Tyler Land v. Sheriff of Jackson County Florida, et al., No. 22-12324 (11th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
This appeal presents the issue of whether Deputy John Allen and Sheriff Louis Roberts are entitled to qualified and state-agent immunity from Plaintiff’s complaint that he was arrested pursuant to a warrant based on a false affidavit. After Plaintiff drove a methamphetamine trafficker to an undercover drug sting, Allen obtained a warrant from a magistrate judge and arrested him. Florida charged Plaintiff with aiding and abetting drug trafficking and detained him for over six months before dismissing the charges. Plaintiff sued Allen and Roberts under federal and state law, alleging that Allen illegally arrested, detained, and prosecuted him and that Roberts was deliberately indifferent to and negligently caused Allen’s misconduct. The district court granted summary judgment for the officers.
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed, holding that Allen’s warrant affidavit—excluding any false statements—supplied probable cause for Plaintiff’s arrest. The court explained that Plaintiff’s argument that Allen conspired to violate his constitutional rights fails. The court wrote that Plaintiff cannot identify an underlying constitutional violation. “A plaintiff may state a Section 1983 claim for conspiracy to violate constitutional rights by showing a conspiracy existed that resulted in the actual denial of some underlying constitutional right.” Accordingly, in the absence of a constitutional violation, Plaintiff cannot prove a derivative-conspiracy claim.