Simpson v. Weeks (1977)

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Simpson v. Weeks
by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas

Plaintiff Simpson was a Little Rock police lieutenant with an exemplary record and a bright future. Defendants Weeks et al. were his superiors. The defendants believed that Simpson had secretly fed information to the attorneys for the plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit against the police department. Convinced that he was a snitch, the defendants began punishing Simpson, for example, by demoting him to night jailer.

District Judge Terry Lee Shell heard testimony and argument and ultimately found in favor of Simpson. In addition to a declaratory judgment, the court enjoined the defendants from further punishing Simpson, and the court ordered that he be returned to his previous position in the department. Finally, the court granted (nominal) compensatory damages of three dollars and punitive damages of six thousand dollars. On appeal, the district court's decision was affirmed in part, as to defendants Weeks and Terry, and reversed and vacated as to defendant Parkman. Simpson v. Weeks, 570 F.2d 240 (8th Cir. 1978).

The defendants were represented by John I. Purtle, who was soon after elected to the Arkansas Supreme Court (1978–1989).

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division

530 F. Supp. 196

Lieutenant W. E. ("Sonny") SIMPSON  v.  Gale WEEKS, Chief of Police, Little Rock, Arkansas; John C. Terry, Assistant Chief of Police; and Lieutenant Forrest H. Parkman.

No. LR-75-C-151.---Delivered: February 25, 1977.
As Amended February 28, 1977. 

Court Documents
Opinion of the Court

[*197] John I. Purtle, City Atty., Little Rock, Ark., for plaintiff.

William R. Wilson, Jr., and Kaneaster Hodges, Jr., Newport, Ark., for defendants.

[Opinion of the Court by District Judge TERRY LEE SHELL.]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).