The Brown Firm PLLC Successfully Appeals and Overturns Dismissal of Police Shooting Case Which Resulted in the Death of Wayne Jones

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On March 5, 2018, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an Order of the District Court in West Virginia which dismissed the claims of the Estate of Wayne Jones. The Brown Firm PLLC, an Alexandria law firm which handled both this appeal and the prior successful appeal, will continue as counsel for Wayne Jones’ estate for trial.

The Brown Firm PLLC has announced that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned an Order of the District Court in West Virginia concerning Wayne A. Jones, a black male, who was shot 22 times and killed by police officers on March 13, 2013, Estate of Wayne Jones v City of Martinsburg, et al, Case No, 17-1003. This was the second decision of the Fourth Circuit overturning the West Virginia District Court. The first appeal sought to overturn the decision dismissing the case on summary judgment based on the Estate responding to requests for admissions two days after the due date - those admissions involved allegations that Mr. Jones had a knife and tried to stab one of the officers the night he was killed. The Brown Firm did not represent the estate at the district court level; it was retained to handle the appeal following the first dismissal.

Following the first appeal the Fourth Circuit remanded the case for the district court to consider certain factors in Federal Rule of civil Procedure 36(b) in deciding whether to allow the late answers by the Estate. The District Court reviewed the factors, refused to allow the late answers, and again dismissed the case. The Estate appealed again.

In the recently issued Order in the second appeal the Fourth Circuit overturned the district court’s dismissal on summary judgment, commenting that despite the admissions there was still a question of fact whether the officers acted reasonably in shooting Wayne Jones 22 times and killing him.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in their per curiam opinion, reviewed the events that took place during the incident. They also discuss the case itself from the minute the family began suing the City of Martinsburg and the police officers involved in the shooting. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals noted that the videos of the events, many of which were caught on dash cams, were sufficient to create a question of fact and counter the sworn statements of the officers involved.

In light of the recent ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the family of Wayne Jones will finally get their day in court.

The Brown Firm PLLC is an Alexandrian law firm, specializing in employment law, civil litigation, and also defends clients in traffic and criminal defense cases. For more information, visit their website at https://www.brownfirmpllc.com/ or call 703-828-0900. You can also visit them at 526 King Street, Suite 207, Alexandria, VA 22314.

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Jonathan Martin