Monday, November 11, 2013

Kemezy v. Peters case brief

Kemezy v. Peters case brief summary
79 F.3d 33 (7th Cir. 1996)

Appellant police officer challenged the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, which awarded punitive damages to appellee injured party in appellee's 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 suit against appellant for excessive force.


  • Appellee injured party filed suit against appellant police officer under 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983, claiming that appellant had wantonly beaten him with a nightstick in an altercation in a bowling alley where appellant was moonlighting as a security guard. 
  • The jury awarded appellee compensatory damages and punitive damages. 
  • Appellant challenged only the award of punitive damages, contending that it was appellee's burden to introduce evidence concerning appellant's net worth for purposes of equipping the jury with information essential to a just measurement of punitive damages.

Affirming the judgment, the court held that appellee had no burden of production to submit proof appellant's net worth to the jury in order to support a claim for punitive damages.


The court affirmed the decision of the district court, which awarded appellee injured party punitive damages in his federal civil rights claim against appellant police officer, holding that evidence of net worth was not required.

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