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Woodall v. Miller

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division

June 29, 2018

SGT. MILLER Captain, Sebastian County Detention Center, MICHELLE MAKOSTA[1]Deputy Jailer, Sebastian County, and SGT. DUMAS DEFENDANTS



         Plaintiff proceeds in this matter pro se and in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 60).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on March 31, 2016, in the Eastern District of Arkansas. (ECF No. 2). His case was transferred to this District on April 12, 2016. (ECF No. 3). Plaintiff filed a Supplement to his Complaint clarifying the relief he was requesting on May 2, 2016. (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend his Complaint on July 6, 2016 (ECF No. 9), which was denied. (ECF No. 10). Plaintiff filed another Motion to Amend (ECF No. 28), which was granted in part on April 10, 2017.[2] (ECF No. 42). Plaintiff's proposed Amended Complaint was then filed as his Amended Complaint on April 10, 2017. (ECF No. 43).

         Plaintiff alleges Defendants failed to protect him from being assaulted by other inmates on two occasions while he was incarcerated in the Sebastian County Detention Center (SCDC). Plaintiff alleges these incidents occurred during the third and fourth week of December 2015 through January 2016. (ECF No. 43 at 6). Plaintiff alleges two kitchen supervisors labelled him a snitch in front of other inmates, causing him to be beaten by those inmates. He alleges he reported this to Defendants, who did not remove him from the situation or punish anyone, resulting in his second beating at the hands of the same inmates. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges it is the custom of staff at SCDC to give the names of informants or suspected informants to other inmates so that the inmates will beat the informants. (Id. at 11).

         Plaintiff alleges he was denied medical care for approximately two weeks after his beatings. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges it is the custom of SCDC to delay medical treatment for injuries for up to two to three weeks. (Id. at 12).

         Plaintiff attached a document labelled “Statement of Facts Definitely Defined” to his Complaint form. In this document he alleges he was beaten first by James Dean, resulting in a blackened left eye and a bruised back. (Id. at 8). He alleges he reported the beating on the inmate kiosk[3] that night. (Id.). He alleges he was then beaten by three or four inmates for the second incident. He alleges he asked for help on the inmate kiosk again. (Id.).

         Plaintiff proceeds on these claims in both official and personal capacity against all Defendants. (Id. at 6, 11). He seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (Id. at 12).

         Defendants filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on November 20, 2017. (ECF No. 60). On November 27, 2017, the Court entered an Order directing Plaintiff to respond to the Motion by December 18, 2017. (ECF No. 63). Plaintiff responded on December 20, 2017, but did not include his Required Statement of Disputed Facts with his Response. Instead, he included a copy of the “Statement of Facts Definitely Defined” previously attached to his Amended Complaint, a document labelled “Supporting Facts to My Claim, ” and several affidavits. (ECF No. 64). On March 7, 2018, the Court entered a Show Cause Order directing to Plaintiff submit his Statement of Disputed Facts by March 28, 2018. (ECF No. 66). Plaintiff submitted a document labelled Disputed Facts on March 29, 2018. (ECF No. 67).


         Summary judgment is appropriate if, after viewing the facts and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986), the record “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). “Once a party moving for summary judgment has made a sufficient showing, the burden rests with the non-moving party to set forth specific facts, by affidavit or other evidence, showing that a genuine issue of material fact exists.” National Bank of Commerce v. Dow Chemical Co., 165 F.3d 602, 607 (8th Cir. 1999).

         The non-moving party “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. “They must show there is sufficient evidence to support a jury verdict in their favor.” National Bank, 165 F.3d at 607 (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986)). “A case founded on speculation or suspicion is insufficient to survive a motion for summary judgment.” Id. (citing Metge v. Baehler, 762 F.2d 621, 625 (8th Cir. 1985)). “When 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).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Defendants argue summary judgment should be granted in their favor for the following reasons: (1) Plaintiff failed to provide proof that any of the named Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his safety or medical needs; and, (2) as there were no constitutional violations, he failed to provide proof ...

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