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Hunt v. Massi

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

December 10, 2014

BRIAN HUNT AND KIMBERLY HUNT, Plaintiffs, Appellees,
v.
DAVID MASSI AND JAMES PORTER, Defendants, Appellants, and TOWN OF FALMOUTH, Defendant

Page 362

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 363

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS. Hon. William G. Young, U.S. District Judge.

Thomas R. Donohue, with whom Leonard H. Kesten, Deidre Brennan Regan, and Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten, LLP were on brief, for appellants.

Robert S. Sinsheimer, with whom Lauren Thomas and Sinsheimer & Thomas were on brief, for appellee.

Before Lynch, Chief Judge, Stahl and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 364

LYNCH, Chief Judge.

This civil rights case arises out of the refusal of officers serving an arrest warrant to accede to the request of an arrestee, Brian Hunt, that he be handcuffed with his hands in front of him, and the ensuing events.

Hunt and his wife brought this case, asserting violations of his federal constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as pendent state law claims. The district court denied the police officers' claim of qualified immunity on summary judgment based, in part, on the court's erroneous conception of the clearly established law. Hunt v. Massi, 5 F.Supp.3d 160, 165-67 (D. Mass. 2014). The defendants sought interlocutory appellate review.

We have interlocutory appellate jurisdiction over portions of this appeal. We hold that Hunt had no clearly established right to be cuffed with his hands in front of him and that the officers reasonably understood their actions in effectuating the arrest to be constitutional. We reverse the district court's denial of summary judgment for the plaintiffs' claim of excessive force under § 1983. Exercising pendent jurisdiction, we also reach and reverse the district court's denial of summary judgment on the plaintiffs' state law claims of battery and violation of the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (" MCRA" ). We lack appellate jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' malicious prosecution claims, and remand those claims, both state and federal.

I. Factual Background

On June 2, 2011, the New Bedford District Court issued an arrest warrant for Hunt based on information that he had an unpaid fine for a traffic violation. Hunt, 5 F.Supp.3d at 162. It was later discovered that Hunt had paid the fine, but that the ...


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