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SHANE ANDERS; STAR TOWING AND RECOVERY, LLC; AREA TOWING AND RECOVERY,
Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
TONY CUEVAS and DARZEIL HALL (19-2191); HERMAN RAMIK (20-1166); RICK SOLLARS (20-1165),
Defendants-Appellants
   Nos. 19-2191/20-1165/1166
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit.
No. 2:19-cv-10989—George Caram Steeh, III, District Judge.
Decided and Filed: January 8, 2021
Before: KETHLEDGE, DONALD, and LARSEN, Circuit Judges.


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OPINION
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BERNICE BOUIE DONALD, Circuit Judge. In these consolidated interlocutory appeals, Defendant-Appellants challenge the district court’s orders denying them a variety of asserted immunities as to Plaintiff-Appellees’ claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Plaintiff-Appellees’ defamation claim. We AFFIRM in part, REVERSE in part, and VACATE in part the district court’s denial of qualified immunity in Case No. 19-2191 and AFFIRM the district court’s denial of immunities in Case Nos. 20-1165 and 20-1166.



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CALVIN LYNDELL DIBRELL,
Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
THE CITY OF KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE; OFFICER JOEY WHITEHEAD, OFFICER THOMAS TURNER, OFFICER RICHARD WHITE, OFFICER JOHN PICKENS, OFFICER FRED KIMBER, OFFICER CHRISTOPHER JONES, OFFICER BRIAN BALDWIN, and OFFICER HORACE LANE, Individually and in their official capacities,
Defendants-Appellees.
   No. 20-5528
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville.
No. 3:18-cv-00397—Harry S. Mattice, Jr., District Judge.
Decided and Filed: January 8, 2021
Before: SUTTON, BUSH, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.


_________________________
OPINION
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MURPHY, Circuit Judge. The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that courts should look to the common law to establish the rules for constitutional claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because the statute “creates a species of tort liability.” Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 483 (1994) (citation omitted). Yet the Court has just as repeatedly said that § 1983 does not permit courts to create rights in common-law fashion because the statute merely vindicates rights found elsewhere—in the Constitution or other federal laws. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393–94 (1989). This case requires us to grapple with how the first principle comports with the second. Police officers with the City of Knoxville detained Calvin Dibrell and found drugs in his possession. The state convicted him of drug-trafficking offenses. An appellate court reversed, finding that the officers violated the Fourth Amendment by detaining Dibrell without reasonable suspicion before uncovering the drugs. Dibrell brought two Fourth Amendment claims against the officers under § 1983: one for “false arrest” and “false imprisonment” and the other for “malicious prosecution.” Yet the Fourth Amendment does not codify the common law of torts; it prohibits “unreasonable” “seizures.” Dibrell’s claims thus shared a common constitutional premise: that he was detained (seized) without probable cause or reasonable suspicion to believe that he committed a crime. Section 1983 nevertheless establishes different statutory rules depending on the type of seizure. And Dibrell’s challenge to his initial seizure was untimely under § 1983’s rules governing the accrual of a claim—even if, as the state court believed, a portion of this seizure violated the Fourth Amendment. His malicious-prosecution claim, by contrast, fails on its constitutional merits because the state had probable cause to initiate the criminal case once the officers found the drugs. We thus affirm the grant of summary judgment to the officers and the city.