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Nard v. King

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division

August 15, 2018

STEVEN KING, Nurse Miller County Detention Center; JAILER STEVEN CRANE, Miller County Detention Center; and JAILER OATS, Miller County Detention Center DEFENDANTS



         This is a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff, Rotondo Nard, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court are Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Steven King (ECF No. 36) and Defendants Stephen Crane and David Oakes.[1] (ECF No. 40). Plaintiff has filed a Response. (ECF No. 44). The Court finds this matter ripe for consideration.

         I. BACKROUND

         Plaintiff's claims in this action arise from alleged incidents that occurred in 2017 while incarcerated in the Miller County Detention Center (“MCDC”) in Texarkana, Arkansas.[2] Viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the relevant facts are as follows.

         Plaintiff was booked into the MCDC on May 2, 2017. (ECF No. 42-2). That same day, Plaintiff signed a Medical Responsibility Form acknowledging he was responsible for all medical bills and treatments while incarcerated at the MCDC resulting from any action that is contrary to the policy of the MCDC. According to the form, actions contrary to the policy of MCDC includes any injury resulting from an infraction that results in disciplinary action. (ECF No. 42-4, p. 1). During the booking process, Plaintiff was also provided access to the MCDC's Inmate Handbook and he consented to being treated by the MCDC's medical provider, Southern Health Partners. (ECF No. 42-1).

         On July 21, 2017, Plaintiff and another inmate had a verbal argument which escalated into a physical altercation. During this incident, Plaintiff was attacked and struck with a broom. Defendant Crane submitted an incident report relating to the encounter which states:

On July 21, 2017, at approximately 0315, Detention Deputy James Shoumaker called for a fight in progress (10-10) in West Alpha while I was writing a report in the supervisor's office. Upon responding to the call, I witnessed Inmate Lavonte Nard and Inmate Rotondo Nard breaking away from their altercation. I immediately separated the two individuals and got verbal statements from both parties, and determined that Inmate Lavonte Nard attacked Inmate Rotond[o] Nard. I then escorted Inmate Lavonte Nard to Max Hall 2, where Detention Deputy Chris Oakes[3]then escorted the Inmate [Lavonte Nard] into Max Alpha where he was placed into Max Alpha cell 803 without further incident. Inmate Rotondo Nard was placed back in West Alpha until further investigations are complete.

(ECF No. 45-1, p. 2). On July 23, 2017, Plaintiff was examined at the MCDC's infirmary and the following progress note was entered in Plaintiff's medical file:

IM was brought to infirmary after having an altercation with another IM a couple of days ag[o]. IM was complaining of left shoulder pain from being hit with a broom. Vitals 98.1, 98%, 62, 120/70. No. swelling or discoloration noted to arm, sent back to pod. Nurse Loni.

(ECF No. 42-4, p. 3).

         On July 24, 2017, as part of Deputy Shoumaker's[4] investigation, Plaintiff stated: “I was talking to Inmate L. Nard about what he's in here for and I don't know exactly why but he jumped up and started going crazy hitting me, and then he grabbed a broom and hit me with it. He also threw several items of some sort at me.” (ECF No. 45-1, p. 3). That same day, Plaintiff entered a plea of guilty to the disciplinary committee but declined to appear. The committee found that Plaintiff committed infraction B2 [Assault 1st or 2nd degree (Fighting)] and sanctioned him to 30 days of segregation, loss of commissary, and loss of visitation. (ECF No. 45-1, pp. 4-6), see also (ECF No. 42-9, p. 5).

         On July 24, 2017, Plaintiff submitted an Inmate Grievance, stating:

I wrote a grievance for them to read over the weekend but they gave it back and acted like it wasn't that serious to them. No. my injuries weren't bad but some officer broke the policy of keeping the [environment] that we live in safe. Could you please get back with me on this matter A.S.A.P.

(ECF No. 42-3, p. 1). The next day, Plaintiff submitted an Inmate Medical Request: “I was just trying to remind King that he said he would return my money to my books.” In response, Plaintiff was informed by Defendant Steven King, the Head Nurse for the MCDC medical staff, that all charges were correct, due to Plaintiff requesting to be brought to the infirmary. (ECF No. 42-3, p.2). On July 26, 2017, Plaintiff underwent a medical history and evaluation. Plaintiff did not mention any injury or pain from the altercation with the inmate that occurred on July 21, 2017, nor did he report any other medical issues or problems he was having. (ECF No. 42-4, pp. 4-6).

         On August 3, 2017, Plaintiff submitted an Inmate Grievance stating:

I got hit with a broom and nobody even knew about it because the officer that was on that morning obviously did not believe me but they looked at the video Tuesday and now people can see why I have been writing grievances. If I feel like the matter hasn't been handled in my eyes I will be ...

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