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Guinn v. Arkansas Department of Correction

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division

May 27, 2016

ELMER DWAYNE GUINN, ADC #150488, Plaintiff,
v.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, et al., Defendants.

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          BETH DEERE, Magistrate Judge.

         I. Procedure for Filing Objections:

         This Recommended Disposition ("Recommendation") has been sent to Judge J. Leon Holmes. You may file written objections to this Recommendation. If you file objections, they must be specific and must include the factual or legal basis for your objection.

         Your objections must be received in the office of the United States District Court Clerk within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation.

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

         II. Discussion:

         A. Background

         Plaintiff Elmer Dwayne Guinn, an inmate at the Cummins Unit filed this pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Docket entry #2) In his complaint, Mr. Guinn raises a deliberate-indifference claim against Defendant Wilson. (#2) Specifically, Mr. Guinn alleges that on September 23, 2015, he received a "one arm restriction, " and on that same day Defendant Wilson, disregarded the restriction and ordered Mr. Guinn to use his arm to pick vegetables. (#2, #5) In his amended complaint, Mr. Guinn adds corrective-inaction claims against Defendants Straughn, James, and Socia. (#5)

         Defendants have moved for summary judgment, asking that the claims against them be dismissed based on Mr. Guinn's failure to completely exhaust the administrative process prior to filing this lawsuit. (#19) Mr. Guinn has responded. He asks the Court not to dismiss his case because his medical restriction is still being disregarded. (#22)

         For the reasons set forth below, the Defendants' motion for summary judgment (#19) should be GRANTED.

         B. Exhaustion

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires the Court to dismiss any claim raised that was not fully exhausted prior to filing a civil lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) ("No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions... by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted"); Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 90 (2006) (proper exhaustion of remedies "means using all steps that the [prison] holds out, and doing so properly"); Johnson v. Jones, 340 F.3d 624, 627 (8th Cir. 2003) (inmate must exhaust all available administrative remedies before filing suit, and "[i]f exhaustion was not completed at the time of filing, dismissal is mandatory"). An inmate's subjective beliefs regarding exhaustion are irrelevant in determining whether administrative procedures are available. See Chelette v. Harris, 229 F.3d 684, 688 (8th Cir. 2000).

         C. Facts

         On October 1, 2015, Mr. Guinn submitted the one grievance that relates to the allegations contained in his complaint, that is grievance CU-15-01960. (#19, Ex. C & D) In that grievance, Mr. Guinn complained that he received a medical restriction that was not being honored by Defendant Wilson. ...


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