United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
JUAN C. MONTALBA PLAINTIFF
VIVALON NELSON, Lieutenant, Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility, et al . DEFENDANTS
following Recommended Disposition
(“Recommendation”) has been sent to United States
District Judge James Moody, Jr. Any party may file written
objections to this Recommendation. Objections must be
specific and include the factual or legal basis for
disagreeing with the Recommendation. An objection to a
factual finding must specifically identify the finding of
fact believed to be wrong and describe the evidence that
supports that belief.
original and one copy of the objections must be received in
the office of the United States District Clerk within
fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. If no objections
are filed, Judge Moody can adopt this Recommendation without
independently reviewing all of the evidence in the record. By
not objecting, you may also waive any right to appeal
questions of fact.
Juan C. Montalba (“Montalba”), proceeding pro
se, contends that, while incarcerated at the Pulaski
County Regional Detention Facility (“PCRDF”), his
constitutional rights were violated when Defendants Officer
Robert Andexler (“Andexler”), Lieutenant Vivalon
Nelson (“Nelson”), and Officer Curtis Williams
(“Officer Williams”) failed to protect him from
an attack by a fellow prisoner, Jessie Williams
(“Inmate Williams”). Docs. 2 & 6. Defendants
are sued in their individual capacities only for the injuries
Montalba received during the attack by Inmate Williams. Doc.
9 & 13.
Andexler, Nelson and Williams have filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment, a Brief in Support, and a Statement of Undisputed
Facts. Docs. 47-49. Montalba has filed a
Response, Doc. 53, to which Defendants have filed a Reply,
reaching the merits of Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment, the Court will review the relevant undisputed facts
giving rise to Montalba's failure to protect claims.
December 2, 2015, Montalba was a convicted prisoner awaiting
transfer to the ADC to being serving his sentence. He was
housed in the PCRDC's P-Unit. Doc. 48 at pp. 1-2.
Andexler was on duty at the deputy station in the PCRDC's
P-Unit at the time Montalba was attacked. Another inmate told
Andexler: “They are fighting outside, it's pretty
bad.” Andexler immediately went outside and found
Montalba sitting against a wall, bleeding from a wound over
his left eye. Doc. 48 at p. 2; Incident Report, Doc. 48-1, p.
Andexler called a Code Red (Medical Infirmary), placed the
unit on lock down, and waited with Montalba until other
officers, nurses and an EMT arrived. Id.
After securing medical attention for Montalba, Andexler
investigated and learned that Inmate Williams was the
prisoner who attacked Montalba. After examining Inmate
Williams' face and knuckles, both of which were swollen,
Andexler charged Inmate Williams with battery. Id.
Before the December 2, 2015 fight, Montalba had a “keep
separate” list that identified inmates who were to be
housed separately from him. Inmate Williams was not
on that list. If Inmate Williams had been on Montalba's
“keep separate” list, the two inmates would have
been housed separately, in accordance with PCRDF policy and
practice. Doc. 48, p. 3, ¶¶ 18-20;
Affidavit of Lt. Nelson, Doc. 48-2, p. 1, ¶ 5.
Before the December 2, 2015 fight, Montalba alleges that he
repeatedly asked Officer Williams to “please [do] not
put him [Montalba] in P-Unit” because “he had an
enemy in that unit.” He also alleges he told the
Defendants that he “was scared to go in
P-Unit.” Doc. 53 at pp. 2-3.
December 4, 2015, Inmate Williams and Montalba were each
placed on the other's “keep separate” list.
Doc. 48-1, pp. 3, 24, 27.