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Tate v. Lacey

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

August 8, 2016

SIDNEY TATE, Plaintiff,
v.
DEPUTY LACEY, Defendant.

          Sidney Tate, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

          Deputy Lacey, Defendant, represented by C. Burt Newell, Bachelor & Newell & John R. Myers.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MARK E. FORD, Magistrate Judge.

         This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff, Sidney Tate, pursuant to the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is not incarcerated at present. Currently before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 21)

         The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge to conduct any and all proceedings in this case, including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final judgment, and conducting all post-judgment proceedings. (Doc. 12) Pursuant to this authority, the Court finds this Motion is ready for decision and issues this Memorandum Opinion.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his original Complaint on December 10, 2014, in the Eastern District of Arkansas. (Doc. 1) It was transferred to this District on December 22, 2014. (Doc. 2) He alleges his constitutional rights were violated when he injured his ankle in the Garland County Detention Center ("GCDC") and was denied medical care. (Doc. 1, p. 4-5) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges he was taken into custody at the Garland County Detention Center on December 2, 2014. He alleges that he fell trying to climb into a top bunk and hurt his ankle. When he woke up the next morning, his ankle was swollen and painful, and he could not walk on it. He informed officers at GCDC that he was in "extreme pain." Instead of giving him treatment, he was transported to Ouachita River Detention Center, but they refused to keep him because of his injury. (Doc. 1, p. 4) He was taken back to GCDC, where he spent the night. The next day, he was taken to Greene County Detention Center in Paragould, Arkansas, where he was seen by a nurse. He alleges the nurse suggested x-rays because the ankle was swollen and discolored. (Doc. 1, p. 5)

         Plaintiff brought his claims against Defendants in both their official and individual capacities. (Doc. 1, p. 2) Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages in the amount of $300, 000. He also seeks injunctive relief in the form of immediate medical treatment for all inmates, and immediate release for violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and Americans with Disabilities Act. (Doc. 1, p. 6)

         Defendant filed his Motion for Summary Judgment on February 12, 2016. (Doc. 21) A Summary Judgment hearing was held on March 29, 2016, in order to provide Plaintiff the opportunity to present sworn testimony in response to the motion. (Doc. 27)

         Plaintiff testified he did not have any official capacity claims. Plaintiff testified he asked for a medical request form when he first fell, but the officers refused to give him one. He said they told him to "hold on" because he would be transferred the next day. He asked again the next morning. They had to lift him into the van for transport.

         Plaintiff testified he was at the Ouachita River Unit for about one hour in the booking area. They said they would not take him, so Defendant Lacey and the other Deputy helped him back into the transport vehicle. When they got back to GCDC, Defendant Lacey told him to fill out a medical request. Plaintiff testified he was taken to the ER at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center when he got to Greene County. He testified he was in a wheelchair for 60-70 days.

         Plaintiff was asked what Defendant Lacey did to violate his rights. Plaintiff testified: "He knew about it. He knew I was hurting. He and another officer had to lift me into the van. They thought it was funny I had to crawl into the van. I think he could have done a lot more. He knew I was hurting, that's why he told me to file a medical request."

         Plaintiff was asked if there was any lasting physical injury due to the two day delay in receiving medical treatment for his ankle. Plaintiff testified "it did heal up." Plaintiff testified they didn't know what it was until they took him to the emergency room. It was swollen, and black and blue. He added: "They didn't want to do nothing. They tried to deny I got hurt. I had to ride all the way to Paragould with cuffs on my hands and ankles."

         Plaintiff was asked if there was anything about the two-day delay in receiving treatment which he believed caused some worsening of the injury. Plaintiff testified it was "just knowing he wasn't going to get treatment, ...


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