FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
MAINE [Hon. John C. Nivison, U.S. Magistrate Judge]
R. Benjamin, Jr., with whom Kasia S. Park and Drummond
Woodsum were on brief, for appellant.
Bradford A. Pattershall, with whom Law Office of Bradford A.
Pattershall, LLC, Matthew D. Bowe, and Law Office of Matthew
D. Bowe were on brief, for appellee.
Torruella, Kayatta, and Barron, Circuit Judges.
KAYATTA, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Laura Drouin of the Augusta, Maine police department shot
plaintiff Jason Begin as Begin was cutting himself with a
knife in the waiting area of the Riverview Psychiatric
Center's local office. Begin later sued Drouin under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a deprivation of his
constitutional rights. After discovery, Drouin moved for
summary judgment, arguing that she was immune to Begin's
damage claims because a reasonable officer in her position
would have thought that Begin posed an immediate threat to
Drouin or to the Riverview employees who had been meeting
with Begin just before he pulled out his knife. The district
court denied her motion, and Drouin filed this interlocutory
appeal. For the following reasons, we dismiss the appeal to
the extent it challenges the district court's assessment
of the factual record under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56, and we otherwise
affirm the denial of summary judgment.
order denying a motion for summary judgment, not being a
final judgment, usually provides no occasion for an appeal.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1291. An exception applies when
such an order rejects a qualified immunity defense tendered
in response to a claim of official malfeasance in violation
of section 1983. In that instance, the state official may
secure interlocutory review of a district court's
conclusion that the official must stand trial. Mitchell
v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 530 (1985). Such review,
however, has limits. We cannot consider challenges to the
district court's determination of "which facts a
party may, or may not, be able to prove at trial."
Johnson v. Jones, 515 U.S. 304, 313 (1995);
McKenney v. Mangino, 873 F.3d 75, 81 (1st Cir.
2017). To the contrary, we "simply take, as given, the
facts that the district court assumed when it denied summary
judgment." Johnson, 515 U.S. at 319. And to the
extent the district court fails to expressly articulate a
relevant finding of fact, we review the record "to
determine what facts the district court, in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party, likely assumed."
therefore begin consideration of this appeal by describing
the events not as they necessarily occurred, but rather as
the district court determined that jurors might reasonably
find them to have occurred, or as otherwise viewed most
favorably to Begin. Id. at 311, 319.
2004 and 2014, Begin resided at a locked psychiatric
hospital, Riverview Psychiatric Center, to which he had been
committed following an acquittal on a felony theft charge by
reason of insanity. In early 2014, he obtained a supervised
release permitting him to live in a group residential program
setting. One year later, questions arose concerning his
compliance with the terms of his community placement. These
questions led to a meeting between Begin and three members of
Riverview's outpatient treatment team at their office in
responses and behavior during that meeting convinced the
Riverview team that he needed to be recommitted. Anticipating
that Begin would be upset by this decision, Gregory Smith, a
member of the team, called the Augusta Police Department to
request that an officer be present when they informed Begin
and then to transport him to Riverview's commitment
facility. When Drouin arrived at the office, Smith told her
that Begin might become uncooperative upon learning that he
was being recommitted. Smith also said that Begin had some
history of violence, but provided no further details. Begin
is a large man, weighing roughly 265 pounds. Drouin was armed
with her service gun, a Taser, an expandable baton, and
Begin was in the office's waiting area just beginning to
receive the news that he would be returned to Riverview that
afternoon. Drouin waited out of sight with several other
Riverview employees in an adjacent hallway that entered
directly into the waiting area. While Drouin could not hear
the whole conversation, she did overhear Begin say that he
was not going back to the hospital, even as he was told that
he had no choice in the matter and that a police officer was
there to transport him. One of the Riverview employees then
signaled Drouin to approach.
parties' stipulation and Drouin's own statement of
undisputed facts indicate that when Drouin approached the
entrance to the waiting area she saw two individuals: A
mental health contractor named Philip Hunt, who had
transported Begin to the Riverview office, and Begin. Hunt
was initially seated up to six feet from Begin. A
physician's assistant named Russell Kimball had
previously been standing in front of Begin as he told Begin
he was being ...