The introduction simply states what this action is about.
This is a civil rights lawsuit brought by the Plaintiff, a victim of police brutality. Compensatory and punitive damages are sought against the police officers involved in the brutality, and compensatory damages are sought against the City of Indianapolis. TRIAL BY JURY IS DEMANDED.
Jurisdiction statements are the law that says this is the proper court to hear the complaint. It is a must to have this in all Complaints.
This action arises under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and under the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. sections 1983 and 1988.
This Court has jurisdiction of this cause under 28 U.S.C. sections 1331 and 1343.
Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. section 1391 in that the Defendants and Plaintiff reside and the cause of action arises in the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Parties to the complaint is the Plaintiff, Defendants, and the Governmental bodies that may be included in your complaint. List and describe.
The Plaintiffs Tavel and John Andrew Newton are adults domiciled in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Jeffrey Alan Newton is an adult domiciled in Waukegan, Illinois.
The Defendants are adults domiciled in Indiana, and for all times material to this complaint, were police officers employed by the City of Indianapolis and continues to be so employed.
The City of Indianapolis is a political subdivision of the State of Indiana, and for all times material to this complaint was the employer of Defendants.
Start by stating the facts. State the simplest first. You can see how I worded this below. Your case may be different, you may be litigating a county, municipality, or Federal Agnecy. State the facts.
On March 15, 1992, Plaintiff Tavel was assisting his injured client during a bachelor party at an east side bar located in Indianapolis, Warren Township, when Defendants arrived.
The injured client asked the Defendants for their assistance with both medical attention and investigative assistance.
The Defendants refused all requests for assistance.
Plaintiff Tavel identified himself to Defendants as the injured client's attorney and again requested their assistance.
Defendants again refused all requests for assistance.
Plaintiff Tavel then demanded that the officers follow police procedure.
Defendants refused to follow police procedure and proceeded to leave the scene.
Plaintiff Tavel called twice to the heretofore unidentified Defendants as they proceeded to exit the building.
Upon the last call, Defendants turned in silence and rushed toward Plaintiff Tavel, forcibly grabbing him and tearing his clothing.
Thereupon, without uttering a single word, the Defendants deliberately and in reckless disregard of Plaintiff Tavel's physical safety and rights slammed Plaintiff Tavel against a stippled wall, breaking the skin on the right side of his forehead.
Thereupon Defendant Williams reached around Plaintiff Tavel from behind placing his wrist upon Plaintiff Tavel's nose in an attempt to break the bridge of same, while Defendants Travis, Butler, and Finnel watched quietly.
Failing to break Plaintiff Tavel's nose, Defendant Williams placed his left hand under Plaintiff Tavel's chin and his right hand on the back of Plaintiff Tavel's head and attempted to break Plaintiff Tavel's neck by snapping same violently around to his back, in full view of the other Defendants.
Defendant Williams wrenched Plaintiff Tavel's arms behind him, placed handcuffs tightly upon Plaintiff Tavel's wrists, dragged Plaintiff Tavelout of the building, placed Plaintiff Tavel in one of the four patrol cars at the scene, and placed Plaintiff Tavel under arrest for public intoxication, although Plaintiff Tavel was formally charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
During all of the foregoing brutal actions, neither Plaintiff Tavel nor Defendants spoke any words to each other.
During all of the foregoing brutal actions, Plaintiff Tavel was unarmed, defenseless, and made no furtive moves or gestures whatsoever.
The Defendants' brutal treatment of Plaintiff Tavel caused this Plaintiff to fear for his life and caused this Plaintiff serious physical injury.
Thereafter, Defendants falsely arrested, without probable cause, and falsely imprisoned Plaintiffs Jeffrey and John Newton, who were observing Defendants' misconduct; although charges were never filed against these two Plaintiffs.
The Defendants' actions were under the color of law.
The Defendants' actions were reckless and callously indifferent to the Plaintiffs' federally protected rights.
The use of force against the Plaintiff Tavel was the result of the policy, practice and custom of the City of Indianapolis to inadequately supervise and discipline law enforcement officers who use excessive force, including deadly force.
The inadequate supervision and discipline of police officers by the City of Indianapolis has led to the unnecessary and illegal use of excessive force, including deadly force.
The policy, practice and custom of the City of Indianapolis is that when police officers use excessive force, other officers do not intervene to prevent the use of the illegal force, do not arrest the officer engaging in the illegal activity, and do not report the illegal activity.
The policy, practice and custom of the City of Indianapolis with respect to allegations of excessive force reported by citizens, is to conduct a minimal investigation designed to exonerate the officer involved rather than discover the true facts of the incident.
As a result of this code of silence adhered to by Indianapolis police officers and the inadequate investigation of allegations of the use of excessive force, police officers reasonably conclude that their use of excessive force will not result in discipline, termination, or criminal prosecution against them.
The above policies and practices have resulted in a culture of violence in which the use of excessive force is an accepted and customary part of police work in Indianapolis.
The policy, practice and custom of the City of Indianapolis to allow police officers to engage in excessive force has a long history. A few examples are set forth below, although this recitation is by no means exhaustive.
In 1974, IPD police officer Armand W. Robinson, Sr. participated in a savage beating of four men. Although then Police Chief Kenneth B. Hale recommended that Robinson and two fellow vice-squad detectives be discharged from the force, his recommendation was overruled by the Police Board of Captains. In 1986, Robinson was discharged from the force when he was arrested by federal authorities for narcotics violations.
In November of 1981, IPD patrolman Michael Cress shot and killed James E. Grimes after the two argued about a parking spot on Monument Circle. Grimes was unarmed. Cress received no discipline even though he had a long history of abusive conduct towards citizens.
On February 21, 1985, IPD officer John Isom shot and killed Pedro M. Sanchez, while Sanchez was sitting in his car after a high-speed chase. Sanchez was unarmed and presented no threat to the officers or others. Isom was not disciplined for this use of excessive and deadly force.
On May 25, 1985, Associated Press Indiana News Editor Lindel G. Hutson was accosted by IPD officers Terry Kenard, John W. Lawson, and Glenn D. Tuggle, after Hutson's car had allegedly bumped one of the officers while waiting in traffic to get into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In retaliation, the officers pulled Hutson from the automobile, manhandled him, smashed his windshield, and then arrested him for disorderly conduct and battery upon a police officer. Despite numerous independent eyewitnesses who claimed that Hutson had not engaged in disorderly conduct or battery upon an officer, the Marion County Prosecutor refused to drop the charges unless he would agree to release the officers and the City of Indianapolis from liability for the injuries he suffered during the arrest. Hutson refused to concede to these demands. Subsequently, Hutson was found not guilty by a jury. The City of Indianapolis later paid a substantial sum to Hutson to settle the civil case he filed against the police officers. The police officers were never disciplined for their excessive use of force.
On April 3, 1986, IPD officer Stacey L. Crowe shot Robert Logan, after Logan had reportedly committed a traffic violation. Logan was unarmed and did not present a danger to Crowe or others. Crowe was not disciplined for this unecessary use of deadly force.
On September 7, 1986, IPD Patrolman Peter A, Wyalda shot Steven L. Ellis as Ellis fled a drugstore he had allegedly burglarized. Ellis was unarmed and did not present a danger to the officer or to others when he was shot from behind. Officer Wynaldo was not disciplined for this use of excessive force.
On August 4, 1988, numerous IPD officers, after illegally forcing their way into the home of Fred Sanders and arresting him, savagely beat Sanders after he was handcuffed and subdued, causing Sanders serious bodily injury. The police deparment covered-up the use of excessive force by the officers in the case. IPD Officer Robert Ward was identified by civilians as one officer who engaged in the beating, and he was later convicted of battery. The federal jury who heard the Sanders case returned a verdict for $1.5 million for Sanders and against the Police and the City of Indianapolis. This sent a powerful message to the police that the community would no longer tolerate such abusive behavior towards Hoosier's as the Defendants' in that case had exercise with impugnity against Sanders. Judge Sarah Evans Barker, in one of the more heinous acts of usurpation of citizens' power committed from a federal court bench, reduced this jury award to a mere $77,000.00, thereby condemning Sander's attorney to retry the case no less than three more times on narrower grounds than the first trial court victory.
On December 10, 1988, IPD patrol officer Dawn Volda shot and killed Wayne Tom, an 18 year old unarmed youth. Tom had refused Wolda's command to stop for questioning after she had observed his fall from a bicycle. Volda pursued the youth, tackled him, and in the ensuing struggle shot and killed him. Rather than disciplining Volda for an unjustified use of deadly force, the Indianapolis Police Department promoted her to sergeant.
The City of Indianapolis had actual notice of the repeated use of excessive force by defendant IPD Officer Scott Haslar but never took action to adequately investigate or discipline or terminate him from employment on account of his continued use of excessive force:
a. On June 4, 1988, Haslar brutally beat the head of Joyce Maxie against a brick wall whie two other officers held her arms. Maxie sustained serious bodily injury and Haslar falsely reported to hsi superiors about how the injury occurred. No adequate investigation was conducted and Haslar was not disciplined for this use of excessive force;
b. On February 6, 1990, Haslar, after chasing and apprehending Morris Greene, struck and kicked Greene causing him serious bodily injury. No adequate investigation was conducted and Haslar was not disciplined for this use of excessive force;
c. On June 21, 1990, Haslar, after chasing and apprehending Tommie Peterson, kicked Peterson repeatedly while Peterson lay handcuffed on the ground. No adequate investigation was conducted and Haslar was not disciplined for this use of excessive force;
d. On July 9, 1990, after chasing, apprehending, and ordering a compliant Leonard Barnett to lie face down on the ground, Haslar shot Barnett five times killing Barnett.
Cause of Action is the law that has been broken.
The force utilized by the Defendants was excessive and, thus, constituted an unreasonable seizure of Plaintiffs in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
The Defendants' actions constituted an unlawful deprivation of Plaintiffs' liberty without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The Prayer for relief must be included. Tell the court what you want the court to do. Ask for cost, attorney fees, sanctions, and the records.
Plaintiffs request that this Court assume jurisdiction over this cause, grant them compensatory and punitive damages, costs and attorney's fees, and award all other proper relief.
I hereby certify this pleading was served upon all attorneys of record for each of the parties to this action and All parties not represented by counsel, in the following manner:
___ By delivering a copy to him/her;
___ By leaving a copy at his/her office with the clerk;
___ By leaving a copy at his/her office with an attorney associated with him/her;
___ By mailing a copy to him/her, as prescribed by law;
___ By faxing a copy to him/her.
The foregoing pleading will be called for hearing before the court on
at 1 pm or as soon thereafter as petitioner may be heard.