United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
MURRELL D. LOVELESS, Plaintiff,
RICHARD A. MCCORKLE Individually And In His Official Capacity As Sheriff of Henry County, REX A. HARROLD Individually And In His Official Capacity As A Deputy Sheriff of Henry County, Defendants.
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
case arises from a failed attempt to serve civil process at
the home of Plaintiff Murrell Loveless. Mr. Loveless alleges
that Sheriff Richard McCorkle and Sheriff's Deputy Rex
Harrold violated federal and state constitutional law, as
well as state statutory and common law when Deputy Harrold
entered Mr. Loveless' home without a warrant to serve
civil process, and then assaulted Mr. Loveless while inside.
Defendants have moved for summary judgment on some of Mr.
Loveless' claims. For the reasons described below, the
Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN
PART Defendants' Motion.
motion for summary judgment asks the Court to find that a
trial is unnecessary because there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, instead, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a). As the current version of Rule 56 makes clear,
whether a party asserts that a fact is undisputed or
genuinely disputed, the party must support the asserted fact
by citing to particular parts of the record, including
depositions, documents, or affidavits. Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(c)(1)(A). A party can also support a fact by showing
that the materials cited do not establish the absence or
presence of a genuine dispute or that the adverse party
cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(B). Affidavits or
declarations must be made on personal knowledge, set out
facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the
affiant is competent to testify on matters stated. Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(c)(4). Failure to properly support a fact
in opposition to a movant's factual assertion can result
in the movant's fact being considered undisputed, and
potentially in the grant of summary judgment. Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(e).
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court need only
consider disputed facts that are material to the decision. A
disputed fact is material if it might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law. Williams v.
Brooks, 809 F.3d 936, 941-42 (7th Cir. 2016). In other
words, while there may be facts that are in dispute, summary
judgment is appropriate if those facts are not
outcome-determinative. Montgomery v. American Airlines
Inc., 626 F.3d 382, 389 (7th Cir. 2010). Fact disputes
that are irrelevant to the legal question will not be
considered. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
summary judgment, a party must show the Court what evidence
it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its
version of the events. Gekas v. Vasilades, 814 F.3d
890, 896 (7th Cir. 2016). The moving party is
entitled to summary judgment if no reasonable fact-finder
could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Nelson
v. Miller, 570 F.3d 868, 875 (7th Cir. 2009). The Court
views the record in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in that
party's favor. Skiba v. Illinois Cent. R.R. Co.,
884 F.3d 708, 717 (7th Cir. 2018). It cannot weigh
evidence or make credibility determinations on summary
judgment because those tasks are left to the fact-finder.
Miller v. Gonzalez, 761 F.3d 822, 827 (7th Cir.
2014). The Court need only consider the cited materials,
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(3), and the Seventh Circuit
Court of Appeals has repeatedly assured the district courts
that they are not required to “scour every inch of the
record” for evidence that is potentially relevant to
the summary judgment motion before them. Grant v.
Trustees of Indiana University, 870 F.3d 562, 573-74
(7th Cir. 2017). Any doubt as to the existence of a genuine
issue for trial is resolved against the moving party.
Ponsetti v. GE Pension Plan, 614 F.3d 684, 691 (7th
following factual background is set forth pursuant to the
standards detailed above. The facts stated are not
necessarily objectively true, but as the summary judgment
standard requires, the undisputed facts and the disputed
evidence are presented in the light most favorable to
“the party against whom the motion under consideration
is made.” Premcor USA, Inc. v. American Home
Assurance Co., 400 F.3d 523, 526-27 (7th Cir. 2005).
Richard McCorkle is the Sheriff of Henry County, Indiana.
[Filing No. 37-2 at 4.] Defendant Rex Harrold is a
sheriff's deputy in Henry County, and at the relevant
time, he was working as a civil process server for the
county. [Filing No. 37-1 at 10.] Plaintiff Murrell
Loveless was approximately 70 years old at the time of the
incident and lived in a house in Henry County, along with
several family members, including his granddaughter, Kayla.
[Filing No. 37-3 at 7.] On August 1, 2015, Deputy
Harrold came to Mr. Loveless' home to service civil
process on Kayla. [Filing No. 37-1 at 16; Filing
No. 37-4 at 10; Filing No. 37-4 at 35.] The
house is located at the end of a 175-foot driveway off of a
county road. [Filing No. 37-3 at 21.] As Deputy
Harrold drove up the driveway to the home, he did not see a
front entry door. [Filing No. 37-1 at 18.] He exited
his vehicle and walked to the east side of the home, where he
located a front door that “was being worked on”
and seemed “unapproachable, ” as it was covered
with or surrounded by boards. [Filing No. 37-1 at
18.] He returned to the south side of the house, where
he saw two garage doors that were closed. [Filing No.
37-1 at 18.] He also identified a “service”
entry door into the home's attached garage, where there
was a doorbell. [Filing No. 37-1 at 18; Filing
No. 37-3 at 20.] Approximately 18 feet into the garage
was a door that led from the garage into the interior of the
home. [Filing No. 37-1 at 20.] From here, the
parties present differing accounts of the events that
Deputy Harrold's version of events, the service door into
the garage was “standing wide open.” [Filing
No. 37-1 at 19.] Deputy Harrold testified that he did
not see a doorbell at that door. [Filing No. 37-1 at
48.] He entered via the open door and walked through the
attached garage to the interior door to the home. [Filing
No. 37-1 at 19.] The interior door was open
approximately one inch, and Deputy Harrold knocked loudly on
the door, announcing himself as “Sheriff's
Department.” [Filing No. 37-1 at 19.] Mr.
Loveless then opened the door, cursing and shouting at Deputy
Harrold to leave. [Filing No. 37-1 at 21.]
to Mr. Loveless' evidence, the service door into the
garage was always kept shut, as was the interior door into
the house. [Filing No. 37-3 at 33; Filing No.
37-4 at 26; Filing No. 37-5 at 31-33.] None of
the adults in the home heard a doorbell ring. [Filing No.
37-4 at 27; Filing No. 37-4 at 41; Filing No. 37-5
at 10; Filing No. 37-5 at 12-15.] Mr. Loveless
heard a knock at the interior door, but did not hear the
words “Sheriff's Department.” [Filing No.
37-3 at 24.] He was upset to hear a knock at the
interior door, because it was his expectation that visitors
would ring the doorbell at the exterior door in order to gain
entry. [Filing No. 37-3 at 22-24.] Mr. Loveless
opened the door and did not recognize the person standing
there as a police officer, because he was wearing a t-shirt
and did not have a visible badge. [Filing No. 37-3 at
24.] Mr. Loveless told the individual to “get the
f--- out” of his house. [Filing No. 37-3 at
scuffle then ensued between Mr. Loveless and Deputy Harrold,
about which the parties' accounts also differ. Both
parties agree that that the service entry door hit Deputy
Harrold's foot as he attempted to walk out of the garage.
[Filing No. 37-3 at 39; Filing No. 37-1 at
23.] Mr. Loveless alleges that, at some point during the
scuffle, Deputy Harrold hit him with his forearms,
[Filing No. 37-3 at 26], and pushed him down onto or
into the trunk of a car, [Filing No. 37-3 at 28],
injuring Mr. Loveless' shoulder that was healing from a
recent surgery, [Filing No. 37-3 at 39]. The parties
agree that at some point, Deputy Harrold placed Mr. Loveless
in handcuffs. [Filing No. 37-1 at 28; Filing No.
37-3 at 26.]
result of this incident, Mr. Loveless filed suit against
Deputy Harrold and Sheriff McCorkle in their official and
individual capacities, raising the following claims:
• Unreasonable search and seizure, in violation of
42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendments of the United States Constitution, and Article I,
Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution;
• Excessive force, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the
United States Constitution, and Article I, Section 11 of the
• Common law battery;
• Common law assault;
• Common law trespass;
• Violation of Ind. Code § 35-33-5-7(e);
• Common law false imprisonment; and
• Intentional infliction of emotional distress,
[Filing No. 1; Filing No. 33.] Mr. Loveless
appears to raise all of these claims against Sheriff McCorkle
and Deputy Harrold in both their official and individual
move for partial summary judgment, seeking resolution of the
• All Indiana constitutional claims, on the basis that
the Indiana Constitution does not provide a private cause of
action for violations;
• Section 1983 and Fourth Amendment search-and-seizure
claim against Deputy Harrold in his individual capacity, on