Oral argument: Nov. 1, 2010
Appealed from: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Mar. 12, 2009)
SUMMARY JUDGMENT, QUALIFIED IMMUNITY, APPELLATE JURISDICTION, 42 U.S.C. § 1983
After being assaulted while serving time in a federal prison, Michelle Ortiz sued two prison guards for constitutional violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district court denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment based on a defense of qualified immunity, and the case went to trial. A jury returned a verdict in favor of Ortiz, but the Sixth Circuit reversed on the basis of qualified immunity. Ortiz argues that the Sixth Circuit did not have jurisdiction to hear an appeal based on qualified immunity because the issue, originally raised on summary judgment, was not preserved for appeal after final judgment was entered at trial. Jordan argues that by filing a motion for summary judgment, the issue was preserved. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case will give guidance to litigants on how to preserve for appeal an issue that was the subject of a denied summary judgment motion.