United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
O. Hickey United States District Judge.
a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff
Bernard Jones, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before
the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by
Defendants. (ECF No. 32). Plaintiff filed a Response. (ECF
No. 39). Defendants filed a Reply. (ECF No. 40). The Court
finds the matter ripe for consideration.
originally filed his Complaint on May 13, 2016 in the Eastern
District of Arkansas. (ECF No. 2). On May 17, 2016, the case
was transferred to the Western District of Arkansas,
Texarkana Division. (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff is no longer
incarcerated and now resides in Hope, Arkansas. Plaintiff is
suing Defendants Officer Dickson, Lieutenant Golden Adams,
Sergeant Dewayne Floyd, and Byron Griffie in their
individual and official capacities. Plaintiff is seeking
compensatory damages and requests that each Defendant be
November 6, 2015, Plaintiff was brought to the Miller County
Detention Center (“MCDC”) through the inmate 309
Program. Plaintiff was taken back to the Arkansas
Department of Correction (“ADC”) on April 28,
2016. During the time Plaintiff was at the MCDC, it was
suspected that the 309 inmates were bringing contraband into
the facility. On March 19, 2016, Defendants conducted an
impromptu strip search of the 309 inmates, including
Plaintiff, to confirm there was no contraband. Defendants
searched Plaintiff outside of Max Hall 1. According to the
affidavit of Defendant Adams, there is a camera in this
location but there were no females present at the time of the
search. (ECF No. 34-2, ¶ 4). Defendants state if a
female officer witnessed the strip search, it was an
inadvertent sighting over the camera. (ECF No. 33).
April 19, 2016 three 309 inmates, including Plaintiff, went
out the front gate of the MCDC to the parking lot. Defendant
Floyd went out and advised them that they were not supposed
to be out there while court was in session. Plaintiff started
to protest and complain to Defendant Floyd and then became
defiant and started raising his voice. Due to this incident
and others, Plaintiff was escorted to the Receiving and
Discharge area of the MCDC and placed in a cell. Plaintiff
then shouted and argued with Defendants Adams and Floyd and
threw down his mat. (ECF No. 34-1, ¶ 12). On April 20,
2016, the 309 inmate coordinator was contacted and informed
that Plaintiff was no longer needed at the MCDC. Plaintiff
remained in the Receiving and Discharge area for nine days
before he was transferred back to the ADC.
MCDC has an established grievance procedure for inmates to
utilize when they believe their constitutional rights have
been violated. (ECF No. 34-1, pgs. 9-10). The grievance
procedure is utilized through a kiosk system at the MCDC. The
kiosk is located directly next to the phones in the Receiving
and Discharge area.
alleges his constitutional rights were violated when the
Defendants “order me out of my clothes to conduct a
strip search for some unforeseen reason in front of the
cameras as well as all the female staff working in the
control room.” (ECF No. 2). He also claims he was
locked up for ten days without access to a shower or phone
and was then transferred back to prison “for no other
reason other than retaliation.” (ECF No. 2). Defendants
argue they are entitled to summary judgment because: (1)
Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies; (2)
Defendants did not violate Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment
rights when the strip search was conducted; (3) Plaintiff was
afforded his right to due process; (4) Defendants are
entitled to qualified immunity; and (5) there is no basis for
official capacity liability.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that when a party
moves for summary judgment, 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); Krenik
v. Cnty. of LeSueur, 47 F.3d 953 (8th Cir. 1995). The
inquiry performed is the threshold inquiry of determining
whether there is a need for trial-whether, in other words,
there are genuine factual issues that properly can be
resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably
be resolved in favor of either party. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986); see also
Agristor Leasing v. Farrow, 826 F.2d 732 (8th Cir.
1987); Niagara of Wis. Paper Corp. v. Paper Indus.
Union-Mgmt. Pension Fund, 800 F.2d 742, 746 (8th Cir.
1986). A fact is material only when its resolution affects
the outcome of the case. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.
A dispute is genuine if the evidence is such that it could
cause a reasonable jury to return a verdict for either party.
Id. at 252.
Court must view the evidence and the inferences that may be
reasonably drawn from the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Enter. Bank v. Magna
Bank, 92 F.3d 743, 747 (8th Cir. 1996). The moving party
bears the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of
material fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law. Id. The nonmoving party must then
demonstrate the existence of specific facts in the record
that create a genuine issue for trial. Krenik, 47
F.3d at 957. A party opposing a properly supported motion for
summary judgment may not rest upon mere allegations or
denials, but must set forth specific facts showing that there
is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson, 477 U.S. at
256. 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 (2007).
Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) provides:
“[n]o action shall be brought with respect to prison
conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other
Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or
other correctional facility until such administrative
remedies as are available are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(a). Exhaustion is mandatory. Porter v.
Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 524-25 (2002). In Jones v.
Bock, the Supreme Court concluded “to properly
exhaust administrative remedies prisoners must complete the
administrative review process in accordance with the
applicable procedural rules.” 549 U.S. 199, 218 (2007)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted). The Supreme
Court stated that the “level of detail necessary in a
grievance to comply with the grievance procedures will vary
from system to system and claim to claim, but it is the
prison's requirements, and not the PLRA, that ...