United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
A. KIMBALL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court on Defendants Mike Haddon, Interim
Executive Director of the Utah Department of Corrections, and
Jeffrey Toone (collectively “Defendants”) Motion
to Dismiss. On December 18, 2018, the court held a hearing on
the motion. At the hearing, the Plaintiff was represented by
John M. Mejia. Defendants were represented by Darin B. Goff
and Joni J. Jones. The court took the motion under
advisement. Based on the briefing filed by the parties and
the law and facts relevant to the pending motion, the court
issues the following Memorandum Decision and Order.
Joshua Asay filed this lawsuit based on what he describes as
“unbelievably inhumane conduct” while
incarcerated in the State's custody in the Daggett County
was assigned to be confined at the Daggett County Jail as
part of the Inmate Placement Program. Defendant Jeffrey Toone
was assigned to be Asay's case worker. On several
occasions, Toone allegedly told Asay that he had to stay at
least one year at the Jail before he could be transferred.
Asay has been taking prescribed medications related to mental
health issues for most of his life. Toone allegedly failed to
ensure Asay was given his medications while he was
incarcerated at the Jail.
than give prisoners their medications, the County allegedly
had a policy and/or practice of refusing to fill
prescriptions and even throwing away medications that
prisoners brought to the Jail. The County allegedly followed
this policy in denying Asay his prescribed medications.
Department officials, including Toone, were allegedly aware
of the County's policy and practice of refusing to
provide medications to prisoners at the Jail. Because
Asay's prescriptions were related to mental health, being
denied them allegedly made Asay more vulnerable to
mistreatment at the Jail.
2016 and 2017, Deputy Joshua Cox allegedly participated in
constant, extreme physical and emotional abuse of Asay while
he was at the Jail. On many occasions, Deputy Cox allegedly
singled Asay out for taunting and humiliation, including
calling him a “bitch” and frequently denigrating
him in front of other prisoners.
occasion, Deputy Cox allegedly forced Asay to clean the sally
port with his bare hands to humiliate and degrade him. The
sally port was the area where prisoners and guards washed
cars, so Asay was allegedly exposed to potentially toxic
another occasion, Deputy Cox ordered Asay to clean a sewer
system, despite knowing that Asay may have an extreme
negative reaction. Ultimately another prisoner cleaned the
system instead to save Asay from a negative reaction.
another occasion, Asay was working outside of the Jail and
Deputy Cox was in his patrol car from the police force he
worked for part time. Although Asay claims he did nothing
wrong, Deputy Cox allegedly pulled his firearm out of the
holster and pointed it in Asay's face.
other occasions, Deputy Cox allegedly pointed his Taser into
Asay's face. In or around August 2016, Deputy Cox and
other guards held a barbeque with Asay and other prisoners on
the work crew. At that time, Deputy Cox allegedly told Asay
that if he refused to be subjected to being shocked by a
Taser, Asay would lose his job and his ability to work
outside the jail. After this threat, Asay allegedly submitted
to Deputy Cox's demands and did not resist Deputy Cox
shocking him with the Taser. During this incident, Deputy Cox
allegedly shot Asay in the arm with the Taser twice. The
electricity caused Asay intense pain and created a
significant risk of injury or death. Deputy Walker and
another guard allegedly watched Deputy Cox electrocute Asay
with the Taser and appeared to enjoy watching Asay endure
being shocked. Deputy Cox allegedly shocked other prisoners
on this same day as well.
several other occasions, Deputy Cox would allegedly wrestle
with prisoners. Asay allegedly saw Deputy Cox chocking
another prisoner, causing Asay to fear for that
prisoner's life. To protect the prisoner, Asay pulled
Deputy Cox away from him to temporarily immobilize him.
being subjected to the above abuse, Asay allegedly requested
Toone to move him from the Jail.
the Taser incident, Deputy Cox allegedly falsely accused Asay
of stealing items while cleaning an office so that Asay's
ability to work would be stripped from him. Once Asay lost
his work privileges, he fell into a deep depression and spent
most of the day sleeping while at the Jail.
in early 2017, two investigators from the Department
interviewed Asay about the alleged abuse. After Asay revealed
his experiences, he was transferred to the Summit County
approximately October 2017, while on a work crew from the
Summit County Jail, Asay stepped on a nail and was
transported for a tetanus shot. Asay received a shot and one
pill. Additionally, a prescription was ...