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Walker v. Glidewell

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division

June 17, 2017




         This is a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff, Edward Charles Walker, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before me is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 19.

         The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge to conduct any and all proceedings in this case, including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final judgment, and conducting all post-judgment proceedings. ECF No. 16. Pursuant to this authority, I find this Motion is ready for decision and issue this Memorandum Opinion.


         Plaintiff filed his Complaint (ECF No. 1) on October 7, 2016, and an Addendum on October 25, 2016, (ECF No. 8) alleging Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical condition and discriminated against him based on his race while he was a pre-trial detainee in the Howard County Detention Center (“HCDC”). Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction (“ADC”) - Randall L. Williams Correctional Facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Plaintiff is suing Defendants John Eric Glidewell and Jana Tallant in their individual and official capacities. Plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and requests “O.R. bonds cease until a judge is introduced to the facts in each individual case”. ECF No. 1.

         Defendants Glidewell and Tallant filed a summary judgment motion on May 22, 2017, stating they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law because: 1) there is no basis for official capacity liability; 2) Defendants were not deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical needs; and 3) Plaintiff has failed to identify a similarly situated inmate of another race who was treated differently than himself. ECF No. 19. On June 8, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Response to the motion. ECF No. 23.

         Plaintiff alleges on or about July 18, 2016 he was arrested on misdemeanor charges and placed on the floor “in misdemeanor Pod C of the Howard County Jail. At that time I had numerous medical problems (head, dental, foot, pain) and asked Officer Lacie Grace if she could “O.R. Bond” me out since there was no space available and I had some medical appointments concerning health issues…I was told…that Miss Jana said no…”. ECF No. 8. Plaintiff also claims “on several occasions over the last sixteen years, I have been arrested in Nashville. One time I had tuberculosis, one time I had staff. Every time I was required to post bond. I have information indicating that some white defendants with the same and/or similar charges are being O.R. bonded by John Eric Glidewell with or without a Judges inquiry but by Officer Glidewell's initiation.” Plaintiff alleges “a simple examination of book-in records can prove or disprove this allegation…” ECF No. 1.

         According to the Affidavit of Defendant Glidewell, Plaintiff was not in the HCDC at any time during July of 2016. However, on June 19, 2016 Plaintiff was booked into the HCDC on charges of criminal trespass, failure to appear, shoplifting, and theft of property and was released on June 23, 2016. ECF No. 20-15. Plaintiff was arrested again on August 5, 2016 for public intoxication and third degree battery and was released on August 7, 2016. It appears Plaintiff was again arrested and booked into the HCDC on August 18, 2016 where he remained until March 8, 2017.

         On August 30, 3016, Plaintiff was examined and treated by Dr. Brian Oge for a broken tooth, headache and earache he suffered in a free world beating on July 4, 2016. He was also treated at that time for pain caused by calluses on the bottom of his feet. ECF No. 20-1, p. 1. On September 19, 2016 Plaintiff filed two inmate grievances with the HCDC. In the first grievance Plaintiff states “I would like to know why I have not heard from someone concerning me going to the doctor about my foot pain? I also need a 1983 form to file because there is some racial issue I need explained to me. For I see that there have been a lot of white people getting O.R.ed for various reason and not blacks…” ECF No. 1, p. 9. The second grievance states in part “For far to long we as a race of African Americans have been unfairly treated by the powers to be in this county because the police and the people who are doing certain things and getting away with seem to think it is okay.” ECF No. 1, p.8. The following day Defendant Glidewell met with Plaintiff to discuss the racial discrimination allegations and his foot pain set forth in Plaintiff's grievances. During this meeting Plaintiff stated “whites get OR'd for public intox, but he has never been OR'd for public intox. ECF No. 20-15, p. 10. Plaintiff also told Defendant Glidewell during this meeting he had been to see the doctor in the HCDC in the past few weeks about his foot, but was only given medicine and really needed surgery. ECF No. 20-15, p. 2.

         On October 7, 2016, Plaintiff was seen by Dr. Oge for hypertension, back and headaches, and the foot pain from the calluses. According to Dr. Oge's Clinic Report, Plaintiff “complains of pain in right foot for over 1 year due to multiple callus's. States naproxen and ibuprofen not helping at all. Patient seen by Dr. Saldino in Texarkana in January. Patient states was told that would need surgery on foot.” The October 7, 2016 Clinic Report plan states “Patient with several callus's on the right foot. Patient instructed to decrease ambulation. Patient to continue taking the naproxen and tylenol as prescribed for symptomatic relief of pain. According to the recommendations by Dr. Saldino the patient is to wear shoes with orthoses if possible while incarcerated. Patient to continue to try and distribute weight away from the painful sites. Painful heel lesions will go away with abnormal gait, shift weight to the arch and other metatarsals. Once again, the treatment is symptomatic, and the patient will need to follow up with podiatry if the callus's have not improved post-incarceration.” ECF No. 20-2, p. 2.[1]


         The 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 ...

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