United States District Court, D. Nevada
R. HICKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is defendants Mitch Brantingham, Alvin McNeil, and
Lyon County's (collectively “Defendants”)
motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 22. Plaintiffs Lorre and
Greg Kantz (the “Kantzs”) filed an opposition
(ECF No. 26) to which Defendants replied (ECF No. 29).
a Section 1983 action arising from the allegedly unlawful
arrest of plaintiff Lorre Kantz (“Mrs. Kantz”) by
defendant Deputy Mitch Brantingham (“Deputy
Brantingham”) of the Lyon County Sheriff's
Department. Mrs. Kantz, along with her husband Greg Kantz
(“Mr. Kantz”), have brought suit against Deputy
Brantingham; Sheriff Alvin McNeil (“Sheriff
McNeil”), Sheriff of the Lyon County Sheriff's
Department; and Lyon County.
allegedly unlawful arrest at issue occurred on May 26, 2015,
in the town of Stagecoach in Lyon County, Nevada, after
Deputy Brantingham and non-party Deputy Erick Kusmerz
(“Deputy Kusmerz”) responded to a 9-1-1 call made
by non-parties the DeFord family, who alleged that Mr. Kantz
and another unidentified person were standing on the edge of
the DeFord's property pointing rifles at them. ECF No.
26. When Deputy Kusmerz and Deputy Brantingham arrived at the
DeFord's property they noticed a vehicle driving away.
Id. The deputies followed the vehicle and initiated
a traffic stop, at which point the Kantzs pulled over,
stepped out of their car, and greeted the deputies. Because
the 9-1-1 call involved a reported firearm, Deputy Kusmerz
initiated a pat-down of Mrs. Kantz while Deputy Brantingham
did the same to Mr. Kantz. Neither of the Kantzs had any
weapons on their person. Id. Deputy Kusmerz then
looked through the windows of the Kantzs' car and saw no
visible weapons. Id.
Kusmerz took control of the scene as the investigating
deputy and left for the DeFords' property to
collect photos and witness statements. Deputy Brantingham
stayed with the Kantzs and acted as a cover
officer. Id. After Deputy Kusmerz left,
the Kantzs asked Deputy Brantingham why they had been stopped
and he explained the nature of the DeFords' 9-1-1 call.
The Kantzs then described their long history with the DeFords
to Deputy Brantingham, explaining that the DeFords frequently
called the Sheriff's department to place meritless
complaints against the Kantzs due to a long-standing feud
between the two families. Id. Non-party Deputy Julie
Redmond (“Deputy Redmond”) then arrived on scene
to assist Deputy Brantingham. Once Deputy Redmond arrived,
Mrs. Kantz began to video record the interaction on her cell
listing off many of the various complaints that the DeFords
had made over the years, Mrs. Kantz mentioned to Deputy
Brantingham that she planned to make a civil standby
for the following day while she posted “No
Trespassing” signs on her commercial property located
across the road from the DeFords. ECF No. 8. Deputy
Brantingham told Mrs. Kantz that no deputy would respond to
such a call because she did not need a deputy present to set
up the signs. Mrs. Kantz then asked how her previous civil
standby call and this new proposed call differed. ECF
discussing this unrelated issue, Deputy Brantingham ordered
Mrs. Kantz to stop interrupting him or he would arrest her
for obstruction. The Kantzs asked Deputy Brantingham what
Mrs. Kantz could be obstructing and Deputy Brantingham
responded that the interruptions were preventing him from
asking any questions. ECF No. 22; Ex. 2. Mrs. Kantz began to
state that Deputy Brantingham could ask her any questions he
wanted, but then shifted mid-sentence and requested an
attorney. Id. Deputy Brantingham responded
“okay, ” and ordered Mrs. Kantz to go sit on the
back of her car. Id. Mrs. Kantz reiterated that she
wanted an attorney, and Deputy Brantingham replied that she
did not “have a right to one right now” and to
“go sit down.” Id. Mrs. Kantz asked why
she had to go sit down, and Deputy Brantingham replied,
“because I told you so.” Id. Although
initially turning towards their vehicle, Mrs. Kantz turned
back to the face Deputy Brantingham, stating “I have to
make sure I can still record.” Id. Mrs. Kantz
then walked towards her car, but stops to partially turn back
to face Deputy Brantingham and say, “I take great
offense to this; we're not second class citizens.”
Id. Mrs. Kantz then continued walking towards the
back of her car.
she makes it to the car, Deputy Brantingham orders her to
place her hands behind her back. Deputy Brantingham then
conducted another search of Mrs. Kantz's person, despite
witnessing Deputy Kusmerz perform the same search earlier.
Id. Once again, no weapons were found on Mrs.
Kantz's person. Mrs. Kantz then asked Deputy Bratingham
why she was being arrested and he responded that she was not
being arrested, but merely detained, at which point he
handcuffed Mrs. Kantz and placed her in the back seat of his
patrol car with the windows rolled up and all of the doors
closed. ECF No. 26. After several minutes in the back of the
car, Mrs. Kantz complained of trouble breathing. Deputy
Brantingham called for medics who arrived at the scene and
counseled that Mrs. Kantz had experienced an anxiety induced
panic attack. Id. Mrs. Kantz eventually recovered
and Deputy Brantingham began transporting her to Lyon County
jail. ECF No. 22. During the transportation, Mrs. Kantz again
complained of trouble breathing and requested medical
attention. ECF No. 26. Deputy Brantingham again called the
medics and released Mrs. Kantz from custody, allowing the
medics to transport her to a hospital where she was treated
and eventually released. ECF No. 26. Subsequently, the Kantzs
initiated the present action against Defendants. ECF No. 1.
Thereafter, Defendants filed the present motion for summary
judgment. ECF No. 22.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that a court
shall grant summary judgment if the factual record, including
depositions, interrogatories, admissions, and affidavits,
“show that there are no genuine issues as to any
material facts and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” A “genuine”
issue of material fact exists if there is sufficient evidence
for a reasonable jury to find for the non-movant.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). If the non-movant can show some clear dispute of
fact, then summary judgment is inappropriate. The court is
required to view the facts and draw all inferences in the
light most favorable to the non-movant. United States v.
Diebold Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655 (1962). However, the
non-movant must show more than merely a slight metaphysical
doubt of the facts. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986).
satisfy their burden on summary judgment, the Defendants, as
movants, must show: (1) affirmative, non-contradicted
evidence that negates an essential element of the
Plaintiff's claims, or (2) demonstration that the
Plaintiff's evidence is insufficient to support an
essential element of their claim. Celotex Crop. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986); Adickes v. S.H.
Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157 (1970). Once the
movant has made a showing of either of the above, the burden
shifts to the non-movant to show “specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323.
their complaint, the Kantzs allege five separate claims for
relief. Their principal claim is a Fourth Amendment violation
based upon Deputy Brantingham's unlawful arrest of Mrs.
Kantz. See ECF No. 1. The Kantzs also allege several
Nevada state-law claims against Defendants arising from the
alleged unlawful arrest, including claims for false
imprisonment, intentional infliction of ...