You are on page 1of 12

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 1 of 12 PageID 55

T'NITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA JACKSONVILLE DIVISION
C. WILIAM CURTIS, on Behalf of the Estate of Daniel Linsinbigler, Deceased,

Plaintiff,
vs.

CASE NO.:

3 : 1 3-CV-1352-J-

RICK BESELER, as Clay County Sheriff; DEPUTY ANGEL ACOSTA, DEPUTY JARED BLUDSWORTH; DEPUTY RODNEY HOULDSON; DEPUTY NEAL MCDADE, DEPUTY LENVIL SENTER; DEPUTY BECKY WOLF; SERGEANT ROBERT HEAPS, ANd CAPTAIN TOM WAUGH,
Defendants.

DEFENSES OF DEFEND ACOSTA. JARED BLUDSWORTH. RODNEY HOULDSON" NEAL MCDADE, LENVIL ROBERT HEAPS AND
Defendants, ANGEL ACOSTA, JARED BLUDSWORTH, RODNEY HOULDSON,

NEAL MCDADE, LENVIL SENTER, BECKY WOLF, ROBERT HEAPS AND TOM
WAUGH, by and through undersigned counsel, respond to the complaint of the Plaintiff
as

follows:

1.

Admitted for jurisdictional pulposes only. To the extent, howevet that the

bringing of this action or the recitation of any alleged basis for jurisdiction gives rise to any
inference that Defendants engaged in any tortuous or unlawful conduct or violation of Plaintiff
s

civil rights, such inference is denied. Similarly, Defendants deny Plaintiff is entitled to any of
the relief sought in the complaint.

2.

Denied at phrased.

I

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 2 of 12 PageID 56

3. 4. 5. 6.

Denied at phrased. Denied at phrased. Denied at phrased.

Admitted for jurisdictional purposes only. To the extent, however that the

bringing of this action or the recitation of any alleged basis for jurisdiction gives rise to any
inference that Defendants engaged in any tortuous or unlawful conduct or violation of Plaintifls

civil rights, such inference is denied. Similarly, Defendants deny Plaintiff is entitled to any of
the relief sought in the complaint.

7.

Admitted for jurisdictional purposes only. To the extent, however that the

bringing of this action or the recitation of any alleged basis for jurisdiction gives rise to any
inference that Defendants engaged in any tortuous or unlawful conduct or violation of Plaintiff s

civil rights, such inference is denied. Similarly, Defendants deny Plaintiff is entitled to any of
the relief sought in the complaint.

8.

Admitted for jurisdictional purposes only. To the extent, however that the

bringing of this action or the recitation of any alleged basis for jurisdiction gives rise to any
inference that Defendants engaged in any tortuous or unlawful conduct or violation of Plaintiff s

civil rights, such inference is denied. Similarly, Defendants deny Plaintiff is entitled to any of
the relief sought in the complaint.

9. 10.

Denied.

Admitted for jurisdictional purposes only, except as to any violation of the Fourth

or Eighth Amendments, which are denied. To the extent, however that the bringing of this action

or the recitation of any alleged basis for jurisdiction gives rise to any inference that Defendants
engaged in any tortuous or unlawful conduct or violation of

Plaintifls civil rights,

such inference

2

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 3 of 12 PageID 57

is denied. Similarly, Defendants deny Plaintiff is entitled to any of the relief sought in the
complaint.

11.

Admitted for venue purposes only. To the extent, however that the bringing of

this action or the recitation of any alleged basis for jurisdiction gives rise to any inference that
Defendants engaged in any tortuous or unlawful conduct or violation of Plaintiff s civil rights,

such inference is denied. Similarly, Defendants deny Plaintiff is entitled to any of the rclief
sought in the complaint.

12. 13. 14. 15.

Without knowledge, therefore denied.
Without knowledge, therefore denied.

Admitted, as limited by the defenses set forth in the Defendants' affirmative

defenses and responses to other portions of the complaint.

Admiued that Rick Beseler is the Sheriff of Clay County, Florida and that Clay

County is located in the Middle District of Florida. The remaining allegations of this paragraph are
denied.

16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

Admitted, as limited by the defenses set forth in the Defendants' affirmative

defenses and responses to other portions of the complaint.

Admitted, as limited by the defenses set forth in the Defendants' affirmative

defenses and responses to other portions of the complaint.

Without knowledge, therefore denied. Without knowledge, therefore denied. Without knowledge, therefore denied. Without knowledge, therefore denied. Admitted that the named Defendant was a corrections officer employed by the

-t

a

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 4 of 12 PageID 58

Sheriff of Clay County, was acting within the course and scope of his employment and acting
under color of

law. The remaining allegations of this paragraph

are denied.

23.

Admitted that the named Defendant was a corrections officer employed by the

Sheriff of Clay County, was acting within the course and scope of his employment and acting
under color of

law. The remaining allegations of this paragraph

are denied.

24.

Admitted that the named Defendant was a corrections officer employed by the

Sheriff of Clay County, was acting within the course and scope of his employment and acting
under color of

law. The remaining allegations of this paragraph

are denied.

25.

Admitted that the named Defendant was a corrections officer employed by the

Sheriff of Clay County, was acting within the course and scope of his employment and acting
under color of

law. The remaining allegations of this paragraphare denied.
Admitted that the named Defendant was a corrections officer employed by the

26.

Sheriff of Clay County, was acting within the course and scope of his employment and acting
under color of

law. The remaining allegations of this paragraph are denied.
Admitted that the named Defendant was a corrections officer employed by the

27.

Sheriff of Clay County, was acting within the course and scope of his employment and acting
under color of

law. The remaining allegations of this paragraph

are denied.

28.

Admitted that the named Defendant was a corrections officer employed by the

Sheriff of Clay County, was acting within the course and scope of his employment and acting
under color of

law. The remaining allegations of this paragraph

are denied.

29.

Admitted that the named Defendant was a corrections officer employed by the

Sheriff of Clay County, was acting within the course and scope of his employment and acting
under color of

law. The remaining allegations of this paragraph are denied.

4

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 5 of 12 PageID 59

30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49.

The fact of the decedent's detention is admitted. The remaining allegations of this

paragraph are denied. Denied. Denied. Denied. Denied. Denied. Denied.

Denied.

Without knowledge, therefore denied. Without knowledge, therefore denied.
Denied. Denied. Denied.

COUNT I (ACOSTA ONLY)
Defendant ACOSTA reasserts his responses to all applicable foregoing paragraphs. Denied.
Denied.

Admitted the decedent was placed in a restraint chair; the remaining allegations of

this paragraph are denied. Denied. Denied. Denied.

5

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 6 of 12 PageID 60

50. 51. 52.
paragraphs.

Denied. Denied.

COUNT

II (BLUDSWORTH ONLY) to all
applicable foregoing

Defendant BLUDSWORTH reasserts his responses

53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60.
61.
paragraphs.

Denied. Denied.

Admitted the decedent was placed in a restraint chair; the remaining allegations of

this paragraph are denied. Denied. Denied. Denied. Denied. Denied.

COUNT

III

(HOULDSON ONL]O

Defendant HOULDSON reasserts

his

responses

to all

applicable foregoing

62. 63. 64. 65. 66.

Denied. Denied.

Admitted the decedent was placed in a restraint chair; the remaining allegations of

this paragraph are denied. Denied. Denied.

6

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 7 of 12 PageID 61

67.
68

Denied. Denied. Denied.

69

COUNT IV (HEAPS ONL]O

70. 71. 12. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85.

Defendant HEAPS reasserts his responses to all applicable foregoing paragraphs.
Denied. Denied.

Admitted the decedent was placed in a restraint chair; the remaining allegations of

this paragraph are denied.
Denied.

Denied. Denied. Denied. Denied.

COUNT V (McDADE ONL\O
Defendant McDADE reasserts his responses to all applicable foregoing paragraphs. Denied. Denied.

Admitted the decedent was placed in a restraint chair; the remaining allegations of

this paragraph are denied. Denied. Denied. Denied.

7

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 8 of 12 PageID 62

86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99.
100.

Denied. Denied.

COUNT VI (SENTER ONLY)
Defendant SENTER reasserts his responses to all applicable foregoing paragraphs.
Denied.

Denied.

Admitted the decedent was placed in a restraint chair; the remaining allegations of

this paragraph are denied.
Denied.

Denied. Denied. Denied. Denied. COTJNT

\rII TWOLF ONL)O

Defendant WOLF reasserts his responses to all applicable foregoing paragraphs. Denied. Denied.

Admitted the decedent was placed in a restraint chair; the remaining allegations of

this paragraph are denied.

101. 102. 103. 104.

Denied. Denied. Denied. Denied.

8

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 9 of 12 PageID 63

105.

Denied.

COUNT

VIII (WAUGH ONL]O

106.

Defendant WAUGH reasserts his responses to all applicable foregoing paragraphs.

107. Denied. 108.
Denied.

109. Admitted the decedent was placed in a restraint chair; the remaining allegations of
this paragraph are denied.

110. Denied. 111.
Denied. Denied. Denied. Denied.

Il2.
113.

ll4.
115.

COTJNT

IX
of Plaintifls complaint which

These Defendants decline response to this Count

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

116.

These Defendants decline response to this Count

of Plaintiff

s

complaint which

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

Il7.
118.

These Defendants decline response

to this Count of Plaintifls complaint which

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

These Defendants decline response to this Count

of Plaintiffs complaint which

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

Il9.

These Defendants decline response to this Count

of Plaintiffs complaint which

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

9

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 10 of 12 PageID 64

120. These Defendants

decline response to this Count of Plaintifls complaint which

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

I2I.

These Defendants decline response to this Count

of Plaintiffs complaint which

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

COUNT X

122. These Defendants

decline response to this Count of Plaintiff s complaint which

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

123.

These Defendants decline response to this Count

of Plaintifls complaint which

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

124.

These Defendants decline response to this Count

of Plaintiff s complaint which

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

I25.
126.

These Defendants decline response to this Count

of PlaintifPs complaint which

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

These Defendants decline response to this Count

of Plaintiff s complaint which

contains no claim for relief as to these Defendants.

AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES

1.

Any and all actions taken by the individually named Defendants were not contrary

to clearly established law of which a reasonable person or officer would know and be expected to

apply in a factually similar context, they are entitled to the benefit of the defense of qualified
immunity.

2.

The actions taken by the Defendants were privileged in that they were undertaken

in a manner reasonable under the circumstances and for the purpose of accomplishing a lawful
objective.

10

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 11 of 12 PageID 65

3.

Any application of force by Defendants was privileged, in that they were, at the

time, corrections officers, and the actions were reasonable and necessary and applied while
effectuating or acting
resistance by Plaintiff.

in furtherance of a lawful and valid

purpose and responding

to

the

4.

Any force used by the Defendants was reasonable and privileged under the

circumstances and undertaken for the purpose of self defense or for the purpose of the protection

of the Plaintifl of others and in response to the resistance by Plaintiff.

5.

Any injurious result about which the Plaintiff complains was a result of the

decedent's own actions, omissions or comparative

fault. As a result,

any award of damages

should be reduced by the pro rata share of fault attributable to the decedent.

6. 7.

Plaintiff or the decedent may have failed to use reasonable and proper efforts to

mitigate his damages.

Plaintiff may have been the beneficial recipient of recovery from collateral

sources. Accordingly, the Defendants are entitled to a setoff for those payments from collateral
sources from any damages awarded to Plaintiff.

WHEREFORE, Defendants hereby demand judgment in their favor and invoke their
right to trial by jury.
Respectfully submitted this 21't day ofNovember 2013.

U\ KEITH C. TISCHLER KEITH C. TISCHLER Fla. BarNo. 0334081 JOLLY & PETERSON, P.A. Post Office Box37400 Tallahassee, Florida 32315 (850) 422-0282 Fax: (850) 422-1913

Tel:

A t t or ney .fo

r

ab ov e r efe r e nc e d D efe ndant s

11

Case 3:13-cv-01352-UAMH-JRK Document 5 Filed 11/21/13 Page 12 of 12 PageID 66

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY

that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been sent via

CM/ECF System delivery to Michael D. Marrese, Esquire, Morgan & Morgan, P.A., 76 South

Latra Street, Suite 1100, Jacksonville, FL32202,this 21't day of November 2013.

/s/ KEITH C. TISCHLER KEITH C. TISCHLER

12