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Martin v. County of Santa Fe

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

September 22, 2015

JAMES MARTIN, Plaintiff - Appellant,
THE COUNTY OF SANTA FE; OFFICER II, ROBERT JAMES GARCIA; LT. JOSEPH E. MCLAUGHLIN, JR.; SERGEANT MIKE MARTINEZ; DEPUTY GABE ORTIZ, in their individual and offical capacities as employees of the County of Santa Fe, Defendants-Appellees.

(D.C. No. 1:13-CV-00575-KBM-RHS) (D. N.M.)

Before PHILLIPS, BALDOCK, and EBEL, Circuit Judges.


David M. Ebel Circuit Judge

Plaintiff-Appellant James Martin appeals from the district court's final judgment dismissing, inter alia, his First Amendment and Fourth Amendment claims against four County of Santa Fe law enforcement officers: Robert Garcia, Joseph McLaughlin, Mike Martinez, and Gabe Ortiz (collectively, "Defendants"). Martin's suit arises out of an incident wherein Defendants-who were dispatched to an apartment complex at 9:15 p.m. in response to a 911 call indicating that a man had been shot in the leg and that the shooter was still present on scene-handcuffed and restrained Martin on the ground for nine minutes before facilitating his nonconsensual transport to the hospital. On appeal, Martin contends that reversal is warranted because the district court (1) abused its discretion by limiting discovery after Defendants asserted qualified immunity as a defense, and (2) erred by granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants. Exercising our jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we AFFIRM the district court's order granting Defendants' motion to stay discovery, its order denying Martin's Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(d) request for additional discovery, and its order granting Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

I. Facts

Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Martin, Estate of B.I.C. v. Gillen, 710 F.3d 1168, 1171 (10th Cir. 2013), the record established the following:

On June 13, 2012, at approximately 9:15 p.m., Joseph Montoya called 911. Montoya, a resident at the apartment complex where Martin was staying with his girlfriend, told dispatch that a man had been shot in the leg with a .44 magnum and was "bleeding like crazy" from a "big hole." Doc. 71 (Memorandum Opinion and Order granting summary judgment) at 5 (citing audio tape, Plaintiff's Ex. A). The injured man was later identified as Martin.

During the course of Montoya's conversation with dispatch, Montoya described Martin as "intoxicated big time" and "paranoid." Id. When the dispatcher asked Montoya where the shooter was, Montoya responded "he's right in front of my house." Id. Although Montoya did not know it at the time of his call, Martin had actually been shot several hours earlier at a grocery store and had returned to his girlfriend's apartment because he did not want to go to the hospital.

As a result of Montoya's call, Defendants-who believed that the shooting had just occurred and that an unidentified shooter was on scene-were dispatched to the apartment complex. Defendant McLaughlin arrived on scene first, followed in quick succession by Defendants Martinez and Ortiz. Defendant Garcia arrived sometime shortly thereafter. It was dark outside and there were no street lights in the area; Defendants' vehicle headlights provided the only light.

Upon Defendants' arrival, Martin, the shooting victim, and Montoya, the 911 caller, approached Defendants. Defendant McLaughlin got out of his vehicle first with his gun drawn. Montoya was gesturing toward Martin, but McLaughlin did not understand the meaning of the gesture. As Martin got closer to McLaughlin, Martin-who was holding a can of beer-spread his arms wide open and stated something to the effect of "You going to shoot me again?" several times. Id. at 6. McLaughlin did not see any visible signs of injury on Martin, and Martin-who was acting belligerent and appeared intoxicated-did not tell Defendants that he had been shot in the leg earlier that day or that the shooting had occurred at a different location. By this time, Defendants Martinez and Ortiz also had their guns drawn.

McLaughlin ordered both Martin and Montoya to sit on the ground. Montoya complied. Although Martin also complied with this initial order, he did not comply with McLaughlin's subsequent order that he lay down on his belly. As a result, Defendants McLaughlin, Martinez, and Ortiz together forced Martin-who was resisting Defendants-onto his belly and handcuffed him.

McLaughlin then put his knee on Martin's back and restrained Martin in this face-down position for nine minutes as Martinez and Ortiz, as well as other later-arriving officers, secured the area. During this nine-minute period, Martin continued to struggle and kick intermittently. As a result, Martin's right ankle was eventually restrained against the back of his right leg as McLaughlin attempted to prevent Martin from kicking.

As soon as the area was secure, Martin was moved to an ambulance. Martin stated that he did not want medical treatment for his gunshot wound and protested when the medics attempted to put him on the gurney. However, with McLaughlin's help, the medics were able to get Martin onto the gurney. Because Martin continued resisting medical care by spitting and kicking, his hands remained restrained behind his back until after medical treatment commenced. At some point, the handcuffs were removed and the medics placed soft restraints on Martin's ankles and wrists as McLaughlin held Martin's head down. McLaughlin exited the ambulance after the restraints were in place, and Martin was thereafter transported to the hospital.

After the ambulance left for the hospital, Martin's girlfriend arrived at the apartment complex. She informed the officers that Martin had been shot earlier in the evening outside of a grocery store. This was the first time that Defendants had any ...

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