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Sixth Circuit Victory in § 1983 Action

In a recent ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, BSP Attorneys Stephanie Douglas, Jessica Currie, and Jason Schneider prevailed for their client, Community Programs, Inc. (“CPI”). The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of claims brought by a parolee, who alleged that CPI had violated his constitutional rights in connection with his parole-mandated substance abuse counseling. The CPI defendants obtained dismissal below on grounds that the plaintiff had not pleaded state action. On appeal, the Sixth Circuit ruled that, even assuming state action, the plaintiff had not sufficiently alleged that the CPI defendants violated his rights under the Fourth, Eighth, or Fourteenth Amendment. The panel reasoned that the Fourth Amendment does not apply to the plaintiff-parolee’s alleged post-conviction liberty deprivations. With respect to his Eighth Amendment claim, the plaintiff’s claim failed because he did not allege that any CPI defendant was deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need, subjected him to unnecessary pain, or denied him minimal life necessities. Finally, the plaintiff had not stated a Fourteenth Amendment claim because he did not allege that any CPI defendant was involved in his placement in the substance abuse program. The opinion can be read here.

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