United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is the Report and Recommendation
("R&R") (Doc. 34) of the Honorable James R.
Marschewski, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western
District of Arkansas, filed in this case on December 29,
2016, regarding Defendants Sheriff Kelley Cradduck's and
B. Frischmann's (together, the "County
Defendants") Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 24) and
Brief in Support (Doc. 25) and Separate Defendants Dr.
Saez's, Tyranny Ray's, and Patricia Davis'
(collectively, the "Medical Defendants") Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 28) and Brief in Support (Doc. 29). In
the R&R, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the Court
grant the Medical Defendants' Motion in its entirety, and
grant in part and deny in part the County Defendants'
Court has reviewed the recommendations concerning the Medical
Defendants' Motion, to which no objections were filed. As
the Court agrees that these claims should be dismissed, the
Court will grant the Motion and dismiss the Medical
Defendants from the case. As to the County Defendants'
Motion, the Magistrate Judge recommended that all claims
against them also be dismissed, with the exception of an
individual capacity claim made against Defendant Frischmann.
This claim relates to Plaintiff David Allen Cannady's
assertion that he was subjected to excessively cold
temperatures in his cell, and that Frischmann, a maintenance
supervisor, was put on notice of the cold temperatures but
was deliberately indifferent to them. Frischmann filed
Objections to the R&R (Doc. 35), and in response, the
Court has now conducted a de novo review as to all
proposed findings and recommendations pertaining to the claim
against Frischmann. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). In addition
to evaluating this claim, the Court's Order will also
address the official capacity claims made against the County
Defendants, which are subject to dismissal, but which the
R&R did not substantively discuss. Accordingly, the Court
finds that the R&R should be, and hereby is,
ADOPTED AS MODIFIED, with the additional
reasoning and expanded analysis set forth below.
February 18, 2016, Cannady filed his Complaint against the
County Defendants and Medical Defendants, maintaining that
his constitutional rights were violated while he was
incarcerated at Benton County Detention Center
("BCDC"). As to the County Defendants, Cannady
claimed that he was subjected to unconstitutional conditions
of confinement because the temperatures in his cell were too
hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.
was temporarily held at BCDC beginning on June 9, 2015, until
he was transferred to the Arkansas Department of Corrections,
Grimes Unit, on March 1, 2016.See Doc. 26-2, pp. 1,
11. Cannady first began complaining about the cold
temperatures in the BCDC on November 22, 2015, when he
submitted his first grievance about the cold. See Doc. 26-4,
p. 12. Cannady went on to file a total of thirteen grievances
about the cold temperatures in the prison from November 22,
2015, to February 4, 2016. See Id. at pp. 14, 16,
18-19, 22-23, 26-32. Nine of the thirteen grievance
complaints were directed towards the cold temperatures in
Cannady's cell and/or the fact that Cannady could not
sleep in his cell because it was too cold. See Id.
at pp. 14, 16, 18-19, 26-30. At the summary judgement
hearing, Cannady testified that there was a heating vent on
the interior wall of his cell but that he could not feel any
heat coming from the vent and that the cold was so severe
that ice formed at least twice on the exterior cell wall to
which his bunk was attached. Cannady further testified that,
each time he complained about the cold temperatures, an
individual from maintenance would check the temperature by
pointing a "gun" at a vent in the pod day room, which
has no exterior walls.
order to help combat the cold, inmates are ordinarily given
one blanket, but, if they are placed in a corner cell with
two exterior walls, then they are given two blankets.
See Doc. 26-7, p. 3. Cannady testified that inmates
are also given a full set of clothing, which consists of a
shirt, pants, boxers, and a pair of socks, but that the
blanket(s) and clothing were not adequate to combat the cold
in his prison cell. As a result, Cannady testified that he
acquired a cold and a runny nose and that it was too cold to
sleep, which caused him to go without sleep for a total of
approximately ten nights during his period of confinement at
BCDC. See Doc. 26-6, pp. 63-64. Cannady further
testified that the cold caused him to spend another 60-90
nights waking up because of the cold two to three times each
night, walking around his cell to get warm, and losing
approximately 30-45 minutes of sleep each time. See
Doc. 26-6, pp. 63-64. Cannady suspected the temperature was
being turned down deliberately prior to the weekend until
Monday or when maintenance workers returned to work. He also
believed the temperature was set incorrectly, but does not
believe that the facility-wide heating and cooling system was
broken during this time. See Doc. 26-6, p. 86.
all times relevant to this case, Frischmann was employed by
BCDC as a supervisor for maintenance and upkeep, a position
that he has held for over eighteen years. See Doc.
26-7, p. 1. In that position, Frischmann regularly checks the
temperatures in the BCDC to assure compliance with jail
standards, which require the temperature not to exceed 85
degrees and not to drop below 65 degrees. Id. During
the winter months, Frischmann sets the thermostats in the
BCDC to 74 degrees, but, due to the construction of the
building, Frischmann states the temperature varies between 67
and 77 degrees. Id. at 2. Frischmann further states
in an affidavit, that, during his "entire 18 year
employment, the temperatures in the [BCDC] have ... not
dropped below 65 degrees"- although he fails to provide
any explanation as to why he knows this to be true or to
provide supporting maintenance records. See Id. at
1. His statement also fails to explain whether it pertains to
temperatures of the facility in general, or to the individual
cells, or both. See id.
time an inmate submits a facility-related grievance, whether
it is based upon a complaint regarding cold temperatures or
otherwise, Frischmann or another member of maintenance checks
the problem and addresses it as soon as possible. See
Id. at 3. In the instant case, out of the nine
grievances submitted by Cannady concerning the cold cell
temperatures and/or the fact that he could not sleep in his
cell because of the cold, seven of them were replied to in
writing by Frischmann. See Doc. 26-4, pp. 14, 16,
18-19, 26-30. Frischmann's respective responses to such
grievances were as follows: (1) "Temps are being checked
daily."; (2) "This is an issue we are working on
daily. We will get it in sync soon."; (3) "This is
an issue we are working on daily. We will get it in sync
soon."; (4) "We are working on this, now.";
(5) "yes thanks"; (6) "ok"; (7)
"ok." See Id. at 14, 16, 19, 26-27, 29-30.
From this record, it is unclear what problems related to
temperature regulation actually existed in Cannady's cell
or the pod in general, or what specific actions were taken to
address the problems as soon as possible, other than simply
checking the temperature.
objects to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation that the
Court preserve for trial Cannady's claim regarding the
excessively cold temperatures in his cell. Frischmann argues
that there are no genuine issues of material fact regarding
the claim because: (1) any deprivation caused by the cold
temperatures in Cannady's cell did not objectively rise
to such a level that would pose a substantial risk of serious
harm to Cannady's health or safety; (2) even if an
objectively serious deprivation occurred, Frischmann was not
deliberately indifferent to Cannady's health or safety;
and (3) Cannady suffered no injuries from the cold
Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary
judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with 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);
see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322
(1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 250 (1986). When deciding a motion for summary judgment,
the Court must consider all the evidence and draw all
reasonable inferences that arise from the evidence in a light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. Nitsche v. CEO of
Osage Valley Elec. Co-Op., 446 F.3d 841, 845 (8th Cir.
2006). The moving party bears the burden of showing that
there is no genuine issue of material fact and that it is,
therefore, entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Enterprise Bank v. Magna Bank, 92 F.3d 743, 747 (8th
the moving party has met this burden, the nonmoving party
must set forth specific facts by affidavit and other
evidence, showing that a genuine issue of material fact
exists. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). Genuine issues of
material fact exist where "there is sufficient evidence
favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict
for that party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. To
withstand a defendant's motion for summary judgment, a
plaintiff must substantiate his or her allegations with
"sufficient probative evidence that would permit a
finding in his favor on more than mere speculation,
conjecture, or fantasy." Gregory v. Rogers, 974
F.2d 1006, 1010 (8th Cir. 1992). Summary judgment is properly
granted to a defendant where no reasonable jury could render
a verdict for the plaintiff. Taylor v. White, 321
F.3d 710, 715 (8th Cir. 2003).
the Court will address, first, Frischmann's objections to
preserving Cannady's individual capacity claim against
him, and, second, Cannady's official capacity claims
against the County Defendants, which were not substantively
addressed in the R&R. Both issues are discussed in turn.
Unconstitutional Conditions of Confinement - Cold
Eighth Amendment protects a prisoner against cruel and
unusual punishment during his or her confinement.
See U.S. Const, amend. VIII; see also Hutto v.
Finney, 437 U.S. 678, 685 (1978). As it relates to the
treatment of prisoners, the Supreme Court has distinguished
between two different kinds of conduct: (1) that which is
part of the formal punishment imposed for a crime and (2)
that which does not purport to be punishment, including the
conditions of confinement, medical care, and restoration of
control over inmates. See Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S.
294, 297-303 (1991). As to the latter, the Supreme Court has
taken the position that harsh conditions and rough
disciplinary treatment are part of the price that a convict
must pay for his or her offenses against society. See
Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347-49 (1981). However,
while the Constitution does not mandate comfortable prisons,
it also does not permit inhumane ones. See Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994).
Eighth Amendment, however, "'has no application'
until there has been a 'formal adjudication of guilt,
'" [but] the Fourteenth Amendment gives state
pretrial detainees-just as the Fifth Amendment gives federal
pretrial detainees-rights which are 'at least as
great as the Eighth Amendment protections available to a
convicted prisoner.'" Walton v. Dawson, 752
F.3d 1109, 1117 (8th Cir. 2014) (emphasis in
original)(quoting City of Revere v. Mass. Gen.
Hosp., 463 U.S. 239, 244 (1983)). "The Constitution
affords greater protection to a pretrial detainee compared to
a convicted inmate in the sense that '[d]ue process
requires that a pretrial detainee not be punished.'"
Id. (quoting Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520,
535 n. 16 (1979)). Therefore, "the burden of showing a
constitutional violation is lighter for a pretrial
detainee under the Fourteenth Amendment than for a
post-conviction prisoner under the Eighth Amendment."
Morris v. Zefferi, 601 F.3d 805, 809 (8th Cir. 2010)
(emphasis added) (quoting Weverv. Lincoln Cnty.,
Neb., 388 F.3d 601, 606 n.6 (8th Cir. 2004)). Although
the Eighth Circuit has not established a "clear standard
for pretrial detainees, " the Court has repeatedly
applied the same standard that is applied to Eighth Amendment
claims made by convicted inmates. See Id. (quoting
Vaughn v. Greene Cnty., Ark., 438 F.3d 845, 850 (8th
an individual challenging conditions of confinement in a
prison must prove both an objective and subjective element.
See Revels v. Vincenz,382 F.3d 870, 875 (8th Cir.
2004) (citing Wilson, 501 U.S. at 298). "The
defendant's conduct must objectively rise to the level of
a constitutional violation by depriving the plaintiff of the
minimal civilized measure of life's necessities. The
defendant's conduct must also reflect a subjective state