United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division
WILLIAM SHANE COWART Reg. #10438-003 PLAINTIFF
JONATHAN FUTRELL, et al. DEFENDANTS
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
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
William Shane Cowart filed a pro se complaint on
August 22, 2017, while incarcerated at the Edgefield Federal
Correctional Institute (Doc. No. 2). Cowart sued three
federal correctional officers at the Forrest City Federal
Correctional Institution in Forrest City, Arkansas, the
Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Department of Justice.
Cowart seeks $250, 000 in damages and claims he suffered
cruel and unusual punishment and denial of medical care.
Although his complaint was filed on a § 1983 civil
rights form, the Court treats the complaint as one brought
pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents of the Fed.
Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971)
(“Bivens”). A Bivens
claim is a cause of action brought directly under the United
States Constitution against a federal official acting in his
or her individual capacity for violations of constitutionally
protected rights. Cowart's official capacity claims and
his claims against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the
Department of Justice were previously dismissed. See
Doc. Nos. 7 & 9.
filed a motion for summary judgment, a brief in support, and
a statement of facts, claiming that Cowart had not exhausted
his claims against them before he filed this lawsuit (Doc.
Nos. 17-19). In support of their motion for summary judgment,
defendants submitted the declaration of James D. Crook (Doc.
No. 19-1). Cowart filed a response to the defendants'
motion and a statement of facts (Doc. Nos. 31-32), but did
not dispute the facts asserted by defendants. Rather, Cowart
argued the merits of his case and did not address the issue
of whether he had exhausted his administrative remedies.
Because Cowart failed to controvert the facts set forth in
defendants' statement of undisputed facts, Doc. No. 19,
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 judgment as a matter of law.
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).
Plaintiff, William Shane Cowart, Register Number 10438-003,
is a 37-year-old federal inmate. See Doc. No. 19-1
at ¶ 7; Doc. No. 2.
Cowart is serving a sentence for a violation of a condition
of his supervised release. Doc. No. 19-1 at ¶ 7. His
expected release date with good conduct time is May 1, 2021.
Since July 1, 1990, all administrative remedy requests from
each institution, Regional Office, and Office of General
Counsel of the Bureau of Prisons have been recorded and
maintained in the SENTRY computer system. Doc. No. 19-1 at
¶ 5. Any inmate submission, whether accepted or rejected
at any level, is permanently recorded. Id.
Administrative remedy requests, upon entry into the SENTRY
system, are given a remedy ID number generated by the SENTRY
system. Id. at ¶ 6. The administrative remedy
request retains the same remedy number if rejected and later
resubmitted and while it is on appeal to the Regional
Director and to the Office of General Counsel. Id.
The remedy number will be assigned different suffixes based
on its status. Id.
of December 6, 2017, Cowart had filed five administrative
remedy requests since his incarceration with the Bureau of
Prisons. Id. at ¶ 8.
SENTRY records show that Cowart has not filed an
administrative remedy request since ...