The ACLU of Maine represented Geoffrey Reese in a civil rights action filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine. Mr. Reese alleged that certain officers with the Maine Department of Corrections used excessive chemical agents against him in 2016 while he was in his cell, failed to provide adequate decontamination from chemical agents, and failed to adequately supervise such use of chemical agents at the Maine State Prison.

Mr. Reese also alleged that Department policies and training were insufficient to protect his constitutional rights against the use of excessive force. The Defendants denied all of these allegations. Without any admission of wrongdoing or liability, the Department has entered into a Settlement Agreement with Mr. Reese to resolve these claims without further litigation. 

In the Settlement Agreement, the Department has agreed to adopt or revise Department policies to increase protections for the use of chemical agents within inmate cells, expand the scope of decontamination procedures following an inmate’s exposure to chemical agents, and provide additional administrative oversight and process for thorough review of future use of force incidents involving chemical agents. Additionally, the Department has agreed to a monetary settlement. 

The parties believe that the Settlement Agreement will provide increased safety for all people in the Department's custody and improved Department oversight.


David A. Soley, James G. Monteleone, Emma Bond, ACLU of Maine, Zachary Heiden, ACLU of Maine


United States District Court for the District of Maine



Case number

Case 1:18-cv-00421-JDL