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Hill v. Norwood

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

January 17, 2017

AUSTIN HILL PLAINTIFF
v.
SHERIFF DAVID NORWOOD and JAIL ADMINISTRATOR NATHAN GREELEY DEFENDANTS

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          HON. MARK E. FORD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff, Austin Hill, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Corrections (“ADC”), Varner Unit. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable P. K. Holmes, III, Chief United States District Judge, referred this case to the undersigned for the purpose of making a report and recommendation.

         Currently before me is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 21) After careful consideration, the undersigned makes the following Report and Recommendation.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his unsigned Complaint April 29, 2015. (Doc. 1) The Court directed him to sign and return his Complaint (Doc. 3), which he did on May 7, 2015. (Doc. 6) Plaintiff's Complaint centers on his time spent in the Ouachita County Detention Center (OCDC). Plaintiff alleges he was exposed to tuberculosis by being housed with inmate Philip Brown in B pod. He alleges there are no tuberculosis lights in B Pod or in OCDC. He further alleges had not been given a shot or checked for tuberculosis at all. Plaintiff feels his life has been placed in danger. (Doc. 6, p. 11)

         Plaintiff alleges he was exposed to Staphylococcus between February 5, 2015 and February 8, 2015. He alleges inmate Blake Barner had an infection in his leg and was housed within B pod during this time. (Doc. 6, p. 11)

         Plaintiff proceeds against both Defendants in their personal capacity. (Doc. 6, pp. 3-5) He alleges Norwood is the Sheriff and has first-hand knowledge of all actions taking place at the jail. (Doc. 6, p. 3) He alleges Greeley is the jail administrator, and that he has not responded to any of Plaintiff's grievances. (Doc. 6, pp. 4-5)

         Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages of $200, 000 for pain, suffering and ill-treatment, appointment of an attorney, and a full investigation into the Ouachita County Jail. (Doc. 6, p. 13)

         Defendants filed their Summary Judgment Motion on June 10, 2016. (Doc. 21) A Summary Judgment hearing was held on July 26, 2016, to permit Plaintiff to respond orally to the Motion. (Doc. 27) Plaintiff appeared via video conference.

         Plaintiff testified he filed a grievance form concerning his claims, but he does not know what happened to it. He testified he had explained this on his Complaint form. On the form, Plaintiff had written that there is no grievance procedure at OCDC. He further stated if an inmate files a grievance no copy is given to the inmate, and no number is assigned so that it may be traced. When questioned further, Plaintiff testified he filed his grievance sometime in July 2015.

         Plaintiff further testified he did not know if he contracted anything, but he never got sick. When he went to the ADC he was not tested or treated for anything.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Court “shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “[A] genuine issue of material fact exists if: (1) there is a dispute of fact; (2) the disputed fact is material to the outcome of the case; and (3) the dispute is genuine, that is, a reasonable jury could return a verdict for either party.” RSBI Aerospace, Inc. v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co.,49 F.3d 399, 401 (8th Cir. 1995). The moving party has the burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact and that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law, but the non-moving party may not rest upon mere denials or allegations in the pleadings and must set forth specific facts to raise a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986). The Court must view all evidence and inferences in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See McCleary v. ReliaStar Life Ins. Co.,682 F.3d 1116, 1119 (8th Cir. 2012). However, “[w]hen ...


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