Judge dismisses inmate’s lawsuit after numerous interruptions in court

The Associated Press /

Published Jan 27, 2013 at 04:00AM

PORTLAND — A juror said he was disappointed that a former inmate’s excessive force lawsuit against jail guards was dismissed because the inmate kept interrupting the trial.

Michael Darfler, a Portland resident who was on the jury, noted Chadwick Yancey was smaller than the guards and said he “didn’t deserve to get beat up.” Yancey, who was representing himself, sued the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility and four employees over his treatment in the jail.

But U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman abruptly dismissed Yancey’s lawsuit last week after Yancey repeatedly interrupted the jail guards’ lawyer, argued with the judge and accused court staff of lying. Mosman said he considered Yancey’s case “credible,” but his conduct made it impossible to proceed.

Darfler told The Oregonian that the dismissal “was (Yancey’s) fault for not shutting his mouth. I wanted to go out there and say, ‘Dude, be quiet, and you’ll probably be fine.’”

Yancey said Friday that his interruptions stemmed from not understanding the court process and from frustration over rulings he felt unfairly limited him.

In opening statements, Yancey said that after he fought with an inmate, deputies took him out of his cell, handcuffed his hands behind his back and had him sit down with a sergeant.

Video from a security camera shows Yancey speaking as his leg twitched under the table. A deputy then approached the inmate, pulled him by his shirt out of the chair and threw him face-first against the concrete wall.

Yancey claimed that deputies pulled him from the camera’s line of sight and continued to beat him.

He said he sustained multiple injuries, including losing teeth from the blows.

The attorney representing the jail and the guards said Yancey was out of control that day. The defense attorney said the deputy threw Yancey into the wall as a means to control him, a tactic deputies learn for getting control of inmates.

During the trial, Yancey frequently interrupted Wagner’s opening statement, drawing warnings from the judge. He also violated the judge’s previous rulings when he tried to bring up a previous excessive force case against NORCOR.

“It was certainly my hope, to which I devoted my best efforts, to see that this case was decided on the merits,” Mosman ruled Thursday. “Unfortunately, those best efforts were undermined by Mr. Yancey’s own misconduct.”

Yancey said he will appeal the judge’s decision.