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Running Shield v. Huether

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

July 31, 2018

ROBERT WAYNE RUNNING SHIELD SR., Plaintiff,
v.
MAYOR MICHAEL HUETHER, MAYOR AT MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SX.FIS.S.D. IN OFFICIAL CAPACITY; AND SIOUX FALLS POLICE DEPARTMENT, POLICE OFFICERS AT MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SX.FIS.S.D. IN OFFICIAL CAPACITY; Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Lawrence L. Piersol United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, Robert Wayne Running Shield Sr., filed this pro se lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment (Docket 30) contending that summary judgment should be granted in its entirety. Running Shield thereafter filed motions to appoint counsel (Docket 34, 35, 36) but did not respond to the defendants' motion for summary judgment. Having considered the written record in this case and for the reasons set forth below, the defendants' motion for summary judgment will be granted and Running Shield's complaint dismissed without prejudice.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The local rules for this district require that the moving party on a motion for summary judgment submit a statement of the material facts as to which it contends there is no genuine issue to be tried. D.S.D. CIV. LR 56.1(A). The opposing party is required to respond to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement of material facts, and to identify any material facts as to which it contends there exists a genuine material issue to be tried. D.S.D. CIV. LR 56.1(B). All material facts set forth in the moving party's statement of material facts are deemed admitted if not controverted by the statement required to be served by the party opposing summary judgment. D.S.D. CIV. LR 56.1(D); see also On Target Sporting Goods, Inc. v. Attorney General of the United States, 472 F.3d 572, 574 (8th Cir. 2007); see also Northwest Bank & Trust Co. v. First Illinois Nat'l Bank, 354 F.3d 721, 724-25 (8th Cir. 2003) (holding it was not an abuse of discretion to deem that plaintiff had admitted all of defendants' statements of material facts as a sanction for noncompliance with local summary judgment rules). Such rules are properly intended "to prevent a district court from engaging in the proverbial search for a needle in the haystack." Libel v. Adventure Lands of America, Inc., 482 F.3d 1028, 1032 (8th Cir. 2007) (discussing a similar Iowa Local Rule); see also Huckins v. Hollingsworth, 138 Fed.Appx. 860, 862 (8th Cir. 2005) (affirming district court's application of D.S.D. CIV. LR 56.1 "even though those rules prevented it from considering some facts improperly alleged by [Plaintiffs] that might have been relevant to the summary judgment motion").

         "Although pro se pleadings are to be construed liberally, pro se litigants are not excused from failing to comply with substantive and procedural law." Burgs v. Sissel, 745 F.2d 526, 528 (8th Cir. 1984) (citing Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 834-35 n. 46 (1975)). Additionally, a district court has no obligation to "plumb the record in order to find a genuine issue of material fact." Barge v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 87 F.3d 256, 260 (8th Cir. 1996). Nor is the court "required to speculate on which portion of the record the nonmoving party relies, nor is it obligated to wade through and search the entire record for some specific facts that might support the nonmoving party's claim." Id. Summary judgment could be granted without further analysis, because a party opposing summary judgment "may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but... must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." FED.R.CIV.P. 56(e).

         The defendants filed a Statement of Undisputed Facts (Docket 31) along with supporting affidavits and exhibits. The defendants' undisputed facts are recited below:

         1. Robert Wayne Running Shield Sr. ("Plaintiff), pro se, filed a civil rights action alleging that the Sioux Falls Police Department and Mayor Mike Huether (collectively "the Defendants") violated his constitutional rights when they arrested him 197 times in the previous two years (2015-2016). Docket 1 at 2; Docket 14; Docket 33-1 at 10.

         2. Between February 10, 2010 and June 1, 2016, Plaintiff was arrested 113 times and received 42 tickets and/or citations. Docket 33-2 at 1-12.

         3. A majority of Plaintiff s arrests were for criminal trespass and unlawful occupancy. Id.

         4. Plaintiff would occasionally stay/sleep in abandoned apartments and/or apartment laundry rooms. Docket 33-1 at 16-17, 41.

         5. Plaintiff was arrested in mixed groups of people, including, other Native Americans, African Americans, Whites, and Hispanics. Id. at 41.

         6. Plaintiff alleges that the arrests were racially motivated and the result of policies implemented by Mayor Huether, specifically Mayor Huether's "four points ... in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader," which included "DUI checkpoints, saturation patrols ... and ... street sweeps to clear the streets of street people." Id. at 10-11, 33, 41-42.

         7. The Argus Leader article did not mention race. Id. at 43.

         8. Plaintiff was not arrested for a DUI or as the result of a ...


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