United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff,
Patrick Donzell Lee, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to
the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011),
the Honorable Susan O. Hickey, United States District Judge,
referred this case to the undersigned for the purpose of
making a Report and Recommendation. Currently before the
Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No.
62. After careful consideration, I make the following Report
filed his Complaint on October 7, 2015, alleging he was
incarcerated under unconstitutional conditions of
confinement, subjected to excessive force, and denied medical
care during his incarceration in the Miller County Detention
Center (“MCDC”). ECF No. 1. Plaintiff is
currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of
Correction - East Arkansas Regional Unit, in Marianna,
Arkansas. He is suing Defendants Patterson and Miller in both
their official and individual capacities. Plaintiff is
seeking injunctive relief and compensatory and punitive
damages. ECF Nos. 1, 24.
Patterson and Miller filed a summary judgment motion on
January 9, 2017, alleging they are entitled to judgment as a
matter of law because: 1) Plaintiff was not subjected to
unconstitutional conditions of confinement; 2) Defendants
were not deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's medical
needs; 3) any force used to remove Plaintiff from his cell
was reasonable; 4) Defendants are entitled to protections of
qualified immunity; and 5) there is no basis for official
capacity liability. ECF No. 62. To assist Plaintiff in
responding to the motion, I sent a questionnaire asking him
to agree or disagree with various statements set forth by
Defendants as undisputed facts. Plaintiff filed the
questionnaire as his Response to the summary judgment motion
on January 30, 2017. ECF No. 67. Defendants filed a Reply to
Plaintiff's Response on February 1, 2016. ECF No. 68.
was booked into the MCDC on June 3, 2015. ECF No. 67.
Plaintiff alleges on August 13, 2015, “Officer
Patterson arrived at my cell. My cell mate told him that I
was getting out my bed. I jumped down to only slip and fall
in water that was on the floor once again from a leak, that
officer Patterson knew of already and felled to act
on.” ECF No. 67. Plaintiff claims because Defendant
Patterson failed “to fix a major water leak, I fell in
it, hitting my head on the camode, sending me into a seizure,
as well as causeing head and back trauma in which I had to be
sent to the hospital by E.M.S.” ECF No. 1. Plaintiff
also claims Defendant Patterson used “excessive
force” after finding Plaintiff on the floor when he
improperly “drag me to the dayroom over ten feet while
I was in a seizure still, when I should have not been moved
by dragging in that kind of sickness, or injury, not knowing
the extent or being medical personnel.” ECF No. 67.
Plaintiff admits 911 was called and the nurse at the MCDC
continued to talk to him and conduct neuro checks on him
after he was moved out of his cell by Defendant Patterson.
ECF No. 67.
states Defendant Miller arrived on the scene shortly after
the nurse begin providing him with medical care. ECF No. 67.
Plaintiff was then taken to Wadley Regional Medical Center
via ambulance where he was prescribed Anaprox for pain
management. ECF No. 67. After being treated at the hospital,
Plaintiff returned to the MCDC and the nursing staff at MCDC
continued to monitor his condition and advised him to notify
the MCDC staff of any changes in his condition. ECF No. 67.
With respect to Defendant Miller, Plaintiff claims “by
not making her rounds to ashore officers working under her
follow stricked guidelines in accordance with job policy and
rules. I slip and fell in water caused by the unwillingness
of her officer to do his entitled job duties.” ECF No.
Court “shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows
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 they are entitled to
judgment as a matter of law, but the nonmoving 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 opposing
parties tell two different stories, one of which is blatantly
contradicted by the record, so that no reasonable jury could
believe it, a court should not adopt that version of the
facts for purposes of ruling on a motion for summary
judgment.” Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380
initial matter, Plaintiff can no longer seek injunctive
relief from the MCDC as he is no longer incarcerated at that
facility. See Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234,
1239 (8th Cir. 1997) (release from the institution in which
the injunctive relief is sought against moots the request for
injunctive relief). See also Martin v. Sargent, 780
F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985) (holding an inmate's
claims regarding prison conditions moot once the inmate was
transferred and no longer subject to those conditions).
Therefore, Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief
fails as a matter of law.
Official Capacity Claim
1983 provides a federal cause of action for the deprivation,
under color of state law, of a citizen's "rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws" of the United States. In order to state a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege a
defendant acted under color of state law and they violated a
right secured by the Constitution. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42 (1988); Dunham v. Wadley, 195 F.3d 1007,
1009 (8th Cir.1999).
section 1983, a defendant may be sued in either his
individual capacity, or in his official capacity, or claims
may be stated against a defendant in both his individual and
his official capacities. Gorman v. Bartch, 152 F.3d
907, 914 (8th Cir. 1998). With respect to the official
capacity claims, they are “functionally equivalent to a
suit against the employing governmental entity.”
Veatch v. Bartels Lutheran Home,627 F.3d 1254, 1257
(8th Cir. 2010). In other words, Plaintiff's official