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Jackson v. Holladay

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division

October 3, 2018




         The following Proposed Findings and Recommendation have been sent to United States District Judge Susan Webber Wright. You may file written objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and (2) be received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of fact.


         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Michael Jackson filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on February 22, 2016, against Pulaski County Sheriff Charles Holladay and Deputy Christopher Gipson (the “Defendants”) in both their individual and official capacities. Doc. No. 2. Jackson was a convicted inmate during the time he was housed in the Pulaski County Detention Center (“PCRDF”). Id. at 3. Jackson alleges that on September 14, 2015, Gipson told him to take his break in an upstairs area. Id. at 4. Jackson informed Gipson that he had a lower level bunk medical restriction and could not go upstairs. Id. Jackson claims that Gipson gave him a direct order to go upstairs. Id. Jackson fell on the stairs and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and diagnosed with a concussion. Id. Jackson sues for injunctive and monetary relief.[1] Id. at 5.

         The Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, a brief in support, and a statement of facts asserting that they are entitled to summary judgment with respect to Jackson's claims (Doc. Nos. 45-47). Jackson filed a response, a brief in support, an affidavit, and a statement of disputed facts (Doc. Nos. 54-57). Jackson subsequently filed two affidavits (Doc. Nos. 63 & 64), and Defendants filed a reply (Doc. No. 65). For the reasons described herein, the undersigned recommends that that the Defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted.

         II. Legal Standard

         Under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is proper if “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 321 (1986). When ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must view the evidence in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Naucke v. City of Park Hills, 284 F.3d 923, 927 (8th Cir. 2002). The nonmoving party may not rely on allegations or denials, but must demonstrate the existence of specific facts that create a genuine issue for trial. Mann v. Yarnell, 497 F.3d 822, 825 (8th Cir. 2007). The nonmoving party's allegations must be supported by sufficient probative evidence that would permit a finding in his favor on more than mere speculation, conjecture, or fantasy. Id. (citations omitted). An assertion that a fact cannot be disputed or is genuinely disputed must be supported by materials in the record such as “depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials . . .”. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). A party may also show that a fact is disputed or undisputed by “showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). A dispute is genuine if the evidence is such that it could cause a reasonable jury to return a verdict for either party; a fact is material if its resolution affects the outcome of the case. Othman v. City of Country Club Hills, 671 F.3d 672, 675 (8th Cir. 2012). Disputes that are not genuine or that are about facts that are not material will not preclude summary judgment. Sitzes v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 606 F.3d 461, 465 (8th Cir. 2010).

         III. Facts

         The facts listed below are taken from those submitted by Defendants that are supported by documents attached to their statement of facts (Doc. No. 46) which include the Affidavit of Robin Ballard (the “Ballard Affidavit”) and numerous exhibits (Doc. No. 46-1). Facts disputed by Jackson are also described.

1. Jackson was booked into the PCRDF on November 18, 2014. Doc. No. 46-1 at 1 (Ballard Affidavit); id. at 6 (Jackson's November 18, 2014 PCRDF Book-in Sheet).
2. During Jackson's intake screening on November 18, 2014, the intake nurse noted that Jackson had lower level/lower bunk paperwork from the Arkansas Department of Correction. Id. at 2 (Ballard Affidavit) & 20 (November 18, 2014 Intake Screening Form).
3. If an inmate has mobility issues, medical personnel may issue a medical communication form restricting the inmate to lower level/lower bunk. Id. at 2 (Ballard Affidavit).
4. On March 15, 2015, Jackson received a lower level/lower bunk restriction. Id. at 3 (Ballard Affidavit) & 23 (Jackson's Miscellaneous Booking Report).
5. A lower level/lower bunk restriction indicates that the inmate should only be housed on the lower level of his assigned unit and on the lower bunk of his cell. Id. at 2 (Ballard Affidavit).
6. Visitation booths at the PCRDF are located on the second floor of each unit. Id. at 3 ...

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