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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Gary Helman v. Steve Smeltzley (ND Ind., Lee), a 7-page opinion, Judge Rovner writes:

Gary W. Helman brought an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the defendants, law enforcement officers, violated his constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments by their conduct in executing an arrest warrant for him on April 9, 2009. In the course of events, Helman was shot multiple times, and he asserts that the defendants used excessive force. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, and Helman appeals. * * *

Helman is left, then, with an argument under § 1983 that the officers violated his Fourth Amendment rights in shooting him when he was reaching for his firearm. That claim, however, cannot survive summary judgment because such a response is objectively reasonable. In fact, Helman does not even argue that he could pursue a § 1983 claim under such scenario. The district court properly held that Helman was precluded by his conviction from pursuing this § 1983 action. The decision of the district court is AFFIRMED.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 6, 2014 06:44 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions