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Cyrus v. Town of Mukwonago, 09-2331

By FindLaw Staff on November 10, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Summary judgment against plaintiffs' on their Fourth Amendment excessive force claim reversed

Cyrus v. Town of Mukwonago, 09-2331, concerned plaintiffs' 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against a town, a lieutenant, and other defendants, claiming that their son's death was caused by the use of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment.  In reversing the district court's grant of defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court held that there are material facts in dispute about the extent to which the deceased attempted to evade the officers and the how many times the officer tasered the deceased to bring about his arrest.


As the court wrote: "The evidence conflicts, most importantly, on how many times [deaceased] was tasered.  [Officer] testified that he deployed his Taser five or six times, and the autopsy report describes marks on [deceased's] back consistent with roughly six Taser shocks.  But the Taser's internal computer registered twelve trigger pulls, suffesting that more than six shocks may have been used.  On a Fourth Amendment excessive-force claim, these are key factual disputes not susceptible of resolution on summary judgment."


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