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Tolbert v. Bragan

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
Nov 24, 1971
451 F.2d 1020 (5th Cir. 1971)

Summary

holding that federal prisoner transferred to state jail to answer state charges could state a claim of excessive force where five local jailers severely beat him with blackjacks

Summary of this case from Nolin v. Town of Springville

Opinion

No. 71-2537. Summary Calendar.

Rule 18, 5 Cir.; See Isbell Enterprises, Inc. v. Citizens Casualty Co. of New York, et al., 5 Cir., 1970, 431 F.2d 409, Part I.

November 24, 1971.

George Tolbert, Jr., pro se.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

Before GEWIN, GOLDBERG, and DYER, Circuit Judges.



George Tolbert, Jr., appeals from the district court's denial of leave to file his Civil Rights complaint in forma pauperis without requiring any responsive pleading of the defendants. We reverse and remand.

Tolbert is presently serving a sentence in a federal prison. He alleges that he was taken from there to the Jefferson County, Alabama, jail on a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum to answer state criminal charges against him. After disposition of these charges and while awaiting transportation back to federal prison, Tolbert alleges that five jailers beat him severely about the head and body with blackjacks, leaving him badly injured. He alleges that the beating was done under color of state law and racially motivated. Tolbert alleges that the white jailers beat him, a black man, "for sheer sport and/or to satisfy their racist egos."

The district court held that these are "merely allegations of assault and battery and do not involve federal constitutional questions. These are matters which, if true, are within the province of prison officials or state courts of the State of Alabama."

We do not agree. Tolbert has alleged more than a mere matter of prison administration or of state law. Severe physical abuse of prisoners by their keepers without cause or provocation is actionable under the Civil Rights Act. See Lowe v. Warden, 5 Cir. 1971, 450 F.2d 9; Collum v. Butler, 7 Cir. 1970, 421 F.2d 1257; Allison v. California Adult Authority, 9 Cir. 1969, 419 F.2d 822; Wiltsie v. California Department of Corrections, 9 Cir. 1968, 406 F.2d 515.

The order of the district court denying Tolbert's motion for leave to file his complaint in forma pauperis is reversed and the cause is remanded for further appropriate proceedings.

Reversed and remanded.


Summaries of

Tolbert v. Bragan

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
Nov 24, 1971
451 F.2d 1020 (5th Cir. 1971)

holding that federal prisoner transferred to state jail to answer state charges could state a claim of excessive force where five local jailers severely beat him with blackjacks

Summary of this case from Nolin v. Town of Springville

beating of a convicted federal prisoner by state jailers while in their custody to answer state criminal charges

Summary of this case from United States v. Stokes

In Tolbert, the inquiry was "not on the particular circumstances which brought the plaintiff under state control, but rather on the fact of that control and the manner of its exercise."

Summary of this case from Ortiz Villagran v. United States

In Tolbert v. Bragan, 451 F.2d 1020 [(5th Cir. 1971)], this Court upheld the right of an individual convicted for violation of federal law and housed temporarily in a county jail to challenge the conduct of his keepers in a suit under § 1983.

Summary of this case from United States v. Loera
Case details for

Tolbert v. Bragan

Case Details

Full title:GEORGE TOLBERT, JR., PETITIONER-APPELLANT, v. WARDEN BRAGAN ET AL.…

Court:United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Date published: Nov 24, 1971

Citations

451 F.2d 1020 (5th Cir. 1971)

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