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Finlinson v. Millard County

United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division

October 29, 2018

MILLARD COUNTY, a Utah governmental agency; ROBERT DEKKER, individually and in his official capacity as Millard County Sheriff; MORRIS BURTON, individually and in his official capacity as Millard County Sheriff's Deputy; STEVE MITCHELL, individually and in his official capacity as Millard County Sheriff's Deputy; MICHAEL BLAD, individually and in his official capacity as Millard County Sheriff's Deputy; ROBERT CLARK, individually and in his official capacity as Millard County Sheriff's Deputy; CLARK THOMAS, individually and in his official capacity as Millard County Sheriff's Deputy; UTAH ADULT PROBATION AND PAROLE, a Utah governmental agency; IAN ADAMS, individually and in his official capacity as an officer of Utah Adult Probation and Parole; UTAH COUNTY, a Utah governmental entity; and JIM TRACY, in his official capacity as Utah County Sheriff, Defendants.



         This civil rights case began in 2014 when Plaintiff George Finlinson's family attempted to civilly commit him so he could get treatment for his paranoid schizophrenia. But what began as a seemingly simple task for county law enforcement-to take Mr. Finlinson into custody- quickly devolved into a thirty-minute slow-speed chase involving multiple officers and looking at times like a game of chicken, with Mr. Finlinson ramming his truck into some of the police cars. The chase ended in the shooting and tasing of Mr. Finlinson, who was later treated at a hospital and arrested upon release.

         But the problems did not end there. As a detainee at the Utah County Jail, Mr. Finlinson was placed on suicide watch for six weeks and then spent an additional six and a half months in solitary confinement. He was eventually released to the Utah State Hospital (which treats patients with mental illnesses) where he regained competency to stand trial for the charges brought against him.

         Now he asserts multiple civil rights claims against the entities and individuals involved in the chain of events under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Against the Millard County Defendants and Defendant Ian Adams, a Utah Adult Probation and Parole officer-all of whom were involved, in some capacity, with the chase, shooting, and tasing-he brings § 1983 claims under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Against Defendant Utah County he brings a § 1983 municipal liability claim under the Fourteenth Amendment and a state constitutional claim, both based on his treatment at the jail.

         All of the Defendants have filed motions for summary judgment, including assertions of qualified immunity by the individual officers. They challenge Mr. Finlinson's claims of liability for the shooting and tasing, failure to intervene, supervisory liability, implementation of a reckless plan to civilly commit him, failure to train, and municipal liability. For the reasons set forth below, all of the motions are denied at least in part.


         Plan to Civilly Commit George Finlinson

         In the summer of 2014, Mr. Finlinson, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, became increasingly withdrawn and eventually stopped talking to anyone but his father. His family sought to have him civilly committed, a procedure known as “blue slipping, ” and contacted the Central Utah Counseling Center for help.

         On July 29, 2014, Anna LaDamus, the Director of Crisis Services at the Center, called Defendant Morris Burton, a lieutenant with the Millard County Sheriff's Office, to request that he pick up Mr. Finlinson and take him to the hospital. Ms. LaDamus told Lieutenant Burton that Mr. Finlinson needed to be civilly committed because he was becoming violent and his family was afraid of him. Although Mr. Finlinson disputes that he acted violently or that his family was actually in fear, all parties agree that, at the time, he presented a substantial danger to himself or others, a requirement for involuntary commitment under Utah law. See Utah Code Ann. § 62A-15-629.

         Lieutenant Burton enlisted five other officers to help him commit Mr. Finlinson-Deputy Clark Thomas, Sargent Robert Clark, Deputy Michael Blad, Deputy Steve Mitchell (who was still in training), and Utah Adult Probation and Patrol Agent Ian Adams.[1]

         Lieutenant Burton took Ms. LaDamus' call while attending a retirement party for another police officer in the city of Fillmore, Utah. Also at the party was Millard County Sheriff Robert Dekker, Lieutenant Burton's supervisor. Lieutenant Burton told Sheriff Dekker that he would be blue slipping Mr. Finlinson, though the full extent of their conversation is not clear from the record. He did not, at this time, tell Sheriff Dekker exactly how he planned to apprehend Mr. Finlinson.

         Lieutenant Burton left Fillmore and drove to Oak City, where Mr. Finlinson lived. While driving to Oak City, Lieutenant Burton called Mr. Finlinson's sister, Jean, and father, Vance. From these calls, Lieutenant Burton learned that Mr. Finlinson was not taking his medication, kept guns in his house, and probably would not answer the door if officers knocked. Vance told Lieutenant Burton that the best time to try to take Mr. Finlinson into custody would be when he left the house for his regular evening drive.

         After speaking with Jean and Vance, Lieutenant Burton decided that he would let Mr. Finlinson begin his drive, then pull him over using the pretext of a traffic stop for driving on a suspended license (Ms. LaDamus recommended a similar course of action on their earlier phone call). Agent Adams would wait near Mr. Finlinson's house in his unmarked black police car and alert the other officers when Mr. Finlinson left his house and began his drive. Lieutenant Burton expected Mr. Finlinson to drive to the nearby city of Delta, then west to more remote roads. Once outside of Delta, marked Sheriff's Office trucks would pull Mr. Finlinson over, and Lieutenant Burton planned to box Mr. Finlinson in with his car once Mr. Finlinson stopped.

         Lieutenant Burton and the other officers anticipated that Mr. Finlinson would resist being taken into custody. They knew that he was a large, strong man, and also knew he had resisted arrest a few months earlier, during a March 13, 2014 traffic stop. During that earlier stop, Mr. Finlinson became belligerent after being handcuffed, and a Millard County Sheriff's deputy and two highway patrol officers used an electric taser to subdue him.

         The officers planning to blue slip Mr. Finlinson thought he would again resist. Despite this, Lieutenant Burton did not formulate a backup plan. He did not have a strategy to follow in case Mr. Finlinson refused to pull over. And though he knew that Mr. Finlinson was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, he did not consider Mr. Finlinson's mental illness when deciding the actions to be taken.

         While the officers waited for Mr. Finlinson to begin his drive, Sheriff Dekker called Lieutenant Burton. Sheriff Dekker later testified that he had encouraged Lieutenant Burton to intercept Mr. Finlinson before he got into his truck.

         Northbound Chase on Anderson Lane

         Lieutenant Burton stuck with his plan. Mr. Finlinson left his house, got into his pickup truck, and-trailed by police vehicles-drove a short distance through Oak City. He then turned north on Anderson Lane, a rural gravel road that dead-ends after approximately three miles at a turnaround loop (at this point he was driving away from Delta, not towards it as Lieutenant Burton had expected).

         The caravan of police vehicles initially consisted of four vehicles: Agent Adams' unmarked police car, Lieutenant Burton's unmarked white sport-utility vehicle, Sargent Clark's marked Sheriff's Office pickup truck, and Deputy Blad's marked pickup truck. Deputy Mitchell rode as a passenger with Deputy Blad. Deputy Thomas soon joined the pursuit in his marked pickup truck.[2]

         The officers tried to pull Mr. Finlinson over soon after he began driving. Deputy Blad, Sargent Clark, and Agent Adams all activated their emergency lights. Deputy Blad also briefly used his siren. But Mr. Finlinson refused to pull over, and, instead, continued driving north on Anderson Lane at about five to ten miles per hour.

         After Mr. Finlinson failed to pull over, Deputy Thomas drove his truck directly behind Mr. Finlinson and commanded him to pull over eight separate times using his loudspeakers. He also tried twice to pass Mr. Finlinson. Both times, Mr. Finlinson swerved to block his way. For approximately fifteen minutes, Deputy Thomas and the other officers slowly trailed Mr. Finlinson down Anderson Lane.

         When Mr. Finlinson reached the short loop at the end of the road, he began to drive around it in a clockwise direction. Sargent Clark and Deputy Blad positioned their trucks in his path, but Mr. Finlinson weaved slowly through a gap between the two trucks. His truck grazed Deputy Blad's truck as he passed.

         Southbound Chase on Anderson Lane

         Now travelling south on Anderson Lane, the officers intensified their efforts to stop Mr. Finlinson. Deputy Thomas and Deputy Blad drove past Mr. Finlinson, pulled their trucks abreast of one another, and braked, again trying to block Mr. Finlinson's way. Rather than stop, Mr. Finlinson drove through the narrow gap between the officers' two trucks, hitting both vehicles and physically forcing them apart. The impact disabled Deputy Thomas' truck.

         Mr. Finlinson continued driving south. Deputy Blad again tried to pass Mr. Finlinson on the left, driving onto a dirt-and-grass strip between the road and a fence line. As Deputy Blad passed, Mr. Finlinson swerved into the side of his truck. The collision shattered Deputy Blad's rear window. Deputy Blad made it past Mr. Finlinson but quickly abandoned his effort and let Mr. Finlinson pass.

         Next, Sargent Clark tried to pass Mr. Finlinson off-road on the left, just as Deputy Blad had done. Mr. Finlinson again swerved and hit Sargent Clark's truck, causing it to veer sideways and skid across the roadway. Sargent Clark was able to straighten his truck, then sped past Mr. Finlinson to set up spike strips farther down the road (he drove back into Oak City to set up the strips, and the chase would never reach him).

         Moments later, the chase passed Sheriff Dekker, who was driving in the opposite direction on Anderson Lane in an unmarked black sport-utility vehicle. Sheriff Dekker allowed the vehicles to pass, then joined the chase. Four vehicles now trailed Mr. Finlinson: Deputy Blad's pickup truck (in which Deputy Mitchell was a passenger), followed by Lieutenant Burton's sport utility vehicle, then Agent Adams's car (in which Deputy Thomas rode as a passenger after his truck was disabled), and finally Sheriff Dekker.

         The chase again slowed. Deputy Blad asked over the radio whether he should “hang back, ” and Lieutenant Burton responded that he should, to allow Sargent Clark to set up the spike strips. (Blad Outside Dash Cam. at 23:20-23:30, Ex. J to Millard Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 106-10.)

         The chase continued at a slow speed for just under a minute. Then Mr. Finlinson came to a stop and reversed towards Deputy Blad. Deputy Blad tried to move his truck off the road, but Mr. Finlinson hit its passenger side. The impact shattered the passenger window and smashed the passenger door, preventing Deputy Mitchell from opening it. Deputy Blad got out of his truck, pointed his handgun towards Mr. Finlinson, and yelled at him to “get out of the truck.” (Id. at 24:10-24:30.)

         Mr. Finlinson accelerated forward and continued down Anderson Lane. Deputy Blad got back in his truck and resumed his place at the front of the chase. But just seconds later, Mr. Finlinson stopped his truck. Deputy Blad and the other officers also stopped their vehicles behind Mr. Finlinson.

         Mr. Finlinson remained stopped for nearly a minute. During this time, Deputy Blad asked Lieutenant Burton over the radio, “What do you want me do?” (Id. at 24:50.) He also answered a call on his cell phone from another officer who was not on scene, asking whether Deputy Blad needed assistance. Deputy Blad told him that he did, and that he had “just about shot” Mr. Finlinson. (Blad Inside Dash Cam. at 25:00-25:19, Ex. K to Millard Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 106-11.) Lieutenant Burton later testified in a deposition that, at this time, he and his officers “did not have a specific plan” for taking Mr. Finlinson into custody. (Dep. of Morris Burton at 170:19-20, Ex. A to Millard Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 106-1.)

         Mr. Finlinson then began to slowly reverse towards Deputy Blad. He paused, then reversed again. Deputy Blad reversed at the same pace, keeping about the same distance away from Mr. Finlinson. Deputy Blad again asked Lieutenant Burton, “What do you want me to do?” (Blad Outside Dash Cam. at 26:02.) Lieutenant Burton told him to try to “stay out of his way.” (Id. at 26:07-26:14.)

         Shooting of Mr. Finlinson

         As Mr. Finlinson neared, Deputy Blad stopped, got out of his truck, and drew and aimed his handgun at Mr. Finlinson. Mr. Finlinson stopped his truck and drove a short distance forward. Deputy Blad walked up the shoulder of the road still aiming his handgun and yelled “Come on, ” at which point Mr. Finlinson stopped and reversed again, turning the back of his truck towards Deputy Blad. (Id. at 26:27-26:32.) Deputy Blad fired about seven shots at the rear tires of Mr. Finlinson's truck. While Deputy Blad was shooting, Mr. Finlinson stopped, shifted into drive, and accelerated forward.

         As Mr. Finlinson began to drive away from Deputy Blad, Deputy Thomas fired three shots with his AR-15 rifle at the cab of Mr. Finlinson's truck.

         The officers resumed their chase and trailed Mr. Finlinson, again at slow speed. Sargent Clark radioed the other officers to let them know that the spike strips were in place. Lieutenant Burton radioed that Mr. Finlinson was intentionally trying to hit the officers and to stay out of his way. Deputy Blad reported that he had shot out the back tires of Mr. Finlinson's truck.

         About two minutes later, Mr. Finlinson once again stopped his truck in the middle of the road and began to quickly reverse. Deputy Blad stopped and again got out of his truck, thinking that Mr. Finlinson would ram it and set off its airbag.

         But Mr. Finlinson veered towards Deputy Blad. Deputy Blad fired four shots as Mr. Finlinson drove towards him, then took cover behind his truck to avoid being hit.

         Mr. Finlinson, still reversing, accelerated past the driver's side of Deputy Blad's truck. Deputy Thomas and Agent Adams opened fire.

         The officers' dash camera footage does not show the shooting. The only video of the shooting was taken by witnesses who were watching the event from a distance, and the footage is shaky. (See Witness Video, Ex. R to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Millard Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 122-18.) But the video does show Mr. Finlinson first reversing past Deputy Blad's truck, then reversing past Lieutenant Burton's vehicle (while not clear from the video, the parties agree that Mr. Finlinson's truck clipped the front corner of Lieutenant Burton's vehicle). The video shows Deputy Thomas standing by the road's fence line, firing his rifle. It also shows Agent Adams getting out of his car and firing his handgun. Mr. Finlinson testified that when he heard gun shots, he “laid down on the floor boards, and pushed the gas as [he] did so.” (Dep. of George Finlinson at 106:10-:14, Ex. A to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Millard Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 122-1.)

         As Mr. Finlinson's truck passed Lieutenant Burton's vehicle, it veered into a concrete irrigation ditch along the side of the road and high-centered. The witness video shows Mr. Finlinson's truck coming to a stop with its driver's side angled up and its passenger side angled down. Deputy Thomas, Deputy Blad, and Agent Adams all fired shots as Mr. Finlinson reversed, but the parties dispute whether Deputy Thomas and Agent Adams continued shooting after the truck high-centered. In the witness video, shots are audible for approximately seven seconds after the truck appears to high-center. But because of the distance between the witnesses and the officers, the sound of the shots may lag behind the images.

         The officers fired forty shots in total. Mr. Finlinson was hit five times in the torso and once in the neck. He testified that he was only shot after his truck became stuck in the ditch.

         Tasing of Mr. Finlinson

         After Mr. Finlinson had been shot and his truck was high-centered in the ditch, officers went to the driver's side of the truck, where they found him sitting passively in the driver's seat. He “was just sitting in his truck, he rolled his window up and was just sitting there[.]” (Excerpt from Tr. of Blad Interview, Ex. Z to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Millard Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 122-26.)

         Mr. Finlinson was bleeding from his gunshot wounds. He ignored the officers' questions about how badly he was hurt and whether he had weapons. He ignored their requests and commands to get out of the truck. But he did not try to escape and he was not threatening the officers.

         After the officers did not receive a response from Mr. Finlinson, Deputy Blad broke the driver's side window with his flashlight. Lieutenant Burton reached in and turned off the engine. They opened the door but, again, Mr. Finlinson just sat in his seat.

         Sheriff Dekker told the officers to take Mr. Finlinson out of the truck, so the officers grabbed him and began pulling him out. At that point, Mr. Finlinson swung at Lieutenant Burton and punched him in the head. (According to Officer Blad, Mr. Finlinson swung at him as well.) Deputy Blad then tased Mr. Finlinson.[3] Deputy Thomas “stepped in, and then it's, like he's, dog piled, there's like 3 of them on him. So I stepped back[.]” (Excerpt from Tr. of Thomas Interview, Ex. W to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Millard Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 122-23.)

         Sounds of the struggle, the tasing, the officers' shouts, and Mr. Finlinson's cries can be heard on the audio recording retrieved from Deputy Blad's outside dash cam (there is no visual recording of the tasing). (Blad Outside Dash Cam. at 33:05-33:10.)

         Officers surrounding Mr. Finlinson continued to yell commands, including “gimme your goddamn hands, ” at which time Deputy Blad tased Mr. Finlinson again-this time for a full five-second cycle. The crackling sound of the taser and Mr. Finlinson's screams can be heard on the recording. (Id. at 33:12-33:25.)

         The officers told Mr. Finlinson to hold still, all while Mr. Finlinson continued to moan. (Id. at 33:20-33:25.) Six seconds later, Deputy Blad tased Mr. Finlinson a third time, again for a five-second cycle while Mr. Finlinson screamed “no, no, no, no” over the crackling sound of the taser. (Id. at 33:25-33:31.) After that, one of the officers told him to “relax.” (Id. at 33:32- 33:36.) At some point Mr. Finlinson was handcuffed (neither the audio recording nor other limited evidence in the record reveal whether that occurred before the second and third tasing or before Mr. Finlinson was told to relax). In all, the struggle lasted a little over a minute.

         During the incident the officers did not tell Mr. Finlinson why they had tried to pull him over, nor did they tell him he was under arrest before they pulled him from the truck.

         Mr. Finlinson was admitted to the Utah Valley Regional Hospital for treatment of his gunshot wounds.

         Booking into the Utah County Jail

         Before Mr. Finlinson was released from the hospital on August 8, 2014, the hospital treating physician prescribed a shot of the anti-psychotic drug Haldol every four weeks. The hospital gave him a shot on August 5, 2014. (Aug 8, 2014 Utah Valley Hospital Discharge Orders, Ex. G to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 131-2.) Accordingly, doses were due September 2, September 30, October 28, November 25, and every four weeks after that.

         The day he was released from the hospital, Mr. Finlinson was arrested and taken to the Utah County Jail (the Jail), where he was charged with two counts of attempted aggravated murder of police officers, ten counts of aggravated assault against police officers, assault by a prisoner, failure to stop or respond to command of police, and interference with arresting officer.[4] (Apr. 14, 2015 Mins. of Review of Competency Hr'g at 2, Ex. P to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 125-16.) He was detained pending trial, [5] during which time he was waiting for a court decision that he was competent to stand trial.

         Before he arrived at the Jail, Utah County Jail Commander Darin Durfey called Lieutenant Nancy Killian (who oversaw housing and prisoner classification determinations, including segregation of pretrial detainees) to relay the list of charges against Mr. Finlinson.

         Administrative Segregation

         Immediately upon Mr. Finlinson's arrival at the Jail, Lieutenant Killian classified him as high risk and placed him in administrative segregation.

         The Jail's Administrative Segregation Policy defines “Administrative Segregation” as “a non-punitive inmate management tool used to neutralize a specific, documented, risk. It can be indefinite in duration. However, once the need for the restriction is resolved, the inmate should be returned to a general population housing area.” (Utah Cnty. Jail Policy 321.00, titled “Administrative Segregation, ” at 2 (emphasis added), Ex. O to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 125-15.) The section titled “Justification for Restrictions” reads:

Temporary restriction of privileges and/or services may be imposed when necessary to gain immediate control over an inmate's dangerous, threatening, or otherwise unacceptable behavior. Restrictions are also justified to control any situation which threatens the safety, security, control, or order of the jail. The justification for imposing a particular non-punitive restriction shall always be documented in the inmate file.

(Id. § 321.02 (emphasis added).) An initial decision to segregate a detainee must be “reviewed as soon as possible by a supervisor to determine whether the restrictions should be continued.” (Id. § 321.03.) Lieutenant Killian was the supervisor who made the final classification decision.

         On August 12, 2014, Lieutenant Killian affirmed Mr. Finlinson's designation, citing his charges (the majority of which were allegations of violence against police officers) as the reason. The Incident Report said:

Move to [sic] due to current violent charges . [sic] this [sic] is his first time in jail so his behavior will need to be watched for a while. After an initial period of observation, if he shows good behavior, he may be considered for a more privileged housing unit.

(Aug. 12, 2014 Incident Report (emphasis added), Ex. D to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 131-1.)[6] A second incident report identified the reason for his segregation: “Inmate FINLINSON will be placed on High Risk status due to his charges and per Lt. Killian.” (Aug. 13, 2014 Incident Report (emphasis added).) During Lieutenant Killian's deposition, she agreed that “the fact that [Mr. Finlinson's] altercation happened with other law enforcement officers factored into [her] decision to place him on high risk status.” (Dep. of Nancy Killian at 23:15-23:18, Ex. N to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 125-14.)

         In fact, according to Lieutenant Killian, detainees are almost always placed in administrative segregation if their charges include aggravated violence against a police officer. (Killian Dep. at 24:11-25:8.) In contrast, when she was asked whether a detainee's alleged aggravated violence against a civilian would require administrative segregation, she equivocated: “It would depend on the situation. Most likely if they were charged with attempted aggravated murder, yes, but the situation is looked at about what happened with the case . . . .” (Id. at 23:1- 23:4.)

         Suicide Watch

         In addition to Mr. Finlinson's high-risk classification and his assignment to administrative segregation, the intake deputy placed him on suicide watch “due to his wounds and refusal to answer questions” during the intake interview. (Aug. 8, 2014 Chart Note, Ex. 1 to Decl. of Dale Bench, ECF No. 110;[7] see also UCSO Intake Questions, Ex. 1 to Bench Decl.) The deputy, who noted that Mr. Finlinson was “involved in officer involved shooting, ” described Mr. Finlinson as “cooperative” with the exception that he refused to answer questions including “Are you suicidal?” (UCSO Intake Questions, Ex. 1 to Bench Decl.) Yet, at the same time, on the same intake form, the deputy answered the question “Is the inmate thinking about killing him/herself” with the response “No” and added that Mr. Finlinson “stated that he was not suicidal when placed in a suicide prevention gown.” (Id.) Ultimately, he was on suicide watch for six weeks.

         Suicide watch is a highly restricted status in which a detainee may not wear regular clothes but instead must wear a “suicide smock” (a dress-like garment made of heavy, quilted material fastened with Velcro at the shoulders). Detainees on suicide watch may not wear glasses, even if they are legally blind without them. So, Mr. Finlinson, who wears glasses, spent the next six weeks with impaired vision. (See id.)

         Once an inmate is placed on suicide watch, the decision to take the inmate off suicide watch is left to the sole discretion of the mental health professional with whom the Jail contracts for treatment of inmates. In this case, Wasatch Mental Health provided mental health services to the Jail, so Monte Memmott, a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) with Wasatch, who was assigned to the Jail and treated Mr. Finlinson, was the only one authorized to remove Mr. Finlinson from suicide watch. (Decl. of Dale Bench Decl. ¶ 18, ECF No. 96; see also Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J. at 12 (Pl.'s Response to Defs.' ¶ 15), ECF No. 124.)

         As shown in some detail below, the record created during Mr. Finlinson's six weeks on suicide watch does not reveal concerns of staff or Mr. Memmott that Mr. Finlinson had suicidal thoughts or exhibited behavior suggesting that he was a threat to himself.

         Suicide Watch Evaluations

         Mr. Memmott evaluated Mr. Finlinson a total of six times before deciding to remove the suicide watch restriction.

         Mr. Memmott met with Mr. Finlinson for the first time on August 11, three days after Mr. Finlinson was booked into jail and placed on suicide watch. In his notes, he wrote that Mr. Finlinson “was in a police shootout with Millard County officers.” (Aug. 11, 2014 Chart Note.) And although Mr. Finlinson was reportedly “resistive to questioning and gave short, irritated, sarcastic responses, ” he was communicative enough to deny “suicidal ideation.” (Id.) Nevertheless, Mr. Memmott wrote that even though Mr. Finlinson “denies suicidal ideation, … due to his charges and being his frist [sic] time in jail, he will remain on suicide watch for a longer observation period.” (Id. (emphasis added).) As for concerns about medication, Mr. Finlinson, according to Mr. Memmott's chart notes, said that “he was given a shot of Haldol while in the hospital but said he [sic] doesn't do anything for him” and that he did not want medications. (Id.)

         A week later, Mr. Memmott attempted to speak with Mr. Finlinson, who was asleep. The deputy said Mr. Finlinson was “not very social or talkative.” (Aug. 18, 2014 Chart Note.) Mr. Memmott ordered that Mr. Finlinson “[r]emain on suicide watch.” (Id.)

         Mr. Memmott followed up with Mr. Finlinson two days later. At this point, Mr. Finlinson had been on suicide watch for sixteen days. Mr. Memmott recorded the notes for this second visit:

Inmate was sleeping today but woke up briefly when counselor attempted to speak to him. He said he was fine and did not need anything. Mood was not agitated or depressed, but inmate just wanted to sleep. He does not appear to be a danger to himself and does not appear to be suicidal, however he will remain on suicide watch at this time due to lack of interaction with staff.

(Aug. 20, 2014 Chart Note (emphasis added).)

         On August 26, 2014 (twenty-two days into Mr. Finlinson's suicide watch), Mr. Memmott visited Mr. Finlinson a third time:

Inmate reports he is doing fine and states he is not suicidal. He reports he is not really depressed and has a support system. He reports he was taking meds in the hospital and does not know if he needs those. He will be referred to the psychiatrist to assess those needs. He will remain on suicide watch at this time. Counselor [Mr. Memmott] will follow up next week.

(Aug. 26, 2014 Chart Note (emphasis added).) When Mr. Finlinson raised the issue of medication that day, Mr. Memmott referred Mr. Finlinson's case to Travis Hunter, an APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) at Wasatch Mental Health.

         Mr. Hunter visited Mr. Finlinson on August 28, 2014. He wrote that Mr. Finlinson “was very resistant to taking any medications at this time.” (Aug. 28, 2014 Chart Note.) But Mr. Finlinson, who had asked about his medication only two days before (see Aug. 26, 2018 Chart Note), testified that rather than prescribe the necessary medication, Mr. Hunter “talked [him] into not getting Haldol.” (Dep. of George Finlinson at 184:22-185:3, Ex. L to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 125-12.)

         As for Mr. Hunter's evaluation of Mr. Finlinson's suicide watch status, he wrote that Mr. Finlinson denied “any history of self harm” although “[h]e was somewhat evasive with information.” (Aug. 28, 2014 Chart Note.) He added that Mr. Finlinson did “not appear to be at risk to himself.” (Id.)

         Then, despite acknowledging Mr. Finlinson's need to regain competency, and with a Haldol shot due in five days, Mr. Hunter's treatment plan did not include administering Haldol: “[Mr. Finlinson] will wait to see the Judge in 2 weeks in order to see what his possible sentencing will be before starting medications.” (Id. (emphasis added).) And although he said Mr. Finlinson was “very resistant to taking any medications at this time, ” he did not try to give Mr. Finlinson any medication. (Id.)

         On September 2, 2014, Mr. Memmott visited Mr. Finlinson. According to his note, Mr. Finlinson “said he did not want to talk at the moment. He will be rescheduled. He has been in jail for about a month and has not caused any problems but he appears to mostly sleep.” (Sep. 2, 2014 Chart Note (emphasis added).)

         Again, one week later, Mr. Memmott evaluated Mr. Finlinson and made similar observations. “Inmate states he is not suicidal, however he states he does not care if he is on suicide watch or not. He continues to appear very indifferent about anything so he will remain on full suicide watch for his safety.” (Sep. 9, 2014 Chart Note (emphasis added).) The prescribed date for Mr. Finlinson's next Haldol shot had passed.

         Two weeks went by before Mr. Finlinson, still on suicide watch, was evaluated again. That day, September 23, 2014, Mr. Memmott recommended that Mr. Finlinson be released from suicide watch.

Inmate has been in jail for about 6 weeks. He has not made any efforts to harm himself in any way. He denies suicidal ideation. When counselor has spoke [sic] to him, he has answered questions and denied suicidal ideation. … Reports from staff indicate that inmate is generally polite and compliant and he has not done anything around them to indicate a suicide risk. … Counselor recommends this inmate be cleared for clothes[8] with 30 minute checks. Counselor will continue to follow up. Inmate will also continue to be offered other forms of mental health treatment.

(Sep. 23, 2014 Chart Note (emphasis added).)

         When Mr. Memmott was asked during his deposition why he kept Mr. Finlinson on suicide watch for so long, he said it was done as a “precaution.” (See Dep. of Monte Memmott at 34:9-35:6, 35:22-36:3, Ex. C to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 125-3.)

         Administrative Segregation upon Release from Suicide Watch

         After Mr. Finlinson was cleared from suicide watch on September 23, 2014, Lieutenant Killian again instructed the review team to keep Mr. Finlinson in administrative segregation. (See Sep. 29, 2014 Incident Report (“To remain in Canyons 1 on ad-seg Per Lt. Killian”).)

         In segregation, Mr. Finlinson was isolated in a single cell. He could see through glass walls and could theoretically talk to other segregated inmates who were housed there. According to Mr. Finlinson, “You can talk out, and they can hear you.” (G. Finlinson Dep. at 167:15-24; see also Id. at 173:3-16 (discussing very limited interaction he had with one inmate).) During his eight-month stay, Mr. Finlinson was allowed one in-person visit (his father and sister visited him) even though his family members went to the jail “multiple times” to see him. (Dep. of Jean Turner at 103:5-25, Ex. M to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 125-13; Dep. of Vance Finlinson at 132:25-133:13, Ex. J to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 125-10; G. Finlinson Dep. at 175:6-23.)

         Two months later, Lieutenant Killian reaffirmed her decision to keep him in administrative segregation. (Nov. 17, 2014 Incident Report (“Remain on ad-seg. He has mental health issues and his charges are attempted aggrevated [sic] murder.”) (emphasis added).) At Lieutenant Killian's direction, Mr. Finlinson stayed in administrative segregation until his release on April 14, 2015. (See, e.g., Nov. 24, 2014 Incident Report (same decision, same reason as that given in November 17, 2014 report); Dec. 1, 2014 Incident Report (same) (“He will remain on ad-seg at least until he has been cleared by the mental health staff.”); Dec. 8, 2014 Incident Report (same).)

         Sheriff Tracy said he heard no complaint about Mr. Finlinson's housing status and that Mr. Finlinson did not file a grievance. (Decl. of Jim Tracy ¶ 6, ECF No. 94.) But according to Jail Commander Darin Durfey, the housing lieutenant's decision to place a prisoner on suicide watch or in administrative segregation is not an appealable issue.[9] (Dep. of Darin Durfey at 74:7-22, Ex. B to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 125-2.)

         Haphazard Administration of Medication

         Mr. Finlinson was detained pending trial but could not go to trial until he was found mentally competent. To become competent, he needed regular injections of Haldol.

         There were times when Mr. Finlinson was “resistant” to taking the medicine. But the Jail did not administer the medication as prescribed (that is, it did not offer the medication to Mr. Finlinson when it was due).[10] Instead, he received doses sporadically. The medical records from the Jail do not clearly indicate when those doses were given, although it is clear that Mr. Finlinson did not receive the shots as prescribed and that at times it took prompting from Mr. Finlinson's attorney, [11] Mr. Finlinson, [12] and his family members to get the Jail to administer some of the shots.

         According to his sister, when Mr. Finlinson did not get his medication regularly, he denied the need to take the medicine. (See Turner Dep. at 106:20-24 (“I was aware that he chose not to take medications after he hadn't had them for two months.”).) The Jail's failure to properly administer the medication arguably contributed to Mr. Finlinson's refusal to take the Haldol, which, in turn, inhibited his ability to regain competency, all of which significantly extended his time in jail. (See V. Finlinson Dep. at 128:21-25 (“At one point when he had not had [Haldol] for several months . . . he had all the signs that put him in the problem in the first place”).)

         On December 5, 2014, approximately four months after he was booked in the Utah County Jail, a state court held that he was not competent because he was not receiving his medication. (See Dec. 5, 2014 Order Committing Def. to Utah State Hospital, Ex. T to Pl.'s Mem. Opp'n to Utah Cnty.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 125-20.) The medical examiners agreed that Mr. Finlinson's “mental health is affected by his refusal to take medications prescribed to treat his mental illness.” (Id. at 2 ¶ 1.) Although the record contains references to Mr. Finlinson's resistance or refusal, it also demonstrates that the Jail did not offer Mr. Finlinson his medication on the prescribed schedule. Even if he refused, he could only have refused at the times when the Jail offered the shots, which was erratic.

         On January 14, 2015, the state court ordered Mr. Finlinson to check in to the Utah State Hospital where he would receive treatment to be restored to mental competency. At that point, he was forty-fifth on the waiting list. (Jan. 14, 2015 Chart Note.) Finally, on April 14, 2015, the Jail released Mr. Finlinson.


         Mr. Finlinson has filed suit against the individual officers involved in his capture, Millard County, and Utah County, for violating his civil rights. Millard County and the Millard County officers, Agent Adams, and Utah County have each filed separate motions for summary judgment. The court will first address the assertions of qualified immunity by the individual officers involved in his capture (the “Officer Defendants”), and then address the liability of both counties.


         Mr. Finlinson alleges, under multiple theories, that the Officer Defendants violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.[13]

         The parties, through their briefing, have identified three discrete, potential constitutional violations: first, that Deputy Thomas and Agent Adams used excessive force when they shot Mr. Finlinson at the end of the car chase; second, that Deputy Blad used excessive force by tasing Mr. Finlinson after he had been shot; and third, that the officers' group effort to capture him- both the initial plan and ensuing chase-were reckless and caused the use of force.

         Mr. Finlinson contends that all of the Officer Defendants should be liable for all three possible violations. That is, he brings claims against the officers who actually used force as well as those who did not. He argues that the non-shooting and non-tasing officers participated in the constitutional violations, and that they failed intervene to stop the violations. He makes a similar argument about the events preceding the shooting and tasing-that all ...

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