929 F.2d 1014 (5th Cir. 1990), 87-3394, Hudson v. McMillian

Docket Nº:87-3394
Citation:929 F.2d 1014
Party Name:Keith J. HUDSON, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Jack McMILLIAN, CSO III, et al., Defendants-Appellants.
Case Date:July 31, 1990
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

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929 F.2d 1014 (5th Cir. 1990)

Keith J. HUDSON, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Jack McMILLIAN, CSO III, et al., Defendants-Appellants.

No. 87-3394

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

July 31, 1990

S. Dwayne Broussard, J. Marvin Montgomery, Asst. Atty. Gen., Baton Rouge, La., for defendants-appellants.

Keith J. Hudson, Angola, La., pro se.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.

Before POLITZ, DAVIS, and BARKSDALE, Circuit Judges.


On appeal is a judgment rendered by a magistrate in favor of a prisoner who was physically mistreated by corrections officers. In light of the standards established by this court's intervening decision in Huguet v. Barnett, 900 F.2d 838 (5th Cir.1990), and progeny, however, we must reverse.

Keith J. Hudson, a Louisiana state prisoner confined to Angola penitentiary invoked 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 and sued corrections officers Jack McMillian, Marvin Woods, and Arthur Mezo. The parties consented to disposition of the case by a magistrate, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 636(c). The evidence reflects that on October 30, 1983 Hudson

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got into an argument with McMillian who punched Hudson in the mouth, eyes, chest, and stomach while Woods held him. The blows cracked Hudson's partial dental plate, split his lower lip and loosened his teeth. He received bruises to his body but no other cuts. Woods kicked Hudson on his backside. Mezo, the supervisor of McMillian and Woods, watched the beating but merely cautioned the officers not to "have too much fun."

Hudson appeared at sick call on October 31 and November 1, 1983 with a dental complaint; his medical record contains no reference to facial bruises or other injuries.

In awarding Hudson a modest judgment the magistrate credited the testimony of Hudson, rejecting that of the officers, and concluded that "defendants Woods and McMillian used force on the plaintiff when there was no need.... the force used resulted in minor bruises and swelling to the plaintiff's face, mouth and lip.... [p]laintiff's injuries from the beating were minor and required no medical attention." Defendants timely appealed.

This court joins the magistrate in deploring the use of unnecessary force in the treatment of prisoners. Hopefully someday this blight on our criminal justice system will be forever removed. However not every use of...

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