Civil Case Law - Eleventh Circuit

Doe v. Georgia Dep’t of Corrs. , 248 F.App’x. 67 (11th Cir. 2007): A male inmate in a state facility alleged that he was sexually assaulted by a male correctional officer, and reported the assault to correctional officers.  Subsequent to his report, the same correctional officer assaulted a second inmate.  The court found that the facility had immediately commenced an investigatory process, and that the first claim was unsubstantiated and contested, and therefore the facility officials were not deliberately indifferent to the sexual assault claims.

Washington v. Harris , 186 F.App'x 865 (11th Cir. 2006):  Male inmate claimed male correctional officer grabbed his genitals, kissed him on the mouth, and threatened to perform oral sex on him.  The court found that the inmate’s allegations that he suffered momentary pain, “psychological injury,” embarrassment, humiliation, and fear were insufficient to state a harm cognizable under the Eighth Amendment.

Boxer v. Harris , 437 F.3d 1107 (11th Cir. 2006): Male inmate claimed he was force to strip and masturbate for a female correctional officer.  The court found this was a de minimis injury, and therefore not enough to state an Eighth Amendment claim.

LaMarca v. Turner , 995 F.2d 1526 (11th Cir. 1993): A male inmate filed suit against correctional officers, claiming that he was constantly subjected to requests for sexual activity, or requests for payment for protection.  The court found that the facility presented an unreasonable exposure to sexual assaults, and that the inmate successfully presented an Eighth Amendment claim for failure to protect. 

Zatler v. Wainwright , 802 F.2d 397 (11th Cir. 1986): The court granted summary judgment for the defendant where an inmate was sexually abused by other inmates. The court found that the sheriff could not be held liable for deliberate indifference, due to a number of policies and procedures in place to identify and protect at-risk inmates.

Jemison v. Mack , 2012 WL 2601382 (S.D. Ala. Jan. 8, 2012): Male correctional officer made verbal sexual advances on male plaintiff, and escorted him from the cellblock in order “to just be close to [him].” The court found that this was insufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim, as the inmate’s claim was not sufficiently serious.

Allen v. McDonough , 2011 WL 4102525 (N.D. Fla. Aug. 17, 2011):  Male inmate claimed female correctional officer sexually harassed him by making sexual gestures with her tongue and hands.  The court found this was not sufficiently serious to state an Eighth Amendment violation.

Helton v. Burks , 2011 WL 7628516 (M.D. Ga. Aug. 3, 2011): Male inmate alleged correctional officer touched him on the buttocks.  The court found that a single, isolated incident was not enough to state an Eighth Amendment violation.

Washington v. Albright , 814 F. Supp. 2d 1317 (M.D. Ala. 2011): A female inmate was sexually assaulted by a male correctional officer, and later became pregnant as a result of the sexual assault.  A lawsuit had previously been filed against the same facility, alleging overcrowding resulting in an increased risk of harm.  The court found that all official policies and state laws prohibited the officer’s conduct, and therefore the inmate had to present a factual predicate upon which to base her deliberate indifference claim, which she failed to do.

Mobley v. Gresco , 2011 WL 3163159 (N.D. Fla. Jul. 1, 2011): A male inmate was sexually assaulted by two other inmates.  The inmate only alleged mental injury, and therefore the court dismissed the claim, requiring a showing of physical injury to sustain the 1983 claim.

Brown v. Riley , 2010 WL 3069490 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 4, 2010): A male inmate was sodomized by his cellmate, and informed correctional officers he had been “taken advantage of.”  The officers later placed the inmate back with the same cellmate, where he was sodomized again.  The court denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss, noting that if the officers had in fact understood the inmate’s statement to mean the inmate had been sexually assaulted, then the officer’s failure to act would be a violation of the inmate’s Eighth Amendment rights.

Walker v. Freeman , 2009 WL 63051 (N.D. Ga. Jan. 9, 2009): A male inmate claimed the deputy sheriff used threats to force the inmate to perform sexual acts, and to allow the deputy to perform sexual acts on him.  The court found the inmate’s allegations that the sheriff knew of the deputy’s conduct and his failure to remove him were enough to substantiate the inmate’s claim under the Eighth Amendment.

Boyd v. Nichols , 616 F. Supp. 2d 1331 (M.D. Ga. 2009):  Male correctional officer raped female inmate on one occasion, and forced her to perform oral sex on him on a second occasion.  The court found the sheriff was not deliberately indifferent, where there was no evidence that the sheriff had any knowledge that the officer would have been a threat to female inmates, nor knowledge of any issues with male correctional officers escorting female inmates, and the officer in question had been trained on how to interact with inmates.

Crocker v. City of Fairhope , 2005 WL 1027248 (S.D. Ala. Mar. 30, 2005): Female inmate was raped three times and forced to engage in oral sex once by male jailer. Summary judgment was denied for both parties, finding that while plaintiff presented a genuine issue of material fact, defendant’s evidence could cause a jury to find that she was not raped.

K.M. v. Alabama Department of Youth Services , 360 F. Supp. 2d 1253 (M.D. Ala. 2005):  Female juvenile detainees claimed they were sexually assaulted by a male correctional officer.  The court found that the officer could be held liable under state tort law, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment, and that he would not be protected by state immunity.

Hammond v. Gordon County, 316 F. Supp. 2d 1262 (N.D. Ga. 2002):  Female inmates alleged that male correctional officer required them to strip in order to receive toiletries, and engaged in sexual acts with them.  One female inmate further alleged that male officers encouraged her to perform sexual acts on other inmates in exchange for cigarettes.  Two of the officers in question were convicted of criminal charges.  The court found the individual correctional officers could be held liable under Eighth Amendment, but found the county could not be held liable.