United States District Court, D. Delaware
JOHNNY B. FARRINGTON, JR., Plaintiff,
CORPORAL J. SILVA, et al., Defendants.
B. Farrington, Jr., Sussex Correctional Institution,
Georgetown, Delaware; Pro Se Plaintiff.
Michael F. McTaggart, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware
Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware; Counsel for
Defendants Jesse Silva and Margaret O'Bara.
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Johnny B. Farrington, Jr. ("Farrington"), an inmate
at the Sussex Correctional Institution, in Georgetown,
Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. He proceeds pro se and has been granted leave
to proceed in forma pauperis. Defendants Sergeant
Margaret O'Bara ("O'Bara") and Corporal
Jesse Silva ("Silva") (together
"Defendants") move for summary judgment. (D.I. 49).
Plaintiff opposes and has filed several motions seeking
discovery and a motion to amend. (D.I. 32, 36, 37, 47).
Briefing on the matters is complete.
alleges he was subjected to excessive force by O'Bara, a
Capitol Police Sergeant, and Silva, a Capitol Police
Corporal, on October 19, 2016. The Complaint alleges this
occurred when Farrington was being escorted to the Capitol
Police Office. (D.I. 1 at 5). Plaintiff states that he
"pulled away" from O'Bara. (Id. at 5).
Then, he was tased in the stomach by Silva, instantly fell to
the ground, and an unknown officer put what felt like a gun
to the back of his neck. (Id.). Farrington turned
his head and Silva said, "stop resisting."
(Id.). Farrington alleges that Silva and the other
unknown officer began tasing Farrington and continued to tase
him until he defecated on himself. (Id.). The
Complaint alleges that Farrington had taser marks on the back
of his neck to support his allegations. (Id.). The
Complaint alleges that Farrington was dragged into the
Capitol Police Office, dropped on the floor, and Silva cursed
at him. (Id. at 5-6). The Complaint alleges that
O'Bara was the superior officer who oversaw what was
being done to him. (Id.).
evidence of record indicates that on October 19, 2016,
O'Bara was assigned to the Sussex County Courthouse.
(D.I. 50 at Ex. 1 at 1). That morning, at 8:35 a.m., she
responded to a call of an active capias for Farrington who
was scheduled to appear in Superior Courtroom #2.
(Id.). O'Bara met Farrington on the second floor
of the courthouse and told him that he had an active warrant
from the Laurel Police Department. (D.I. 39-1 at 138).
O'Bara told Farrington he would have to go to the Capitol
Police office on the first floor of the courthouse to be
processed. (D.I. 39-1 at 138; D.I. 50 at Ex. 1 at 3).
Farrington was cuffed with his hands behind his back, and he
and O'Bara walked towards the lobby of the courthouse to
the front of the building, near the metal detector.
(Id.). At that point, Farrington pulled away from
O'Bara and ran out the front doors of the courthouse.
(Id. at 1-2). As Farrington ran out of the
courthouse he dragged O'Bara down the front steps of the
courthouse and they landed near a grassy area in front of the
building. (Id. at 2). Farrington's arm or
handcuffs were entangled with O'Bara's arm and they
were on the ground. (D.I. 39-1 at 139).
to Farrington, on October 19, 2016, he appeared at the Sussex
County Courthouse for a final case review on an assault third
charge. (D.I. 50, at Ex. 2 at 17). When he arrived at the
courthouse, O'Bara told him she had to detain him for an
outstanding warrant from Laurel Police Department, and she
handcuffed him. (Id. at 19). Farrington testified
that while being escorted, he flashbacked to an incident with
another police department, freaked out, pulled away from her,
and ran for the door. (Id. at 20-21).
to Silva, he and Corporal Davidson ("Davidson"),
another Capitol Police Officer, responded outside to assist
O'Bara. (D.I. 50 at Ex. 1 at 1). Earlier, Silva had heard
the dispatch from the Capitol Police Communications Center
and knew that Farrington was wanted on an outstanding capias
on charges of assault second degree and resisting arrest with
force or violence. (Id. at 1). Silva had seen
Farrington begin to run out of the courthouse, use his body
to force open the front doors of the courthouse, and drag
O'Bara down the front steps. (Id. at 2).
saw Farrington on the ground with his arm entangled with
O'Bara's arm. (Id. at 2). At that point,
Silva deployed his taser two times seconds apart, both times
in the right side of Farrington's body. (D.I. 50 at Ex. 1
at 2; D.I. 59 at Ex. 1). According to Silva, he deployed his
Taser a second time because he was fearful that Farrington
was still attempting to escape and would attempt to regain
his footing and cause more harm to O'Bara. (Id.
at 2). Silva states that he deployed his Taser to gain
compliance in a short period of time. (Id.). Silva
states that he did not tase Farrington in the neck.
to Farrington, once he was off the steps, Silva deployed his
Taser and, as he was lying on the ground, he felt someone
come up and put something on the back of his neck. (D.I. 50
at Ex. 2 at 21). Farrington testified that the first time he
was tased it was justified, and he brought it on himself
because he should not have run. (Id. at 40, 44, 49).
Farrington testified that Silva was hollering, "Stop
resisting," and Silva tased him a second time as he was
laying on the ground. (Id. at 40). According to
Farrington, he was "tased in the back of his neck as
well." (Id. at 21, 40). Farrington testified
that he was tased until he defecated on himself.
(Id.). Farrington testified that someone other than
Silva tased him in the back of his neck. (Id. at
42). According to Farrington there was no need to tase him a
second time. (Id. at 44).
assisted Davidson in removing and freeing O'Bara's
arm from Farrington's arm. (D.I. 50 at ex. 1 at 2).
Silva, with the assistance of the Superior Court bailiffs,
lifted Farrington and took him inside to the Capitol Police
Office. (Id.). Silva saw that O'Bara had
multiple cuts and contusions, and he saw no injuries on
Farrington. (D.I. 39 at 29; D.I. 50 at ex. 1 at 2).
Farrington only complained of complications with his
breathing. (D.I. 50 at ex. 1 at 2). EMS medical staff
responded to treat Farrington for possible injuries, but no
visible injuries were located. (Id. at 3).
Farrington was taken by ambulance to the Nanticoke Hospital,
treated, and released. (Id.). At the hospital
Farrington made repeated statements that he did not want to
go to jail and wanted to see his mother in heaven.
(Id.). Later he made other statements about wanting
to "jump in front of traffic." (Id.).
Hospital records indicate that Farrington had abrasions and
rib and chest contusions. (D.I. 50 at Ex. 2 at medical
records). There were no reported neck injuries.
security cameras captured this incident. (D.I. 51). Silva
reviewed the DVD and states that it is a fair and accurate
depiction of the events. (D.I. 50 at Ex. 1 at 3). I have also
reviewed the DVD, which shows three camera angles. Farrington
testified his claim is an excessive force claim in violation
of his constitutional rights because he was tased
excessively. (Id. at Ex. 2 at 44). Following the
October 19, 2016 incident, Farrington was charged with
resisting arrest with force, and he pled guilty.
(Id. at 58.)
April 10, 2018, the Court amended the discovery deadline for
all discovery to be initiated so that it would be completed
on or before June 15, 2018. (See D.I. 29).
April 27, 2018, Farrington filed a motion for the Court to
direct the Delaware Department of Correction give him a copy
of his institutional medical records, pursuant to Rules 26
through 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (D.I.
32). The motion will be denied. The proper discovery method
to obtain records for a non-party is to issue a subpoena for
those records. It would be inappropriate for the Court to
order a non-party ...