United States Seventh Circuit

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Lewis v. Downey, 08-2960

District court's grant of summary judgment to multiple defendants involved in a civil rights case brought by a federal prisoner alleging cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment and other constitutional violations is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) officer Ayala's dismissal from the lawsuit was appropriate, as he cannot be liable for failing to respond to other officer's use of the taser gun where there was no realistic opportunity to intervene; 2) it is unlikely that the defendant who was awaiting sentencing and the entry of final judgment had yet accrued Eighth Amendment protections, where at the time of relevant events, plaintiff was neither a pretrial detainee nor a sentenced prisoner, and thus, the basis for plaintiff's section 1983 action should have been the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause; 3) in evaluating plaintiff's claims under the Fourteenth Amendment, insofar as the alleged conduct would have violated the Eighth Amendment, district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of officer Shreffler was improper, as plaintiff has raised a genuine issue of material fact regarding Shreffler's mental state at the time he discharged the taser; 4) officer Shreffler is not entitled to qualified immunity; and 5) plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment Due Process claim that arose from his placement in segregation without a hearing is dismissed.

Appellate Information

  • Argued 03/30/2009
  • Decided 09/04/2009
  • Published 09/04/2009


  • KANNE, Circuit Judge., Before KANNE, WOOD, and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.


  • United States Seventh Circuit


  • For Appellant:
  • Peter M. Schutzel (argued), McDermott, Will & Emery, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

  • For Appellees:
  • Michael D. Bersani, Attorney (argued), Hervas, Condon & Bersani, Itasca, IL, for Defendants-Appellees.