WEST MEMPHIS, AR - A federal appeals court ruled today that an Arkansas judge was wrong to let an inmate voluntarily withdraw a lawsuit against a Crittenden County jailer.
Stanley Beavers, Jr. had filed a civil complaint against the county, Sheriff Dick Busby and former jailer Bob Bretherick. Beavers alleged Bretherick used excessive force against him in 2001.
Bretherick, in a separate criminal case, pleaded guilty to depriving Beavers of his rights under color of law and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. The court decision released today by the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis concerned Beavers' civil suit over the matter. U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes let Beavers withdraw the case after his lawyer missed filing deadlines. But Holmes said Beavers could refile.
The appeals court directed Holmes to take up the case again, consider the motion for summary judgement and, if granted, enter a final judgement dismissing Beavers' case.