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Walker v. Kelley

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division

July 11, 2019

ANTHONY DEWAYNE WALKER ADC #107683 PLAINTIFF
v.
WENDY KELLEY, et al. DEFENDANTS

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

         INSTRUCTIONS

         The following proposed Recommendation has been sent to Chief United States District Judge Brian S. Miller. You may file written objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you do so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your objection, and (2) be received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of fact.

         DISPOSITION

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Anthony Dewayne Walker, an inmate at the East Arkansas Regional Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC), filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on August 10, 2017, alleging that defendants violated his constitutional rights by filing disciplinaries against him and placing him in administrative segregation. See Doc. No. 2. The defendants are Wendy Kelley, Jeremy Andrews, Kenyon Randle, and Leroy Golatt. Id. Defendants are sued in both their individual and official capacities. Id. at 2.

         The Court screened Walker's amended complaint (Doc. No. 7) and concluded that Walker's equal protection claim should proceed while his due process, [1] conditions-of-confinement, and injunctive relief claims should be dismissed. Doc. No. 8. The Court's recommendation was subsequently adopted. Doc. No. 15.

         Before the Court is a motion for summary judgment and related pleadings filed by the defendants (Doc. Nos. 45-47). Walker filed a response, brief in support, and statement of undisputed material facts (Doc. Nos. 54-56). For the reasons described herein, the undersigned recommends that defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted.

         II. Legal Standard

         Under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is proper if “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 321 (1986). When ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must view the evidence in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Naucke v. City of Park Hills, 284 F.3d 923, 927 (8th Cir. 2002). The nonmoving party may not rely on allegations or denials, but must demonstrate the existence of specific facts that create a genuine issue for trial. Mann v. Yarnell, 497 F.3d 822, 825 (8th Cir. 2007). The nonmoving party's allegations must be supported by sufficient probative evidence that would permit a finding in his favor on more than mere speculation, conjecture, or fantasy. Id. (citations omitted). An assertion that a fact cannot be disputed or is genuinely disputed must be supported by materials in the record such as “depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials . . .”. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). A party may also show that a fact is disputed or undisputed by “showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). A dispute is genuine if the evidence is such that it could cause a reasonable jury to return a verdict for either party; a fact is material if its resolution affects the outcome of the case. Othman v. City of Country Club Hills, 671 F.3d 672, 675 (8th Cir. 2012). Disputes that are not genuine or that are about facts that are not material will not preclude summary judgment. Sitzes v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 606 F.3d 461, 465 (8th Cir. 2010).

         III. Undisputed Facts[2]

         February 16, 2017 Disciplinary

         On February 16, 2017, Captain Randle wrote a disciplinary charging Walker with violating the following rules: 12-3, failure to obey verbal and/or written order of staff; 09- 3, possession/introduction/manufacture of any drug, narcotic intoxicant, tobacco, chemical or drug paraphernalia not prescribed by medical staff; and 02-2, under the influence of and/or any use of illegal drugs, alcohol, intoxicating chemical or any medication in an unauthorized manner. Doc. No. 45-5, February 16, 2017 Disciplinary, at 1; Doc. No. 45-10, Declaration of Terrie Banister, at ¶¶ 5-6. Captain Randle wrote the disciplinary after observing that Walker was exhibiting signs he believed to be consistent with a person being under the influence of an illicit substance such as K-2 or synthetic marijuana. Doc. No. 45-5 at 1. Walker did not receive a drug test. Doc. No. 45-1, Excerpts from the September 10, 2018 Deposition of Anthony Walker, at 8.

         Walker's disciplinary hearing was held on February 23, 2017. Doc. No. 45-2, Declaration of Raymond Naylor, ¶ 33; Doc. No. 45-5 at 2; Doc. No. 45-10, ¶ 4). Terrie Banister was the disciplinary hearing officer. Id. At the hearing, Walker entered pleas of not guilty to all the disciplinary charges. Doc. No. 45-2 at ¶ 35; Doc. No. 45-5 at 2; Doc. No. 45-10 at ¶ 6. Banister testified that Walker provided the following statement:

I woke up at 8 that morning. I was on my rack praying. The captain was in [my] face after I finished praying. My feet swollen. He asked me to walk. My feet were swollen. I walked a straight line. He does not state how I was acting. I went to the infirmary. They did not give me no urine test. I was not under the influence of no K-2. This stuff killed by cousin.

         Doc. No. 45-10 at ¶ 7; see also Doc. No. 45-5 at 2. Banister also testified that in addition to Walker's statement, she also considered Randle's F-1 Report and the Infirmary Report. Doc. No. 45-10 at ¶¶ 8 & 9; see also Doc. No. 45-11, February 2017 Disciplinary Hearing Documents, at 2. She stated that Randle noted the following in his F-1 Report:

On February 16, 2017, at approximately 8:37 a.m., [I] was advised by security that Inmate Walker, Anthony ADC# 107683 was in 10 barracks on his rack behaving erratically. Upon arrival, [I] asked Inmate Walker his name and if he was okay. He didn't respond. [I] then asked Inmate Walker if he could walk, he stated “yes.” Inmate Walker stood up and attempted to walk, Inmate Walker staggered back and forth. [I] then placed Inmate Walker in restraints because his actions were consistent with a person under the influence of an illicit substance such as K-2 or synthetic marijuana. [I] and additional security escorted Inmate Walker to the main infirmary for a medical assessment. After the medical assessment, a pre-lock up was completed and Inmate Walker was escorted to EARU-Max for housing.

Id. The Infirmary Report from that day states, “per security appears to be under the influence.” Doc. No. 45-11 at 3. The report also notes that Walker stated, “I don't know what I'm getting locked up for, I was sleeping.” Id.

         Banister testified that, after a fair and impartial consideration of the evidence, including Walker's statement, she found Walker not guilty of violating rules 12-3 and 09-3. Doc. No. 45-10 at ¶¶ 11 & 12; see also Doc. No. 45-5 at 2. Banister stated that she found Walker guilty of violating rule 02-2, under the influence of and/or any use of illegal drugs, alcohol, intoxicating chemical or any medication in an unauthorized manner. Id. She sentenced Walker to fifteen days in punitive isolation and reduced his class status. Id.

         Raymond Naylor, the ADC's Internal Affairs/Disciplinary Hearing Administrator and custodian of the ADC's disciplinary hearing documents, reviewed Walker's disciplinary appeal file. Doc. No. 45-2 at ¶¶ 2 & 31. According to Walker's disciplinary file, Walker appealed Banister's decision to Warden Andrews, Naylor, and ADC Director Wendy Kelley. Doc. No. 45-2 at ¶¶ ...


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