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Giles v. Shoumaker

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

September 6, 2018

TYRONE D. GILES PLAINTIFF
v.
OFFICER SHOUMAKER, Miller County Detention Center MCDC; OFFICER EDWARDS, MCDC; SERGEANT C. WADDELL, Maintenance, MCDC; and CORPORAL HANNING, Administration, MCDC DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUSAN O. HICKEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff Tyrone D. Giles under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants Officer Shoumaker, Officer Edwards, Sergeant Waddell, and Corporal Hanning. (ECF No. 39). Plaintiff has a filed a Response. (ECF No. 43). The Court finds this matter ripe for consideration.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's claims in this action arise from alleged incidents that occurred in 2017 while he was incarcerated in the Miller County Detention Center (“MCDC”) in Texarkana, Arkansas.[1] Viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the relevant facts are as follows.

         Plaintiff was booked into the MCDC on June 12, 2017. (ECF No. 41-2). On July 24, 2017, Plaintiff was found guilty of a D9 infraction-possession of an item not authorized for retention- and he was placed in Max-D Cell 903. (ECF No. 41-5, pp. 1-3). On August 18, 2017, Plaintiff submitted an Inmate Maintenance Request, stating “[t]he water in Max-D 903 does not work and only one side works but even that doesn't come out properly. We cannot drink water at night[.]” (ECF No. 41-3). Defendant Hanning responded three days later, stating that he would “look at it asap.” Id.

         On September 20, 2017, Plaintiff submitted three Inmate Maintenance Requests. In the first two requests, Plaintiff states, “[I'm] trying to see if someone can come and fix my water. Its been down for a while and the officers don't like to let me get water when its not working.” (ECF No. 41-3, pp. 3-4). In his third request, Plaintiff states in relevant part:

I have been locked down for 7 days for something one inmate did. All my rights and privileges have been taken from me. My visit, [commissary], and water. My water [does] not work properly and when I ask to get water I get a no from staff. This is [unconstitutional] and against the law[.]

(ECF No. 41-3, p. 5). Plaintiff asserts that when he asked for water, Defendants Shoumaker and Edwards:

would tell me to ‘Shut the Hell up about water' or they would lock me up in the ‘Hole'. They would say they don't care if I was dehydrating I shouldn't have gotten locked up out of fear of being locked up I would have to remain quiet and go without water[.]

(ECF No. 1, p. 6). On September 25, 2017, Defendant Hanning repaired the water problems in Plaintiff's cell. (ECF No. 43, p. 1).

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on October 23, 2017, against Defendants Shoumaker, Edwards, Waddell, and Hanning. Plaintif claims he was subjected to unlawful conditions of confinement when he was “put in a room with no running water.” Plaintiff asserts that he:

informed every officer about my problem and wrote the proper paper work to [people] but It didn't get handled. I was on a 23 and 1 hour lockdown for almost 2 [weeks] and was refused my breaks to get water. Being dehydrated led me to not be able to sleep and to lash out and get in trouble . . . These officers also informed me they didn't care that I didn't have water. I was laughed at and disrespected when I said anything about my problem . . . my rights to running water [were taken], my right to hydrate myself in a timely manner[.]

(ECF No. 1, p. 4). Plaintiff sues Defendants in both their individual and official capacities and seeks compensatory and punitive damages. He also asks for the “firing or suspension of the officers who didn't perform their jobs properly”. Id. at p. 7.

         On July 11, 2018, Defendants Shoumaker, Edwards, Waddell, and Hanning filed the instant motion. Defendants argue they are entitled to summary judgment because: (1) Plaintiff was not subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement; (2) verbal harassment or comments do not rise to a constitutional injury; (3) Defendants are entitled to ...


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