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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE NASHVILLE DIVISION

JORDAN NORRIS,

)

PLAINTIFF

)

)

vs.

)

)

CASE NUMBER

MARK BRYANT,

)

JOSH MARRIOTT, and

)

JEFF KEY,

)

DEFENDANTS.

)

COMPLAINT

Comes now Plaintiff Jordan Norris, by and through his attorneys, and for cause of action

against the Defendants would respectfully state as follows:

I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

1. This action is brought against the Defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for

deprivation of civil rights secured by the Fourteenth Amendments to the United States

Constitution.

2. Jurisdiction is founded upon 28 U.S.C. § 1331, § 1343(a)(3)(4), and § 1367(a).

This Court has jurisdiction over the Plaintiff’s claims of violation of civil rights under 42 U.S.C.

§ 1983. Venue is proper in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391 in that the factual acts and

omissions which give rise to this cause of action occurred within this district and within one year

of the filing of this complaint and this Court otherwise has jurisdiction.

II. PARTIES

3. The Plaintiff, Jordan Norris, is a citizen and resident of the United States,

domiciled in Cheatham County, Tennessee.

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4.

Defendant Mark Bryant is employed in Cheatham County, Tennessee and was at

all times material to the allegations in this Complaint acting in his capacity as a Cheatham

County deputy sheriff and was acting under color of state law by virtue of his authority as a law

enforcement officer. He is sued in his individual capacity.

5. Defendant Josh Marriott is employed in Cheatham County, Tennessee and was at

all times material to the allegations in this Complaint acting in his capacity as a Cheatham

County deputy sheriff and was acting under color of state law by virtue of his authority as a law

enforcement officer. He is sued in his individual capacity.

6. Defendant Jeff Key is employed in Cheatham County, Tennessee and was at all

times material to the allegations in this Complaint acting in his capacity as a Cheatham County

deputy sheriff and was acting under color of state law by virtue of his authority as a law

enforcement officer. He is sued in his individual capacity.

III. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

7. On November 3, 2016, Jordan Norris was arrested for non-violent misdemeanor

offenses by members of the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office and detained in the Cheatham

County Jail. The charges were later resolved in a deferred adjudication pursuant to Tenn. Code

Ann. § 40-35-313.

8. On November 5, 2016 at approximately 7:00 p.m., Plaintiff Norris was in the

custody of the Cheatham County Sherriff’s Office in the Cheatham County Jail. He began

suffering a mental health episode and was banging his own head against the door. For his own

safety, Officers decided to extract him from the cell and placed him in a restraint chair. Officers

of the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stabilize Plaintiff Norris but were

unsuccessful.

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9.

Due to his mental health episode, Defendant Bryant ordered that Plaintiff Norris

be placed on “suicide watch” and then contacted a nurse and Mobile Crisis Services for

treatment.

10. At approximately 8:00 p.m., Plaintiff Norris was on “suicide watch” in the jail.

His arms, chest, waist, and legs were restrained by a restraint chair.

11. While Plaintiff Norris was restrained in the restraint chair, Defendant Marriott

repeatedly held and squeezed Plaintiff Norris by the face, neck, and shoulders and applied

pressure point techniques intended to cause pain.

12. While Plaintiff Norris was restrained in the restraint chair, Defendant Key and

Defendant Bryant held down Plaintiff Norris’s right arm against the chair. Another Officer,

Caitlin Johnson, was in the immediate vicinity and able to provide assistance if required.

vicinity and able to provide assistance if required. Case 3:17-cv-01067 Document 1 3 Filed 07/21/17 Page

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13.

While Plaintiff Norris was in the restraint chair and physically restrained by the

chair and multiple Officers, Defendant Bryant shocked Plaintiff Norris with a Taser device four

times totaling approximately fifty seconds on his stomach and legs.

approximately fifty seconds on his stomach and legs. 14. The taser shocks by Defendant Bryant were

14. The taser shocks by Defendant Bryant were recorded by an overhead surveillance

video camera and by a camera on the Taser itself.

15. While tasing Plaintiff Norris, Defendant Bryant stated: “I’ll keep on doing that

until I run out of batteries.”

16. Defendant Bryant’s statement evidence that he was acting in a sadistic and

malicious nature in repeatedly tasing Plaintiff Norris, such that the force was unreasonable.

17. Defendant Bryant instructed Plaintiff Norris to “stop resisting” while Defendant

Bryant was actually still tasing Plaintiff Norris and while Plaintiff Norris was restrained in the

restraint chair.

18. Audio on the Taser camera includes an unidentified person laughing while

Defendant Bryant repeatedly tased Plaintiff Norris. Another identified person can be heard

remarking, “Goddamn that kid is being lit up!”

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19. Defendant Bryant’s repeated and prolonged use of the Taser against Plaintiff

Norris

while Plaintiff Norris

was

restrained

and

suffering a mental

health

episode was

objectively unreasonable, unnecessary, excessive, and without a legitimate law enforcement

purpose.

20. While Defendant Bryant repeatedly tased Plaintiff Norris, Defendants Key and

Marriott held down Plaintiff Norris, giving them full opportunity to observe Defendant Bryant’s

use of force and the ability to prevent it.

21. Defendants Key and Marriott knew or should have known that Defendant Bryant

was using excessive force in repeatedly tasing Plaintiff Norris without proper justification.

22. By holding down Plaintiff Norris while he was being tased by Defendant Bryant,

Defendants Key and Marriott acted in conspiracy among themselves and with Defendant Bryant

to inflict excessive force upon Plaintiff Norris in a manner that was unnecessary, excessive, and

without a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

23. At approximately 10:20 p.m. on November 5, 2017, Plaintiff Norris remained

fully restrained in the restraint chair, was surrounded by several Officers, and was still on suicide

watch.

 

24.

Notwithstanding the fact that Plaintiff Norris was fully restrained in the restraint

chair,

Defendant

Bryant

again

repeatedly

stunned

Plaintiff

Norris

with

a

Taser

device

purportedly “to gain compliance” approximately five times for a total of approximately fifty

seconds despite the fact that Plaintiff Norris was not actively resisting any lawful command.

25.

Two

minutes

later,

Defendant

Bryant

tased

Plaintiff

Norris

again

for

approximately ten seconds despite the fact that Plaintiff Norris remained fully restrained any was

not actively resisting any lawful command.

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26. Defendant Bryant’s use of the Taser against Plaintiff Norris was objectively

unreasonable, unnecessary, excessive, and without a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

27.

After

being

repeatedly

Tased

by

Defendant

Bryant,

Plaintiff

Norris

was

transported to Centennial Medical Center in Ashland City, TN for medical treatment.

28. Plaintiff was

later taken

to

the Middle Tennessee Mental

Health

Institute

(MTMHI) for several days for mental health treatment, where he was stabilized and discharged

back to the jail.

29. When Plaintiff Norris bonded out of jail on November 16, 2017, he had

approximately forty pairs of Taser burns throughout his body, many of which are shown below:

burns throughout his body, many of which are shown below: Case 3:17-cv-01067 Document 1 6 Filed

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30. Upon leaving jail, Plaintiff Norris showed his Taser burns to his uncle, who was
30. Upon leaving jail, Plaintiff Norris showed his Taser burns to his uncle, who was

30. Upon leaving jail, Plaintiff Norris showed his Taser burns to his uncle, who was

horrified by nature and extent of the injuries, and encouraged Plaintiff Norris to seek legal

representation and request records and videos from the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office.

31. Plaintiff Norris and his family were distraught to see the video clips of Plaintiff

Norris being repeatedly tased while fully restrained, without any apparent justification.

32. Most of the Taser burns sustained by Plaintiff Norris are not accounted for by the

Use of Force Reports and video clips received from the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office,

raising further questions and creating a reasonable belief that Plaintiff Norris was also repeatedly

tased on other occasions without proper justification.

33. All Taser shocks described above caused extreme pain and suffering to Plaintiff

Norris.

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34. Plaintiff continues to suffer injury from the Taser uses and uses of physical

restraint described above, including but not limited to scarring on his skin, seizures, nerve

problems in his hands, mental anguish, panic attacks, memory problems, and back pain.

35. The allegations stated above are not mere conclusory statements but are based

upon reports and videos Plaintiff has obtained from the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office.

Plaintiff is filing a Motion along with this Complaint seeking to file a CD containing these

videos to be considered as Exhibits to this Complaint.

COUNT 1: EXCESSIVE FORCE

36. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates all paragraphs in this Complaint as if

expressly stated herein.

37. Defendant Bryant’s multiple and prolonged uses of the Taser against Plaintiff

Norris while he was restrained and not actively resisting constitutes an objectively unreasonable,

unnecessary, and excessive use of force that lacked a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

38. Defendant Marriott’s use of pressure point techniques and other force on Plaintiff

Norris’s head, face, and neck with Plaintiff Norris was restrained, not actively resisting, and

suffering from mental health issues known to Defendant Marriott constitutes an objectively

unreasonable, unnecessary, and excessive use of force that lacked a legitimate law enforcement

purpose.

39. Defendants Marriott and Key conspired with and acted jointly with Defendant

Bryant in tasing Plaintiff Norris by holding him down and failing to intervene in a manner that

constitutes an objectively unreasonable, unnecessary, and excessive use of force that lacked a

legitimate law enforcement purpose.

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40. Defendants acted under color of law to deprive Plaintiff Norris of his right to be

free of excessive force that amounts to punishment pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment to the

Constitution of the United States and by 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988.

41. Plaintiff Norris’s right to be free from excessive force in the manner described in

this Complaint was clearly established at the time the force was used.

42. At all times at which Defendant Bryant tased Plaintiff Norris, Plaintiff Norris did

not pose a safety threat, was not a flight risk, was not resisting, and did not use or threaten to use

force against officers.

43.

At all times at which Defendant Bryant tased Plaintiff Norris, Plaintiff Norris was

restrained

by

other

officers

and

physical

restraints,

and

on

many

occasions

had

been

incapacitated by prior tasings and was thus unable to resist.

44. There was no legitimate penological justification for Defendant Bryant to tase

Plaintiff while he was fully restraint and complaint.

45. Defendant Bryant’s repeated and prolonged use of the Taser against Plaintiff

Norris while Plaintiff Norris was fully restrained amounts to torture.

46. The Defendants’ acts and omissions described above lacked a legitimate law

enforcement purpose and were done primarily to impose punishment.

47. Defendants failed to provide sufficient warning to Plaintiff that a Taser would be

used against him before employing said Taser.

48. To the extent Plaintiff may have been noncompliant or combative to any degree

whatsoever, such behavior was involuntarily caused by significant mental health issues of which

Defendants knew or should have known, such that tasing Plaintiff constituted unnecessary and

excessive force.

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49. As a direct and proximate result of the intentional, willful and/or recklessly

indifferent acts of the Defendants, Plaintiff has suffered and sustained severe mental and physical

pain and suffering and injury.

50.

Plaintiff

is

entitled

to

compensation

for

the

constitutional

harms

that

the

Defendants inflicted upon him including personal injury, loss of liberty, and violation of his

constitutional rights.

51. The above-described deprivations of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights are a direct

and proximate result of the actions and omissions of the Defendants.

52. All Defendants are jointly and severally liable for the tasings by Defendant Bryant

because they acted jointly and in conspiracy with one another to effect the tasings which

constituted excessive force

53. Defendants purposefully and/or knowingly used objectively unreasonable force

against Plaintiff.

54. Defendants knew or should have known that the use of force applied against

Plaintiff was objectively unreasonable

55. As a direct and proximate result of the violation of his constitutional rights by the

Defendants, Plaintiff suffered general and special damages as alleged in this Complaint and is

entitled to relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

56. The actions and omissions of the Defendants complained of herein were unlawful,

conscious shocking and unconstitutional and performed maliciously, recklessly, fraudulently,

sadistically, retaliatory, intentionally, willfully, wantonly and in such a manner as to entitle the

Plaintiff to an award of punitive damages.

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COUNT 2: FAILURE TO PROTECT

57. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates all paragraphs in this Complaint as if

expressly stated herein.

58. Defendants

Key

and

Marriott

observed

or

had

reason

to

know

that excessive force would be or was being used, and had both the opportunity and the means to

prevent the harm from occurring because they held down Plaintiff Norris while he was being

tased by Defendant Bryant.

59. There was sufficient time during and between tasings by Defendant Bryant for

Defendants Key and Marriott to stop Defendant Bryant from continuing to tase Plaintiff Norris,

yet Defendants Key and Marriott failed to take any action to stop Defendant Bryant and in fact

assisted Defendant Bryant by holding down Plaintiff Norris during that time.

60. Defendants Key and Marriott are liable for failing to protect Plaintiff Norris from

Defendant Bryant’s excessive and unnecessary tasings because they actively participated in the

tasings by holding down Plaintiff Norris.

61. Defendants Key and Marriott are liable for failing to protect Plaintiff Norris from

Defendant Bryant’s excessive and unnecessary tasings because they owed Plaintiff Norris a duty

of protection against such use of excessive force.

62. As a direct and proximate result of the intentional, willful and/or recklessly

indifferent acts of the Defendants, Plaintiff has suffered and sustained severe mental and physical

pain and suffering and injury.

63.

Plaintiff

is

entitled

to

compensation

for

the

constitutional

harms

that

the

Defendants inflicted upon him including personal injury, loss of liberty, and violation of his

constitutional rights.

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64. The above-described deprivations of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights are a direct

and proximate result of the actions and omissions of the Defendants.

65. All Defendants are jointly and severally liable for the tasings by Defendant Bryant

because they acted jointly and in conspiracy with one another to effect the tasings which

constituted excessive force

66. Defendants Key and Marriott knew or should have known that their failure to

protect Defendant Norris from such uses of force was objectively unreasonable.

67. As a direct and proximate result of the violation of his constitutional rights by the

Defendants, Plaintiff suffered general and special damages as alleged in this Complaint and is

entitled to relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

68. The actions and omissions of the Defendants complained of herein were unlawful,

conscious shocking and unconstitutional and performed maliciously, recklessly, fraudulently,

sadistically, retaliatory, intentionally, willfully, wantonly and in such a manner as to entitle the

Plaintiff to an award of punitive damages.

PRAYERS FOR RELIEF

1. That process issued to the Defendants and that they be required to answer in the

time required by law.

2. That judgment be rendered in favor of the Plaintiff and against the Defendants on

all causes of action asserted herein.

3. That this Court allow Plaintiff to file a CD containing videos of the incidents

described herein to be considered as an Exhibit to this Complaint.

4. That Plaintiff be awarded those damages to which he may appear that he is

entitled by proof submitted in this case for his physical and mental pain and suffering both past

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and future, loss of enjoyment of life, and the violation of his rights guaranteed to him by the

Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

5. That punitive damages be assessed against the Defendants.

6. That the Plaintiff be awarded reasonable expenses including reasonable attorneys

fees and expert fees and discretionary costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 (b) and (c).

7. That Defendants be held jointly and severally liable for all damages.

8. That the Plaintiff receive any other further and general relief to which it may

appear that he is entitled.

9. That a jury of twelve (12) is demanded.

Respectfully submitted,

/s Benjamin K. Raybin

David J. Weissman (BPR #25188) Benjamin K. Raybin (BPR #29350) RAYBIN & WEISSMAN, P.C. 424 Church Street, Suite 2120 Nashville, Tennessee 37219 (615) 256-6666 (615) 254-4254- fax DWeissman@NashvilleTNLaw.com BRaybin@NashvilleTNLaw.com Attorneys for the Plaintiff

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JS 44

(Rev 06/17)

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

 

Jordan Norris

Mark Bryant, Josh Marriott, and Jeff Key

 
 

(b)

County of Residence of First Listed Plaintiff

Cheatham County, TN

 

County of Residence of First Listed Defendant

Cheatham County, TN

 

(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)

 

Benjamin Raybin & David Weissman, Raybin & Weissman, PC 424 Church Street, #2120, Nashville, TN 32719

   

615-256-6666

 

II.

BASIS OF JURISDICTION (Place an “X” in One Box Only)

III.

 
 

(For Diversity Cases Only) PTF

 

and One Box for Defendant)

 

1

U S Government Plaintiff

’ 3 Federal Question (U.S. Government Not a Party)

3

Federal Question (U.S. Government Not a Party)

DEF

PTF

DEF

 

Citizen of This State

1

1

Incorporated or Principal Place of Business In This State

4

4

2

U S Government Defendant

4

Diversity (Indicate Citizenship of Parties in Item III)

Citizen of Another State

2

2

Incorporated and Principal Place of Business In Another State

5

5

 

Citizen or Subject of a Foreign Country

3

3

Foreign Nation

6

6

 

IV.

NATURE OF SUIT (Place an “X” in One Box Only)

 

Click here for: Nature of Suit Code Descriptions.

 
 

CONTRACT

 

TORTS

   

FORFEITURE/PENALTY

   

BANKRUPTCY

 

OTHER STATUTES

110 Insurance

PERSONAL INJURY

PERSONAL INJURY

625 Drug Related Seizure of Property 21 USC 881

 

422 Appeal 28 USC 158

 

375 False Claims Act

 

120 Marine

310 Airplane

365 Personal Injury -

 

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 & Enforcement of Judgment

320 Assault, Libel & Slander

 

Pharmaceutical Personal Injury

   

PROPERTY RIGHTS

 

410 Antitrust

820 Copyrights

 

430 Banks and Banking

 

151 Medicare Act

330 Federal Employers’

Product Liability 368 Asbestos Personal

830 Patent

 

450 Commerce

152 Recovery of Defaulted Student Loans (Excludes Veterans)

Liability

835 Patent - Abbreviated New Drug Application

 

460 Deportation

340 Marine

Injury Product

470 Racketeer Influenced and

345 Marine Product

Liability PERSONAL PROPERTY

840 Trademark

Corrupt Organizations

153 Recovery of Overpayment of Veteran’s Benefits

Liability

 

LABOR

 

SOCIAL SECURITY

 

480 Consumer Credit

 

350 Motor Vehicle

370 Other Fraud

 

710 Fair Labor Standards Act

 

861 HIA (1395ff)

 

490 Cable/Sat TV

160 Stockholders’ Suits

355 Motor Vehicle

371 Truth in Lending 380 Other Personal

862 Black Lung (923)

850 Securities/Commodities/

190 Other Contract

Product Liability

720 Labor/Management Relations

863 DIWC/DIWW (405(g))

Exchange

195 Contract Product Liability

360 Other Personal

Property Damage

864 SSID Title XVI

890 Other Statutory Actions

196 Franchise

Injury

385 Property Damage

740 Railway Labor Act

865 RSI (405(g))

891 Agricultural Acts

 

362 Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice

Product Liability

751 Family and Medical Leave Act

 

893 Environmental Matters

895 Freedom of Information Act

 

REAL PROPERTY

CIVIL RIGHTS

PRISONER PETITIONS

790 Other Labor Litigation

 

FEDERAL TAX SUITS

 

210 Land Condemnation

’

440 Other Civil Rights

 

Habeas Corpus:

791 Employee Retirement

870 Taxes (U S Plaintiff or Defendant)

 

896 Arbitration

220 Foreclosure

441 Voting

463 Alien Detainee

   

Income Security Act

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 State Statutes

290 All Other Real Property

445 Amer w/Disabilities - Employment

535 Death Penalty Other:

 

IMMIGRATION

 

462 Naturalization Application

 

446 Amer w/Disabilities - Other

540 Mandamus & Other

465 Other Immigration

 

550 Civil Rights

   

Actions

448 Education

555 Prison Condition

 

560 Civil Detainee - Conditions of Confinement

CITIZENSHIP OF PRINCIPAL PARTIES (Place an “X” in One Box for Plaintiff

V. ORIGIN (Place an “X” in One Box Only)

’ 1
’ 1

Original

2

Removed from

3

Remanded from

4 Reinstated or

Proceeding

State Court

Appellate Court

Reopened

5 Transferred from Another District

(specify)

6

Multidistrict

Litigation -

Transfer

8 Multidistrict Litigation - Direct File

 

Cite the U.S. Civil Statute under which you are filing (Do not cite jurisdictional statutes unless diversity):

 

CAUSE OF ACTION

42 U.S.C. 1983

VI.

Brief description of cause:

 

Civil Rights - Excessive Force

VII. REQUESTED IN COMPLAINT:

CHECK IF THIS IS A CLASS ACTION UNDER RULE 23, F.R.Cv.P.

DEMAND $

CHECK YES only if demanded in complaint:

E M A N D $ CHECK YES only if demanded in complaint: JURY DEMAND: ’

JURY DEMAND: Yes No

VIII. RELATED CASE(S) IF ANY

(See instructions):

JUDGE

DOCKET NUMBER

DATE

07/20/2017

SIGNATURE OF ATTORNEY OF RECORD

/s Benjamin K. Raybin

FOR OFFICE USE ONLY

RECEIPT #

Case 3:17-cv-01067

AMOUNT

Document 1-1

APPLYING IFP

Filed 07/21/17

JUDGE

Page 1 of 1 PageID #: 14

MAG JUDGE