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Magistrate advises denial of sheriff's motions

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A magistrate judge has recommended that the Marion County Sheriff's motions to dismiss a complaint against him be denied. A suit was filed following the death of an inmate who didn't receive his needed medicine.

Magistrate Judge Tim Baker in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, made the recommendations Tuesday in a suit filed by the family of inmate Brian Keith Allen in The Estate of Brian Keith Allen, et al. v. CCA of Tennessee, LLC, et al., No. 1:08-CV-0774. Allen, who was held in Marion County Jail II, collapsed Nov. 25, 2006, and died several days later. His family claimed his death was directly because of the failure of the Corrections Corporation of America, which operated the jail, to provide Allen with his blood pressure medication.

The suit, filed against CCA, Anderson, and two jail employees, alleges Anderson is legally responsible for the death because he had a duty to supervise the contact the Sheriff's Office had with CCA, which includes providing inmates with proper medical care. It was originally filed in Marion Superior court in May 2008 but was moved in June 2008 to the federal court.

Magistrate Judge Baker issued his report and recommendation that Anderson's motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) and motion to dismiss federal claims under Rule 12(b)(6), be denied. The magistrate judge used Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009), and Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007), which provide a two-prong analysis for courts deciding a motion to dismiss, to come to his conclusion. The suit alleges Allen's death was a direct result of the CCA medical staff's failure to give him his medication or to monitor his hypertension, and that Anderson had knowledge of the substandard medical care provided to inmates but remained indifferent.

The family also doesn't rely solely on a theory of supervisory liability in their claims against Anderson because by alleging the sheriff did nothing despite knowing Allen and others weren't receiving necessary medical attention, the family tries to hold him liable for his own conduct, not the misconduct of his subordinates. It's also too early to rule whether Anderson is protected by qualified immunity.

Magistrate Judge Baker denied Anderson's motion to dismiss the state tort claims against him as moot because in their amended complaint, the family made no mention of the sheriff regarding their tort claims. He also denied the family's request for sanctions because Anderson's motions weren't without merit. In a separate order, the magistrate judge denied Anderson's motion for a more definite statement as to whether he is being sued individually or in his official capacity. At a pretrial conference in May, the family clarified they are suing him both individually and in his official capacity, so the motion is moot.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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