United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
ORDER DENYING IN PART AND GRANTING IN PART
DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Michael R. Barrett Judge
matter is before the Court on the Motion for Summary Judgment
filed by Defendants, Derrick Collins, Marianne Burgess, Maria
Slone, Elizabeth Boughen, and Sheriff Richard K. Jones (Doc.
No. 33), the Plaintiff's Response (Doc. No. 36) and the
Defendants' Reply (Doc. No. 37). Plaintiff alleged that
the Defendants have violated his Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendment rights based upon an altercation that took place at
the Butler County jail in Hamilton, Ohio. Plaintiff's
complaint includes claims for excessive force and failure to
intervene under 42 U.S.C. §1983. Plaintiff has made
further claims for false imprisonment and battery under Ohio
assert that the claims arise under the Fourteenth Amendment
rather than the Fourth Amendment because the Plaintiff was a
pre-trial detainee. Under the applicable standards,
Defendants claim that they are entitled to qualified immunity
as to the Fourteenth Amendment claims and are further immune
from the state law claims. For the reasons that follow,
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment will be DENIED IN
PART and GRANTED IN PART.
24, 2014, Plaintiff Corey Williams (hereinafter referred to
as “Williams”), was pulled over by a Hamilton,
Ohio police officer for a traffic violation. Williams was
then booked into the Butler County jail based upon the
discovery of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his vehicle.
(Plaintiff's Complaint, Doc. No. 27, PageID 99; Williams
Depo, PageID 130). It is not disputed that at the time he was
booked into the jail, it was determined that Williams could
be released on his own recognizance and the Defendants began
to prepare the paperwork for him to be released. (Doc. No.
27, PageID 99). While Williams was in the process of
completing the paperwork, he made a remark about Officer
Collins's hairstyle, stating that he should fire his
barber. (Id). Williams was training to become a
licensed barber at the time. (Id.). It is at this
point that the parties' recollections and perceptions of
the time in question diverge.
Testimony of Corey Williams
testified that he was happy he was going to make bond and
that while he was being processed he made a remark about
Officer Collins's haircut. Williams stated to Collins
that he had a line around his head and that he should fire
his barber. (Williams Depo, PageID 130). Williams testified
that “When I made that comment about Collins'
haircut, he told me he would pull me over the counter and
beat the fuck out of me.” (Id. at PageID 132).
this time frame, Williams claims that Officer Collins told
Officer Burgess to put him in a holding cell. (Id.).
Williams was informed that he was not going to be released,
and at that time, he testified that “they all came in,
five of them, with black latex gloves” and told him to
give them the paperwork he was holding. (Id.).
Williams had the paperwork folded behind his back and wanted
to know why he was not being released. (Id.). When
he asked about the release, he claims that Officer Collins
reached around Officer Burgess and punched him in the face.
(Id.). Williams claims he was punched in the face,
fell back on a bench, ended up sprawled on the floor and was
then turned over and tased. (Id. at PageID 132-4).
He claims he was struck with prongs from the taser.
continues that he was then placed in a restraint chair and
never had an opportunity to tell anyone he was hurt, but did
tell officers and anyone there that he was in pain.
(Id.). Williams claims that he did not physically
wrestle with any Butler County employee and he was not
argumentative. (Id.). Williams specifies that he was
hit all over, however mostly in the head, by Officer Collins
while Officer Davenport held him down. (Id. at
PageID 136). Williams testified that no female officer
touched him. (Id. at PageID 134). He was eventually
released shortly after 12:00 a.m. on May 25, 2014. About a
week later, Williams had surgery to the left orbital zone of
his left eye. (Id. at PageID 136-7).
Testimony of Sergeant Maria Slone
Slone manages the corrections officers and maintains safety
and security of the facility for the second shift. (Slone
Depo., PageID 178). She supervises booking, intake and
release. (Id.). Sergeant Slone made the decision to
release Plaintiff based upon his lower level offenses.
(Id.). However, while Plaintiff was completing the
paperwork to be released, he became disruptive. (Id.
at PageID 182). As a result, Sergeant Slone decided to revoke
the OR bond to see if Williams would calm down and then
continue with the release. (Id.).
Collins and Officer Burgess told Sergeant Slone that
Plaintiff was being disruptive and would not give back the
paperwork. (Id. at PageID 184-5). She saw Collins
and Davenport go in to get the paperwork that Plaintiff had
behind his back. (Id. at PageID 186). She could see
Plaintiff back up against the back wall of the room and then
lunge toward Officer Collins. (Id.). The next thing
she saw was Williams and Collins on the ground, and Davenport
kneeling trying to get Plaintiff's hands behind his back.
Sergeant Slone then went into the room and ordered Plaintiff
to stop resisting and to put his hands behind his back twice.
(Id. at PageID 188). She told him a third time and
that if he did not comply, she would tase him.
(Id.). Sergeant Slone testified that he did not
comply, so she tased him in the stun drive mode to his right
shoulder blade area. (Id). He was then cuffed and
put in a restraint chair. (Id.). Sergeant Slone
testified that the times when she saw Williams in the
restraint chair, she did not see any bruising and that he was
checked multiple times over the two hours he was in the
chair. (Id. at PageID 189). She further testified
that she observed Officer Davenport strike Plaintiff with his
fist and use balance displacement to attempt to gain control.
(Id. at PageID 192).
Testimony of Officer Collins
Collins testified that Williams caught his attention when
Williams came back to booking to be released. (Collins Depo.,
PageID 246-7). Officer Collins stated that Williams was being
argumentative and was angry about the process.
(Id.). Collins attempted to get the paperwork back
from Williams, then he took a step and put his hands in a
boxer pose and lunged toward him. (Id. at PageID
248-50). Williams then made a quick motion and put his hands
behind his back with the paperwork. (Id.). Officer
Collins then employed the balance displacement technique to
“assist” Williams to the bench. (Id.).
Williams was face down on the bench, and his face, stomach,
thighs, knees, feet and head made contact with the bench.
(Id. at PageID 251-2). Williams then swung a leg off
the bench, jerked his right hand away from Collins and they
began to wrestle. (Id. at PageID 252). Officer
Collins did not know where the paperwork was at that time,
and Williams was still not listening or obeying the commands
given by the officers. (Id.).
Collins testified that he then employed three to four closed
hand strikes to the larger muscle groups, but they had no
effect. (Id.). It was at that point that Sergeant
Slone administered the five second tase stun. (Id.
at PageID 253). At that point Officer Collins was able to get
Plaintiff's hands and handcuff him. (Id.).
Williams was next put in a restraint chair and moved to a
holding cell. (Id. at PageID 254). He did not see
any bruising or bleeding on Williams. (Id.). Officer
Collins testified that he did not strike Williams in the
Testimony of Officer Burgess
Burgess testified that she first communicated with Williams
when he was given his paperwork for release. (Burgess Depo.,
PageID 155). Williams was disruptive from the start, and
argued about his money. (Id. at PageID 157). She did
hear Williams tell Officer Collins that he needed to fire his
barber. (Id.). At that time, Sergeant Slone decided
that Plaintiff needed time to cool off and would go back to
the holding cell. (Id.). Williams was asked to go to
the holding cell and to return the paperwork. (Id.
at PageID 158). Burgess asked him three times to return the
paperwork, but he wadded it up and put it behind is back.
(Id.). Officer Collins then came into the holding
cell and Williams lunged toward Officer Collins.
Collins then took control of Williams, placed him on the
bench with balance placement technique, then got him to the
floor and attempted to roll him over to get his hands.
(Id. at PageID 160). Officer Burgess testified that
both Davenport and Collins were working to control Williams,
who was resisting, kicking and pulling away. (Id.).
Once Williams was on his stomach on the ground and his hands
were underneath him, Officer Slone came in and tased him.
(Id. at PageID 161). Officer Burgess testified that
she saw Williams being struck in his sides and shoulders by