Jennifer R. Wilson-Trattner, Plaintiff-Appellant,
Robert Campbell, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
March 27, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. No.
l:14-cv-1083-LJM-DML - Larry J. McKinney, Judge.
Bauer and Easterbrook, Circuit Judges, and DeGuilio, District
DeGuilio, District Judge.
appeal, the Plaintiff argues that the district court
incorrectly granted summary judgment for the defense on three
of her claims: a substantive due process claim under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, a failure to train claim under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and an intentional infliction of emotional
distress claim under Indiana law. Each of these is based on
allegations that officers of the Hancock County, Indiana
Sher-riff's Department improperly responded to the
Plaintiff's complaints of domestic abuse. For the reasons
that follow, we affirm the judgment of the district court.
Jennifer Wilson-Trattner began dating Scott Roeger (then a
deputy with the Hancock County Sherriffs Department) in 2010.
By 2012, the couple's relationship had become combative.
The allegations in this case center on four incidents that
on June 17, 2012, Roeger locked Wilson-Trattner out of her
house by stealing her house key and reprogramming her garage
door opener. When she called the police, officers from both
Hancock County and another agency, the McCordsville, Indiana
Police Department, responded. Lieutenant Jeff Rasche of
Hancock County asked Roeger to return the key to
Wilson-Trattner, but Roeger refused. Wilson-Trattner also
showed Rasche a text message she had received from Roeger
that said "you have fucked with the wrong person, "
though Rasche did not find that message inappropriate. Rasche
later told Wilson-Trattner "we can't help you; this
is between you and him." He also instructed Roeger that,
though Roeger's personal life is not typically a
department issue, it becomes a department issue when
Wilson-Trattner contacts the police. Rasche drafted an
internal memorandum regarding this incident, though no
disciplinary action was taken against Roeger.
29, 2012, Roeger became angry after learning that
Wilson-Trattner had made plans on his night off. He yelled at
her, threw her against a wall and choked her to the point she
couldn't speak. Wilson-Trattner wanted to avoid an
official police response, so she called an officer she
believed to be off-duty to get Roeger out of her house. That
officer then called his supervisor and four or five officers
ultimately arrived at Wilson-Trattner's home from both
the Hancock County and McCordsville departments. They first
spoke with Roeger downstairs, who told them that
Wilson-Trattner had hit him and that he pushed her away to
defend himself. They then met with Wilson-Trattner, who was
upstairs in her bedroom, and told her that she could go to
jail based on what Roeger had said. Wilson-Trattner felt
intimidated and was too scared to fully provide her side of
the story. Rather, she denied Roeger's account, stated
that she did not hit Roeger until he slammed her head into
the wall and declined to talk further. A McCordsville officer
encouraged her to speak when she was ready to do so and left
her with a domestic violence handout and a business card.
this incident, Hancock County Deputy Jarrod Bradbury drafted
a memorandum to Captain Bobby Campbell, which stated that
Roeger had been ordered to not return to
Wilson-Trattner's house or contact her. Hancock County
Sheriff Mike Shepherd also assigned Detective Ted Munden to
draft a report. Munden spoke with Wilson-Trattner, but she
was unwilling to discuss the incident and said that she did
not want Roeger to get in trouble. Munden also interviewed
Roeger, who said that he had acted in self-defense. Munden
concluded that Roeger had violated departmental regulations,
though did not specifically recommend any personnel action.
While Munden delivered his report to Shepherd on or before
July 23, 2012, Shepherd does not remember receiving it. He
later found it in a filing cabinet, though does not recall
putting it there.
8, 2013, Roeger became angry after seeing Wilson-Trattner get
a phone call from another man. He sent that man and
Wilson-Trattner numerous lewd and threatening text messages,
including sexually explicit photos and videos of
Wilson-Trattner. He also told Wilson-Trattner that she had
"fucked with the wrong person" and wished that she
would die. This prompted Wilson-Trattner to file a formal
complaint with Campbell. Campbell said he did not see
anything threatening about Roeger's text messages. He
told Wilson-Trattner that he was "sick of dealing with
this shit" and that she "shouldn't call
[Hancock County] for this personal shit." He then
advised her to obtain a protective order. There is no
evidence that she ever did so. Campbell also told Roeger that
his conduct was inappropriate and instructed him not to
contact Wilson-Trattner. Campbell initiated an internal
investigation, though says he misplaced the investigation
paperwork in the trunk of his car. He never delivered the
findings of his investigation to Shepherd.
culminated on October 6, 2013, when Roeger broke into
Wilson-Trattner's house while he was extremely
intoxicated. When Wilson-Trattner confronted him, he pushed
her out of the way. He then saw a male friend of
Wilson-Trattner's and became enraged. He screamed and
punched a hole in a door and knocked three pictures off of
the wall. He left the house briefly, only to return and
threaten Wilson-Trattner and her friend.
Wilson-Trattner's friend then called 911 and Roeger left
before the police arrived. Hancock County Deputy Gary Achor
responded and told Wilson-Trattner "we're sick of
getting these calls from you" and "if you keep
crying wolf, we're just going to stop responding."
The McCordsville Department subsequently arrested Roeger. He
pled guilty to criminal charges and resigned from the Hancock
County Sherriff's Department following the initiation of
termination proceedings against him.
filed this lawsuit on June 27, 2014 against Roeger, Shepherd,
Campbell and Munden, as well as Hancock County Officer Brad
Burkhart. On summary judgment, as is relevant here,
the district court granted judgment for the defense on
Wilson-Trattner's § 1983 substantive due process
claim (against Shepherd, Campbell, Munden, Burkhart and
Roeger in their individual and official capacities), §
1983 failure to train claim (against Shepherd in his official
capacity) and intentional infliction of emotional distress
claim (against Shepherd in his official capacity). It
declined to grant judgment on the battery and intentional
infliction of emotional distress claims against ...