United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
KEVIN D. JONES, ADC #112114 PLAINTIFF
ROMONA HUFF, et al. DEFENDANTS
Procedures for Filing Objections
Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has
been sent to Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. Parties may file written
objections to this Recommendation if they disagree with its
findings or conclusions.
considered, objections must be received in the office of the
Court Clerk within 14 days of this Recommendation. If no
objections are filed, Judge Marshall can adopt this
Recommendation without independently reviewing the record. By
not objecting, parties risk waiving the right to appeal
questions of fact.
January 8, 2018, Plaintiff Kevin D. Jones, an Arkansas
Department of Correction (“ADC”) inmate, filed
this civil rights lawsuit without the help of a lawyer.
(Docket entry #2) In his original complaint, Mr. Jones
alleged that Defendants Huff, Henry, and Bailey acted with
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Because
Mr. Jones did not adequately explain Defendant Paige's
involvement in the violation of his rights, the Court gave
him an opportunity to amend his complaint to explain those
claims more fully. (#4)
Mr. Jones filed his amended complaint, the Court determined
that he had stated deliberate-indifference claims against
Defendants Huff, Henry, Bailey, and Paige, as well as a
retaliation claim against Defendant Paige. (#6)
Defendants moved for summary judgment after being served,
contending that Mr. Jones did not fully exhaust his
administrative remedies before filing suit. (#19, #22) The
Court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants Bailey
and Paige (ADC Defendants); granted partial summary judgment
in favor of Huff and Henry (Medical Defendants); and denied
Mr. Jones's motion for summary judgment. (#40) Mr.
Jones's claims are now limited to those against the
Medical Defendants set out in grievance TU-16-627.
Medical Defendants have again moved for summary judgment.
They again contend that Mr. Jones failed to fully exhaust his
administrative remedies as to grievance TU-16-627 before
filing this lawsuit. They also argue that Mr. Jones's
claims fail on the merits, as a matter of law. (#58) Mr.
Jones has responded to the motion; the Medical Defendants
have replied; and Mr. Jones has responded to the Medical
Defendants' reply. (#64, #65, #66, #67, #68, #69)
support of their motion for summary judgment based on a
failure to exhaust the grievance process, the Medical
Defendants again attach the declaration of Shelly Byers, the
ADC Medical Grievance Coordinator. (#60-5) According to Ms.
Byers's declaration, Mr. Jones submitted grievance
TU-17-627 on August 1, 2017. He received an acknowledgement
of the unit level and was told that he would receive a
response to the grievance by August 29, 2017. (#2 at p.27) It
is undisputed that he did not receive a response by
under the ADC inmate grievance policy, he could have - and
was required to-appeal within five days of August 29 to
continue the exhaustion process. (#60-5 at p.1) Because he
did not proceed to the next step within five days of August
29, Mr. Jones “did not properly complete the grievance
process, ” according to Ms. Byers. (Id.)
Byers also explains that Mr. Jones failed to appeal the
unit-level grievance response to grievance TU-17-627 that he
received on November 1, 2017. If he had done so, “the
Deputy Director's office would have reviewed the medical
records for the time period Mr. Jones complained of and Mr.
Jones' current medical records for quality
assurance.” (Id. at p.2)
though Mr. Jones did not appeal the health service response
to grievance TU-17-627, it is undisputed that Defendant Huff
found the grievance to be “with merit.” (#2 at
p.22) In that grievance, Mr. Jones complained of
complications with his pacemaker and the need to be examined
by a cardiologist. (#22-1 at p.9) According to the health
services response to the unit-level grievance, Mr. Jones was
“told that [he] had an appointment ...