Pro Bono Opportunity in Case 1:20-cv-96-AW-GRJ Lee v. Centurion

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

This is a notice of an opportunity to provide pro bono representation in a trial and all matters leading up to trial in Denorris Wright v. Officer Luke S. Grant, No. 1:20-cv-96-AW-GRJ (N.D. Fla.). Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections. Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, he raises an Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against Defendant, a correctional officer with the Department of Corrections. The factual basis for Plaintiff’s claims is provided in the July 7, 2021, report and recommendation denying Defendant’s motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 39.

In short, Plaintiff alleges that on October 19, 2019, while incarcerated at Lancaster C.I, he declared a psychological emergency during his food service work detail. Plaintiff says that in response to his request for psychiatric help, Defendant arrived with five unidentified officers and sprayed him with a chemical agent in his face and eyes. Plaintiff alleges he was placed in handcuffs and restrained against a nearby wall. He alleges that Defendant continued to “spray” the chemical agent on Plaintiff after he was restrained. Plaintiff further alleges that another officer threatened and punched Plaintiff, and Defendant joined in the attack. Plaintiff claims that he suffered injuries to his wrists, back, neck, face and vision. Defendant denies that excessive force was used against the Plaintiff.

The Court ordered the parties to mediate this case by October 29, 2021. An attorney who wishes to provide representation may contact Plaintiff directly and may enter the case by filing a notice of appearance. Plaintiff is currently confined at Graceville Correctional Facility in Jackson County, Florida. Plaintiff’s DC Number is P27598. Should an attorney volunteer to represent Mr. Wright, the Court will entertain any necessary motion to continue the settlement conference, pretrial deadlines, or a trial upon a showing of good cause.

Public funds are not available for the payment of attorney’s fees. Fees in a limited amount may be recoverable under applicable law if Plaintiff ultimately prevails. 42 U.S.C. § 1988. Limited funds are sometimes available from the District’s Bench and Bar Fund for the payment of out-of-pocket expenses incurred by an attorney providing representation of this type. Members of the District’s bar will be afforded access to the electronic docket without charge for the purpose of considering whether to undertake the representation.