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Baron v. Suffolk Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
402 F.3d 225 (2005)
Bruce Baron (plaintiff), a corrections officer in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, was subjected to a campaign of harassment by his coworkers, which culminated in him quitting his job. Baron had reported the misconduct of a coworker, Sergeant William Curtis, and the harassment began shortly after. Baron sued the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department (the sheriff’s department) (defendant) in Suffolk County Superior Court for violating his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The case was removed to federal district court. At trial, the sheriff’s department argued it was not liable for violation of Baron’s civil rights, because the harassment was only carried out by a series of other officers within the department and was not an official or unofficial policy. Baron claimed that the code of silence among the officers represented a custom within the sheriff’s department for which the sheriff’s department was liable. The district court found in favor of Baron. The sheriff’s department appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lipez, J.)
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