United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Trent Graddy filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 on April 2, 2018, while detained at the
Cleburne County Detention Center (“CCDC”). Doc.
No. 2. The Court directed Graddy to amend his complaint to
describe his claims. Doc. No. 3. Graddy subsequently filed an
amended complaint that stated:
Jestiny Gibson used excessive force by shooting her issued
pepper gun to shoot Trent Graddy in the throat who was non
combative nor threaten no one in any manner then refused to
offer him any form of medical attention which he requested.
Doc. No. 5 at 4. It appears from a review of the pleadings
that this incident occurred in early March 2018. Service was
ordered and obtained on Gibson. Doc. Nos. 6-7.
26, 2018, Gibson filed a motion for summary judgment, a brief
in support, and a statement of facts claiming that Graddy had
not exhausted all of his claims against her before he filed
this lawsuit. Doc. Nos. 12-14. Despite the Court's order
notifying Graddy of his opportunity to file a response and
statement of disputed facts, he did not do so. Doc. No. 15.
Because Graddy failed to controvert the facts set forth in
Gibson's statements of undisputed facts, Doc. No. 14,
those facts are deemed admitted. See Local Rule
56.1(c). Gibson's statement of facts, and the other
pleadings and exhibits in the record, establish that the
material facts are not in dispute and that defendants are
entitled to judgment as a matter of law as to Graddy's
medical indifference claims.
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary
judgment is proper if the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits or declarations, if any, show that there is no
genuine issue 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; 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). 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).
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) requires an inmate to
exhaust prison grievance procedures before filing suit in
federal court. See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a);
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 202 (2007); Jones
v. Norris, 310 F.3d 610, 612 (8th Cir. 2002). Exhaustion
under the PLRA is mandatory. Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S.
at 211. The PLRA's exhaustion requirement applies to all
inmate suits about prison life whether they involve general
circumstances or particular episodes, and whether they allege
excessive force or some other wrong. Porter v.
Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 532 (2002). The PLRA does not,
however, prescribe the manner in which exhaustion occurs.
See Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. at 218. It merely
requires compliance with prison grievance procedures to
properly exhaust. See Id. Thus, the question as to
whether an inmate has properly exhausted administrative
remedies depends on the grievance policy of the particular
prison where the alleged events occurred. See id.
argues that she is entitled to summary judgment as to
Graddy's medical indifference claims because Graddy
failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as to those
claims before he filed this lawsuit. See Doc. No.
12. In support of her motion for summary judgment, she
submitted an affidavit by Jail Administrator Alan Roberson;
grievances filed by Graddy during his incarceration at the
CCDC; a copy of Graddy's medical file; and a copy of the
CCDC's grievance policy. Doc. Nos. 14-1 - 14-4.
CCDC had a grievance process in place for inmates to raise
concerns about mistreatment, abuse, neglect, or actions in
violation of jail policy. Doc. Nos 14-1 at 1; Doc. No. 14-4
at 1-2. Gibson submitted a record of Graddy's grievances
filed between February 23 and March 13, 2018. Doc. No. 14-2
at 1-10. This record establishes that Graddy was aware of
CCDC's grievance procedures because he filed numerous
grievances before filing this lawsuit on April 2, 2018.
Id.; Doc. No. 14-1 at 1. Graddy, however, did not
file any grievance regarding his claim that Gibson refused to
provide him with medical treatment. Id. The only
grievance filed by Graddy that mentions medical treatment was
filed on March 4, 2018, and provides:
I WAS TELLING THE OFFICER AT THE DOOR I DIDN'T HAVE ANY
SMALL CUPS AND THE OTHER OFFICER A FEMALE STEPPED AROUND HIM
AND SHOT ME AT UNDER 2 FEET WITH A PEPPER ROUND IN THE THROAT
AT MY TRACHIA AREA. I WAS NOT BEING THREATENING AT ALL IN ANY
WAY, AND SHE WAS MAD AT ANOTHER DETAINEE. I WANT PICTURES
TAKEN OF MY INJURIES AND I AM STILL HURTING HOURS LATER AND
CAN BARELY TALK NOW. I WANT CHARGES FILED ON HER AND MEDICAL
ATTENTION, AS WELL AS RELEASED.
Doc. No. 14-2 at 4. Graddy filed several other grievances
relating to this incident, asking for the officer's name
who sprayed him, for pictures to be taken of his neck, and
for charges to be filed against the officer. See
Doc. No. 14-2 at 3, 6-9. None contained a complaint that
Gibson refused to seek medical attention for Graddy after
Graddy failed to specifically grieve that Gibson failed to
provide him medical treatment, Graddy did not exhaust
available administrative remedies as to his medical
indifference claim against Gibson before initiating this
lawsuit. Accordingly, Gibson is entitled to summary judgment
and Graddy's medical ...