United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
Tylon Calvin King filed a pro se complaint pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on July 28, 2015. King asserts he
was placed in solitary confinement at the Mississippi County
Detention Center on April 6, 2015, for no
reason. According to King, he was denied
visitation for two months and denied commissary for one
month. King further claims the toilet in his cell leaked, and
his food was cold because he was the last one served. King
also contends his health issues were not checked, and he
could not get proper health care because he could not afford
the fees Mississippi County required.
4, 2016, defendants Dale Cook, Clayburn Hicks, Rob
Roundsville, and Luther Whitfield, filed a motion for partial
summary judgment, a brief in support, and a statement of
facts, arguing King failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies as to certain claims he raised in his complaint
(Doc. Nos. 24-26). King filed a response on May 19, 2016
(Doc. No. 27), and defendants filed a reply on May 24, 2016
(Doc. No. 28). King filed another response on June 7, 2016
(Doc. No. 29).
filed a second motion for summary judgment, along with a
brief in support and a statement of facts (Doc. No. 32-34),
on July 29, 2016. King filed an affidavit in response on
August 17, 2016 (Doc. No. 38).
Standard of Review
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).
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) requires an inmate to
exhaust prison grievance procedures before filing suit in
federal court. See 42 U.S.C. §1997e(a);
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 202 (2007); Jones
v. Norris, 310 F.3d 610, 612 (8th Cir. 2002). Exhaustion
under the PLRA is mandatory. Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S.
at 211. “The PLRA's exhaustion requirement applies
to all inmate suits about prison life whether they involve
general circumstances or particular episodes, and whether
they allege excessive force or some other wrong.”
Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 532 (2002).
PLRA does not prescribe the manner in which exhaustion
occurs. See Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. at 922-923. It
merely requires compliance with prison grievance procedures
to properly exhaust. See id. at 922-23. Thus, the
question as to whether an inmate has properly exhausted
administrative remedies will depend on the specifics of that
particular prison's grievance policy. See id. at
at the Mississippi County Detention Facility have access to a
grievance procedure (Doc. No. 26-2). Defendants assert King
failed to exhaust his claims regarding his leaking toilet,
cold food, and medical care. In support of their motion that
King failed to exhaust the claims, defendants have provided
Whitfield's affidavit asserting King never filed a
grievance about the toilet, food, or medical care (Doc. No.
26-1). Defendants have also provided copies of all grievances
King filed (Doc. No. 28-2). As Whitfield notes, King did not
file any grievances about the toilet, food, or medical
care. King has provided nothing in either of his
responses (Doc. Nos. 24 & 29) to contradict
Whitfield's statement. Although King asserts he filed
grievances defendants did not provide, he has failed to
produce copies of any such grievances. Now is the time to
present evidence, and King cannot rely on mere statements to
defeat the defendants' motion. “To survive a motion
for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must substantiate
its allegations with sufficient probative evidence [that]
would permit a finding in [its] favor based on more than mere
speculation, conjecture, or fantasy.” Barber v. C1
Truck Driver Training, LLC, 656 F.3d 782, 801 (8th Cir.
2011) (internal citations omitted). See also Aunforo v.
Comm'r, 614 F.3d 799, 807 (8th Cir. 2010) (self
serving allegations and denials insufficient to create a
genuine issue of material fact). King's claims about the
toilet, food, and medical care must therefore be dismissed
their second motion for summary judgment, defendants argue
they are entitled to summary judgment because King cannot
establish a constitutional violation. The state has no right
to punish pre-trial detainees. Bell v. Wolfish, 441
U.S. 520, 535 (1979). A pre-trial detainee's confinement
conditions are analyzed under the due process clause of the
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments rather than the Eighth
Amendment's “cruel and unusual punishment”
standard which is used for convicted prisoners. Any injury
suffered by a detainee must be necessarily incident to
administrative interests in safety, security, and efficiency.
Practices that are punitive in intent, those that are not
rationally related to a legitimate purpose, or those that are
rationally related but are excessive in light of their
purpose, are unconstitutional. The length of a detainee's
confinement is a factor to consider in assessing an
institution's practices. Johnson-El v.
Schoemehl, 878 F.2d 1043, 1048 (8th Cir. 1989) (internal
was booked into the Mississippi County Detention Center on
February 3, 2015 as a pre-trial detainee, and he remained
there until February 26, 2016. Evidence defendants provided
indicates King was moved from the general population to
segregation in late March of 2015 because he was being
investigated for using the detention center's telephone
system in an effort to solicit the murder of one Blytheville
resident, and to bribe another. The move came after the local
prosecuting attorney suggested the detention center limit
King's phone access in an effort to protect the
individual King sought to harm. Because detainees in general
population have continuous access to the detention
center's phone system, King was moved to segregation
where his access to the phone and to other inmates was
limited. King was placed into segregation in late March of
2015, and remained there until he transferred to the Arkansas
Department of Correction in February of 2016 (Doc. No. 34-4).
In March of 2016, King pled guilty to conspiracy to commit
murder, which was committed while using the detention center
inmate phone system before he was placed in segregation (Doc.
facts presented to the Court establish that the restrictions
imposed upon King were incident to administrative interests
in safety and security, and were rationally related to a
legitimate purpose, that being the protection of the
individual whom King sought to have killed. Although it
appears that King did not receive visitation or commissary
privileges when he was initially placed into segregation,
affidavits from Roundsville and Whitfield indicate that was a
temporary oversight that was corrected when King brought it
to their attention (Doc. Nos. 34-4 & 34-6). In light of
the minimal period of time King lost visitation and
commissary privileges, and the reason for which he ...