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Solomon v. Campbell

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

February 26, 2019



          Susan O. Hickey Chief United States District Judge

         This is a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff, Clifton Orlando Solomon, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff (ECF No. 77) and a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants. (ECF No. 83). Plaintiff and Defendants have filed Responses (ECF Nos. 88, 90). Defendants have filed a Reply to Plaintiff's Response. (ECF No. 94). The Court finds this matter ripe for consideration.

         I. BACKROUND

         Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction-Ester Unit. His claims in this action arise from alleged incidents that occurred between December 2017 and April 2018, while he was incarcerated in the Miller County Detention Center (“MCDC”) as a pre-trial detainee. (ECF No. 1, p. 3). Viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the relevant facts are as follows.

         Plaintiff was booked into the custody of the MCDC on November 24, 2017. (ECF No. 85-2, p. 1). Between December 6 and December 22, 2017, Plaintiff submitted five grievances complaining that Officer Campbell made a verbal threat against him on December 5, 2017, when Officer Campbell stated that he “would get [Plaintiff] when [Plaintiff] get out.” (ECF No. 85, pp. 1-3). Because of this threat, Plaintiff feared for his life and wanted to file criminal charges against Officer Campbell. Id. On December 8, 2017, Corporal Richard Henderson submitted a Supervisor Statement regarding the incident. (ECF No. 85-5, p. 1). This report stated in part that Officer Campbell reported “multiple inmates were making comments to him like (you may not always be an officer) or (bet you wouldn't act so tuff if I saw you in the world) so Officer Campbell said he responded with (that is fine I'll see you on the outside some time).” Id. On December 29, 2017, Jeffie Walker, the Warden at the MCDC, officially reprimanded Officer Campbell because of his “use of offensive words or actions” toward Plaintiff. (ECF No. 85-2, p. 2).

         On January 31, 2018, Plaintiff was moved to the recreation yard, along with the other inmates housed in Max D (general population), because Max D had been cleaned with bleach and the inmates claimed the smell was too strong. According to the affidavit of Warden Walker, Plaintiff began using loud and disrespectful language towards her in the recreation yard. (ECF No. 85-7, p. 1). Because Plaintiff was so disruptive, Warden Walker determined there was a safety and security risk that the other inmates could be incited by Plaintiff's actions. She then moved Plaintiff to Max E and placed him in administrative segregation for a “cooling down period.” Id. Plaintiff did not receive notice of any disciplinary charges against him after he was moved to Max E. Plaintiff was returned to general population on February 7, 2018. Id. During the seven days Plaintiff was in Max E, he was allowed out of his cell for one hour each day. He was also provided access to the shower, phone, and kiosk. (ECF No. 94-2).

         On or about March 18, 2018, Defendant Walker opened a piece of Plaintiff's legal mail outside of his presence. (ECF No. 85-7, p. 2). Once Plaintiff noticed that his legal mail had been opened, he questioned MCDC officials about who was responsible. Warden Walker met with Plaintiff on March 20, 2018 and explained she had opened the mail by mistake but did not view the contents of the mail. (ECF No. 85-7, p. 2).

         On April 17, 2018, Officer Hensley submitted a report regarding an incident involving Plaintiff which states in relevant part:

On said date and time, I noticed an extra tray become missing on the tray cart after chow. I then reviewed the cameras and noticed Inmate Clifton Solomon come back around the end of the line and grab another tray. I then wet to Max Delta in an attempt to move Solomon to a lock-down cell pending disciplinary. After multiple orders, Solomon continued to demand ‘rank' and it wasn't until other officers arrived that Solomon finally grabbed his belongings and was escorted to Max Echo. Once in Max Echo and a supervisor present, Solomon continued ignoring lawful orders to get into his cell and demand a higher supervisor. Solomon finally complied after a show of force with OC Spray…I also wrote Solomon up for lying due to the fact that he stated I told him he could have the tray when in fact I did not.

(ECF No. 85-5, p. 8). On April 23, 2018, Plaintiff was served with a Discipline Procedure and Notice Form, based on the incident involving Plaintiff and Defendant Hensley. (ECF No. 85-5, p. 9). On April 26, 2018, a hearing was held and the charges against Plaintiff were dismissed by the MCDC's Disciplinary Committee. Plaintiff declined to call witnesses during the hearing but submitted a statement in support of his position. (ECF No. 85-5, pp. 10-11).

         The MCDC's policy and procedure manual regarding disciplinary action for in-house violations by inmates provides in relevant part:

2. Any violation of the rules and regulations that the deputy deems warrants more than a verbal reprimand, will be documented on an Inmate Disciplinary Action Form to generate disciplinary action against an inmate.
3. The Inmate Disciplinary Action Form shall have the inmate's name, CCN number, offense that occurred in detail, and deputy signature.
4. Along with the Inmate Disciplinary Action Form, an incident report shall be generated and forwarded to the shift supervisor for a hearing.
5. Shift supervisor will forward the disciplinary action form, incident form and action taken to the Lieutenant for review and final disposition within twenty-four (24) hours of the incident.
6. The Detention Administrator or designee will then review all disciplinary action taken . . . .

(ECF No. 85-6, pp. 9-10).

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on January 4, 2018, naming Captain Adams, Officer Campbell, Corporal Henderson, Sheriff Jackie Runion, Sergeant Sanders and Warden Walker as Defendants. (ECF No. 1). He alleges Defendant Campbell violated his civil rights when he made a verbal threat against him stating “he was going to get me when I got out as well as he stated: I put that on my kids.” Id. at p. 4. Plaintiff also claims that Defendants violated his constitutional rights because they did not file or assist Plaintiff in filing criminal charges against Defendant Campbell for verbally threatening Plaintiff.

         On March 19, 2018, Plaintiff supplemented his Complaint adding Sergeant Griffie as a Defendant and again naming Warden Walker as a Defendant. In the Supplement Plaintiff alleges his constitutional rights were violated when he was placed in lockdown from January 31, 2018, until February 7, 2018, without receiving a disciplinary report or hearing. (ECF No. 17).

         On April 2, 2018, Plaintiff supplemented his Complaint alleging Defendant Walker violated his civil rights when she opened his legal mail when he was not present. (ECF No. 22).

         On May 10, 2018, Plaintiff's supplemented his Complaint alleging Defendant Hensley violated his ...

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