However, the court did not believe that there was an obvious need to train an officer not to assault a woman. Any reasonable officer would know to touch a woman's sexual organs was not allowable. Fite testified he knew that it was wrong to do so. The county was not held liable in this case.
In regards to Sheriff Ball's individual qualified immunity the court addressed Parrish's assertions that he was liable for failure to train and supervise Fite. The court took the Supreme Court ruling of sound discretion in deciding two prongs of immunity. The first being that in order for Sheriff Ball to liable he had to directly participate in the event or his failure to train or supervise was a direct causation in the event. Sheriff Ball did not participate in the event nor did his actions amount to a violation of Parrish's rights.
Secondly it had not been alleged that Sheriff Ball ordered, directed, or suggested that Fite assault Parrish. Therefore, Sheriff Ball's actions did not amount to direct participation in the violation.
Parrish alleged that Sheriff Ball's liability came from failure to train and supervise Fite. In order for Sheriff Ball to have violated Parrish's rights in this case he had to have:
- Received notice of a pattern of unconstitutional acts Committed by subordinates;
- Demonstrated deliberate indifference to or tacit Authorization of the offensive acts;
- Failed to take sufficient remedial action; and
- That such failure proximately caused injury to (Parrish).
There was no evidence that this was the case. A reasonable officer would not have supervised Fite any differently than another officer. There were no signs that such Fite's behavior would result in the assault. There was no evidence that Sheriff Ball was deliberately indifferent to the rights of Parrish.
The court noted that a supervisor who failed to train an employee may transfer to the supervisor when the training was deliberately indifferent to the rights of a plaintiff. Failure to train in this case may have been a contributing factor in the violation. Therefore, the court found that Sheriff Ball was entitled to qualified immunity in his individual capacity but, his liability for failure to train would be remanded for further proceedings.