Miguel Reynaga Hernandez v. Derrek Skinner

FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT MIGUEL ANGEL REYNAGA No. 19-35513 HERNANDEZ, Plaintiff-Appellee, D.C. No. 1:18-cv-00040- v. SPW DERREK SKINNER, in his individual capacity, Defendant-Appellant, and PEDRO HERNANDEZ, in his individual capacity, Defendant. 2 REYNAGA HERNANDEZ V. SKINNER MIGUEL ANGEL REYNAGA No. 19-35514 HERNANDEZ, Plaintiff-Appellee, D.C. No. 1:18-cv-00040- v. SPW PEDRO HERNANDEZ, in his individual capacity, OPINION Defendant-Appellant, and DERREK SKINNER, in his individual capacity, Defendant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Montana Susan P. Watters, District Judge, Presiding Argued and Submitted March 2, 2020 Portland, Oregon Filed August 10, 2020 Before: Roger L. Wollman, * Ferdinand F. Fernandez, and Richard A. Paez, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Paez * The Honorable Roger L. Wollman, United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, sitting by designation. REYNAGA HERNANDEZ V. SKINNER 3 SUMMARY ** Civil Rights The panel affirmed the district court’s order, on summary judgment, denying qualified immunity to defendants in an action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated when he was stopped and arrested without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Plaintiff was arrested after a witness in a courtroom testified that plaintiff, who had accompanied his wife to the hearing to serve as a witness, was not a legal citizen. On the basis of this statement, defendant Pedro Hernandez, the Justice of the Peace presiding over the hearing, requested that plaintiff be “picked up” by the local Sheriff’s Office. Defendant, Deputy Sheriff Derrek Skinner, subsequently detained plaintiff to question him regarding his immigration status, placed plaintiff in handcuffs, searched his person, and escorted him to a patrol car outside the courthouse. The panel first noted that, unlike illegal entry into the United States—which is a crime under 8 U.S.C. § 1325— illegal presence is not a crime. See Martinez-Medina, 673 F.3d 1029, 1036 (9th Cir. 2011). Therefore, “because mere unauthorized presence is not a criminal matter, suspicion of unauthorized presence alone does not give rise to an inference that criminal activity is afoot.” Melendres v. Arpaio, 695 F.3d 990, 1001 (9th Cir. 2012). Because Melendres and Martinez-Medina controlled and defendant ** This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader. 4 REYNAGA HERNANDEZ V. SKINNER Skinner failed to demonstrate that he had a particularized and objective basis for believing criminal activity was afoot, the panel affirmed the district court’s holding that Skinner violated the Fourth Amendment when he seized plaintiff by Terry-stopping and then arresting him without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, respectively. The panel further held that under either the proximate or the but-for standard of causation, defendant Hernandez was an integral participant in the violation of plaintiff’s constitutional rights. The panel held that plaintiff’s right to be free from unlawful stops in this circumstance had been established since at least 2012, by which time both Melendres and ...

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