Suit filed following inmate's suicide

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A father whose son committed suicide while in a southern Indiana jail has filed a lawsuit against the county and its sheriff.

Lester E. Tipton Sr., who is the personal representative of the estate his son, Lester E. Tipton Jr., filed the suit last week against Lawrence County and Sam Craig, in his official capacity as sheriff of Lawrence County. Tipton Jr. was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated October 4, 2008, and booked into the Lawrence County Jail. No one asked any mental health or medical questions during intake and Tipton Jr. later told sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers he was going to kill himself. No one acted on the threat and he killed himself that same day.

The suit alleges that the sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers were deliberately indifferent to his need for increased monitoring or health screening, and at the time of his death, the jail was overcrowded. Because of the overcrowding, the officials couldn’t properly monitor Tipton Jr.

The suit claims Tipton Jr. was deprived of his rights under the Fourth, Eighth, and 14th amendments of the federal Constitution, and under Article 1, Sections 11, 15, 16, and 21 of the Indiana Constitution.

The suit, Lester E. Tipton Sr. v. Lawrence County, et al., No. 4:10-CR-120, seeks compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and costs, and any other proper relief.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.