DIY Lawsuit from former Regional Jail inmate

A man who helped jailers quell an August 2004 escape attempt at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail says staff didn’t do enough to protect him from other inmates. Now he’s braving the civil legal system and has filed suit in U.S. District Court against the jail, facility Superintendent Colonel Ronald Matthews and other staff for $1.5 million in compensatory and $250,000 in punitive damages.
    Marshall Shelton, 36, is currently an inmate at Sussex II state prison. His suit claims he was one of two men who helped officers at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail when six inmates attempted to escape and “severely” beat two guards. “Plaintiff and two other inmates took control of the situation and gave control of the jail back to jail authorities,” the suit reads.
Afterward, Shelton claims, he was housed in an isolated area, but other inmates had access to him. He says they threw feces and “other stuff” at him and attempted to stab him—part of a “concerted and systematic effort by defend-ant(s) and their agents to deprive plaintiff of constitutionally secured rights.”
    Inmates at Sussex II have access to a law library, but Shelton’s suit apparently missed some crucial legal points. The court sent a letter of response to Shelton asking him to specifically name staff he is suing—he can’t sue the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail as an entity. Shelton was also asked to clarify the “other stuff” that was thrown at him and give more specific accounts of the days he was terrorized. Shelton has filed a request for more time to prepare that material.
    Though the suit was filed September 1, Jail Superintendent Matthews says he hasn’t received notice and couldn’t comment. He confirmed Shelton was one of two men to help stop the incident. The Daily Progress has reported that after helping the guards, Shelton had a robbery charge reduced, turning a possible 19-year prison sentence into a five-year term.

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