Civil Case Law - Sixth Circuit

Bishop v. Hackel , 636 F.3d 757 (6th Cir. 2011): A young, mentally slow inmate was assaulted by his older, larger cellmate.  The court found that a deputy who was aware of the victim’s status as vulnerable, and the offending inmate’s status as predatory could be held liable under the Eighth Amendment for deliberate indifference.  Furthermore, the court found there was a possibility the deputy had overheard the sexual assault taking place, which would have put a reasonable prison official on notice of a potential sexual assault.

Jackson v. Madery , 158 F.App'x 656 (6th Cir. 2005): A male correctional officer rubbing and grabbing a male inmate’s buttocks in a degrading manner did not amount to an Eighth Amendment violation.

Greene v. Bowles , 361 F.3d 290 (6th Cir. 2004):  A transsexual inmate was assaulted by other inmates.  The court found that a warden could be held liable for deliberate indifference to an inmate’s safety, if he knew of the risk of housing a transsexual inmate in the same unit with a predatory inmate.

Johnson v. Ward, 2000 WL 659354 (6th Cir. May 11, 2000):  A male inmate claimed that a male correctional officer placed his hand on the inmate’s buttocks and made an offensive sexual remark.  The court found this was not objectively, sufficiently serious to state an Eighth Amendment claim.

Zander v. McGinnis, 1998 WL 384625 (6th Cir. 1998):  Verbal abuse which consisted of a male correctional officer mouthing pet names at an inmate for ten months was insufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim.

Taylor v. Mich. Dep't of Corr. , 69 F.3d 76 (6th Cir. 1995): The court found that correctional officers could be held liable for the sexual assault of an inmate, where they “arguably knew about the problem of widespread sexual assaults and knew that smaller, youthful prisoners were more vulnerable to attack than others.”

Roland v. Johnson , 856 F.2d 764 (6th Cir. 1988): A male inmate was raped by another inmate.  The court found that prison officials could be found deliberately indifferent by their knowledge that the offending inmates had the propensity to commit sexual assaults, and failing to remove them from the victim’s cellblock.   Furthermore, the warden had been shown a picture of the inmate that would have suggested the inmate fit the profile for a prison rape victim.

Evans v. Capello , 2012 WL 1611227 (W.D. Mich. May 8, 2012): Male correctional officer rubbing male inmates wrists in a sexual manner could not sustain an Eighth Amendment violation, as it was one isolated incident.

Reynolds v. Warzak, 2011 WL 4005477 (W.D. Mich. Sept. 8, 2011): A male correctional officer grabbed a male inmate’s buttocks and asked him, “[h]ow's that feel you little bitch?” The inmate further stated that the same officer had rubbed his chest, legs, and thighs during a pat down search on a separate occasion.  The court found there was no Eighth Amendment violation.

McGuffey v. Eesley, 2011 WL 3739358 (W.D. Mich. Aug. 23, 2011): Female GED instructor repeatedly sexually abused male inmate, which was sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim.

Abney v. Thompson , 2011 WL 2940612 (W.D .Ky. Jul. 19, 2011): A male inmate claimed repeated verbal harassment and physical contact over six months.  The court denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss, finding the inmate had sufficiently stated an Eighth Amendment claim.

Colston v. McLeod, 2011 WL 673941 (W.D. Mich Feb. 17, 2011) : A male inmate claimed a female correctional officer rubbed his buttocks, grabbed his penis during a pat-down search, and hugged and kissed him on two separate occasions.  The court granted the motion to dismiss, finding the inmate’s claims insufficient to state an Eighth Amendment violation.

Myles v. Gaskill, 2010 WL 2035730 (W.D. Mich. Jan. 8, 2010):  The court found there was no violation where a male correctional officer grabbed a male inmate’s buttocks during a pat-down search.Hamed v. Wayne County , 803 N.W.2d 237 (2011): A male inmate was sexually assaulted by a deputy sheriff.  The Michigan Supreme Court held that the sheriff and county could not be liable to sexual assault based on a theory of vicarious liability. 

Jones v. Bedford County , 2009 WL 4841063 (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2009): Male inmate claimed he was sexually assaulted by a male correctional officer, and brought suit under the state Governmental Tort Liability act.  The court dismissed his negligent supervision claim, because there was no evidence that the county was aware of the officer’s actions.

S.H. v. Stickrath , 251 F.R.D. 295 (S.D. Ohio 2008): Female minors in a detention facility filed suit in behalf of all girls confined in the facility, alleging that they were subjected to “grossly unconstitutional conditions of confinement,” including physical and sexual abuse from staff.   The parties entered into a settlement negotiation in order to remedy the conditions at the facility.

Brown v. Scott , 329 F. Supp. 2d 905 (E.D. Mich. 2004): A male inmate was raped by his cellmate.  Prior to the assault, the inmate had requested to be moved, as he believed his cellmate was a predatory homosexual. The court allowed a suit against the unit manager to proceed, as the manager had denied inmate’s request to be moved.