United States District Court, D. Minnesota
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. Magnuson United States District Court Judge
matter is before Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment. For the following reasons, the Motion is granted.
approximately 1:15 am on November 22, 2014, Defendant Wabasha
County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Rollie witnessed a car
rolling through a stop sign in Elgin, Minnesota. (Rollie Aff.
(Docket No. 30) ¶ 3.) Rollie pulled the car over, and as
he approached it, he noticed a back-seat passenger snuffing
out a cigarette. (Id. ¶ 4.) This aroused
Rollie's suspicions, because often individuals smoking
cigarettes as an officer approaches are doing so to cover up
the scent of something, such as alcohol or drugs.
Aida Beltran was driving the car. Rollie asked Beltran where
the group was headed, and she responded that they were going
to Oronoco. (Id. ¶ 6.) This further aroused
Rollie's suspicions, because the car had rolled through
the stop sign toward a residential area, not toward the road
that led to Oronoco. (Id.) Rollie also noticed the
odor of alcohol and marijuana in the car through the open
windows. (Id. ¶ 5.) He asked whether there were
any alcohol, drugs, or weapons in the car, and the three
occupants answered no. (Id. ¶ 7.)
told Rollie that she was the sober driver for her two male
passengers, who had been drinking that evening. (Id.
¶ 6.) The front-seat passenger, Abraham Algadi,
identified himself as the car's owner. He told Rollie
that he did not have proof of insurance on the vehicle
because he had just purchased insurance several days before.
(Id. ¶ 8.) Rollie took the occupants'
licenses with him to his squad car to run them through
dispatch. (Id. ¶ 9.) At approximately this same
time, Defendant Deputy Nate Barker arrived on the scene.
(Id.) Rollie asked Barker to attempt to get
verification of insurance from Algadi, and Barker thus
approached the vehicle. Barker also noticed the strong odor
of marijuana in the vehicle. (Barker Aff. (Docket No. 29)
both Deputies believed that the vehicle contained drugs, they
approached the vehicle again with the intent to remove the
three passengers for a search of the vehicle. Deputy Rollie
asked again whether there were any drugs in the car, and the
occupants said no. (Id. ¶ 14.) Rollie told
Algadi that he was going to search the car because he
believed they had marijuana, and asked Algadi to exit the
vehicle. (Id. ¶¶ 14-15.) The back-seat
passenger, Corey Drewes, objected, saying that the officers
could not search the car. (Id. ¶ 15.)
Barker was escorting Algadi away from the car, Rollie noticed
that Beltran started digging in her purse. (Id.
¶ 17.) Rollie told Beltran to put her hands on the
steering wheel, and she did. (Id.) As Rollie stepped
closer to the car to speak to Beltran, he noticed the end of
a gun magazine sticking out of Drewes's pants.
(Id.) Rollie drew his weapon and told Drewes to
place his hands on the ceiling of the car. (Id.
¶ 18.) Rollie called for assistance, and Barker took
Drewes out of the car and secured the weapon. (Id.
¶ 19.) The gun was loaded and the safety was off; Drewes
also had another magazine for the gun in a holster. (Barker
Aff. ¶ 9.) As Barker removed Drewes from the car, a
baggie of marijuana fell from Drewes's crotch area.
securing Drewes, Barker removed Beltran from the car. While
she was leaving the car, Barker saw Beltran slip her hands
under her shirt and tug on her clothing. (Id. ¶
15.) He decided to pat her down to ensure that she, too, did
not have a weapon or drugs, and he conducted a brief pat-down
of the area she had been touching. (Id. ¶ 16.)
Barker then asked Beltran whether she would prefer to wait in
the squad car, because it was cold outside and she was not
wearing a coat. (Id. ¶ 17.) Beltran ultimately
agreed to sit in the car. (Wolfe Aff. (Docket No. 31) Ex. 1
(Beltran Dep.) at 66.)
Deputies then began to search the car, and another officer,
Plainview Officer Brandon Miller, arrived. (Rollie Aff.
¶ 21.) The search revealed another bag of marijuana,
stuffed in a beverage bottle that had been in a cupholder
between the front seats, and a black scale with marijuana
residue inside one of Beltran's boots. (Rollie Aff.
¶ 22; Barker Aff. ¶ 19.) They also found a large
amount of cash in Beltran's bag. (Barker Aff. ¶ 22.)
the search, the Deputies consulted with the on-call Wabasha
County Attorney regarding charging decisions. Barker returned
to his car, and Beltran told him that she had to go to the
bathroom. (Id. ¶ 21.) Barker told her that
there was no restroom nearby. (Id. ¶ 22.)
Approximately 20 minutes after requesting to use the
bathroom, Beltran was allowed to return to the car.
Rollie's squad video shows her leaving at 2:19 am, or
slightly more than an hour after Rollie first stopped the
car. (Warren Aff. (Docket No. 32) Ex. 1.)
offers a different account of the evening, saying that four
officers pointed guns at her while she was in the car, that
she was moved from car to car, and that she was
“held” for more than two hours. She brought this
lawsuit in Wabasha County, raising a single claim of a
violation of her constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Defendants removed the case to federal court, and now
move for summary judgment, contending that qualified immunity
shields them from liability for Beltran's claims.
pleadings are less than clear, and thus the parameters of her
constitutional claims are difficult to discern. Her
opposition memorandum mentions unlawful seizure in detaining
her, patting her down, and not allowing her to use the
bathroom. It also references alleged
“interrogations” without benefit of
Miranda warnings, and a ...