CZW successfully defended the Mayes County Board of County Commissioners in Bates v. Board of County Commissioners of Mayes County, et al. In this case, a male jailer (since discharged), admittedly engaged in sexual contact with the Plaintiff, a female inmate, while he was guarding her at a hospital room. When the sexual act was discovered, the jailer was immediately discharged by the Mayes County Sheriff’s Office and criminally prosecuted. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma granted summary judgment to the Board and Plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s holding, finding that the County could not be held liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because there was no evidence that the jailer had been improperly trained on how to handle sexual contact with female inmates. The Tenth Circuit also held that the mere fact that a male guard was assigned to guard the female Plaintiff at the hospital, without prior knowledge that the jailer posed a risk to female inmates, was insufficient to hold the County liable. Finally, on Plaintiff’s state constitutional claim, the Tenth Circuit agreed that the sexual act was not within the scope of the jailer’s employment. For complete opinion, click here.