When is Painful Handcuffing Considered More Than a De Minimus Injury?

In a recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit, the court found that an officer who tightens handcuffs with the intent to cause pain may be held liable for use of excessive force. Sebastian v. Ortiz, 17-14751, 2019 WL 1187012 (11th Cir. Mar. 14, 2019). In so finding, the court used the test as laid out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396 (1989) and extended by Vinyard v. Wilson, 311 F.3d 1340, 1347 (11th Cir. 2002). Under this test, the court must determine the severity of the crime, whether the suspect imposes an immediate threat of safety to the officers, whether the suspect is actively resisting, and “the relationship between the need and amount of force us

The Eleventh Circuit holds that Corrections Officers were not Deliberately Indifferent to Prisoner’s

In July 2010, officers arrested Javon Thomas for assault and interference with custody of a minor child. The next morning, Corrections Officer Randy Avery was concluding his patrol duties when “[he] was informed that there was a medical emergency where an inmate was possibly having a seizure.” Avery then, “saw inmate Javon Thomas sitting on the top bunk,” “sweating profusely” with “mucous coming out of his nose and saliva coming out of his mouth.” The officers attempted to have Thomas come down off the bunk, but he became aggressive. After the officers got Thomas to the ground, Thomas “became extremely aggressive and combative,” requiring the help of several officers. At this time, a nurse c

Limited Waiver of Sovereign Immunity for Actions ex contractu Applied only to Written Agreements

In 2013, Fulton County (the “County”) and SOCO Contracting Company, Inc. (“SOCO”) executed a written contract for the construction of a cultural center. The contract was approved by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners (the “Board”). As a result of several delays, including those caused by change orders, inclement weather, and the shutdown of the federal government, the scope of the work and timeline for completion was altered. SOCO filed a complaint against the County alleging breach of contract and bad faith performance of the contract. Fulton Cty. v. SOCO Contracting Co., Inc., 343 Ga. App. 889 (2017), reconsideration granted (Nov. 15, 2017). The County filed a motion for summary judg

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