United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
Kristine G. Baker, United States District Judge.
the Court is a Proposed Findings and Recommendation
(“Recommendation”) submitted by United States
Magistrate Judge Patricia S. Harris (Dkt. No. 89). Plaintiff
Richard Alan Davis filed a timely motion for an extension of
time to file objections to the Recommendation (Dkt. No. 90).
Mr. Davis's motion for an extension of time is granted
(Dkt. No. 90). The Court finds that Mr. Davis's
objections to the Recommendation were timely filed and will
be considered by the Court (Dkt. No. 91).
Davis is an inmate at the Arkansas Department of
Correction's (“ADC”) East Arkansas Regional
Unit. He brings this action against defendants Tonda L.
Spencer, Chamoz Jones, Yulinda F. Campbell, Cynthia Rose
Reed, Randy Watson, and Floria Washington in their individual
capacities (collectively, “ADC
defendants”). The ADC defendants filed a motion for
summary judgment on all of Mr. Davis's claims (Dkt. No.
79). In the Recommendation, Judge Harris recommends that the
Court grant the ADC defendants' motion for summary
judgment and dismiss with prejudice Mr. Davis's remaining
claims (Dkt. No. 89, at 13). After reviewing the
Recommendation and objections, and conducting a de
novo review of the record in this case, the Court adopts
the Recommendation (Dkt. No. 89). The ADC defendants'
motion for summary judgment is granted (Dkt. No. 79). Mr.
Davis's claims are dismissed with prejudice.
objections to the Recommendation, Mr. Davis argues that the
defendants mischaracterize his due process claims against Mr.
Watson and Ms. Washington. The Court writes separately to
elaborate on the issues raised in Mr. Davis's claims
against Mr. Watson and Ms. Washington.
Davis is an inmate housed in the Varner Super Max Unit
(“VSM”). While the parties disagree as to the
exact date, there is no dispute that Mr. Davis was placed in
administrative segregation in 2013. Mr. Davis claims that he
was placed in administrative segregation on May 29, 2013
(Dkt. No. 2, at 14). The ADC defendants claim that he was
placed in administrative segregation on July 10, 2013 (Dkt.
No. 80, at 1; Dkt. No. 79-1, at 3). There is no dispute that
Mr. Davis remained in administrative segregation until after
he filed this action on April 6, 2015 (Dkt. No. 80, at 1-2).
It is unclear on the record before the Court as to whether
Mr. Davis remains in administrative segregation at this time.
Mr. Davis claims that, while assigned to administrative
segregation, he: (1) had limited physical contact with other
inmates; (2) was required to take his meals in his cell; (3)
was denied the opportunity to participate in group religious
services; (4) was permitted five hours a week of recreation
time; (5) was not permitted to have contact visits with
friends or family; and (6) was not permitted to leave his
cell without wearing handcuffs and shackles (Dkt. No. 91, at
8; Dkt. No. 2, at 18).
Administrative Directive 14-07 (“AD 14-07”)
provides the policy and procedures for administrative
segregation in VSM (Dkt. No. 79-2). AD 14-07 provides that
once a prisoner is placed in administrative segregation, the
Institutional Classification Committee or authorized staff:
[M]ust review the status of every inmate assigned to
administrative segregation classification every seven (7)
days for the first two months, and every thirty (30) days
thereafter to determine if the reason(s) for placement
continue to exist. At every other, of these 30-day reviews,
the inmate will be personally interviewed by the
Classification Committee or authorized staff.
(Id., at 4). AD 14-07 also provides that “[n]o
inmate shall remain in a segregation classification for more
than one year unless he has been personally interviewed by
the Warden at the end of one year and such action is approved
by him” (Id.). There is no dispute that Mr.
Davis was provided with the opportunity “to meet with
the classification committee to consider his continued
placement in administrative segregation every 60 days as
required by ADC Administrative Directive 14-07” and
that “[a]t each classification hearing, the committee
voted to keep Davis on administrative-segregation
status” (Dkt. No. 80, at 1). There is also no dispute
that the Warden's review, which should have been held
before Mr. Davis was detained for over a year in
administrative segregation in accordance with AD 14-07, did
not occur until September 19, 2014, which was at least over
14 months after Mr. Davis was placed in administrative
segregation (Dkt. No. 79-3, at 1). Mr. Davis claims that Mr.
Watson, the Warden of VSM, violated his due process rights by
failing to conduct his review within a year after Mr. Davis
was placed in administrative segregation (Dkt. No. 2, at 5).
October 29, 2014, Mr. Davis was sentenced to 30 days in
punitive isolation (Dkt. No. 79-1, at 1). During the time
that Mr. Davis was in punitive isolation, he was found guilty
of committing new disciplinary violations and was sentenced
to an additional 10 days in isolation (Dkt. No. 80, at 5-6).
ADC Administrative Directive 12-24 provides that:
Inmates may be confined to punitive segregation for a period
up to 30 days. Inmates serving consecutive punitive isolation
sentences will receive 48-hour relief at the end of each
30-day sentence. Inmate privileges . . . will be restored
during the 48hour relief period and will be restricted again
at the beginning of the next punitive sentence.
(Dkt. No. 46, at 21). There is no dispute that Mr. Davis was
not provided with 48-hour relief after he served 30 days in
punitive isolation (Dkt. No. 81, at 26). The ADC defendants
admit that Mr. Davis's 10-day isolation sentence was
“stacked onto his 30-day isolation sentence that began
on October 29, 2014[, ]” meaning Mr. Davis served 40
consecutive days in punitive isolation (Id.). Mr.
Davis claims that Ms. Washington, the Classification Officer
of VSM, violated his due process rights by allowing him to be
held in punitive isolation for 40 consecutive days (Dkt. No.
2, at 44-46).
Davis also claims that separate defendants Tonda Spencer,
Chamoz Jones, Yulinda Campbell, and Cynthia Rose Reed
violated his First Amendment rights by filing allegedly false
disciplinary charges against Mr. Davis in retaliation for
grievances that Mr. Davis filed against them.