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Harris v. Rambosk

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

November 6, 2019

KEVIN RAMBOSK, in his official capacity as Sheriff of Collier County, Florida, KASEY P. WINGO, individually, MICHAEL D. CHAPMAN, individually, SCOTT PEPIN, individually, and ROSS ANTHONY, individually, Defendants.



         This matter comes before the Court on defendant Kevin Rambosk's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. #126) filed on June 24, 2019. Plaintiff filed a Response (Doc. #135) on July 8, 2019, defendant Kevin Rambosk filed a Reply (Doc. #139) on July 24, 2019, and plaintiff filed a Sur-Reply (Doc. #140) on July 29, 2019. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted.


         Summary judgment is appropriate only when the Court is satisfied that “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “An issue of fact is ‘genuine' if the record taken as a whole could lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party.” Baby Buddies, Inc. v. Toys “R” Us, Inc., 611 F.3d 1308, 1314 (11th Cir. 2010). A fact is “material” if it may affect the outcome of the suit under governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). “A court must decide ‘whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law.'” Hickson Corp. v. N. Crossarm Co., Inc., 357 F.3d 1256, 1260 (11th Cir. 2004)(citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251).

         In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court views all evidence and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007); Tana v. Dantanna's, 611 F.3d 767, 772 (11th Cir. 2010). However, “if reasonable minds might differ on the inferences arising from undisputed facts, then the court should deny summary judgment.” St. Charles Foods, Inc. v. America's Favorite Chicken Co., 198 F.3d 815, 819 (11th Cir. 1999)(quoting Warrior Tombigbee Transp. Co. v. M/V Nan Fung, 695 F.2d 1294, 1296-97 (11th Cir. 1983)(finding summary judgment “may be inappropriate even where the parties agree on the basic facts, but disagree about the factual inferences that should be drawn from these facts”)). “If a reasonable fact finder evaluating the evidence could draw more than one inference from the facts, and if that inference introduces a genuine issue of material fact, then the court should not grant summary judgment.” Allen v. Bd. of Pub. Educ., 495 F.3d 1306, 1315 (11th Cir. 2007).


         On May 2, 2018, plaintiff Robert Dale Harris (Plaintiff) filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. #51) against defendant Kevin Rambosk (Sheriff Rambosk) in his official capacity as Sheriff of Collier County. The Amended Complaint asserts two claims against Sheriff Rambosk under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Counts I and XV), alleging that he was deprived of his constitutional rights as a result of Sheriff Rambosk's failure to properly train his deputies. The undisputed facts[1] are as follows:

         A. The March 9, 2014 Trespass Warning to the CCSO

         On March 9, 2014, Plaintiff called the Collier County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) to complain about Deputy Michael D. Chapman (Deputy Chapman). (Doc. #113, p. 3; Doc. #135, p. 2.) Plaintiff complained that while he was sitting outside of a McDonald's in Naples, Florida, Deputy Chapman threatened to trespass Plaintiff from “all local businesses.” (Id.) Sergeant Bartolome Amengual (Sergeant Amengual) and Deputy Kasey P. Wingo (Deputy Wingo) arrived at the scene and took Plaintiff's complaint. (Id.)

         B. The April 4, 2014 Arrest

         On April 4, 2014, Plaintiff was repairing his friend Randy Leon Sulwilcowski's motorcycle that was warehoused at a storage facility in Naples, Florida. (Doc. #113, pp. 3-4; Doc. #135, p. 3.) Deputies Chapman and Wingo encountered Plaintiff as he was exiting the storage facility. (Id.) Deputies Wingo and Chapman ultimately arrested Plaintiff and engaged in a physical with Plaintiff while placing him under arrest. (Doc. #113, pp. 5-7; Doc. #135, p. 3.) Deputy Pepin arrived at the scene to assist Deputies Wingo and Chapman with Plaintiff's arrest. (Doc. #113, p. 6; Doc. #135, p. 3.) Deputy Pepin struck Plaintiff's back several times with a baton and deployed his Taser into Plaintiff's back. (Doc. #113, p. 6; Doc. #135, p. 3.)

         Plaintiff was ultimately charged with three (3) counts of battery on a police officer; one (1) count of assault on a police officer; one (1) count of resisting an officer without violence; and one (1) count of loitering and prowling. (Doc. #51, ¶¶ 59-62; Doc. #135, p. 3.) On April 17, 2014, the State Attorney's Office filed a “Not Filing Charge” on all six counts. (Doc. #113, p. 8; Doc. #135, p. 3.)

         C. The May 29, 2014 Trespass Warning

         On May 29, 2014, CCSO Deputy Ross Anthony (Deputy Anthony) issued Plaintiff two trespass warnings: one for a Waffle House restaurant located at 3824 Tollhouse Drive in Naples, Florida, and one for a Shell gas station located at 3825 Tollgate Boulevard in Naples, Florida.[2] (Doc. #126, p. 3; Doc. #135, p. 4.) Plaintiff purchased cigarettes from the Shell gas station, sat outside for approximately five minutes, observed Deputy Anthony approaching, and entered the Waffle House. (Id.) Deputy Anthony testified that he approached Plaintiff because he had issued Plaintiff a trespass warning for the Shell gas station “a couple of weeks prior.” (Doc. #135-16, p. 14.)

         Deputy Anthony then entered the Waffle House, requested that Plaintiff leave the Waffle House to speak with him outside, and placed Plaintiff in handcuffs and took him outside the Waffle House. (Doc. #126, pp. 3-4; Doc. #135, pp. 4-5.) Deputy Anthony issued Plaintiff a trespass warning for the Waffle House restaurant at the request of a Waffle House employee. (Doc. #126, p. 4; Doc. #135, p. 17.) The Shell gas station employees asked Plaintiff to leave the premises, and the trespass warning lists Ben Bagheri, the Shell gas station owner, as the “Name of Complainant.” (Doc. #126-1, p. 1; Doc. #126, p. 4; Doc. #135, p. 17.)

         D. The June 10, 2014 ...

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