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Hill v. Poinsett County Sheriff Department

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

June 8, 2018

BARBARA HILL, PLAINTIFF
v.
POINSETT COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT, et al., DEFENDANTS

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         I. Procedure for Filing Objections

         This Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has been sent to Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. Any party may file written objections to this Recommendation. Objections should be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for the objection. To be considered, objections must be received in the office of the Court Clerk within 14 days of this Recommendation.

         If no objections are filed, Judge Marshall can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By not objecting, parties may also waive any right to appeal questions of fact.

         II. Background

         Plaintiff Barbara Hill, filed this lawsuit without the help of a lawyer under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. She claims that Defendant Kimble used excessive force against her and that Defendant Cox was deliberately indifferent to her medical needs, all while she was held at the Poinsett County Detention Center (“Detention Center”). (Docket entries #2, #5)

         Defendant Cox has filed a motion for summary judgment contending that the undisputed facts demonstrate that she was not deliberately indifferent to Ms. Hill's medical needs. (#35) Defendant Kimble has also filed a motion for summary judgment. He contends that undisputed facts demonstrate that he did not use reasonable force in arresting Ms. Hill. (#40) Ms. Hill did not respond to either motion, and the time for doing so has passed. The motions are ripe for review.

         III. Standard

         Summary judgment means that the court rules in favor of a party without the need for a trial. A party is entitled to summary judgment if the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the party on the other side of the lawsuit, shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any fact that is important to the outcome of the case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322B23, 106 S.Ct. 2548 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 246, 106 S.Ct. 2505 (1986).

         Here, the Defendants' motions are supported by admissible evidence that, if undisputed, shows there are no genuinely disputed facts important enough to make a difference in how the case is decided. To avoid summary judgment, Ms. Hill was obligated to come forward with evidence to show that important facts remain in dispute.

         IV. Undisputed Facts

         Ms. Hill has not submitted any evidence to contradict the sworn statement Defendant Kimble submitted in support of his motion for summary judgment. In his statement, Defendant Kimble stated the following facts: On Tuesday, January 24, 2017, Ms. Hill called the Harrisburg Police Department to report that her boyfriend, Ronnie Raby, was attempting to commit suicide by stabbing himself. Defendant Kimble responded to the call. (#42-1) Upon arrival, Defendant Kimble found Ms. Hill sitting on the floor of her apartment doorway. (#42-1) He summoned Mr. Raby from another room and asked where the knife was. (#42-1) Mr. Raby denied having a knife or that he tried to hurt himself. He told Defendant Kimble that Ms. Hill was responsible for the bleeding wound in his upper abdomen. (#42-1)

         Deputy Holmes (not a named Defendant) arrived to assist Defendant Kimble and attended to Mr. Raby's apparent stab wounds while Defendant Kimble tried to locate the knife. (#42-1) Ms. Hill directed Defendant Kimble to a knife drawer in the kitchen, where Defendant Kimble found a wet knife atop other knives. (#42-1)

         Mr. Raby was air-lifted to a hospital to treat the stab wound that Defendant Kimble had observed. Deputy Holmes reported to Defendant Kimble that Mr. Raby had also suffered other injuries, including “several other lacerations to his arms and legs, had another smaller stab wound on the lower stomach below his stomach fat, ” and “what appeared to be a bite mark on the rear of his neck that was slightly bleeding, another bite mark on his left arm, and a fresh bloody bite mark to his testicals [sic].” (#42-1, p.2)

         Ms. Hill denied stabbing Mr. Raby and also denied washing the knife and placing it in the knife drawer. She did admit that she and Mr. Raby had been embroiled in a physical altercation. Ms. Hill had dried blood on her hands, which she attributed to cuts from Mr. Raby's fingernails during the fight. (#42-1) Ms. Hill ...


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