Justin Schaefer & Christopher Jacovitch Obtain Dismissal of Civil Rights Suit – 2020
Justin Schaefer and Christopher Jacovitch recently obtained a dismissal of a plaintiff’s 42 U.S.C. § 1983 excessive force claims brought against various officials and employees of the Floyd County, Indiana Jail in a case brought in federal court in the Southern District of Indiana. The Plaintiff claimed that he had been subjected to excessive force by jail employees during an intake strip search.
Mr. Schaefer and Mr. Jacovitch asserted a defense based on the plaintiff’s failure to exhaust his administrative remedies in the jail. The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires inmates to submit grievances to jail officials regarding their conditions, and the failure to do so or to adhere to a jail’s grievance process can result in dismissal of the inmate’s claims. In this case, the Plaintiff failed to file any grievance alleging that he had been subject to excessive force, despite filing dozens of other grievances related to other issues of his confinement. Following an expedited review process of the exhaustion issue, the court dismissed Plaintiff’s claims based on the arguments raised in the Motion for Summary Judgment.