THE SUPREME COURT OF THE
FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
Cite as Moses v. Municipality of Polle,
2 FSM Intrm. (Truk 1986)
MUNICIPALITY OF POLLE, MARTINO
"PIK" YACINTO, AND YOSIROOPA,
CIVIL CASE NO. 1985-1021
FINDINGS OF FACT AND
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Before Richard H. Benson
October 29, 1986
For the Plaintiff: Jeanne H. Rayphand
Truk, FSM 96942
For the Defendant: Maketo Robert (after default)
P.O. Box 979
Pohnpei, FSM 96941
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A municipality which employs untrained persons as police officers, then fails to train them and authorizes their use of excessive force and summary punishment, will be held responsible for their unlawful acts, including abuse of a prisoner arrested without being advised of the charges or given an opportunity for bail, whose handcuffs were repeatedly tightened during his 14 hour detention in such a way that he was injured and unable to work for one month. Moses v. Municipality of Polle, 2 FSM Intrm. 270, 271 (Truk 1986).
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RICHARD H. BENSON, Associate Justice:
This is an action seeking recovery for the deprivation of the defendants of the civil rights of the plaintiff. the action is authorized by Chapter 7
of Title 11 of the Code of the Federated States of Micronesia.
The defendants did not appear, and their default was duly entered. On February 26, 1986 a hearing on the issue of damages was held in open court and the testimony of the plaintiff was received pursuant to Rule 55(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The allegations of the complaint as to liability are taken as true.
The allegations of the complaint are that the plaintiff was unlawfully arrested by the two individual defendants without a warrant while they were acting in the performance of their duties; that the defendant municipality employs untrained persons as police officers, fails to train them or alternatively gives them inadequate training, and authorizes the use of excessive force in accomplishing arrests and detention; that the plaintiff was not advised of the cause or the authority for the arrest; and no provision for release on bail was made.
Because of such employment of untrained persons, and of such failure to train, or adequately train, its police officers, the municipality is responsible for the unlawful acts of the officers. The individual police officers are responsible to the plaintiff for the consequences of their own unlawful acts.
The allegations establish that the plaintiff was deprived of his right to be free from unreasonable seizure, was deprived of his liberty without due process of law, and was not advised of the cause of his arrest or of the authority for his arrest.
Findings of Fact
The plaintiff was arrested about 9:30 p.m. May 19, 1985, handcuffed tightly, and taken to a place of detention. The handcuffs were made tighter on three occasions during the period of detention. This caused severe pain.
The plaintiff was released, without any charges having been made, at about 11:30 a.m. the following day. The plaintiff's arms were numb and he was unable to raise them. He obtained medical care as a hospital outpatient which cost $6.00. He was unable to work for one month, which caused a loss of earnings of $160.00.
Conclusions of Law
The defendant unlawfully deprived the plaintiff of the enjoyment of his civil rights. The plaintiff is entitled to damages for the deprivation as follows:
for the period of detention $490.00
for medical expenses 6.00
for loss of earnings 160.00
for pain and suffering 1,000.00
Reasonable attorney's fees will also be awarded to the plaintiff.
Let judgment be entered accordingly.
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