United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
Catherine B. Newkirk, Plaintiff,
James B. Enzor, individually and as an officer of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, Defendants.
ORDER AND OPINION
Richard Mark Gergel United States District Court Judge
matter is before the Court on the on the Report and
Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge (Dkt. No. 80),
recommending summary judgment for Defendants James Enzor and
the South Carolina Department of Public Safety
("SCDPS"). For the reasons set forth below, the
Court declines, grants in part and denies in part Mr.
Enzor's motion for summary judgment, and denies
SCDPS's motion for summary judgment.
lawsuit arises from a traffic stop on Interstate 95
("1-95") and an arrest following the stop. (Dkt.
No. 1.) On October 14, 2012, Mr. Enzor, then a Lance Corporal
with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, stopped a car driven
by Plaintiff Catherine Newkirk for speeding in Florence
County, South Carolina. Her husband, Plaintiff Jerome
Newkirk, was a passenger. Mr. Enzor told Mrs. Newkirk that
she had been traveling at 77 miles per hour in a construction
work zone where the posted speed limit was 55 miles per
hour. After reviewing Mrs. Newkirk's
registration and proof of insurance, Mr. Enzor decided to
issue a citation for 64 mph in a 55 mph zone. Mrs. Newkirk,
however, insisted that she had not been speeding, stating,
"I think there is a bit of discrimination going on
here." Mr. Enzor then ordered her to exit the car and
she did so, going to the rear of the car with Mr. Enzor.
Enzor and Mrs. Newkirk then engaged in a somewhat inaudible
discussion, during which Mr. Enzor pointed at Mrs. Newkirk
and said, "Let me tell you something right now, "
and Mrs. Newkirk responded, "No." Mr. Enzor then
arrested Mrs. Newkirk. He took her wrist and attempted to
pull her arms toward him, then stepped behind her and pressed
her against the car, twisting her hands and wrists to pull
her hands behind her back. He instructed Mrs. Newkirk to
"quit resisting arrest, " and she responded,
"I'm not resisting arrest." He then called for
to handcuff Mrs. Newkirk (a woman of fifty years of age), Mr.
Enzor repeatedly yelled at Mrs. Newkirk, "Get in the
car, " referring to his patrol car. Mrs. Newkirk
protested, "You're hurting me, " and called out
to her husband. Mr. Newkirk exited the car and walked to Mr.
Enzor, allegedly telling him that his actions were
unnecessary (his statements are inaudible). Still struggling
to handcuff Mrs. Newkirk, Mr. Enzor pointed at Mr. Newkirk,
and instructed him to "get in the car, sir, get in the
car." Mr. Newkirk walked back to the car, and once
inside, left the door slightly ajar, keeping his head turned
toward Mr. Enzor and Mrs. Newkirk. While Mr. Enzor continued
to struggle with Mrs. Newkirk, Mr. Newkirk shouted
"ain't no reason for that" and other inaudible
statements to Mr. Enzor. Mr. Enzor then told Mr. Newkirk that
he too was under arrest. Once Mrs. Newkirk was in the custody
of an officer who responded to Mr. Enzor's request for
backup, Mr. Enzor arrested Mr. Newkirk. B. Procedural History
The Newkirks each filed suit against Mr. Enzor and SCDPS. Mr.
Newkirk alleged (1) false arrest in violation of his
constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against
Mr. Enzor; (2) negligence, gross negligence, or recklessness
against SCDPS; (3) outrage against SCDPS; (4) malicious
prosecution against SCDPS; (5) false imprisonment against
SCDPS; and (6) negligent supervision against SCDPS. Mrs.
Newkirk alleged (1) false arrest and excessive force in
violation of her constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, against Mr. Enzor; (2) assault against SCDPS; (3)
battery against SCDPS; (4) negligence, gross negligence, or
recklessness against SCDPS; (5) outrage against SCDPS; (6)
malicious prosecution against SCDPS; (7) false imprisonment
against SCDPS; and (8) negligent supervision against SCDPS.
(Dkt. No. 1-1; (Dkt. No. 1-1 in 2:13-1635-RMG).) Defendants
removed both cases to this Court and moved for summary
judgment. (Dkt. Nos. 64 & 65.)
Magistrate Judge recommended summary judgment for Defendants
on Mrs. Newkirk's claims on April 8, 2015. (Dkt. No. 80.)
Mrs. Newkirk abandoned her outrage claim in her response to
the summary judgment motion, agreeing that the South Carolina
Tort Claims Act ("SCTCA") does not waive immunity
for that claim. (Dkt. No. 74 at 25.) The Report and
Recommendation addressed Mrs. Newkirk's constitutional
allegations against Mr. Enzor and her remaining tort claims
against SCDPS. Plaintiff objected to the Report and
Recommendation on May 7, 2015, abandoning her negligent
supervision claim (Dkt. No. 86 at 3), and Defendant SCDPS
replied to Plaintiffs objections on May 26, 2015 (Dkt. No.
19, 2015, the Court adopted in part and declined to adopt in
part the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge.
(Dkt. No. 89.) The Court granted summary judgment on Mrs.
Newkirk's § 1983 claim for unlawful arrest against
Mr. Enzor and her claims for malicious prosecution and false
imprisonment against SCDPS, but not her § 1983 claim for
excessive force or her claims for assault, battery, and
negligence/gross negligence/recklessness against SCDPS.
(Id. at 19.) After the Court ruled on
Defendants' motions for summary judgment, SCDPS moved for
reconsideration, arguing the Court misapprehended its
immunity argument as an Eleventh Amendment argument rather
than a statutory argument based on the SCTCA. (Dkt. No. 96.)
The Court granted SCDPS's motion in part to remove the
erroneous references to the Eleventh Amendment, but ruled the
error did not affect its disposition of SCDPS's immunity
claims. (Dkt. No. 100.) Meanwhile, Mr. Enzor then filed an
interlocutory appeal of the Court's denial of his claim
of qualified immunity. (Dkt. No. 93.) The United States Court
of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit dismissed the appeal in an
opinion issued on April 13, 2016. (Dkt. No. 102.) On January
27, 2017, Plaintiff moved for reconsideration, arguing the
Court erroneously found Mrs. Newkirk had conceded that she
had been speeding on October 14, 2012. (Dkt. No. 109 in Civ.
No. 2:13-1634-RMG.) The Court granted Plaintiffs motion and
issued an amended order removing the erroneous factual
statement. (Dkt Nos. 109 & 110.) Finally, on March 3,
2017, Plaintiff moved for clarification of the Court's
amended order, seeking clarification that Mr. Enzor is not
entitled to summary judgment as to Mrs. Newkirk's §
1983 false arrest claim if she proves that Mr. Enzor had no
probable cause to arrest her. (Dkt. No. 155 in Civ. No.
2:13-1634-RMG.) On March 8, 2017, the Court vacated the
amended order ruling on Defendants' motions for summary
judgment as to Mrs. Newkirk's claims. (Dkt. No. 162
in2;13-1634-RMG.) With this Order, the Court rules on
Defendant's motions for summary judgment and on the
Report and Recommendation concerning those motions. This
Order does not affect Mr. Newkirk's claims in
consolidated Civil Case Number 2:15-1634-RMG.
Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976). The
Court is charged with making a de novo determination
of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which
specific objection is made. The Court may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
proper objection is made to a particular issue, "a
district court is required to consider all arguments directed
to that issue, regardless of whether they were raised before
the magistrate." United States v. George, 971
F.2d 1113, 1118 (4th Cir. 1992). However, "[t]he
district court's decision whether to consider additional
evidence is committed to its discretion, and any refusal will
be reviewed for abuse." Doe v. Chao, 306 F.3d
170, 183 & n.9 (4th Cir. 2002). "[A]ttempts to
introduce new evidence after the magistrate judge has acted
are disfavored, " though the district court may allow it
"when a party offers sufficient reasons for so
doing." Caldwell v. Jackson, 831 F.Supp.2d 911,
914 (M.D. N.C. 2010) (listing cases).
judgment is appropriate if a party "shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact" and that the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In other words, summary judgment should
be granted "only when it is clear that there is no
dispute concerning either the facts of the controversy or the
inferences to be drawn from those facts." Pulliam
Inv. Co. v. Cameo Props., 810 F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir.
1987). "In determining whether a genuine issue has been
raised, the court must construe all inferences and
ambiguities in favor of the nonmoving party."
HealthSouth Rehab. Hosp. v. Am. Nat'l Red Cross,
101 F.3d 1005, 1008 (4th Cir, 1996). The party seeking
summary judgment shoulders the initial burden of
demonstrating to the court that there is no genuine issue of
material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 323 (1986).