BANGOR, Maine — Attorneys on both sides of a civil lawsuit over whether Bangor police officers used excessive force when they used a Taser to subdue a man under the influence of bath salts, who later died, have objected to a magistrate judge’s narrow framing of the legal issues in the case.

Last month, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Nivison wrote in his 27-page decision allowing the suit to proceed to trial that a jury needs to determine if the police officers “reasonably should have known that Mr. [Phillip] McCue ceased resisting arrest and that the force that they employed after he ceased resisting was excessive.”

McCue, 28, of Bangor died at Eastern Maine Medical Center on Sept. 17, 2012, five days after Bangor police attempted to arrest him at an apartment building on First Street. The autopsy concluded that McCue died as a result of complications from overdosing on bath salts.

His father, Michael McCue of Jackson, f iled an eight-count wrongful death lawsuit in March 2014 in U.S. District Court in Bangor seeking $6.65 million in damages.

Nivison’s decision is subject to review by U.S. District Judge George Singal. Lawyers are seeking a hearing on the opposing motions.

Singal has three legal options. He may agree with Nivison’s decision on what the jury should consider after reviewing the legal issues in the case.

If Singal were to agree with the officers’ attorney’s arguments, the lawsuit would be dismissed. Singal also could broaden the question the jury should consider to include whether any or all of the techniques the officers used to subdue McCue were excessive if he agrees with the other side’s argument.

David Van Dyke, the Lewiston attorney representing McCue’s parents, called Nivison’s ruling “an incorrect, and recessively restrictive/narrow, determination of the point at which the defendant officers’ conduct/imposition of force became ‘excessive.’”

The attorney also said the magistrate judge failed to recognize that genuine issues of material fact exist concerning whether the officers showed “deliberate indifference” toward McCue.

The police officers’ attorney, Joshua Randlett of Bangor, argued in his objection that Nivison misapplied the qualified immunity analysis to which the officers are entitled; improperly considered inadmissible evidence; and based a portion of his decision on a factual dispute that was not genuine, not material, and based entirely on speculation.

“The video record establishes that there is at most a timeframe of one minute and six seconds in which the magistrate judge apparently concluded that Mr. McCue may have stopped resisting and the defendants may have continued to use force,” Randlett wrote. “That fact, which is taken in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, is crucial to this case.

“The law was not clearly established at the time of this incident (nor is it clearly established today) that a suspect who has previously fled and resisted arrest during an encounter has a right to be free from the continued use of force for such a momentary period of time after the suspect has allegedly stopped resisting,” the attorney wrote. “In this case, the magistrate judge erred by framing the right involved at too high and broad a level of generality, without appropriate regard to the particularized facts of this case.”

The defendants in the lawsuit are Bangor police officers Kim Donnell, Wade Betters (who is now a sergeant), Joshua Kuhn, David Farrar and Chris Blanchard.

Officers went to check on a noise complaint on Sept. 12, 2012, at 18 First St. in Bangor, according to Nivison’s ruling issued Sept. 22. Witnesses told police Phillip McCue was “ranting and raving, yelling and screaming, and stomping and kicking at doors.”

McCue jumped over a banister on the third-floor hallway and landed about 8 feet below on the stairway that led to the second floor, the judge wrote. He then ran past Donnell and left the building.

Donnell called for backup, and McCue was found near the Central Fire Station on Main Street. Officers gave him a disorderly conduct warning.

After officers learned from residents of the First Street apartment building that McCue was a bath salts user, they made the decision to take him into “protective custody” so he could be evaluated, the judge said.

When police pursued McCue on Main Street, he tripped and fell in the roadway. Kuhn and Farrar repeatedly ordered McCue to give them his hands, but he refused, swore at the officers and threatened to kill them.

Eventually police placed McCue in a five-point restraint, also known as “hog-tying,” Nivison said. Donnell used her Taser on McCue after he refused to give up, but he continued to resist vigorously the officers’ efforts to restrain him.

It was not until police lifted McCue off the ground and carried him to a police vehicle a few yards away they realized he was unresponsive, the judge wrote. Emergency responders were called and arrived to find that McCue had no cardiac rhythm.

He was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center. He never regained consciousness and died Sept. 17, 2012, after suffering two heart attacks, according to previously published reports.