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Case: 1:19-cv-00453-TSB Doc #: 1 Filed: 06/14/19 Page: 1 of 11 PAGEID #: 1

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
WESTERN DIVISION

JARED SCHWARTZ :
Care of: : Case No. 1:19cv00453
Mezibov Butler :
615 Elsinore Place, Suite 105 :
Cincinnati, OH 45202 :
: Judge
Plaintiff, :
:
vs. :
:
CLERMONT COUNTY :
SHERIFF’S OFFICE :
4470 OH-222 :
Batavia, Ohio 45103 :
:
and :
:
CLERMONT COUNTY, OHIO :
101 E. Main Street :
Batavia, OH 45103 :
:
and :
:
SHERIFF ROBERT LEAHY :
In his official and individual :
capacity :
4470 OH-222 :
Batavia, Ohio 45103 :
:
and :
:
JEFFREY GAFFNEY :
In his official and individual :
capacity :
4470 OH-222 :
Batavia, Ohio 45103 :
:
and :
:
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JOSHUA OBERSCHLAKE :
In his official and individual :
capacity :
4470 OH-222 :
Batavia, Ohio 45103 :
:
and :
:
TIM HENDERSHOT :
In his official and individual :
capacity :
4470 OH-222 :
Batavia, Ohio 45103 :

and :
:
DAWN RIOS :
In her official and individual :
capacity :
4470 OH-222 :
Batavia, Ohio 45103 :
:
and :
:
SAM DUNN :
In his official and individual :
capacity :
4470 OH-222 :
Batavia, Ohio 45103 :
:
and :
:
AARON WOOLLARD :
In his official and individual :
capacity :
4470 OH-222 :
Batavia, Ohio 45103 :
:
and :
:
MICHAEL ASHLEY :
In his official and individual :
capacity :
4470 OH-222 :
Batavia, Ohio 45103 :
:
Defendants. :

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_______________________________________________________

COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND


_______________________________________________________

Plaintiff Jared Schwartz, for his Complaint against Defendants, Clermont County

Sheriff’s Office, Clermont County, Ohio, Sheriff Robert Leahy, Jeffrey Gaffney, Joshua

Oberschlake, Tim Hendershot, Dawn Rios, Sam Dunn, Aaron Woollard, and Michael

Ashley, states as follows:

I. PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

1. This is a civil rights action arising out of an incident that occurred at the

Clermont County Jail on February 17, 2018. Specifically, Mr. Schwartz alleges that he

suffered severe and permanent injuries after being subjected to excessive and objectively

unreasonable force intentionally applied against him by seven officers employed by the

Clermont County Sheriff’s Office.

2. Mr. Schwartz brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation

of his constitutional right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United

States Constitution which prohibits the use of excessive and objectively unreasonable

force by law enforcement officials against a pretrial detainee.

3. Mr. Schwartz seeks compensatory damages for the economic and non-

economic injuries he suffered as a proximate result of Defendants’ actions, punitive

damages, costs, and reasonable attorney fees.

II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

4. This Court has jurisdiction over Mr. Schwartz’s claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C.

§ 1331.

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5. Venue with this Court is appropriate because the actions complained of

herein occurred within the Southern District of Ohio.

III. PARTIES

6. Plaintiff Jared Schwartz is a United States citizen who, at all times relevant

hereto, was a pretrial detainee in the Clermont County Jail.

7. Defendant Clermont County Sheriff’s Office (“CCSO”) is a law enforcement

agency and a department of Clermont County, Ohio.

8. Defendant Sheriff Robert Leahy, at all times relevant hereto, was the

Clermont County Sheriff. Sheriff Leahy was responsible for training, supervising, and

disciplining employees and agents of the CCSO. At all times relevant hereto, Sheriff Leahy

acted under color of state law. Sheriff Leahy is sued in his individual and official capacity.

9. Defendant Jeffrey Gaffney is a Corrections Officer at the Clermont County

Jail. At all times relevant hereto, Officer Gaffney acted under color of state law. Officer

Gaffney is sued in his individual and official capacity.

10. Defendant Joshua Oberschlake is a Corrections Officer at the Clermont

County Jail. At all times relevant hereto, Officer Oberschlake acted under color of state

law. Officer Oberschlake is sued in his individual and official capacity.

11. Defendant Tim Hendershot is a Corrections Officer at the Clermont County

Jail. At all times relevant hereto, Officer Hendershot acted under color of state law.

Officer Hendershot is sued in his individual and official capacity.

12. Defendant Dawn Rios is a Corrections Officer at the Clermont County Jail.

At all times relevant hereto, Officer Rios acted under color of state law. Officer Rios is

sued in her individual and official capacity.

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13. Defendant Sam Dunn is a Corrections Officer at the Clermont County Jail.

At all times relevant hereto, Officer Dunn acted under color of state law. Officer Dunn is

sued in his individual and official capacity.

14. Defendant Aaron Woollard is a Corrections Officer at the Clermont County

Jail. At all times relevant hereto, Officer Woollard acted under color of state law. Officer

Woollard is sued in his individual and official capacity.

15. Defendant Michael Ashley is a Corrections Officer at the Clermont County

Jail. At all times relevant hereto, Officer Ashley acted under color of state law. Officer

Ashley is sued in his individual and official capacity.

IV. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

The Incident

16. Mr. Schwartz was admitted as a pretrial detainee at the Clermont County

Jail on February 8, 2018.

17. Mr. Schwartz was in his jail cell on the morning of February 17, 2018.

18. At approximately 7:30am on February 17, 2018, Officers Woollard,

Hendershot, and Gaffney initiated contact with Mr. Schwartz on the pretense of delivering

a breakfast tray to him.

19. Shortly after handing Mr. Schwartz his tray, and without any legitimate or

reasonable cause to believe that he posed an imminent threat of harm to himself or others,

the officers attacked Mr. Schwartz. More specifically, Officer Woollard grabbed Mr.

Schwartz and threw him to the ground, where upon Mr. Schwartz’s head hit a metal “pipe

chase door.” Officers surrounded Mr. Schwartz, hitting his ribs, abdomen, shoulders,

back, and head, all while Mr. Schwartz was on his hands and knees in a defenseless

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position. Officers Ashley, Rios, Oberschlake, and Dunn entered the cell moments later

following a call from either Officer Woollard, Hendershot, or Gaffney.

20. While Mr. Schwartz was being attacked, Officer Gaffney attempted to use a

can of pepper spray on Mr. Schwartz’s face. However, because the can malfunctioned,

Officer Gaffney, with the can of spray still in his hand, struck Mr. Schwartz in the face

repeatedly with punches. According to witnesses, Mr. Schwartz was punched in the face

at least ten times.

21. At some point after the initial attack, Officer Oberschlake entered the scene

and began delivering knee strikes to Mr. Schwartz’s upper back and head.

22. Eventually, Mr. Schwartz was handcuffed and placed on his back. While

Mr. Schwartz was defenseless, Officer Gaffney delivered a dropped knee to Mr. Schwartz’s

torso, stating “here’s one for the road,” followed by several knee strikes to Mr. Schwartz’s

ribs. While the officers dragged Mr. Schwartz out of his cell, Officer Hendershot walked

up behind Mr. Schwartz and kicked him in the buttocks. Following the incident, Officer

Gaffney, while laughing, relayed to the other officers that he had “teed off on [Mr.

Schwartz’s] face.”

23. Following the beating, Mr. Schwartz had a bloody nose, bruises and

contusions on his forehead, signs of a skull fracture, and scratches on his body. Mr.

Schwartz was given little medical attention from a doctor in the jail and was placed in a

single unit in the booking area for approximately seven and a half hours. Only then was

he placed in a Sherriff’s vehicle and taken to Mercy Health for treatment.

24. Mr. Schwartz’s care at Mercy revealed that, as a result of the beating, he had

suffered a right rib fracture, fractures in his L1, L2, and L3 vertebra, and was in acute

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renal failure - a life-threatening, unstable organ failure. He spent approximately six days

in the intensive care unit.

25. The actions of the officers were taken under color of state law intentionally

and with deliberate and callous indifference to Mr. Schwartz’s rights under the

Constitution of the United States to be free from the excessive and objectively

unreasonable use of force.

Post-Incident

26. After the incident, the Defendants CCSO and Sheriff Leahy accepted an

incident report and statements from each and all of the officers involved in Mr. Schwartz’s

beating. The officers provided detailed accounts of their use of excessive and objectively

unreasonable force against Mr. Schwartz, including the use of “strikes” with knees,

elbows, and closed fists to his ribs, abdomen, shoulders, back, and head, and the use of

“OC Gel” pepper spray.

27. Despite the descriptions of excessive and objectively unreasonable force

detailed by the officers in the incident report and statements, and to the best of Mr.

Schwartz’s present information and belief, Defendants CCSO and Sheriff Leahy have

taken no official remedial or disciplinary action, made no official repudiation of the

officers’ conduct, or made any effort to counsel and/or retrain the officers involved in the

incident.

28. As a direct and proximate result of the intentional and/or negligent actions

of each and all of the Defendants, Mr. Schwartz suffered and continues to suffer extreme

physical and emotional pain.

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V. STATEMENT OF THE CLAIMS

COUNT 1: Section 1983


(Excessive Force)

29. Mr. Schwartz incorporates paragraphs 1 through 28 as if fully rewritten

herein.

30. The aforementioned actions of Defendant Officers Gaffney, Oberschlake,

Hendershot, Rios, Dunn, Woollard, and Ashley constituted an excessive and objectively

unreasonable use of force in violation of Mr. Schwartz’s rights secured by the Fourteenth

Amendment of the United States Constitution.

COUNT 2: Section 1983


(Failure to Protect/Excessive Force)

31. Mr. Schwartz incorporates paragraphs 1 through 30 as if fully rewritten

herein.

32. The failure of Defendant Officers Gaffney, Oberschlake, Hendershot, Rios,

Dunn, Woollard, and Ashley to protect Mr. Schwartz from the use of excessive and

objectively unreasonable force by the other officers under circumstances where they were

present and had the opportunity to prevent or mitigate such use of excessive and

objectively unreasonable force constituted wanton and deliberate indifference to Mr.

Schwartz’s constitutional rights as secured by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United

States Constitution.

COUNT 3: Section 1983


(Excessive Force/Failure to Supervise)

33. Mr. Schwartz incorporates paragraphs 1 through 32 as if fully rewritten

herein.

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34. Defendants CCSO and Sheriff Leahy had the duty to, but failed to, exercise

due and adequate supervision over Defendant Officers Gaffney, Oberschlake,

Hendershot, Rios, Dunn, Woollard, and Ashley under circumstances where these

Defendants knew, or with reasonable diligence should have known, that these officers

posed an unreasonable risk of utilizing excessive and objectively unreasonable force

under color of state law against inmates.

35. Such failure to exercise appropriate supervision of these officers reflects the

official policy, practice, and custom of Defendant CCSO of deliberate indifference to the

rights of citizens to be free from the use of excessive and objectively unreasonable force

by members of that department.

36. Such deliberate indifference by these Defendants was the moving force

behind the constitutional violations committed against Mr. Schwartz by Officers Gaffney,

Oberschlake, Hendershot, Rios, Dunn, Woollard, and Ashley.

COUNT 4: Section 1983


(Excessive Force/Ratification)

37. Mr. Schwartz incorporates paragraphs 1 through 36 as if fully rewritten

herein.

38. Defendants CCSO and Sheriff Leahy have failed to counsel, retrain, or

discipline Defendants Officers Gaffney, Oberschlake, Hendershot, Rios, Dunn, Woollard,

and Ashley, and/or to take any other reasonably appropriate official measures to

repudiate their conduct following an official investigation which revealed indisputable

evidence that some or all of the officers used excessive and objectively unreasonable force

against Mr. Schwartz. The inaction of Defendants CCSO and Sheriff Leahy demonstrates

a position consistent with affirmance of the officers’ acts and reflects the official policy,

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practice, and custom of these Defendants of deliberate indifference to the use of such

excessive and objectively unreasonable force by the members of its department and to the

constitutional rights of pretrial detainees to be free from the use of such excessive and

objectively unreasonable force protected by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United

States Constitution.

39. Such deliberate indifference by these Defendants constitutes the adoption

and/or ratification of the excessive and objectively unreasonable use of force by officers

under their supervision and served as the motivating force behind the unconstitutional

actions of these Defendants.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

Wherefore, Plaintiff Jared Schwartz demands judgment against Defendants

Clermont County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Robert Leahy, Jeffrey Gaffney, Joshua

Oberschlake, Tim Hendershot, Dawn Rios, Sam Dunn, Aaron Woollard, and Michael

Ashley and each of them, jointly and severally, as follows:

a. A judgment for compensatory damages for his economic and non-economic injuries

in an amount to be determined at trial;

b. A judgment for punitive damages against the individual Defendants in an amount to

be determined at trial;

c. A judgment for an award of Plaintiff’s reasonable attorney fees and costs;

d. A judgment for such other relief in law or in equity that is appropriate under the

premises.

Respectfully submitted,

MEZIBOV BUTLER

/s/Marc D. Mezibov____________

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Marc D. Mezibov (OH No. 0019316)


Brian J. Butler (OH No. 008265)
Daniel J. Treadaway (OH No. 0098000)
615 Elsinore Place, Suite 105
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513.621.8800
Fax: 513.621.8833
mmezibov@mezibov.com
bbutler@mezibov.com
dtreadaway@mezibov.com

Attorneys for Plaintiff Jared Schwartz

JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff Jared Schwartz demands a jury trial to resolve issues of fact related to his

Complaint.

/s/Marc D. Mezibov___________
Marc D. Mezibov (Ohio No. 0019316)

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JS 44 (Rev. 07/16) CIVIL COVER SHEET
The JS 44 civil cover sheet and the information contained herein neither replace nor supplement the filing and service of pleadings or other papers as required by law, except as
provided by local rules of court. This form, approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 1974, is required for the use of the Clerk of Court for the
purpose of initiating the civil docket sheet. (SEE INSTRUCTIONS ON NEXT PAGE OF THIS FORM.)

I. (a) PLAINTIFFS DEFENDANTS


Jared Schwartz Clermont County Sheriff’s Office, et al.

(b) County of Residence of First Listed Plaintiff Clermont County of Residence of First Listed Defendant
(EXCEPT IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES) (IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES ONLY)
NOTE: IN LAND CONDEMNATION CASES, USE THE LOCATION OF
THE TRACT OF LAND INVOLVED.

(c) Attorneys (Firm Name, Address, and Telephone Number) Attorneys (If Known)
Mezibov Butler
615 Elsinore Place, Suite 105
Cincinnati, OH 45202

II. BASIS OF JURISDICTION (Place an “X” in One Box Only) III. CITIZENSHIP OF PRINCIPAL PARTIES (Place an “X” in One Box for Plaintiff
(For Diversity Cases Only) and One Box for Defendant)
’ 1 U.S. Government ’ 3 Federal Question PTF DEF PTF DEF
Plaintiff (U.S. Government Not a Party) Citizen of This State ’ 1 ’ 1 Incorporated or Principal Place ’ 4 ’ 4
of Business In This State

’ 2 U.S. Government ’ 4 Diversity Citizen of Another State ’ 2 ’ 2 Incorporated and Principal Place ’ 5 ’ 5
Defendant (Indicate Citizenship of Parties in Item III) of Business In Another State

Citizen or Subject of a ’ 3 ’ 3 Foreign Nation ’ 6 ’ 6


Foreign Country
IV. NATURE OF SUIT (Place an “X” in One Box Only)
CONTRACT TORTS FORFEITURE/PENALTY BANKRUPTCY OTHER STATUTES
’ 110 Insurance PERSONAL INJURY PERSONAL INJURY ’ 625 Drug Related Seizure ’ 422 Appeal 28 USC 158 ’ 375 False Claims Act
’ 120 Marine ’ 310 Airplane ’ 365 Personal Injury - of Property 21 USC 881 ’ 423 Withdrawal ’ 376 Qui Tam (31 USC
’ 130 Miller Act ’ 315 Airplane Product Product Liability ’ 690 Other 28 USC 157 3729(a))
’ 140 Negotiable Instrument Liability ’ 367 Health Care/ ’ 400 State Reapportionment
’ 150 Recovery of Overpayment ’ 320 Assault, Libel & Pharmaceutical PROPERTY RIGHTS ’ 410 Antitrust
& Enforcement of Judgment Slander Personal Injury ’ 820 Copyrights ’ 430 Banks and Banking
’ 151 Medicare Act ’ 330 Federal Employers’ Product Liability ’ 830 Patent ’ 450 Commerce
’ 152 Recovery of Defaulted Liability ’ 368 Asbestos Personal ’ 840 Trademark ’ 460 Deportation
Student Loans ’ 340 Marine Injury Product ’ 470 Racketeer Influenced and
(Excludes Veterans) ’ 345 Marine Product Liability LABOR SOCIAL SECURITY Corrupt Organizations
’ 153 Recovery of Overpayment Liability PERSONAL PROPERTY ’ 710 Fair Labor Standards ’ 861 HIA (1395ff) ’ 480 Consumer Credit
of Veteran’s Benefits ’ 350 Motor Vehicle ’ 370 Other Fraud Act ’ 862 Black Lung (923) ’ 490 Cable/Sat TV
’ 160 Stockholders’ Suits ’ 355 Motor Vehicle ’ 371 Truth in Lending ’ 720 Labor/Management ’ 863 DIWC/DIWW (405(g)) ’ 850 Securities/Commodities/
’ 190 Other Contract Product Liability ’ 380 Other Personal Relations ’ 864 SSID Title XVI Exchange
’ 195 Contract Product Liability ’ 360 Other Personal Property Damage ’ 740 Railway Labor Act ’ 865 RSI (405(g)) ’ 890 Other Statutory Actions
’ 196 Franchise Injury ’ 385 Property Damage ’ 751 Family and Medical ’ 891 Agricultural Acts
’ 362 Personal Injury - Product Liability Leave Act ’ 893 Environmental Matters
Medical Malpractice ’ 790 Other Labor Litigation ’ 895 Freedom of Information
REAL PROPERTY CIVIL RIGHTS PRISONER PETITIONS ’ 791 Employee Retirement FEDERAL TAX SUITS Act
’ 210 Land Condemnation ’ 440 Other Civil Rights Habeas Corpus: Income Security Act ’ 870 Taxes (U.S. Plaintiff ’ 896 Arbitration
’ 220 Foreclosure ’ 441 Voting ’ 463 Alien Detainee or Defendant) ’ 899 Administrative Procedure
’ 230 Rent Lease & Ejectment ’ 442 Employment ’ 510 Motions to Vacate ’ 871 IRS—Third Party Act/Review or Appeal of
’ 240 Torts to Land ’ 443 Housing/ Sentence 26 USC 7609 Agency Decision
’ 245 Tort Product Liability Accommodations ’ 530 General ’ 950 Constitutionality of
’ 290 All Other Real Property ’ 445 Amer. w/Disabilities - ’ 535 Death Penalty IMMIGRATION State Statutes
Employment Other: ’ 462 Naturalization Application
’ 446 Amer. w/Disabilities - ’ 540 Mandamus & Other ’ 465 Other Immigration
Other ’ 550 Civil Rights Actions
’ 448 Education ’ 555 Prison Condition
’ 560 Civil Detainee -
Conditions of
Confinement
V. ORIGIN (Place an “X” in One Box Only)
’ 1 Original ’ 2 Removed from ’ 3 Remanded from ’ 4 Reinstated or ’ 5 Transferred from ’ 6 Multidistrict ’ 8 Multidistrict
Proceeding State Court Appellate Court Reopened Another District Litigation - Litigation -
(specify) Transfer Direct File
Cite the U.S. Civil Statute under which you are filing (Do not cite jurisdictional statutes unless diversity):
42 U.S.C. § 1983
VI. CAUSE OF ACTION Brief description of cause:
Excessive Force
VII. REQUESTED IN ’ CHECK IF THIS IS A CLASS ACTION DEMAND $ CHECK YES only if demanded in complaint:
COMPLAINT: UNDER RULE 23, F.R.Cv.P. JURY DEMAND: ’ Yes ’ No
VIII. RELATED CASE(S)
(See instructions):
IF ANY JUDGE DOCKET NUMBER
DATE SIGNATURE OF ATTORNEY OF RECORD
06/14/2019 s/Marc D. Mezibov
FOR OFFICE USE ONLY

RECEIPT # AMOUNT APPLYING IFP JUDGE MAG. JUDGE

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