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Riggs v. Gibbs

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 8, 2019

Micah B. Riggs Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Robert Gibbs, in his official capacity as a Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Officer, and, as an individual; David Barbour, in his official capacity as a Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Officer, and, as an individual;Michael Feagans, in his official capacity as a Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Officer, and, as an individual; Alan Whaley, in his official capacity as a Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Officer, and, as an individual; Brad Dumit, in his official capacity as a Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Officer, and, as an individual; Chris Onik, in his official capacity as a Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Officer, and, as an individual; Teddy Taylor, in his official capacity as a Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Officer, and, as an individual; Christopher Toigo, in his official capacity as a Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Officer, and, as an individual Defendants - Appellants

          Submitted: November 13, 2018

          Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - Kansas City

          Before GRUENDER, KELLY, and GRASZ, Circuit Judges.

          KELLY, CIRCUIT JUDGE

         Micah Riggs's businesses were searched three times by the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD). He sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations as well as various common law causes of action. Among others, Detective Robert Gibbs, Detective Chris Onik, Sergeant Brad Dumit, Detective Teddy Taylor, Detective Christopher Toigo, Officer Michael Feagans, and Officer David Barbour of the KCPD sought summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity, which the district court[1] granted in part and denied in part. The officers now appeal the district court's order denying qualified immunity. We dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

         I

         A.

         We draw the following background facts from the district court's summary judgment opinion, which we must accept as true for purposes of deciding this appeal. See Burnikel v. Fong, 886 F.3d 706, 709 (8th Cir. 2018) ("[W]e accept as true the facts that the district court found were adequately supported, as well as the facts that the district court likely assumed, to the extent they are not 'blatantly contradicted by the record.'" (quoting Thompson v. Murray, 800 F.3d 979, 983 (8th Cir. 2015))). Riggs owned two businesses, Coffee Wonk and Wonk Exchange, on the first floor of 3535 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri. Coffee Wonk was located at 3535D Broadway and Wonk Exchange at 3535A Broadway. Riggs also rented another unit, Suite 201, on the second floor.

         On September 27, 2010, Officers Barbour and Feagans received a burglary call from the owner of Suite 200 at 3535 Broadway. When they arrived, they investigated the burglary, but were unable to find the burglar. They met Christopher Long, the building manager, who accompanied Officer Barbour as he began to search the second floor. Long opened the door to Suite 201, although there were no signs of prior entry. After Long opened the door, Officer Barbour saw lab equipment in Suite 201. Officer Barbour did not see anything that led him to believe that the lab was illegal or an active meth lab, but he did recognize chemicals marked with a skull and cross bones, which he believed were dangerous. He and Officer Feagans then asked Metro Meth Drug Task Force to process the lab, which it did without Riggs's consent. Items were seized from Suite 201.

         That same day, Detective Toigo received a call that a robbery had occurred at Coffee Wonk. When he arrived, he interviewed the Coffee Wonk store clerk and began processing the scene. He looked behind the counter for fingerprints. He also went to the parking garage adjacent to the building, where he found some Syn brand incense. He called Detective Taylor, who then arrived at the scene with Detective Acton. At some point, Detective Toigo showed Detective Taylor packages of Syn incense located behind the counter at Coffee Wonk. They did not immediately know whether the Syn incense was illegal. Riggs also arrived at Coffee Wonk. Detectives Toigo, Taylor and Acton seized Syn incense from behind the Coffee Wonk counter.

         B

         In 2012, Gary Majors, manager of the city authority in charge of regulating liquor licenses, received a tip that a business at 35th and Broadway with "coffee" in its name was selling K2, a synthetic cannabinoid. Majors searched the electronic database and determined that an establishment named "Coffee Wonk" at 3535 Broadway had a liquor license. At Majors's instruction, an employee e-mailed Sergeant Dumit and explained that Majors had received a complaint regarding K2 sales at Coffee Wonk, an establishment that sells alcohol. Some time later, Majors realized that Coffee Wonk did not have a liquor license, but he made no effort to inform KCPD of his mistake.

         On October 3, 2012, Detective Whaley entered Coffee Wonk to attempt a controlled buy. He asked for either Mr. Happy or Mr. Green. The clerk explained that Coffee Wonk did not have either of these brands of incense and sold him Remix, which was stored under the counter and out of sight. Detective Whaley believed the item he purchased was contraband because of its packaging and the way it was sold. Shortly after Detective Whaley purchased the Remix, Detectives Onik and Gibbs entered Coffee Wonk. Sergeant Dumit followed them. Detective Gibbs could not see the Remix supply until he went behind the counter near the register, at which point he seized all that he ...


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