High court: Officials immune in suit over inmate suicide

AP News
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Posted: Jun 01, 2015 9:48 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says former Delaware prison administrators are immune from a lawsuit over a 2004 inmate suicide.

The justices on Monday ruled against the family of Christopher Barkes, who hanged himself just hours after being arrested for violating probation.

A federal appeals court ruled last year that the family could pursue claims that the prison violated Barkes' constitutional rights by failing to conduct a proper suicide prevention screening.

But the justices in an unsigned opinion said there was no clearly established law at the time giving inmates a right to adequate suicide prevention protocols.