United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
GREGORY A. PRESNELL STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court without a hearing on motions
for summary judgment filed by Defendant Justin Ranum
(“Ranum”) (Doc. 54) and Defendant City of Daytona
Beach (Doc. 52) (the “City”), the response in
opposition (Doc. 62) filed by the Plaintiff, William Winters
(“Winters”), and the replies (Doc. 66, 67) filed
by the Defendants.
suit grows out of the August 14, 2012 arrest of Winters by
Officer Ranum of the Daytona Beach Police Department. Winters
had spent the evening out with three friends, ending up in
the early morning hours at a restaurant called Nimo's
Pizza. Responding to reports of a fight at the restaurant,
Ranum drove his squad car through an alley alongside the
restaurant to a parking lot behind it, where he encountered
Winters and his friends. As Ranum approached, the four men
scattered, with Winters trying to squeeze past Ranum and his
stopped vehicle in the alley. When Ranum tried to stop
Winters, there was a physical altercation, with both men
ending up on the ground. Ranum arrested Winters, who was
charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and
resisting arrest with violence. In May, 2013, the State of
Florida filed a nolle prosequi as to both counts.
Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 34), which is the operative
pleading, Winters asserts the following claims: a false
arrest claim under state law against the City (Count I); a
false arrest claim under state law against Ranum (Count II);
state law assault and battery claims against the City (Count
III); state law assault and battery claims against Ranum
(Count IV); a state law negligent training claim against the
City (Count V); and a Section 1983 Fourth Amendment claim
against the City (Count VI). By way of the instant motions,
the Defendants seek summary judgment as to all claims.
is entitled to summary judgment when the party can show that
there is no genuine issue as to any material fact.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Which facts are material depends on the
substantive law applicable to the case. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505,
2510, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). The moving party bears the
burden of showing that no genuine issue of material fact
exists. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323,
106 S.Ct. 2548, 2553, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). In determining
whether the moving party has satisfied its burden, the court
considers all inferences drawn from the underlying facts in a
light most favorable to the party opposing the motion, and
resolves all reasonable doubts against the moving party.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255, 106 S.Ct. at 2513.
party moving for summary judgment points out an absence of
evidence on a dispositive issue for which the non-moving
party bears the burden of proof at trial, the nonmoving party
must “go beyond the pleadings and by [his] own
affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, designate specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324, 106 S.Ct. at 2553.
Thereafter, summary judgment is mandated against the
nonmoving party who fails to make a showing sufficient to
establish a genuine issue of fact for trial. Id. The
party opposing a motion for summary judgment must rely on
more than conclusory statements or allegations unsupported by
facts. Evers v. Gen. Motors Corp., 770 F.2d 984, 986
(11th Cir. 1985) (“conclusory allegations without
specific supporting facts have no probative value”).
Court must consider all inferences drawn from the underlying
facts in a light most favorable to the party opposing the
motion, and resolve all reasonable doubts against the moving
party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255, 106 S.Ct. at 2513.
The Court is not, however, required to accept all of the
non-movant's factual characterizations and legal
arguments. Beal v. Paramount Pictures Corp., 20 F.3d
454, 458-59 (11th Cir 1994).
contends that Ranum arrested him without probable cause and
used excessive force in doing so. Unfortunately for his case,
he has no independent recollection of the relevant events,
which occurred at the end of an evening celebrating at local
bars and restaurants with three of his friends. One of those
friends, Kirk Crandall, testified that the group visited
three bars and three restaurants that evening and had a
“decent amount” to drink. (Doc. 53-3 at 13-14).
Winters testified that he had been drinking that evening, but
that he had no memory from the time the group left their
first stop of the night - an oyster bar, where Winters had
food and a mixed drink - until he woke up in the Volusia
County Jail the next day. (Doc. 53-1 at 97-98).
part, Ranum testified that he was dispatched to Nimo's
Pizza in response to a call about a fight; when he arrived, a
taxi driver outside of Nimo's told him the participants
had moved into the parking lot behind the restaurant. (Doc.
53-2 at 25-26). He drove his marked police vehicle through
the narrow alley alongside Nimo's and encountered four
young men, two of whom appeared to have been fighting. (Doc.
53-2 at 29-30). The men scattered, with two running across
the parking lot away from Ranum, one running into the back
door of the restaurant, and the fourth - Winters - running
toward Ranum's vehicle. (Doc. 53-2 at 30-31). Ranum
shouted for Winters to stop, but Winters tried to squeeze
between the partially opened driver's-side door of
Ranum's vehicle and a sofa sitting in the alley. (Doc.
53-2 at 33-34). Ranum again shouted for Winters to stop and,
when Winters did not do so, he grabbed Winters around the
upper torso and took him down. (Doc. 53-2 at 36-37). The pair
struggled atop the sofa, eventually causing it to tip over.
(Doc. 53-2 at 41-43). Ranum testified that Winters grabbed
his testicles as they struggled and, subsequently, appeared
to be attempting to grab his service belt and weapon, leading
Ranum to deliver several knee strikes and a punch to subdue
Winters. (Doc. 53-2 at 43, 45-46). Another officer arrived,
who helped Ranum to place handcuffs on Winters. (Doc. 53-2 at
does not seriously dispute any of Ranum's testimony. As
noted, he has no memory of the events at Nimo's, and he
has not produced any evidence from anyone else - such as, for
instance, his three friends - that contradicts Ranum's
version of events.
Counts I and ...