Trellus Richmond v. Mario J. Badia, No. 20-14337 (11th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a middle school student, was brought to school by his mother. He was wearing a hoodie over his head because he was embarrassed of his haircut. When Plaintiff’s mother told him to pull down the hoodie, Plaintiff got upset and a school employee called Defendant, the school resource officer. Defendant spoke with Plaintiff for two minutes before pushing him to the ground, pinning him down, and then pushing him in the back as he walked away. Defendant entered a guilty plea to a criminal battery charge.
In this civil case, the district court entered summary judgment in Defendant’s favor on each of Plaintiff’s claims, finding he was entitled to qualified immunity. However, on appeal, the Eleventh Circuit reversed as to the excessive force and battery claims, finding that the force used by Defendant was excessive and that a reasonable jury could find that Defendant acted maliciously.