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Wells v. Green

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division

April 11, 2019

LANCE DANIEL WELLS ADC# 553000 PLAINTIFF
v.
SHANE GREEN, et al. DEFENDANTS

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         I. Procedure for Filing Objections

         This Recommended Disposition (Recommendation) has been sent to Chief Judge Brian S. Miller. Any party may file written objections to this Recommendation. Objections should be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for the objection. All objections must be received in the office of the Court Clerk within 14 days of this Recommendation.

         If no objections are filed, Judge Miller can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By not objecting, parties may waive the right to appeal questions of fact.

         II. Background

         Plaintiff Lance Daniel Wells filed this case without the help of a lawyer under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His claims arise from an incident at the Sheridan Detention Center (Detention Center) when Mr. Wells was incarcerated there. (Docket entry #2) In his complaint, Mr. Wells alleges that Defendants Green and Ponder[1] physically assaulted him by ramming him into steel rails and concrete walls and “tased” him while he was handcuffed. He further alleges that Defendants Irvy, McCallister and Wilkerson failed to stop the assault and that the Defendants failed to provide him adequate medical care after the assault. (#2)

         Defendants Green, Irvy, McCallister, Ponder, and Wilkerson (Defendants) have now filed a motion for summary judgment. (#53) Mr. Wells did not respond to the Defendants' motion, and the response deadline has passed.

         III. Standard

         In a summary judgment, the court rules in favor of a party before trial. A moving party is entitled to summary judgment only if the evidence shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any fact that is important to the outcome of the case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322B23 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 246 (1986). If there is a dispute about important facts, the case cannot be decided on summary judgment.

         As movants, the Defendants must produce evidence showing that there is no real dispute about any fact that would make a difference in how the case is decided. If they meet this burden, Mr. Wells must respond by producing evidence that contradicts Defendants' evidence. Torgerson v. City of Rochester, 643 F.3d 1031, 1042 (8th Cir. 2011) (en banc).

         Mr. Wells did not timely respond to the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment or to their Statement of Undisputed Facts. Defendants, therefore, filed a Motion for the Facts to be Deemed Admitted pursuant to Local District Court Rule 56.1. (#57) Pursuant to Local District Court Rule 56.1, all material facts set forth in the statement filed by the moving party are deemed admitted unless controverted by a statement of facts filed by the non-moving party. Accordingly, Defendants' motion (#57) is GRANTED, and the Court deems the Defendants' version of the facts admitted.

         IV. Facts

         On the night of January 22, 2018, Officer Jill Grant (not a party to this lawsuit) and Defendant McAllister noticed on security cameras that Mr. Wells was starting a fire in C-Pod of the Detention Center. (#54-2) At 10:43 p.m., Officer Grant and Defendant McAllister sent a text message to Defendant Green, the Detention Center administrator, informing him of the occurrence. (#54-1; #54-2; #54-3; #53-4)

         When Defendant Green arrived at the Detention Center, he and Defendants Wilkerson, Ponder, McCallister and officer Grant walked to C-Pod.[2] (Id.) Defendants Green and Wilkerson entered C-Pod and instructed the inmates to stand against the wall. (Id.) Defendant Green instructed Mr. Wells to step out of his cell. (Id.) As Mr. Wells approached the door, he pulled away from Defendant Green and resisted his commands. (Id.) Defendant Green placed Mr. Wells against the wall, patted him down, and escorted him to the booking area. Meanwhile, officer Grant and Defendant McCallister walked the other inmates to the visitation area. (Id.)

         While Defendants Wilkerson, McAlister, Ponder, and officer Grant searched C-Pod, Defendant Green placed Mr. Wells in a holding cell. (#54-3, p.4) After securing Mr. Wells, Defendant Green went to C-Pod to assist with the search. (Id.) Defendants found tattooing contraband and multiple prescription pills in C-Pod. (#54-1; #54-2; #54-3; #53-4) These ...


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