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Lockett v. King

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

December 17, 2018

CORTEZ LAMONS LOCKETT PLAINTIFF
v.
NURSE STEVEN KING, et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUSAN O. HICKEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Separate Defendant Nurse Steven King's (“Nurse King”) Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 26). Plaintiff Cortez Lamons Lockett has not responded to the motion, and his time to do so has passed. The Court finds the matter ripe for consideration.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. Plaintiff is incarcerated in the Miller County Detention Center. He has asserted two claims. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff's first claim is not asserted against Nurse King and, thus, is not at issue in this memorandum opinion. (ECF No. 7, at 4). Plaintiff's second claim asserts deliberate indifference, alleging that Nurse King failed to treat his syphilis on December 20, 2017, and in the weeks thereafter.[1] (ECF No. 7, at 5).

         Plaintiff was booked into the Miller County Detention Center on October 17, 2017. (ECF No. 27, at 1). On or about December 20, 2017, Nurse King was contacted by the Miller County, Arkansas, Health Department (the “Health Department”). (ECF No. 28-1, at 1-2). The Health Department advised Nurse King that Plaintiff had been listed as a sexual contact of a person with known syphilis. The Health Department told Nurse King that it wanted to bring Plaintiff in for an interview and testing. Nurse King then informed Plaintiff that he had been contacted by the Health Department and informed Plaintiff of the reason for the contact. (ECF No. 28-1, at 1-2).

         Subsequently, Nurse King attempted to contact the Health Department several times to find out what day the Health Department wanted to see Plaintiff. However, Nurse King had a difficult time reaching anyone. (ECF No. 28-1, at 2). Plaintiff submitted a medical request on January 4, 2018, asking for treatment for syphilis. (ECF No. 28-2, at 2). In the medical request, Plaintiff stated that he had been having bad headaches. Nurse King responded to the medical request on January 4, 2018, stating that a diagnosis of syphilis had not yet been confirmed. Plaintiff was advised to resubmit a request to be seen for headaches if he wished to be seen for that complaint. (ECF No. 28-2, at 2).

         Plaintiff was scheduled to be seen at the Health Department on January 8, 2018. (ECF No. 28-1, at 2). For security reasons, inmates are not informed of outside appointment dates and times. (ECF No. 28-1, at 2). On January 8, 2018, Plaintiff was transported to the Health Department for syphilis screening and testing. (ECF No. 28-1, at 2).

         On January 10, 2018, Plaintiff initiated this suit by filing a verified Complaint, stating that on December 20, 2017, he was informed that he had syphilis. (ECF No. 1, at 5). Plaintiff also states that on December 20, 2017, he was advised that he would be treated “next week.” Finally, Plaintiff's verified Complaint states that he had been showing symptoms including bad headaches and “sores on my [genitals].” (ECF No. 1, at 5).

         On January 17, 2018, the Health Department contacted Nurse King to inform him that Plaintiff tested positive for syphilis. (ECF No. 28-1, at 2). Plaintiff was then scheduled for a follow-up appointment on January 18, 2018, to discuss treatment at the Health Department. Plaintiff was transported to the Health Department for treatment as scheduled on January 18, 2018. (ECF No. 28-1, at 2).

         On October 11, 2018, Nurse King filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 26). On October 15, 2018, the Court entered an order directing Plaintiff to file a response to the instant motion by November 5, 2018. (ECF No. 29). Plaintiff was advised that failure to comply with the order would result in: (a) all the facts set forth by Separate Defendant King in the summary judgment papers being deemed admitted, pursuant to Local Rule 56.1(c); and/or (b) dismissal of this case without prejudice, pursuant to Local Rule 5.5(c)(2). The Court's order was not returned as undeliverable. To date, Plaintiff has not filed a response to the Motion for Summary Judgment, nor has he requested an extension of time to respond.[2]

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary judgment is appropriate if, after viewing the facts and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, 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); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). “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.” Nat'l Bank of Comm. v. Dow Chem. Co., 165 F.3d 602, 607 (8th Cir. 1999).

         The 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.” Nat'l 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).

         III. ...


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