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Peters v. Risdal

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 26, 2015

Shannon M. Peters, Plaintiff - Appellant,
v.
Michelle Risdal; Lee Blanchard; Jonathan Hatfield; Carlos Lucero, Individually and as Deputy Sheriffs/Jailers of Woodbury County, Iowa, Defendants - Appellees

Submitted: October 6, 2014.

Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Sioux City.

For Shannon M. Peters, Plaintiff - Appellant: David A. O'Brien, Willey & O'Brien, Cedar Rapids, IA.

For Michelle Risdal, Lee Blanchard, Jonathan Hatfield, Carlos Lucero, Individually and as Deputy Sheriffs/Jailers of Woodbury County, Iowa, Defendants - Appellee: Allyson C. Dirksen, John C. Gray, Heidman Law Firm, Sioux City, IA.

Before LOKEN, BEAM, and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1096

COLLOTON, Circuit Judge.

Sioux City police officers arrested Shannon Peters for violation of a no-contact order and took her to the county jail. As the situation evolved, officers forcibly removed her clothing and required her to wear a paper jumpsuit because of concern tat she might harm herself. Peters brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that she was unreasonably " strip-searched" in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The district court[1] granted summary judgment in favor of the officers. The case proceeded to trial on other claims, and a jury returned a verdict in favor of the officers. Peters moved for a new trial, arguing that the district court should have instructed the jury on her unreasonable search claim, and the court denied the motion. Peters appeals the rulings on her Fourth Amendment search claim, and we affirm.

I.

As of May 2012, an Iowa court had entered an order requiring no contact between Peters and her boyfriend. While the order was in effect, Sioux City police officers stopped a speeding car that was driven by the boyfriend, and they found that Peters was a passenger. Police arrested her for violating the no-contact order and transported her to the Woodbury County Jail for booking.

Officers Michelle Risdal and Jonathan Hatfield were present at the booking counter when Peters was received. A security video showed the officers attempting to obtain information from Peters. After several minutes, Peters became agitated, began shouting at the officers, and refused to answer the remainder of the booking questions, including questions designed to determine whether she presented a risk of harm to herself. Sergeant Lee Blanchard then directed the officers to terminate the booking process, and Risdal escorted Peters to a holding cell.

Risdal entered the holding cell with Peters, and Hatfield and Blanchard remained in the hallway. Blanchard then asked Risdal whether Peters had answered questions designed to determine whether she presented a risk of suicide. Risdal repeated the questions, and Peters refused to respond, instead yelling " [w]hy the fuck would I want to hurt myself?"

At the time of her arrest, Peters was wearing a bathing suit under a shirt and sweat pants. After Peters's response to the officers' questioning, Risdal determined that Peters presented a risk of ...


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