United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER ADOPTING, IN PART,
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Waddoups United States District Judge
Cameron Anderson, (Mr. Anderson) proceeding pro se, brings
this action under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985
against (1) Sean D. Reyes, Attorney General of Utah; (2)
Marian Decker, Assistant Attorney General of Utah; (3) the
State of Utah (the court refers to Defendants 1-3 as the
“State Defendants”); (4) Eric J. Houston,
Garfield County Deputy Sheriff; (5) Barry L. Huntington,
Garfield County Attorney; and (6) Garfield County (the court
refers to Defendants 4-6 as the “County
Defendants”). As explained below, the court adopts
Magistrate Judge Furse's recommendation as to the State
Defendants. The court dismisses the action as to the County
Defendants for failure of service.
about December 23, 2011 “on a cold late . . . evening,
” State v. Anderson, 2015 UT 90, ¶ 3, 362
P.3d 1232, 1234, Mr. Anderson “was traveling through
Garfield County, State of Utah.” (ECF No. 4-1 at 30.)
“Around 10:00 p.m., ” “Mr. Anderson pulled
his car over to the side of a rural highway and turned on his
hazard lights.” Anderson, 362 P.3d at 1234.
Mr. Anderson had a sleeping bag, coat, and other clothing in
the car. (See ECF No. 18 at 18.)
Garfield County sheriff's deputies, ” id.
“Deputy Houston and Deputy Pollock, ” (ECF No.
4-1 at 86) “noticed Mr. Anderson's hazard lights
while they were driving down the highway.”
Anderson, 362 P.3d at 1234. “Because of the
hazard lights, the cold weather, and the late hour, the
deputies decided to stop and check on the welfare of any
occupants of the vehicle.” Anderson, 362 P.3d
at 1234. The deputies “pulled over to the side of the
road behind Mr. Anderson” and “engaged the red
and blue lights of their police vehicle.”
Anderson, 362 P.3d at 1234.
the deputies made contact with Mr. Anderson . . . they
noticed that his eyes appeared to be bloodshot.”
Id. at 1234. “The deputies asked Mr. Anderson
to exit his car, and he complied.” Id.
“He did not sway or move in a suspicious manner.”
Id. “The deputies asked Mr. Anderson to empty
his pockets and he produced a pill bottle with a valid
prescription.” Id. “Mr. Anderson
declined the deputies' request to complete a field
sobriety test . . . .” Id. at 1235.
Mr. Anderson declined the field sobriety test, Deputy Sheriff
Houston arrested Mr. Anderson for suspicion of DUI.
(See ECF No. 4-1 at 170 (“Q.
So, what are you placing him under arrest for?
A. Suspicion of DUI.”).) One of the
officers took Mr. Anderson to the jail at that time.
(See ECF No. 4-1 at 170.) After the officers
arrested Mr. Anderson, they “transported” his
“vehicle” “by tow truck to the
Sheriff's Office.” (ECF No. 4-1 at 170.)
Deputy Sheriff Houston had Mr. Anderson “in [his]
custody, ” he sought a warrant. (See ECF No.
4-1 at 170.) Deputy Sheriff Houston “went to the
[state] judge's house” to obtain the warrant.
(See ECF No. 4-1 at 170.) A state judge issued the
warrant. (See ECF No. 18 at 6.) The warrant
established the existence of “probable cause for
issuance of a search/arrest warrant.” (ECF No. 18 at
5.) The warrant authorized the Deputy Sheriffs to
“obtain blood or urine from the body of” Mr.
Anderson “to determine the controlled content
thereof.” (ECF No. 18 at 5.) The warrant also
authorized the Deputy Sheriffs to “arrest” Mr.
Anderson and “search his vehicle . . . .” (ECF
No. 18 at 5.)
“the warrant was issued” Deputy Sheriff Houston
“[w]ent back to the jail where [Mr. Anderson] was being
detained . . . .” (ECF No. 4-1 at 170.) The officers
then got “a bodily fluid sample, ” from Mr.
Anderson. (ECF No. 4-1 at 170.) The officers sent this sample
to “MedTox Laboratories.” (ECF No. 4-1 at 170.)
Based on the record available to the court, MedTox received
this sample on January 6, 2012. (See ECF No. 18 at
16.) The laboratory tested the sample and it returned
“negative for all drugs including the prescription
bottle that he had.” (ECF No. 4-1 at 170; see
also ECF No. 18 at 16.)
the Deputy Sheriffs obtained “the bodily fluids,
” Deputy Sheriff Houston and two other deputies
“went out to [Mr. Anderson's rental] vehicle and
searched the vehicle.” (See ECF No. 4-1 at
170.) The search of the vehicle “yielded marijuana and
drug paraphernalia.” Anderson, 362 P.3d at
point after the search, Mr. Anderson's rental car was
transported from the Sheriff's Office to Bryce Canyon
Towing. (See ECF No. 17 at 10.) The Bryce Canyon
Towing lot was located approximately 22-miles from the
Sheriff's Office. (ECF No. 4-1 at 19.) Mr. Anderson's
sleeping bag, coat, and other clothing remained in the rental
car. (See ECF No. 18 at 18.) The Sheriff's
Office apparently made no effort to keep these items among
Mr. Anderson's personal effects.
Anderson was released from the Sheriff's custody on
December 24, 2011. (See ECF No. 4-1 at 19; see
also ECF No. 17 at 10.) When “he was released from
custody” he was “wearing cotton jeans, sandals,
and a t-shirt . . . .” (ECF No. 4-1 at 19.) The
Garfield County “custodian” had
“knowledge” that Mr. Anderson's rental car
was located at Bryce Canyon Towing-22 miles away, but
nevertheless instructed him to make the trip on his bicycle.
(See ECF No. 4-1 at 19; see also ECF No. 17
at 10 (“Further upon release from jail on the 24th of
December 2011 mid-day, Anderson was given his bicycle and
told to ride from the current location, 22 miles up to the
Bryce Canyon Towing impound lot where the rental car (current
shelter) had been stored . . . .”).) Mr. Anderson
“thus rode his bicycle until [he was] offered a ride .
. . .” (ECF No. 4-1 at 19.) The temperature that day
was “at or below 7 degrees.” (ECF No. 4-1 at 19.)
Mr. Anderson made the trip in order to “retrieve his
warm clothing, tools, spare tubes, bicycle repair kit, food[,
] and other belongings, ” (ECF No. 17 at 10) including
a sleeping bag. (ECF No. 18 at 18.)
State [later] charged Mr. Anderson with possession of less
than an ounce of marijuana and possession of drug
paraphernalia.” State v. Anderson, 2015 UT 90,
¶ 6, 362 P.3d 1232, 1235. Mr. Anderson moved to suppress
the evidence obtained in his vehicle, but the district court
denied the motion, concluding that the “stop was
justified by the community caretaking doctrine.”
Id. “A jury subsequently found Mr. Anderson
guilty of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.”
Id. Mr. Anderson then appealed to the Utah Supreme
October 28, 2015, the Utah Supreme Court issued an opinion
affirming Mr. Anderson's conviction. See id. at
1240. The Utah Supreme Court “conclude[d] that the
community caretaking doctrine justified the stop” and
held that “the seizure did not violate the Fourth
Amendment.” Id. at 1234. In reaching this
conclusion, the Utah Supreme Court “conclude[d] that a
reasonable officer would have cause to be concerned about the
welfare of a motorist in Mr. Anderson's situation,
” in large part because of the subfreezing temperature.
See id. at 1240.
January 26, 2016, Mr. Anderson filed a Petition for a Writ of
Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.
(See ECF No. 4-1 at 22.) The United States Supreme
Court denied Mr. Anderson's petition for writ of
certiorari on or around May 16, 2016.
September 1, 2016, Mr. Anderson filed, in this court, a
Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 1.)
On September 12, 2016, Magistrate Judge Pead entered an Order
granting that Motion. (ECF No. 3.) On September 4, 2016, Mr.
Anderson filed a Complaint. (ECF No. 4.) The case was
assigned to Judge Parrish on that date. (ECF No. 4.)
Complaint, Mr. Anderson alleged that each of the six
defendants named above violated his “4th Amendment
Right to Privacy.” (See ECF No. 4 at 2-3.) Mr.
Anderson's attachment to the Complaint details some of
the facts surrounding his December 23, 2011 arrest in
Garfield County described above. (See ECF No. 4-1.)
describing the nature of the case, Mr. Anderson stated:
“Please note the Writ of Certiorari enclosed within the
package which explains how the Deputy Sheriff Houston put me
in harms way and caused monetary damages in detaining,
illegally searching, seizing my property, and then releasing
me without my warm weather clothing in the dead of
winter.” (ECF No. 4 at 3.) Included as an attachment to
the Complaint was, among other things, his Petition for Writ
of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.
(See ECF No. 4-1 at 1-22.) In this Petition, Mr.
Anderson described how “he was released from custody
wearing cotton jeans, sandals, and a t-shirt with the
custodian's knowledge that he had to ride [his] bicycle
22 miles from 6650 feet up to 7500 feet in the dead of
Utah's winter to retrieve his belongings out of the
seized rental car putting him in harm's way.” (ECF
No. 4-1 at 19.)
Anderson listed two causes of action in his Complaint.
(See ECF No. 4 at 4.) The first was for a
“breach of [his] 4th Amendment Right to Privacy.”
(ECF No. 4 at 4.) The second was for “breach of [his]