United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
GLENN D. WARE, Plaintiff,
MICHAEL BROWN, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
R. CHERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on two oral motions made on
September 27, 2017, on a Defendant's Trial Brief, Motion
for Judgment as a Matter of Law Due to Inconsistent Verdicts
and in the Alternative Motion for a New Trial [DE 148], filed
by Defendant Michael Brown on October 25, 2017, and on a
Plaintiff's Brief in Support of His Motion to Amend
Verdict to Reflect Nominal Compensatory Damages [DE 149],
filed by Plaintiff Glenn D. Ware on October 25, 2017.
parties orally agreed on the record to have this case
assigned to a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all
further proceedings and to order the entry of a final
judgment in this case. Therefore, this Court has jurisdiction
to decide this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
September 25-27, 2017, a jury trial was held in this
litigation on Plaintiff's claims of civil rights
violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claimed
that Defendant used excessive force, conducted an
unreasonable search, and retaliated against Plaintiff's
exercise of free speech.
Court instructed the jury as follows regarding compensatory
and nominal damages:
If you find in favor of Plaintiff Glenn Ware, then you must
determine the amount of money that will fairly compensate him
for any injury that you find he sustained as a direct result
of Michael Brown's actions. These are called compensatory
damages. . . .
If you find in favor of Glenn Ware but find that he has
failed to prove compensatory damages, you must return a
verdict for him in the amount of one dollar ($1.00).
(Final Jury Instr. No. 23, ECF No. 141). The Court also
instructed the jury on punitive damages.
jury returned verdicts in favor of Defendant on the excessive
force and unreasonable search claims. Using verdict forms
provided by the Court, the jury returned a verdict in favor
of Plaintiff on the free speech claim. The verdict reads:
We, the Jury, find in favor of Plaintiff Glenn Ware on his
federal civil rights claim against Defendant Michael Brown,
finding that, under color of law, Michael Brown deprived
Glenn Ware of his right under the United States Constitution
to free speech.
(Jury Verdict Form, 1, ECF No. 144). The jury also returned
the following compensatory damages and punitive damages
verdicts on Court-provided forms:
We, the Jury, having found in favor of Plaintiff Glenn Ware
on one or more of his claims, award total compensatory
damages in favor of Plaintiff Glenn Ware against ...