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Jones v. Chapman

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

April 3, 2018

DIANE JONES ADC #706096 PLAINTIFF
v.
CHERYL CHAPMAN, et al. DEFENDANTS

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

         INSTRUCTIONS

         The following proposed Findings and Recommendation have been sent to Chief United States District Judge Brian S. Miller. 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 Diane Jones filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that defendants Cheryl Chapman and Stephanie Lachance were deliberately indifferent to her mental health needs and failed to protect her and others from herself (Doc. No. 2).

         Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, a brief in support, and a statement of facts claiming that Jones had not exhausted claims against them before she filed this lawsuit (Doc. Nos. 14-16). In support of their motion for summary judgment, Defendants submitted: a declaration of Inmate Grievance Coordinator Terry Brown Grigsby and a copy of the Arkansas Department of Correction's grievance policy (Doc. Nos. 14-1 & 14-2).

         Jones did not file a response to the Defendants' motion. Because Jones failed to controvert the facts set forth in Defendants' statement of undisputed facts, Doc. No. 16, those facts are deemed admitted. See Local Rule 56.1(c). The Defendants' statement of facts, and the other pleadings and exhibits in the record, establish that the material facts are not in dispute and that Defendants are entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.

         II. Legal Standard

         Under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is proper if “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute 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(a); 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). An assertion that a fact cannot be disputed or is genuinely disputed must be supported by materials in the record such as “depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials . . .”. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). A party may also show that a fact is disputed or undisputed by “showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). 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. Undisputed Facts

         1. Jones is an inmate incarcerated in the McPherson Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) located in Newport, Arkansas. Doc. No. 2.

         2. Jones filed this pro se lawsuit on April 27, 2017, alleging that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to her mental health needs by failing to protect her or others from herself during an incident occurring on April 9, 2017. Id.

         3. The defendants are employed by the ADC and are assigned to the McPherson Unit. Id.

         4. Since April 2014, Administrative Directive (AD) 14-16 has been in effect. AD 14-16, the Inmate Grievance Procedure policy, is the “administrative mechanism for the resolution of complaints and ...


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