United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: MOTION TO STAY
ORDER SETTING TRIAL (DOCKET NO. 114)
E. BUSH CHIEF U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Ada County Sheriff Deputy
Marquardt's Motion to Stay Order Setting Trial (Dkt.
114). Having carefully considered the record and otherwise
being fully advised, the Court enters the following
Memorandum Decision and Order:
Plaintiff William Fletcher initiated this action on February
2, 2015, arising out of the undisputed use of force against
Mr. Fletcher by Defendant Ada County Sheriff Deputy Marquardt
at the Ada County Jail on the evening of August 7, 2013.
According to Mr. Fletcher:
Ada County Sheriff Deputy Marquardt harassed, slammed
Plaintiff hard on floor face first, as Plaintiff was on
ground in handcuffs - Ada County Sheriff Deputy Marquardt
punched the Plaintiff in the lower spinal cord area of his
back with hard object. Ada County Sheriff Deputy Marquardt
choke Plaintiff with his forearm.
Am. Prisoner Compl., p. 2 (Dkt. 9).
Deputy Marquardt's account is unsurprisingly different,
Mr. Fletcher became argumentative with Deputy Marquardt after
the deputy stopped and questioned him about suspicious
movement on the tier. After stepping inside a nearby cell,
Mr. Fletcher grew more verbally and physically aggressive. He
then ignored instructions to face the wall and actively
resisted the deputy's efforts to secure him. When Mr.
Fletcher attempted to push off the wall towards Deputy
Marquardt, the deputy delivered a leg strike to bring the
inmate to the ground. Mr. Fletcher attempted to get up and
out of the deputy's control. He continued to actively
resist on the ground until Deputy Marquardt delivered a
single strike with his fist to the inmate's right side.
The deputy was then able to secure Mr. Fletcher in handcuffs
and escort him out to a holder cell.
Mem. ISO MSJ, p. 2 (Dkt. 64-1). From this, Deputy Marquardt
moved for summary judgment (Dkt. 64), arguing that he is
entitled to summary judgment on the basis of qualified
September 27, 2017, the Court denied Deputy Marquardt's
Motion for Summary Judgment, concluding that, “owing to
the disputed material facts that necessarily exist when
trying to understand what took place between Mr. Fletcher and
Deputy Marquardt in Cell 844, it cannot be said as a matter
of law that either (1) no excessive use of force took place,
or (2) if so, Deputy Marquardt is entitled to qualified
immunity.” 9/27/17 MDO, p. 19 (Dkt. 89). On October 23,
2017, Deputy Marquardt appealed (Dkt. 92).
February 15, 2019, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the Court's
denial of Deputy Marquardt's Motion for Summary Judgment,
reasoning in relevant part:
A material dispute of fact exists regarding whether Marquardt
gave Fletcher instructions before striking him.
Fletcher's subjective complaints of pain from blows are
also disputed. These disputes cannot be reconciled by simply
adopting Marquardt's contentions. The district court did
not err in finding the record presented genuine issues of
material fact on whether the force Marquardt purposefully
used against Fletcher was objectively unreasonable.
Marquardt argues there is no clearly established law that
would inform a reasonable deputy facing these specific facts
that he could not employ the force used to obtain compliance.
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Fletcher,
Fletcher was compliant and did not provoke Marquardt. The law
is clearly established that a reasonable correctional officer
cannot administer strong blows upon a compliant pretrial
detainee without violating the detainee's right under the
Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause to be free from
objectively unreasonable ...