Jarrett v. Town of Yarmouth (1st Cir. 2003) 331 F.3d 140

Excessive Use of Force; Monell Liability; Qualified Immunity

Subject fled, committing traffic misdemeanors and crashed. Subject fled on foot. Handler followed with PSD on 15 foot lead. Handler made 3 announcements, none of which the subject acknowledged. When subject ran out of sight, handler released PSD who bit subject and held him. Handler approached 30 seconds later and removed PSD. Subject bitten twice. Jury found against law enforcement. LE appeals. Appellate court examined the verdict; the jury found that handler followed the bite and hold policy of the agency. That finding, according to the appellate court, was inconsistent with the jury finding that subject had a constitutional injury (unlawful seizure/excessive force). Court found policy constitutional per Chew v. Gates and also found the use of PSD was constitutional using the Graham factors, finding no excessive force as a matter of law.