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Sims v. King

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division

December 13, 2017

HAROLD SHAWGNESSY SIMS PLAINTIFF
v.
KING, et al. DEFENDANTS

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

         INSTRUCTIONS

         The following proposed Findings and Recommendation have been sent to United States District Judge James M. Moody Jr. You may file written objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your objection, and (2) be received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of fact.

         DISPOSITION

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Harold Shawgnessy Sims (“Sims”), an inmate at the Craighead County Detention Facility, filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on April 11, 2016. He alleges that he was the victim of sexual abuse by Felecia King, an individual employed by Tiger Commissary as a cook in the Craighead County Detention Center's kitchen (“Felicia King”), and an older woman named King, another individual employed by Tiger Commissary as the manager of the Craighead County Detention Center's kitchen (“Mrs. King”). See Doc. 2 at 4. Sims also alleges that Defendant Matthew Hall (“Hall”) allowed the abuse to happen and did not intervene and protect Sims. Id.

         Hall filed a motion for summary judgment, a brief in support, and a statement of facts claiming that Sims had not exhausted claims against him before he filed this lawsuit (Doc. Nos. 60-62). Mrs. King appears to have been served (see Doc. No. 39), but has not answered Sims' complaint. Felicia King moved to adopt Hall's motion for summary judgment and related pleadings, and her motion was granted. See Doc. No. 68. Sims filed a response to Hall's statement of facts. Doc. No. 69. Hall's statement of facts, and the other pleadings and exhibits in the record, establish that the material facts are not in dispute and that the defendants are entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.

         II. Standard of Review

         Under Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is proper “if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with the 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); Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 321 (1986). When ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must view the evidence in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Naucke v. City of Park Hills, 284 F.3d 923, 927 (8th Cir. 2002). The nonmoving party may not rely on allegations or denials, but must demonstrate the existence of specific facts that create a genuine issue for trial. Mann v. Yarnell, 497 F.3d 822, 825 (8th Cir. 2007). The nonmoving party's allegations must be supported by sufficient probative evidence that would permit a finding in his favor on more than mere speculation, conjecture, or fantasy. Id. (citations omitted). A dispute is genuine if the evidence is such that it could cause a reasonable jury to return a verdict for either party; a fact is material if its resolution affects the outcome of the case. Othman v. City of Country Club Hills, 671 F.3d 672, 675 (8th Cir. 2012). Disputes that are not genuine or that are about facts that are not material will not preclude summary judgment. Sitzes v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 606 F.3d 461, 465 (8th Cir. 2010).

         III. Facts

         In support of their motion for summary judgment and statement of facts, Hall submitted an affidavit by Keith Bowers (Doc. No. 62-1); a copy of the Craighead County Detention Center's Detainee Rules (Doc. No. 62-2); a copy of requests and grievances from Sims' jail file (Doc. No. 62-3); and a copy of Craighead County Detention Center's Grievance Procedure (Doc. No. 62-4). Although Sims filed a response to Hall's statement of facts (Doc. No. 69), he does not directly address the facts submitted by Hall but instead discusses at length other issues such as his arrest and the validity of charges filed against him. Sims indicates that the affidavit of Keith Bowers is a perjury, and that Bowers may not have found all the grievances filed by Sims. Doc. No. 69 at 10. Because Sims' response is so unclear and because he does not specifically identify or describe any grievances filed by him regarding the subject of this lawsuit, Hall's statement of undisputed facts (listed below) are deemed admitted in accordance with Local Rule 56.1(c).

         1. Sims was booked into the Craighead County Detention Center (“detention center”) on or about August 3, 2015, and he was released to the custody of the Arkansas Department of Corrections on February 4, 2016. Doc. No. 62-1.

         2. Sims was informed during the book-in process at the detention center that he could submit written grievances to address, among other things, detention center issues. Doc. Nos. 62-1 & 62-2.

         3. Craighead County Detention Center had a grievance process in place in 2015 and 2016 in which inmates could raise concerns about alleged constitutional violations, including, but not limited ...


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