Adrian Schoolcraft, the police officer forced into the Jamaica Hospital psychiatric ward by police three weeks after he reported misconduct to investigators, has won round 1 in his legal battle against the city.
Schoolcraft’s saga was the subject a five-part Village Voice series published last year. In part 4 of the series, the Voice reported that police fed hospital officials misleading information about his behavior that caused them to hold him for six days without explanation.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet dismissed the federal claim against the hospital, but ruled that state civil rights claims would remain part of the lawsuit. He also ordered discovery to proceed, which means Schoolcraft’s lawyers can finally begin to get documents from the city and do depositions of key police officials.
The lawyers for Jamaica Hospital wanted the judge to remove the hospital from the case because basically Schoolcraft couldn’t prove that doctors violated his federal civil rights.
But Judge Sweet ruled that Schoolcraft had sufficiently made a case that the hospital and the police “collaborated in depriving him of his Constitutional rights.”
Jon Norinsberg, Schoolcraft’s lawyer, called the decision, “Good news.”