Ducksworth v. Landrum, No. 21-60830 (5th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Four police officers unlawfully arrested Plaintiff. Plaintiff sued under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. The officers appeal the district court’s denial of their summary judgment motion as to (1) excessive force (Officer W.), (2) false arrest (all officers), and (3) fabrication of evidence (Officer L.).
The Fifth Circuit dismissed the appeal and held that it lacked jurisdiction. The court explained that Officer W. argued that Plaintiff took a defensive and threatening posture, resisted being pulled from the vehicle, struggled after being removed, and willfully and aggressively refused to follow commands while resisting the officer’s detainment. Contrary to Officer W.’s argument, those facts are of a genuine dispute. Officer W. failed to take the facts in a light most favorable to Plaintiff, instead relying on facts different from those assumed by the district court. Accordingly, the court wrote that it lacked jurisdiction to consider Officer W.’s appeal of the genuineness of the district court’s factual determinations.
Further, the court addressed the basis of our jurisdiction over Officer L.’s appeal, which does not invoke qualified immunity. Federal courts of appeal have jurisdiction over “appeals from all final decisions of the district courts.” Denial of summary judgment is not a final decision. Thus, the court explained that it lacked jurisdiction over Officer L.’s appeal of this claim.