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Winston v. Harmon

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division

October 3, 2014

CHARLES A. WINSTON, ADC #84733, Plaintiff,
v.
GREG HARMON, et al., Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

BETH DEERE, Magistrate Judge.

I. Procedures for Filing Objections:

This Report and Recommendation ("Recommendation") has been sent to the presiding judge in this case, United States District Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. The court, on its own motion, can consider summary judgment, even when no party has filed a motion. See FED.R.CIV.P. 56(f) In this case, the Recommendation is that summary judgment be granted to the Defendants, even though there is no pending motion for summary judgment.

The Recommendation sets out the material facts in this case that the Court believes are undisputed based on the testimony and documents the parties offered at a hearing held on September 26, 2014. Any party may respond to this Recommendation by filing objections. Objections must be specific and must set out the material facts that the party believes to be in dispute. In other words, if a party objects to a factual finding included in this Recommendation, the party must identify the finding of fact that he or she believes to be wrong and describe the evidence that contradicts that finding.

An original and one copy of your objections must be received in the office of the United States District Court Clerk within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. A copy will be furnished to the opposing party.

If no objections are filed, Judge Marshall can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing all of the evidence in the record. By not objecting, you may also waive any right to appeal questions of fact.

Mail your objections to:

II. Background:

Charles Winston brought this lawsuit pro se, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while he was housed at the East Arkansas Regional Unit ("EARU") of the Arkansas Department of Correction ("ADC"). (Docket entries #2, #4) Specifically, he claims that the Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his safety by inadequately staffing the barracks, and that Defendant Harris retaliated against him for filing a grievance about the alleged understaffing.

Defendants previously moved for judgment on the pleadings. The Court dismissed Mr. Winston's claims for money damages against the Defendants in their official capacities, as well as his claims for compensatory damages and injunctive relief.

Defendants recently moved for a new dispositive motions deadline. Because this case is scheduled for jury trial on December 15, 2014, however, setting a new, last-minute deadline was not practical. The Court, however, scheduled this matter for a hearing to determine whether there were disputed issues of material facts.

The hearing was held on September 26, 2014. Mr. Winston and his court-appointed counsel[1] were present. Mr. Winston testified at the hearing, as did Defendants Harmon and Harris.

Based on cross examination by Mr. Winston's attorney, the Court directed the Defendants to produce staffing logs for the dates at issue. Defendants have now produced those logs, and they have been reviewed by all parties. The parties have stipulated that the logs are consistent with the testimony at the hearing, and that the control-booth logs do not create any disputed material facts. (#80)

Based on the undisputed evidence presented at the hearing and the parties' stipulation (#80), the Court recommends that Judge Marshall grant summary judgment on the court's own motion and that ...


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