Action: Civil Rights Action Against Cherokee County Officials for Various Inmate Offenses
Case: Paul L. Belyeu v. Campbell et al
Court: [6:14cv241][EDTX Tyler Division]
Result: Case Pending
Mr. Belyeu was being used by the Cherokee County jail staff to do many maintenance tasks in the jail. On one such occasion, he was badly electrocuted. After he was injured, he was administered drugs by jail staff that appear to have been fraudulently obtained by the jail staff: prescriptions were forged. The jail demanded he take the medications at increasing dosages until he eventually suffered significant consequences from both the injury and the meds.
The case is being prosecuted under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and is pending in federal court in Tyler, TX. Typically, such cases are filed originally in federal court by the plaintiff. Here, however, Haslam is employing a novel procedural approach in an effort to defeat the defense usually raised by governmental employees and agencies to avoid accountability for wrongful acts, a defense known as “immunity”. The case was originally filed in Smith County state court and the defendants “removed” the case to federal court. Under this novel approach, Haslam expects the benefit of an obscure U.S. Supreme Court case, Lapides vs Board of Regents, 535 U.S. 613 , will work to waive the immunity defenses so often exploited by government actors who commit wrongs against citizens and Mr. Belyeu will get the damages he requires to compensate his injuries.