Jideofor Onuekwusi v. Darnell Graham

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT _________________________________ No. 21-1770 JIDEOFOR MICHAEL ONUEKWUSI v. DARNELL GRAHAM; *CHRISTOPHER BROWN; *MARIA MITTI; *JOSEPH COZENTINO; *DET. MIGUEL ARROYO; *CITY OF NEWARK DARNELL GRAHAM, Appellant *(Dismissed pursuant to the Court Order dated 11/9/21) _________________________________ On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (District Court No. 2:20-cv-02965) District Judge: Honorable John M. Vazquez __________ Submitted under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) on March 28, 2022 __________ Before: RESTREPO, ROTH, and FUENTES, Circuit Judges (Filed: September 28, 2022) _________________________________ OPINION*1 _________________________________ 1 This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and, under I.O.P. 5.7, does not constitute binding precedent. RESTREPO, Circuit Judge. Only the facts relevant to the narrow issue presented here will be set forth because this opinion is not precedential, and the parties are well aware of the somewhat complicated background. Defendant-Appellant Darnell Graham (Graham) seeks this Court’s review of the District Court’s order denying him qualified immunity under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and denying, in part, to dismiss Plaintiff-Appellee Jideofor Michael Onuekwusi’s (Onuekwusi) complaint. In 2018, Graham, a detective with the Newark Police Department, and his co- defendants sought to apprehend an assailant who committed at least three robberies of victims encountered through Offerup and Craigslist. Onuekwusi’s complaint alleges that Graham used a 15-year-old picture of Onuekwusi in a photo lineup, falsely told witnesses that Onuekwusi was connected to the number used to contact them, and did not disclose to witnesses or the court that Onuekwusi spoke with a distinct Nigerian accent. The grand jury indicted Onuekwusi on three counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and three counts of second- degree possession of a weapon with an unlawful purpose. Onuekwusi was subsequently arrested, placed on an immigration hold, and spent 11 months in jail. In 2020, Onuekwusi filed a complaint alleging violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments stemming from defendants’ fabrication of evidence and false statements to a grand jury. Graham and his co-defendants moved to dismiss Onuekwusi’s complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). In relevant part, the District Court determined that Graham was not subject to qualified immunity. We affirm. 2 I. At issue is whether we possess jurisdiction to review the District Court’s order denying Graham qualified immunity where issues of fact exist. Although Graham’s appeal is an interlocutory one, this Court has jurisdiction. It is well-established that, even though 28 U.S.C. § 1291 only provides jurisdiction over final orders, this Court has jurisdiction under the collateral order doctrine over a petitioner’s § 1983 claim of qualified immunity, but only to the extent that it “turns on an issue of law.” Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 530, 105 S. Ct. 2806, 2817 (1985); see also Dougherty v. Sch. Dist. of Philadelphia et al., 772 F.3d 979, 986 (3d Cir. 2014) (same). Under the collateral order doctrine, an interlocutory order is immediately appealable as a “final decision” within the …

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