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Johnson v. Baker

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

April 19, 2016

WILBERT LEZELL JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
BAKER, Sergeant, Grimes Unit; et al., Defendants.

          PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS INSTRUCTIONS

          JOE J. VOLPE, Magistrate Judge.

         The following recommended disposition has been sent to Chief United States District Judge Brian S. Miller. Any party may serve and file written objections to this recommendation. Objections should be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for the objection. If the objection is to a factual finding, specifically identify that finding and the evidence that supports your objection. An original and one copy of your objections must be received in the office of the United States District Court Clerk no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of the findings and recommendations. The copy will be furnished to the opposing party. Failure to file timely objections may result in waiver of the right to appeal questions of fact.

         If you are objecting to the recommendation and also desire to submit new, different, or additional evidence, and to have a hearing for this purpose before the District Judge, you must, at the same time that you file your written objections, include the following:

         1. Why the record made before the Magistrate Judge is inadequate.

         2. Why the evidence proffered at the hearing (if such a hearing is granted) was not offered at the hearing before the Magistrate Judge.

         3. The details of any testimony desired to be introduced at the new hearing in the form of an offer of proof, and a copy, or the original, of any documentary or other non-testimonial evidence desired to be introduced at the new hearing.

         From this submission, the District Judge will determine the necessity for an additional evidentiary hearing. Mail your objections and "Statement of Necessity" to:

         DISPOSITION

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Wilbert Lezell Johnson ("Plaintiff") brought this action pro se and pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. No. 5.) He alleges Defendants Clinton Baker, [1] Terrie Bannister, Banks, Raymond Naylor, and Jada Lawrence violated his constitutional rights by denying him adequate process during prison disciplinary proceedings. ( Id. at 11-14.) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that his rights were violated when he was not allowed to attend a disciplinary hearing in January 2015.[2] ( Id. at 11.) Now, Defendants have moved for summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims[3] against them. (Doc. No. 33.) Plaintiff has not offered any substantive response to Defendants' Motion. On March 29, 2016, he submitted objections' to the Motion wherein he argued that he lacked the legal expertise necessary to continue representing himself. (Doc. No. 35.) I declined to appoint Plaintiff counsel, but did offer him an extension of time to respond to Defendants' Motion. (Doc. No. 37.) The deadline has expired and Plaintiff has not submitted any responsive pleadings as of this date.

         II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

         Under Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is proper "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 321 (1986). When ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must view the evidence in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Naucke v. City of Park Hills, 284 F.3d 923, 927 (8th Cir. 2002). The nonmoving party may not rely on allegations or denials, but must demonstrate the existence of specific facts that create a genuine issue for trial. Mann v. Yarnell, 497 F.3d 822, 825 (8th Cir. 2007). The nonmoving party's allegations must be supported by sufficient probative evidence that would permit a finding in his favor on more than mere speculation, conjecture, or fantasy. Id. (citations omitted). A dispute is genuine if the evidence is such that it could cause a reasonable jury to return a verdict for either party; a fact is material if its resolution affects the outcome of the case. Othman v. City of Country Club Hills, 671 F.3d 672, 675 (8th Cir. 2012). Disputes that are not genuine or that are about facts that are not material will not preclude summary judgment. Sitzes v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 606 F.3d 461, 465 (8th Cir. 2010).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Defendants offer three arguments in support of their Motion. First, they contend Defendants Banks, Naylor, and Lawrence should be dismissed because they had no personal involvement in the alleged violation of Plaintiff's due process rights. Second, they argue Defendant Bannister is entitled to summary judgment because he had no involvement in determining whether Plaintiff would be allowed to attend his disciplinary hearing. Finally, Defendants state Plaintiff voluntarily waived his appearance at his disciplinary hearing and, as such, they cannot be held liable for failing ...


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