United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Leonard T. Strand, Chief Judge.
case is before me on a motion (Doc. No. 50) for summary
judgment by defendants James Fouts, then Assistant Chief of
Police for the City of Onawa, and the City of Onawa
(together, the municipal defendants), and a motion (Doc. No.
51) for summary judgment by defendants Daniel Dawson and the
State of Iowa (together, the state defendants). Plaintiff
Randy Lee has filed a resistance (Doc. No. 63) and the
defendants have filed replies. See Doc. Nos. 64-65.
I find that oral argument is not necessary. See
Local Rule 7(c).
action stems from the execution of a search warrant on
September 13, 2015. Lee initiated this lawsuit on September
11, 2017, by filing a petition (Doc. No. 3) in Iowa District
Court for Monona County against the municipal defendants. On
September 12, 2017, Lee filed an amended petition (Doc. No.
3-1) against the same defendants.
November 27, 2017, he added the state defendants.
See Doc. No. 3-2. He also identified the following
counts for the first time:
● Count I - Procedural and Substantive Process - Iowa
State Constitution Article I, § 8 Against All Defendants
● Count II - Procedural and Substantive Due Process -
Iowa State Constitution Article I, §§1 and 9
Against All Defendants
● Count III - Violation of Plaintiff's Federal
Constitutional Rights - United States Constitution 2nd and
Doc. No. 3-2. The municipal defendants removed the case to
this court on December 13, 2017, based on federal question
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. See
Doc. No. 1. The state defendants consented to the
removal. See Doc. No. 9.
filed an amended complaint (Doc. No. 26) on March 20, 2018.
The amended complaint, brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, alleges that Dawson and Fouts conducted a search on
September 13, 2015, pursuant to a search warrant that lacked
probable cause. Doc. No. 26 at 2. Lee asserts the following
● Count I - Unreasonable Search and
● Count II - Second Amendment - U.S. Constitution and
Article I, Section 9 -Iowa Constitution Id. at 5-6.
state defendants filed a pre-answer motion (Doc. No. 28) to
dismiss, which I granted in part and denied in part. I
granted it as to: (1) Lee's § 1983 claims against
the state defendants based on alleged violations of the
United States Constitution and (2) his claim in Count I
alleging a violation of article I, section 8 of the Iowa
Constitution based on the alleged lack of probable cause to
support the search warrant. I denied it as to the remaining
state law claims in Count I and Count II, meaning the
following counts are at issue in this motion as to both
● Count I
o A violation of article I, section 1 of the Iowa
o A violation of article I, section 8 of the Iowa
Constitution based on an alleged unauthorized search of his
residence and seizure of his service weapon.
● Count II - a violation of article I, section 9 of the
Iowa Constitution based on seizure of his service weapon
counts also consist of § 1983 claims against the
municipal defendants based on alleged violations of the
Second and Fourth Amendments.
following facts are undisputed for purposes of
defendants' motions for summary judgment unless otherwise
to the alleged incident that underlies the law enforcement
action in this case, Lee and the victim had a romantic
relationship. Fouts was aware of this relationship because he
had discussed it with the victim in the past. Fouts also has
a close relationship with the victim's family and worked
with the victim's mother. Doc. No. 64 at 1. Lee's
supervisor, Monona County Sheriff Jeff Pratt, was also aware
of the tumultuous relationship and, after speaking to the
victim or her family concerning an incident in June 2015,
instructed Lee not to have contact with the victim or her
family. Id. at 1-2. Shortly before the incident in
this case, Lee alleges his vehicle tires were slashed at his
personal residence and that he had considered seeking a
protection order against the victim, believing she was the
culprit. Id. Fouts denies knowledge of this incident
or that Lee had personal and professional issues with one of
Fouts' family members regarding a highspeed chase in
which Lee and the relative were allegedly involved.
incident in this case arose on September 13, 2015, when the
victim contacted an individual she had seen the previous day
and reported that she and Lee had nonconsensual sex. Doc. No.
63-1 at 3. The victim also told her friend. Id. The
three met and contacted the victim's mother, who met up
with them. Id. at 4. The victim's mother then
called Monona County Deputy Sheriff Jeremy Bellis and
reported the incident. Bellis contacted his supervisor,
Sheriff Pratt, who instructed him to contact Fouts. Fouts was
off-duty but met Bellis at his personal residence and
discussed the claims of nonconsensual sex between the victim
and Lee. Doc. No. 63-1 at 4. Bellis and Fouts went to go meet
the victim and her mother. Id.
met with the victim privately and recorded the interview,
which lasted approximately 25 minutes. Id. He
arranged for the victim to undergo a sexual assault
examination at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Id. Fouts also informed the victim she would need to
provide a written statement, however he never obtained one.
Doc. No. 64 at 6. Lee alleges that during the interview,
Fouts made multiple comments to the victim that were
inappropriate and demonstrated animus towards Lee. Defendants
deny these comments for lack of support by the cited
materials, which is a transcript of the interview. The
alleged comments or subjects of the comments include:
● Lee has a known drinking and drug problem
● It was Fouts' responsibility to investigate and
charge Lee and that a DCI agent would not be needed because
it was a cut and dry case
● Various comments about Lee's state of mind
● Various comments that coaxed and developed facts that
the victim did not report
● Comments about the victim's and Lee's
relationship, such as Lee was controlling the victim
● Fouts had known the victim all her life, so she
should feel comfortable talking to him
● Fouts had his own relationship issues that the victim
and her mother knew about
Id. at 5-6.
consulted the Chief of Police for the City of Onawa and was
directed to contact the Iowa Department of Criminal
Investigation (DCI). Fouts also contacted Sheriff Pratt and
met with the County Attorney. Fouts expressed his opinion
that search warrants should be obtained. Doc. No. 64 at 2.
Three DCI agents arrived, including Dawson. Fouts shared the
interview recording with him. Fouts did not provide Dawson with
a written report or investigation, although he states he
would typically do so. Doc. No. 65-1 at 3-4. Fouts denies
that he discussed the relationship history between Lee and
the victim. Doc. No. 64 at 3. Dawson states Fouts told him
that Lee and the victim had an on-again, off-again
relationship. Doc. No. 65-1 at 3. Dawson did not conduct any
interviews or inquire about the victim's criminal history
or credibility. Doc. No. 54 at 3; Doc. No. 65-1 at 4-5.
Dawson drafted the search warrant applications for Lee's
person and residence. He states he did so with the assistance
of Fouts. Doc. No. 65-1 at 5. The application included a
single affidavit. Id. Fouts did not review the
search warrant applications or affidavit. Doc. No. 64 at 3.
takes issue with several facts alleged in the affidavit,
arguing that they are inconsistent with the victim's
recorded interview. The municipal defendants deny nearly all
of Lee's assertions as unsupported by the cited
materials. See Doc. No. 64 at 3-4. The state
defendants note that many of the victim's statements are
ambiguous, citing to quotations from the transcript of the
interview. Doc. No. 65-1 at 6-10. According to Lee, the
inconsistencies consist of the following:
● The affidavit alleges that Lee used his service
weapon to threaten the victim and wanted the victim to
shoot/kill him with the service weapon. The victim also
reported there would be a second firearm located on a night
stand near Lee's bed. However, the victim stated she did
not believe that firearm was Lee's service weapon and the
only firearm was located near Lee's bed. The victim also
stated numerous times that she did not feel threatened by the
firearm and that Lee did not point or threaten her with it.
See Doc. No. 63-1 at 9.
● The affidavit alleges that Lee forced the victim to
drive them to her parents' house to retrieve more alcohol
or that Lee forced the victim to return to his residence.
However, the victim never stated that Lee forced her to drive
them anywhere and admitted that Lee believed he was in
● The affidavit alleges that Lee consumed a bottle of
wine and while he was consuming it, became mad at the victim
and threw a wine glass against the back door. However, the
victim stated that Lee threw the empty wine glass the
following morning or afternoon as she was leaving. She also
never stated the wine glasses were thrown at her or that she
● The affidavit alleges that Lee forced the victim to
remove her clothing and made her get into his bed at night,
but they did not have sex. The victim never stated she was
forced to remove her clothing, but that she did not want to
have sex because Lee was drunk so they went to sleep. The
victim woke up the next morning and Lee was going through her
● The affidavit alleges that Lee's tires were
slashed and he had installed security cameras. However, this
information did not come from the victim as indicated in the