United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division
JERRY B. ROGERS PLAINTIFF
SHERIFF BILL HOLLENBECK, CAPTAIN JOHN MILLER, and DEPUTY BRITLEY FLORENCE DEFENDANTS
OPINION AND ORDER
HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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. 29).
filed his Complaint on March 31, 2017. (ECF No. 1). He
alleges Defendants failed to protect him from an assault by
other inmates while he was incarcerated in the Sebastian
County Detention Center (SCDC). (ECF No. 1 at 4-7).
Specifically, Plaintiff alleges he was assaulted with a
laundry bag “loaded with a mop bucket wheel”
while he was sleeping on March 7, 2017. (Id. at 4).
He alleges Defendant Florence failed to secure the cell doors
and failed to inspect the cleaning supplies for missing
pieces. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges the cell doors were
customarily left unsecured, the cleaning supplies were left
in the pod, and assistance did not arrive until Defendant
Florence had him out of the cell and into the hall.
(Id. at 5).
alleges Defendant Hollenbeck did not ensure that his deputies
followed SCDC protocol and policies. (Id. at 5-6).
Plaintiff alleges Defendant Miller did not ensure that his
deputies were doing their jobs and following SCDC protocol
and policies. (Id. at 6).
proceeds against all Defendants in their official capacity
alone for all claims. (Id. at 4-6).
filed a Supplement to his Complaint on May 26, 2017,
clarifying his request for damages and emphasizing that he
was suing Defendants only in their official capacity. (ECF
filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on November 20, 2017.
(ECF No. 29). On November 27, 2017, the Court entered an
Order directing Plaintiff to file his Response to the Motion
by December 18, 2017. (ECF No. 32). Plaintiff filed his
Response on December 18, 2017. (ECF No. 36).
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).
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).
is no dispute that Plaintiff was seriously injured on March
7, 2017. (ECF No. 30 at 4 n.1). Defendants argue, however,
that summary judgment should be granted in their favor for
the following reasons: (1) Plaintiff proceeds only in the
official capacity against Defendants and has provided no
proof of any unconstitutional Sebastian County policy or
custom; (2) even if one were to consider a personal capacity
claim, there is no evidence of deliberate indifference; and,
(3) alternatively, there was no personal involvement by
Defendant Hollenbeck or Miller. (ECF No. 30 at 2-6).
argues that if Defendant Florence had been performing his
duties correctly and watching the camera screens for his
housing pod, he would not have been assaulted, or the assault
could have been stopped sooner. (ECF No. 36 at 1). Plaintiff
argues Defendant Miller was negligent and violated SCDC
policies by not having officers check cleaning supplies in
and out, not having officers stay in the area while inmates
are cleaning, and not keeping records of the officer