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Excessive force claim against Deputy is dismissed

Officers investigating a domestic disturbance arrested John Mahl, the ex-husband.  As they prepared to handcuff him, he told the officers that he suffered from a shoulder injury, had confirming physician documentation at his home, and asked that he be handcuffed with his wrists in front of his body.  Officers rejected his request and he later filed an injury suit alleging gross negligence and assault and battery.  The arresting officer's motion to dismiss was denied by the trial court, as the judge concluded the reasonableness of the officer's conduct was a question of fact to be decided by the jury.  Judges Chris Murray, Jane Markey and Stephen Borrello completed an anti-victim sweep of their cases for the month by overturning the Genesee County judge's decision and dismissing the claim.  They held that the gross negligence claim was incorporated into the battery claim, and that the latter claim should be dismissed because "there [was] no evidence that Defendant in bad faith disregarded plaintiff's request...There must be some discretion reposed in a sheriff or other officer...[A]nd this discretion cannot be passed upon by a court or jury unless it has been abused thorugh malice or wantonness or a reckless indifference..."

Of course, by the court's appellate standard in this case, the officer's account of his conduct simply can't be challenged at all, since the Court refused to consider the alleged victim's account of his arrest and treatment by the deputy.   The case is Mahl v. Maguire.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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