United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
a civil rights action brought by Jason Fridline contending
that his constitutional rights were violated while he was
incarcerated in the Benton County Detention Center (BCDC).
Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma
pauperis. Plaintiff maintains that his constitutional
rights were violated in the following ways: (1) Defendants
failed to protect him from a substantial risk of harm; and
(2) he was denied access to law library materials.
case is before the Court on the Motion for Summary Judgment
(ECF Nos. 21-23) filed by Defendants. Plaintiff has filed a
Response (ECF No. 26).
judgment is appropriate if, after viewing the facts and all
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986), the record
“shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “Once a party
moving for summary judgment has made a sufficient showing,
the burden rests with the non-moving party to set forth
specific facts, by affidavit or other evidence, showing that
a genuine issue of material fact exists.” National
Bank of Commerce v. Dow Chemical Co., 165 F.3d 602, 607
(8th Cir. 1999).
non-moving party “must do more than simply show that
there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts.” Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586.
“They must show there is sufficient evidence to support
a jury verdict in their favor.” National Bank,
165 F.3d at 607 (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986)). “A case founded
on speculation or suspicion is insufficient to survive a
motion for summary judgment.” Id. (citing
Metge v. Baehler, 762 F.2d 621, 625 (8th Cir. 1985)).
“When opposing parties tell two different stories, one
of which is blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no
reasonable jury could believe it, a court should not adopt
that version of the facts for purposes of ruling on a motion
for summary judgment.” Scott v. Harris, 550
U.S. 372, 380 (2007).
was booked into the BCDC on August 20, 2017, on pending
criminal charges. (ECF No. 23-2 at 1). At a health
intake screening on August 30th, Plaintiff indicated he had
been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). (ECF No. 23-4 at 1).
Plaintiff indicated that people view him as a violent person
and that he had been arrested for a violent crime.
at the BCDC are provided access to an electronic kiosk and
must put all general requests, non-emergency medical
requests, and all grievances on the kiosk. (ECF No. 23-1 at
3). “This informs staff of any purported issue so that
it may be addressed or investigated as needed.”
1983 does not create substantive rights. Baker v.
McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 145 n.3 (1979). Instead, it
provides remedies for deprivations of rights established by
the Constitution or the laws of the United States.
Id. Two elements are required to establish a claim
under § 1983. These elements are: (1) the deprivation of
a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United
States; and (2) that the deprivation was committed
“under color” of state law. Lugar v.
Edmondson, 457 U.S. 922, 931 (1982).
Failure to Provide a Safe Environment/Failure to
submitted the following grievances about his safety:
• 9/6/2017-I am having a problem with a group of
inmates. I feel like my safety is in jeopardy. I have told
several deputies that I am not safe for a week now and they
have not done anything. The problem with inmates is getting
worse. Response by Lieutenant Holt:
“Talk to a pod deputy.”
• 9/7/2017-I talked to two pod deputies yesterday to get
moved. Nothing happened. I am still having problems with the
same inmates. Response by Lieutenant Holt:
“If you have a valid reason, you will be moved. If you
are in fear of your safety, put a request into PC/AdSeg
• 10/1/2017-I have been here since August 19, 2017,
housed in D-109. From the beginning I told pod deputies that
I was having trouble with inmates and am scared for my safety
and security. I asked to be moved to a different pod. I have
told pod deputies, sergeants, and Lieutenant Holt. I have
talked to Deputy Sterling, Deputy McConnell, Deputy Browning,
Deputy Volner, Deputy Dorsey, Deputy Coltren, Deputy Cogdill,
Sergeant Martinez, and Lieutenant Holt that I fear for my
safety and security. Response by Lieutenant
Holt: Changed topic from grievance to Protective
• 10/2/2017-On 9/6/2017, I asked for help because I was
scared for my safety in D-109. Lieutenant Holt replied that I
needed to talk to the pod deputy. I talked to many pod
deputies. I submitted another grievance stating that I had
talked to many pod deputies and they still did not move me. I
said that I was still scared for my safety and need to be
moved. I have still not been moved. I have been left in
harm's way. On September 10, 2017, I was pulled out by
Sergeant Martinez to talk about another incident. I have
already talked to Deputy Sterling, Deputy Browning, and
Deputy McConnell about the inmate I am having trouble and
that I was scared for my safety. I told Sergeant Martinez I
was scared for my safety and Deputy Cogdill was there
listening as well. No Response.
(ECF No. 23-3 at 1-3).
testified that he believed some of the trouble he was having
stemmed from an incident that occurred prior to his
incarceration. (ECF No. 23-9 at 19). In January of 2017,
Ronnie Goff's brother, Shane, who was a
passenger in Plaintiff's truck, took off in the truck
when Plaintiff had stopped at a gas station. (Id. at
19-21). The truck was gone for about a week and a half and
the Plaintiff ended up filing a police report. (Id.
at 20). The day after Plaintiff filed a police report, the
truck was returned but his personal belongings, including his
tools and items belonging to his children were missing.
(Id. at 20-23). Plaintiff dismissed the charges.
(Id. at 20). While the truck was missing, Plaintiff
approached some of the Goff brothers' friends to get
information on the stolen truck. (Id. at 24). This
was the extent of Plaintiff's conflict with the Goff
brothers. (Id. at 23).
February 2017, Plaintiff was incarcerated with Ronnie and
Shane Goff. (ECF No. 23-9 at 29). Shane Goff was moved out of
the pod Plaintiff was in to avoid any conflicts between the
two. (Id.). Plaintiff testified they would have
“probably had to fight” because of the stolen
truck. (Id.). Ronnie Goff remained in the same pod
for a couple of days. (Id. at 30). Plaintiff
testified they avoided each other. (Id.).
next saw Shane Goff at one of Plaintiff's court
appearances. (ECF No. 23-9 at 28). Shane Goff leaned over and
asked the Plaintiff if he wanted to fight. (Id. at
28). Plaintiff did not respond, and Shane Goff did not say or
do anything else. (Id.). This occurred prior to
Plaintiff's August incarceration. (Id. at 27-28)
time Plaintiff was incarcerated at the BCDC in August 2017,
Shane Goff had been transferred to prison. (ECF No. 23-9 at
31). Ronnie Goff remained at the BCDC. (Id.).
testified that starting on August 25th, he began asking the
deputies to be moved. (ECF No. 23-9 at 32). Plaintiff
indicated he was scared for his safety and security because
he “had problems with inmates in there.”
(Id. at 33). Between August 25th and September 10th,
Plaintiff testified that he talked with every one of the
deputies he named as Defendants, but he does not recall the
specific date when he spoke with each Defendant.
Plaintiff recalled that he spoke with Deputy Browning on
September 6th. (Id. at 52-53). Deputy Browning knew
Shane Goff had taken Plaintiff's truck. (Id.).
According to Plaintiff, Deputy Browning was explaining to
Deputy Gully that Plaintiff was having problems with Ronnie
Goff because of the truck incident. (Id. at 53). At
no point did Plaintiff identify a specific person or persons
that he felt threatened by. (Id. at 53-54).
September 10th, Plaintiff spoke with Sergeant Martinez, and
Deputies Sterling, McConnell, Browning and Cogdill were
present. (ECF No. 23-9. at 34). Plaintiff testified
that prior to September 10th, he had spoken with Deputies
Sterling, Browning, McConnell, Dorsey, and Volner about
getting moved out of the pod. (Id.). Plaintiff, who
is Caucasian, testified he told the deputies that he was
having trouble with some of the “NAE cats.”
(Id.); (ECF No. 23-2 at 1). According to Plaintiff,
this term refers to a “white supremacist or white
separatist group.” (ECF No. 23-9 at 34). He did not
mention any names until he talked to Deputy Browning.
(Id. at 34-35).
testified he was being shunned a little bit and you could
feel the tension. (ECF No. 23-9 at 35). One thing other
inmates would do is keep repeating his name in a low voice
and when he asked what they wanted, they would not respond
back. (Id.). The inmates were also “kind of
being threatening toward me.” (Id. at 36).
Plaintiff testified the inmates referred to him in
disrespectful or derogatory terms, used profanity towards
him, and belittled him by, for example, telling him he was
making stupid moves while playing cards and was retarded.
(Id. at 36-37 & 72). No. one said they were
going to injure him. (Id. at 37-38). Plaintiff,
however, felt that the taunting was getting more aggressive.
(Id. at 38). It was the Plaintiff's belief ...