United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
Procedure for Filing Objections:
Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has
been sent to Judge Billy Roy Wilson. Any party may file
written objections to this Recommendation. Objections should
be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for
considered, objections must be received in the office of the
Court Clerk within 14 days of this Recommendation. If no
objections are filed, Judge Wilson can adopt this
Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By
not objecting, parties may also waive any right to appeal
questions of fact.
Damien Ford, an Arkansas Department of Correction
(“ADC”) inmate, filed this civil rights case
claiming that Defendants violated his rights by abusing the
ADC's disciplinary system. The only remaining claim,
however, is against Sgt. Corrie Ferrell. Mr. Ford alleges
that, after he wrote grievances against Defendant Ferrell,
she retaliated by writing false disciplinary charges against
(#1) Defendant Ferrell has filed a motion for summary
judgment. (#59) Mr. Ford has responded (#63), and the motion
is ripe for decision.
summary judgment, the court rules in favor of a party before
trial. Defendant Ferrell is entitled to summary judgment if
the evidence 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, 322-23 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 246 (1986). If there are genuinely disputed
facts that are important enough to make a difference in how
the case is decided, the Court will view those facts in a
light most favorable to the Mr. Ford, provided the record
does not contradict his version of the facts so as to render
that version unbelievable to any reasonable juror.
O'Neil v. City of Iowa City, Iowa, 496 F.3d 915,
917 (8th Cir. 2007).
all relevant times, Mr. Ford was incarcerated at the Delta
Regional Unit of the ADC and was assigned to hoe squad.
(#59-1, p.12) According to her affidavit, Defendant Ferrell
was the field sergeant at all times relevant to this case.
(#59-2, p.1-2) Her job duties included supervising the hoe
squad and, consequently, recommending inmates on her squad
for an elevation in class and a change in job assignments or,
conversely, a reduction in class. (#59-2, p.1-2)
April 21, 2014, Defendant Ferrell ordered several inmates to
move from hoe-squad one to hoe-squad four in order to even
the number of inmates working on each squad. (#59-2, p.2;
#64, p.3) At the time, Mr. Ford was assigned to squad one.
Defendant Ferrell ordered specific inmates to change to squad
four, she realized that Mr. Ford had moved to squad four,
even though she had not ordered him to do so. (#59-2, p.2-3)
Defendant Ferrell wrote Mr. Ford a disciplinary on April 21,
2014, charging him with violating ADC rules by being out of
his assignment place, interfering with a count, and failure
to obey an order. (#59-2, p.3, 88; #64, p.3)
Ford disputes Defendant Ferrell's assertion that she did
not order him to change squads and states that she did, in
fact, call his name and order him to change squads. (#64,
April 28, 2014, seven days later, Mr. Ford filed a grievance
against Defendant Ferrell, complaining that she had
discriminated against him based on his race by failing to
recommend him for a job change. (#59-1, p.91; #64, p.3) It is
undisputed that Defendant Ferrell told Mr. Ford that she
would not recommend ...