Robinson v. Hawkins, No. 18-1823 (8th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against two officers, Hawkins and Swinton, for civil conspiracy and one of the officers, Hawkins, for excessive force and performing an unreasonable search. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment on the civil conspiracy and excessive force claims, holding that plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts to support her claims. In this case, plaintiff failed to allege the existence of an agreement between the officers for the conspiracy claim. Furthermore, it was not clearly established at the time that the amount of force used by Hawkins was excessive considering the injuries sustained by plaintiff were minor.
However, the court affirmed the district court's denial of summary judgment to Hawkins on the unreasonable search claim, because issues of material fact remain as to whether Hawkins' search was reasonable. The court stated that a reasonable jury could conclude that the search was unreasonable in both scope and manner. Finally, the district court did not err in denying Hawkins qualified immunity on plaintiff's unreasonable search claim. The court remanded for further proceedings.