AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va (WHSV) -- UPDATE 4/18/17
According to federal court documents, the Middle River Regional Jail Authority has filed a motion to dismiss the case brought against MRRJ superintendent Jack Lee by Alvion Cashion, a former inmate. This comes after the jail filed another motion in February to dismiss a similar case against it by Mateen Haleem.
In court documents filed April 13, MRRJA claims Cashion has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
According to federal court documents, the Middle River Regional Jail Authority has filed a motion to dismiss the case brought against it by Mateen Haleem.
The motion was filed on February 17 claiming that MRRJA has sovereign immunity.
Two former inmates at Middle River Regional Jail (MRRJ) have filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court for the Western Division in Harrisonburg against the jail and members of the staff, alleging instances of what they say was excessive force, abuse and violations of their Constitutional rights.
The lawsuits both make claims that the jail did not give necessary medication to the two former inmates, Mateen Haleem and Alvion Cashion. Both men spoke Monday at a press conference, held by Nexus Services, at the headquarters for "Americans Resisting Minority Ethnic Discrimination" (ARMED) in Harrisonburg.
Nexus is supporting the lawsuits with Nexus Caridades Attorneys, Inc. representing both Haleem and Cashion.
According to Haleem's lawsuit, he filed grievances about his medication and and the jail food being "rotten and maggot-filled." The court filing claims he was allegedly retaliated against by being doused with pepper spray and having a finger broken by two defendants identified in the lawsuit as "John Doe #1 and #2, correctional officers at the jail.
"I'm here to stand up for my rights and any other inmates' rights who don't have a voice to speak for (themselves)," said Haleem at the Monday press conference.
Cashion's lawsuit alleges jail staff showed "deliberate indifference" to a serious medical condition and would not prescribe him proloxin, an anti-psychotic pain medication. As a result, the lawsuit claims Cashion suffered a psychotic break.
Nexus Services' President Mike Donovan says the community has an interest in making sure inmates are supported when they leave jail.
"When I believe that people are abusing those folks, it becomes particularly disconcerting to me and that's what's happening at the Middle River Regional Jail," Donovan said.
In a press release sent to WHSV, Jack Lee, the superintendent of MRRJ who is named in the lawsuit, said:
“Thank you for your interest in Middle River Regional Jail. With regard to any pending or threatened litigation, there is nothing I can add at this time. However, please rest assured that the Middle River Regional Jail Authority and staff take very seriously the responsibility to provide inmates with appropriate medical care and the need to provide a safe environment for all inmates, employees and visitors at the facility.”
Also named in the lawsuit is Dr. Moises Quinones, an individual court documents identify as a physician with the jail.
Nexus Services also supported several lawsuits against MRRJ in 2016 which are pending in federal court. Donovan says the company launched an independent investigation into the jail. He says they started a complaint line following that litigation and have received over 200 calls with issues about the jail.
As of Monday, February 6, no amounts of damages were announced in the lawsuit.
To learn more about the details of this case, court documents are attached in the 'Related Documents' section of this page below (or to the right on a desktop computer).
Watch the full announcement below: