendants seek summary judgment on
Renfroe's claims against them in their individual
capacities. But in their memorandum, they urge the Court to
also dismiss the official-capacity claims. Defs.' Mem.
. This request for relief drew one of Renfroe's
motions to strike. The Court will first address the