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Downard v. Martin

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

January 6, 2020

KAREN DOWNARD, Plaintiff,
v.
SHERIFF RUSSELL L. MARTIN, ET AL., Defendants.

          Vascura, Magistrate Judge

          OPINION AND ORDER

          ALGENON L. MARBLEY, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 47). The hearing on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment took place on December 11, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. For the reasons set forth below, this Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Tye L. Downard was a detective with the City of Reynoldsburg Police Department for nearly twenty years. (ECF No. 11 at 4). On Thursday, February 18, 2016 he was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1) for allegedly using his official position to traffick drugs. USA v. Downard, 2:16-mj-00097-EPD-1 (ECF No. 1) (S.D. Ohio 2016). On February 18, 2019, Magistrate Judge Deavers determined, upon the Government's motion, that Mr. Downard should be detained prior to the detention hearing scheduled for the following Thursday, February 25, 2019. (USA v. Downard, ECF No. 8). Mr. Downard was transported to Delaware County Jail on the afternoon of February 18, 2019. (ECF No. 47 at 11).

         A U.S. Marshall delivered Mr. Downard to the jail and placed him in the custody of Corrections Officer Amy Foley, who conducted Downard's intake. (ECF No. 47). The U.S. Marshall informed Officer Foley that Mr. Downard was a law enforcement officer and provided Officer Foley with a Prisoner Custody Alert notice which included a box marked “Psychiatric Problems” and a notation that indicated that Mr. Downard “seems despondent, but has not stated he is suicidal.” (ECF No. 51 at 5, No. 51-1). Officer Foley spent about two minutes going through a Suicide Prevention Screening Guideline form with Mr. Downard that included sixteen questions and about two minutes on a twenty-three question medical screening form. (ECF No. 51 at 6). Officer Foley assigned Mr. Downard to holding cell HC6 in the jail's booking area so that he could receive near constant monitoring by staff. (ECF No. 47 at 7).

         Shortly after being placed in HC6, a nurse met with Mr. Downard, measured his vitals, and screened him for health and psychological concerns. (ECF No. 47 at 7-8). The nurse reviewed the forms that Officer Foley had completed and noted that Mr. Downard denied feeling hopeless or considering suicide and that he denied having a history of psychiatric issues. (ECF No. 47 at 7; No. 47-8; No. 47-9). Mr. Downard was also visited by a nurse on the 19th, 20th, and 21st to receive medication. (ECF No. 54 at 10).

         Mr. Downard stayed in HC6 until 6:09 pm on February 18. At that time, Officer George Ayers-who took over for Officer Foley and was acting pursuant to instructions from a sergeant- moved him to HC3 in the same booking area. (ECF No. 47 at 8). HC3 was in the direct line of sight of officers in the booking area and Mr. Downard also received an observation check every 60 minutes, as well as an evening meal tray. (ECF No. 47 at 8-9).

         The next day, February 19, Mr. Downard met with the mental health clinician, a professional clinical counselor, Douglas Arnold. (ECF No. 42). During their meeting, Mr. Arnold noted:

“TD voiced feeling the stress of his circumstances (LEO arrested for multiple counts of drug trafficking - federal charges). Conscious of the distress caused to family (wife & children), need to repair relationships, answer for his actions/suffer consequences. Voiced hope about restoring connection to loved ones, self to community/society over the course of time. Understood means for requesting to talk again.
[handwritten notes]
TD reported wife put “$ on his books” for phone and showed interest in talking to him. He will call her today. Had only spoken briefly to her by phone when arrested to notify her of arrest. Has his own attorney - not Pub. Defender”

Id. In addition to completing this form, Mr. Arnold spoke with Assistant Jail Director Jessica Jackson and informed her that he has not placed any watches on Mr. Downard at that time. (ECF No. 47-18). Ms. Jackson wrote an email to colleagues detailing her conversation with Mr. Arnold noting that Downard appeared to be:

“aware of the reality of his situation and the serious consequences he is facing. He mentioned that he is willing and ready to pay the price for what he has done. He has a positive outlook on restoring and repairing the relationship between him and his wife and kids after putting them through this. After a discussion with Doug, it was determined that this inmate should remain in HC3 at ...

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