Stanley v. Meier
Use of force may be reasonable, when an individual resists officers' attempts to restrain him. Allegedly, the plaintiff, Steven Stanley, lunged at Police Officer David Provencher, and Provencher struck the plaintiff on the head with his palm. Provencher warned the plaintiff he would be tasered, if he refused to place his hands behind his back, and then tasered the plaintiff. An emergency medical technician treated the plaintiff, and he was admitted to the hospital about 24 minutes after he had been tasered. The plaintiff sued, alleging deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. In Dallio v. Hebert, a 2009 decision, the Northern District of New York held that black eyes, bruises, kick marks and lacerations did not qualify as a serious medical need. The court found that the plaintiff, who complained that he had been punched in the head and who appeared to be awake, alert and coherent, failed to establish a serious medical need. Even if he suffered a serious medical need, he received prompt treatment. The court granted summary judgment to the defendants on the plaintiff's claim that they were deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need. To prevail on his allegation of excessive use of force, the plaintiff must establish the amount of force used was objectively unreasonable and he suffered a compensable injury. The plaintiff admitted that he was loud and combative. He lunged at one officer and refused to comply with orders to place his hands behind his back, even after he was warned that he would be tasered. A certain amount of force is reasonable, when an individual resists police officers' attempts to restrain him and threatens them. The court granted the police officers' motion for summary judgment on the excessive force count. The plaintiff also claimed that other police officers refused to investigate the incident. The plaintiff, as the alleged victim of a crime by the defendant, Officer Provencher, lacked a due-process interest in the investigation or prosecution of Officer Provencher. The court granted the officers' motion for summary judgment on any federal failure-to-investigate claim and did not exercise jurisdiction over state-law claims.