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Cohns v. Stewart

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

May 13, 2015

RODRIC D. COHNS, Plaintiff.
v.
GARY STEWART, et al., Defendants.

RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

BETH DEERE, Magistrate Judge.

I. Procedure for Filing Objections:

This Recommended Disposition ("Recommendation") has been sent to Chief United States District Judge Brian S. Miller. Any party may file written objections to this Recommendation within fourteen (14) days.

Objections must be specific and must include the factual or legal basis for the objection. An objection to a factual finding must identify the finding of fact believed to be wrong and describe the evidence that supports that belief.

If no objections are filed, Judge Miller 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.

II. Background:

Rodric D. Cohns, formerly an inmate at the Faulkner County Detention Center ("Detention Center"), filed this case pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that Defendants Gary Stewart, Patricia Winters, Lloyd Vincent, and Scott Huffman acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. (Docket entry #1) The Court later allowed Mr. Cohns to amend his complaint to add deliberate-indifference claims against Defendants John Randall and Dawin Lasker. (#27, #28, #29) Defendants have now moved for summary judgment on all of Mr. Cohns's claims against them. (#54)

Mr. Cohns has responded to the Defendants' motion, and the Defendants have replied. (#60, #62) Accordingly, the motion is now ripe for decision.

Based on the evidence presented, the Court recommends that the Defendants' motion (#54) be GRANTED. Mr. Cohns's claims should be DISMISSED, with prejudice.

III. Discussion:

A. Standard

Summary judgment is granted to a party when the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, presents no genuine dispute as to any material fact. FED.R.CIV.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 246, 106 S.Ct. 2505 (1986). A moving party must first present evidence that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2553 (1986). If the moving party meets this burden, the nonmoving party must come forward with evidence showing that there is a genuine dispute that must be decided at a trial. Torgerson v. City of Rochester, 643 F.3d 1031, 1042 (8th Cir. 2011) (en banc). If the nonmoving party does not submit enough proof to establish a necessary element of a claim, the moving party is entitled to judgment on that claim. Celotex Corp., 447 U.S. at 322-23, 106 S.Ct. at 2552.

B. Official-Capacity Claims

All Defendants are employees of Faulkner County, Arkansas, so Mr. Cohns's claims against the Defendants in their official capacities are, in effect, claims against Faulkner County. Parrish v. Ball, 594 F.3d 993, 997 (8th Cir. 2010). Local governments are not liable under § 1983 for injuries inflicted solely by their employees or agents. Monell v. New York Dep't. of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 694, 98 S.Ct. 2018 (1978). Rather, a county is liable for the acts of its employee only when the ...


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