United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
CLAUDE B. OAKLEY, ADC #108541 PLAINTIFF
GERALD CANADA; and DAVID WILLIAMS DEFENDANTS
OPINION AND ORDER
JEON HOLMES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Oakley brings this action against Gerald Canada and David
Williams in their individual and official capacities,
alleging that Canada and Williams violated his constitutional
rights when they used excessive force during his arrest.
Document #2 at 4. Oakley also alleged that he received
inadequate medical treatment, but he now has conceded that
claim. Document #37 at 1. The excessive force claim is
brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Canada and
Williams have filed a motion for partial summary judgment on
the official capacity claims. Oakley has responded and the
defendants have replied. For the following reasons, the
motion for partial summary judgment is granted.
and Williams are deputies with the Jefferson County
Sheriff’s Department. Document #31 at 1 ¶ 1. On
January 2, 2015, Canada and Williams arrested Oakley.
Document #2 at 4. During the course of the arrest, according
to Oakley, Williams tased him four times and kicked him full
force in the groin. Id. On January 15, 2015, Oakley
submitted a detainee grievance form complaining of extreme
groin pain. Document #30-1. Oakley received pain medication
on January 18, 2015, and on January 23, 2015, an ultrasound
was ordered of his scrotum and testicles. Document #30-2 and
document #30-3. On February 10, 2015, the ultrasound was
performed and revealed epididymal cysts on his right and left
testicles. Document #30-4.
should grant summary judgment if the evidence demonstrates
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. The moving party bears the initial burden of
demonstrating the absence of a genuine dispute for trial.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106
S.Ct. 2548, 2553, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). If the moving party
meets that burden, the nonmoving party must come forward with
specific facts that establish a genuine dispute of material
fact. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 1356, 89
L.Ed.2d 538 (1986); Torgerson v. City of Rochester,
643 F.3d 1031, 1042 (8th Cir. 2011) (en banc). A genuine
dispute of material fact is presented only if the evidence is
sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to return a verdict in
favor of the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91
L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). The court must view the evidence in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party and must give
that party the benefit of all reasonable inferences that can
be drawn from the record. Spencer v. Jackson Cnty.
Mo., 738 F.3d 907, 911 (8th Cir. 2013). If the nonmoving
party fails to present evidence sufficient to establish an
essential element of a claim on which that party bears the
burden of proof, then the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Pedersen v. Bio-Med.
Applications of Minn., 775 F.3d 1049, 1053 (8th Cir.
and Williams argue that the official capacity claims should
be dismissed because Oakley has not alleged and cannot show
that a custom or policy of Jefferson County led to a
violation of his constitutional rights. Document #30 at 3-4.
A suit against a public official in his official capacity is
treated as a suit against the entity. Kentucky v.
Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 165-66, 105 S.Ct. 3099, 3105, 87
L.Ed.2d 114 (1985). A municipality cannot be held liable
simply because it employs a tortfeasor. Monell v.
Dep’t of Social Servs. of City of New York, 436
U.S. 658, 691, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 2036, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978).
“To establish municipal liability under § 1983, a
plaintiff must show that a constitutional violation was
committed pursuant to an official custom, policy, or practice
of the governmental entity.” Moyle v.
Anderson, 571 F.3d 814, 817 (8th Cir. 2009).
“There are two basic circumstances under which
municipal liability will attach: (1) where a particular
municipal policy or custom itself violates federal law, or
directs an employee to do so; and (2) where a facially lawful
municipal policy or custom was adopted with ‘deliberate
indifference’ to its known or obvious
consequences.” Id. at 817-18.
To establish a claim for “custom” liability, a
plaintiff must demonstrate:
1) The existence of a continuing, widespread, persistent
pattern of unconstitutional misconduct by the governmental
2) Deliberate indifference to or tacit authorization of such
conduct by the governmental entity’s policymaking
officials after notice to the officials of that misconduct;
3) That plaintiff was injured by acts pursuant to the
governmental entity’s custom, i.e., that the custom was
a moving force behind the constitutional violation.
Johnson v. Douglas Cnty. Med. Dep’t, 725 F.3d
825, 828 (8th Cir. 2013).
has failed to plead or present evidence that the alleged
violation of his constitutional rights resulted from a
custom, policy or practice of Jefferson County. See
Documents #2 and #37. Therefore, the defendants’ motion
for partial summary judgment on Oakley’s official
capacity claims is granted. Oakley’s claims against
Canada and Williams in their individual capacities remain to
defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment on
Claude Oakley’s § 1983 official capacity claims is
GRANTED. Document #29. Those claims are dismissed with
prejudice. Claude Oakley’s ...