Brossart v. Janke, No. 16-1412 (8th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The Brossarts filed suit against Deputy Sheriff Braathen, his supervisor, Sheriff Kelly Janke, and Nelson County, asserting federal claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The charges stemmed from confrontations at the Brossart family farmstead that extended over two days. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the grant of qualified immunity to Braathen and Janke on Rodney Brossart's excessive force claim where there was no Fourth Amendment violation, and even if Braathen's repeated use of a taser was unreasonable, it did not violate clearly established law; affirmed the dismissal of plaintiffs' claims that Deputy Braathen used constitutionally excessive force in tasing Rodney and Thomas Brossart; and rejected plaintiffs' claim for supervisory liability against Janke. The court also held that plaintiffs' failure to train claim against Nelson County was foreclosed by the court's conclusion that Braathen's tasing of Rodney and Thomas did not constitute excessive force; the absence of prior complaints to Nelson County of improper taser use meant there was no pattern of constitutional violations; and the state law claims were properly dismissed. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment in its entirety.