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Hunter v. Faulkner

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division

January 25, 2016

RACHARD HUNTER, Plaintiff,
v.
LIEUTENANT FAULKNER; CAPTAIN MITCHAM; LIEUTENANT BRIGGS; OFFICER T. WARD; and SHERIFF MIKE MCGOUGH, Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

BARRY A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.

This is a civil rights action filed pro se by the Plaintiff, Richard Hunter, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at the Arkansas Department of Correction Delta Regional Unit ("ADC").

Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan O. Hickey, United States District Judge, referred this case to the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report and Recommendation. Currently before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 15. I held a hearing on December 16, 2015, at which time, I heard Plaintiff's sworn testimony in response to the Motion for Summary Judgment. After careful consideration, I enter the following Report and Recommendation.

1. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed his Complaint on November 19, 2013. ECF No. 1. The Plaintiff's claim concerns his incarceration in the Union County Detention Center ("UCDC"). In his Complaint, Plaintiff names Lieutenant Faulkner, Captain Mitcham, Lieutenant Briggs, Officer T. Ward, and Sheriff Mike McGough as Defendants. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff claims both individual and official capacity claims against all Defendants. Specifically, Plaintiff claims Defendants violated his constitutional rights by denying him a mattress to sleep on for ten (10) days. ECF No. 1.

Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on June 1, 2015. ECF No. 15. In this Motion, Defendants argued: (1) Plaintiff failed to allege any official capacity claims; (2) Plaintiff failed to show how Defendants McGough and Mitcham were involved in the alleged actions; and (3) Defendants were not deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff. ECF No. 15.

The Court held a hearing on this Motion on December 16, 2015. At this hearing, Plaintiff provided sworn testimony as his response to Defendants' Motion. Plaintiff also requested time to submit discovery requests to Defendants and have Defendants' responses submitted as a supplement to his testimony. I granted this request and directed Defendants to send the Court a copy of their discovery responses. Defendants complied and the responses were filed as supplemental exhibits to Plaintiff's testimonial response to Defendants' Motion. ECF No. 24.

2. SUMMARY JUDGMENT RECORD

At the summary judgment hearing, I asked Plaintiff to provide a sworn statement detailing how he believes his constitutional rights were violated in response to the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. Below is a summary of his sworn testimony:

Plaintiff testified he was booked into the UCDC on September 11, 2013. At book-in, Plaintiff received "two half blankets" but no mattress for sleeping. Defendant Briggs gave Plaintiff the blankets. Plaintiff filed a grievance about having to sleep on the floor without a mattress. The next day, September 12, 2013, Plaintiff asked Defendants Faulkner and Ward for a mattress. Two days later Defendant Faulkner told Plaintiff they were working to get him a mattress. Plaintiff asked Defendant Briggs for a mattress on September 16, 2013. Plaintiff was given an air mattress on September 17, 2013, however, it deflated that same night and was never inflated again. Plaintiff testified he only had the deflated mattress and one blanket from September 17, 213 until September 21, 2013 because they had taken his "two half blankets" away when they gave him the air mattress. Plaintiff received a standard mattress on September 21, 2013 because another inmate left the UCDC.

I then asked Plaintiff to explain how he believes each Defendant violated his constitutional rights. Plaintiff provided the following testimony:

Defendant Sheriff McGough: Plaintiff testified he had no direct contact with Defendant McGough, but Plaintiff believes Defendant McGough should have known Plaintiff did not have a mattress from Plaintiff's grievances.

Defendant Mitcham: Plaintiff testified he believed Defendant Mitcham violated his rights because he is the Captain of the UCDC and he should have known Plaintiff did not have a mattress. Plaintiff also testified he had no direct contact with Defendant Mitcham.

Defendants Defendants Faulkner, Briggs, and Ward: Plaintiff did not offer any specific testimony as to Defendants Faulkner, Briggs, and Ward at this time, however, during his narrative of the events at issue he specifically named Defendants Faulkner, Briggs, and Ward as officer ...


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