Crumley v. Forestall

Decision Date29 September 2021
Docket Number1:19-cv-4110-RLM-DML
PartiesKEITH CRUMLEY, by Next Friend Shirley Crumley, Plaintiff v. KERRY J. FORESTAL, et al., Defendants
CourtU.S. District Court — Southern District of Indiana
OPINION AND ORDER

Robert L. Miller, Jr. Judge, United States District Court

Plaintiff Keith Crumley, through his Next Friend Shirley Crumley, has filed this lawsuit over events that happened when he was arrested and incarcerated in October 2017. He has sued defendants the City of Indianapolis, the Marion County Sheriff's Office, and Kerry Forestal in his official capacity as Marion County Sheriff for claims brought under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. He also sued individually defendants Teresa Pierce, Khyree Jones, Tyler Bouma, Joanna Sahm, Robert Frederick, Diedra Baker, Tanesha Crear, William Weaver, and Officer Foxworthy for claims brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Cross-motions for summary judgment are before the court: Mr. Crumley has moved for summary judgment on his ADA and Section 504 claims he brought against Indianapolis and Mr. Forestal. Defendants Bouma, Sahm, Frederick, Baker, Creater, Weaver, and Foxworthy (“the individual municipal defendants) and the Sheriff's Office have moved for summary judgment on all claims brought against them. Defendants Bouma, [1] Jones, and Indianapolis (“the city defendants) have separately moved for summary judgment on all claims brought against them. For the following reasons, the court denies Mr Crumley's motion [Doc. No. 95], grants in part and denies in part the individual municipal defendants' and the Sheriff's Office's motion [Doc. No. 107], and grants the city defendants' motion [Doc. No. 109].

I. BACKGROUND [2]

Mr Crumley is a disabled person with deficits in expressing his needs and understanding what others expect of him. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and intellectual disability. He has lived in a group home since he was seventeen and is reportedly extremely low functioning. He takes several medications to control symptoms related to his disabilities, including clozapine for his schizophrenia, and has become listless and catatonic when he misses multiple doses.

A. Officer Khyree Jones's Arrest of Mr. Crumley

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Khyree Jones and another officer responded to a disturbance at a local business on October 13, 2017. Officer Jones spoke with the reporting individual, a local proprietor, who said Mr. Crumley had been throwing rocks at his business and nearby cars. Mr. Crumley was on an outing with people from his group home, including group home supervisor Nathan Crim. Officer Jones approached Mr. Crumley's group, and Mr. Crim told Officer Jones that Mr. Crumley had earlier bitten his roommate, and the roommate wished to press charges. He also stated that he pulled over the van that the group had been traveling in because Mr. Crumley was upset, and that he was unable to control Mr. Crumley when he was throwing rocks after the van was pulled over. Officer Jones saw bite marks on the roommate's neck and shoulder area, and blood flowing from a bite mark on the roommate's forearm. The roommate also told Officer Jones that Mr. Crumley kept trying to attack him in the group home van.

While talking with Mr. Crim, Officer Jones asked whether Mr. Crumley had any mental illnesses or prescribed medications and why Mr. Crumley would bite someone and throw rocks. He also asked what the group home's policy was for handling an incident like this. Mr. Crim couldn't answer most of Officer Jones's questions and couldn't provide Officer Jones with any of Mr. Crumley's diagnoses or medications but said that it seemed like Mr. Crumley had multiple personalities. Mr. Crim then called his supervisor who later arrived at the scene. Officer Jones asked the supervisor the same questions he asked Mr. Crim, but the supervisor was also unable to provide any answers because that information was kept at the group home and he didn't bring it with him. Officer Jones didn't do anything else to get the information from the group home.

Officer Jones then asked Mr. Crumley what his name was and what was going on, but Mr. Crumley didn't respond verbally or non-verbally. He instead just looked around. Officer Jones observed that Mr. Crumley appeared distant and was either unable or unwilling to communicate. If someone came close to Mr. Crumley, he would start humming and scoot away. Because of all of this, Officer Jones was unable to determine whether Mr. Crumley could understand what was said to him and believed that Mr. Crumley suffered from some type of mental issue.

Officer Jones placed Mr. Crumley in handcuffs and contacted an officer from IMPD's behavioral health services unit, Sergeant Lance Dardeen, for an assessment. Sergeant Dardeen testified that he doesn't remember what he discussed with Officer Jones or whether Mr. Crumley had untreated medical needs. Officer Jones decided that Mr. Crumley would be placed under arrest for misdemeanor battery and taken to Eskenazi Hospital for medical treatment under immediate detention. Mr. Crumley was placed under immediate detention because Officer Jones believed that Mr. Crumley might have been diagnosed with a mental illness, couldn't confirm when Mr. Crumley last took his medications, and believed Mr. Crumley to be a threat to others based on the nature of his alleged actions earlier in the day. The encounter between Mr. Crumley and Officer Jones at the scene lasted for almost an hour. Mr. Crumley cooperated with Officer Jones when being handcuffed and wasn't threatening or aggressive at any point during the encounter.

Officer Jones testified in his deposition that when IMPD officers have evidence that a crime has been committed, including a victim's complaint that they have been assaulted, they shall press charges and do a report. Mr. Crumley disputes this, claiming that IMPD General Order 1.11 explicitly recognizes an officer's discretion to arrest a person based on factors including the person's prior criminal record, the nature of the crime, the severity of the crime, the likelihood that the individual will commit another crime, and IMPD goals and objectives. But the city defendants say that IMPD General Order 1.12 limits that discretion to not arrest an individual when an officer is responding to offenses that pose an immediate threat to public safety. Officer Jones testified that Sergeant Dardeen agreed with his decision to place Mr. Crumley under arrest because the victim was complaining of pain.

B. Mr. Crumley's Immediate Detention at Eskenazi Hospital

Mr. Crumley was transported to Eskenazi by ambulance and was unable to answer basic questions when he arrived. Mr. Crumley was no longer in Officer Jones's custody at Eskenazi because custody of Mr. Crumley transferred to the Eskenazi officers, so Officer Jones left. At least one medical professional called Officer Jones after he left and asked if Mr. Crumley's charges could be dropped because the hospital didn't have the medication that Mr. Crumley needed. Officer Jones responded that there was nothing he could do because he didn't have the right to drop charges or release anyone who wasn't in his custody.

Mr. Crumley didn't meet the inpatient admission criteria at Eskenazi, and since Mr. Crumley was under custodial arrest, he was discharged and transferred to the Marion County Jail after a one-night stay.

C. Mr. Crumley's Intake at the Marion County Jail

Mr. Crumley arrived at the Marion County Jail on October 14, 2017, at approximately 8:40 a.m. Mr. Crumley was placed in an individual cell when he arrived and disqualified as an inmate worker because of his disability. Several steps involved in processing await a determination by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office about whether an inmate will be criminally charged. If an inmate isn't charged, he will be released and won't go through all the processing steps. At 12:56 p.m. on October 14, the Prosecutor's Office notified the jail that Mr. Crumley was charged. Mr. Crumley was held in an individual cell until all the steps in his processing were complete because of his status as a group home resident.

At approximately 1:00 a.m. on October 15, Nurse Teresa Pierce completed the medical intake screening step of Mr. Crumley's processing. Nurse Pierce knew Mr. Crumley had a disability because Mr. Crumley was talking very slowly. She sent an email to defendants Bouma, Sahm, Frederick, Baker, Crear, Weaver-who are members of the jail's custody or medical staff-with a subject line titled “Medical priority...” that read Keith Crumley-- 1741716/7100923 is being made a medical priority d/t his medical condition (group home).” Nurse Pierce informed Mr. Crumley that he could access medical, dental, or mental health services within the jail by making a written or verbal request to a nurse. At least one medical care worker at the jail, Social Worker Schrettenbrunner, didn't believe Mr. Crumley understood how to access medical care because of his lack of communication skills.

If a court enters a bond order while an inmate is still in the intake process facility, the inmate is provided with information about the bond amount, their pending charges, and their court date. The inmate is also allowed to make a phone call to ask that someone pay his bond before being transferred to the main jail. The criminal court set a $150 bond for Mr. Crumley on October 14 at 12:56 p.m. This information was available to the jail. Inmates housed in the general holding area have access to phones, while inmates housed in individual cells don't.

D. Mr. Crumley's Transfer from Intake to the Main Jail

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