United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a civil rights action provisionally filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and (3)(2011), the Honorable Susan O.
Hickey, Chief United States District Judge, referred this
case to the undersigned for the purpose of making a Report
before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment. (ECF No. 51). Also, before the Court is
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 62).
Both Motions are addressed herein.
filed his Complaint on March 29, 2018, in the Eastern
District of Arkansas. (ECF No. 2). His Complaint was screened
and served in the Eastern District. (ECF No. 8). On July 11,
2018, his Complaint was transferred to this District. (ECF
alleges that on January 9, 2018, Defendant Gentle violated
his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights by falsifying a
behavior report and disciplinary charge in retaliation for
Plaintiff's request for a grievance form. (ECF No. 2 at
5). Plaintiff then appeared before Defendant Golden for a
disciplinary charge hearing on January 19, 2018. Plaintiff
alleges Defendant Golden violated his due process rights by
refusing to review camera footage which showed Defendant
Gentle's fabrication and by ignoring Corporal
Butler's witness statement in his behalf. He alleges
Defendant Golden found him guilty based on “no
evidence.” (Id.). Plaintiff alleges his
appeals were denied by Defendants Faust, Naylor, and Kelley,
who also declined to review the camera footage or the witness
statement by Corporal Butler. (Id. at 5-7).
also alleges that, as a result of the disciplinary charge
conviction, he was placed in punitive segregation, where his
Eighth Amendment rights were violated by the conditions of
confinement. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges: (1) 24-hour
isolation (2) constant cell illumination; (3) mat extraction
for “obtuse hours;” (4) loss of the ability to
shower; and (5) constant excessive noise (“banging on
walls, vents or yelling and screaming for hours throughout
the night”). (Id. at 7). Plaintiff alleges
that the combination of these “liberty
infringements” caused him to suffer sleep deprivation,
anxiety, loss of appetite, hallucination, emotional
disconnection, headaches, eye pain, and back and knee pain.
proceeds against all Defendants in both their official and
personal capacity. (Id. at 2). He seeks compensatory
relief, punitive relief from Defendant Gentle, injunctive
relief concerning the excessive noise and constant
illumination in the punitive isolation area, court costs and
legal fees, and expungement of his disciplinary conviction.
(Id. at 9).
17, 2018, Defendants Faust, Golden, Kelley, and Naylor filed
their Answer. (ECF No. 18). Plaintiff was directed to provide
additional information to serve Defendant Gentle. (ECF No.
21). On September 19, 2018, the Court received the last-known
address for Defendant Gentle from the Eastern District of
Arkansas, and service was ordered using that address. (ECF
No. 32, 33). Defendant Gentle filed his Answer on October 8,
2018. (ECF No. 39).
filed their Summary Judgment Motion on December 17, 2018.
(ECF No. 51). On December 18, 2018, the Court entered an
Order directing Plaintiff to file his Response to the Motion.
(ECF No. 54). Plaintiff did so on January 7, 2018. (ECF No.
then filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on May 2, 2019. (ECF
No. 62). Defendants filed a Response in Opposition to
Plaintiff's Motion on May 16, 2019. (ECF No. 64, 65).
Plaintiff Replied to their Response on May 22, 2019. (ECF No.
judgment is appropriate if, after viewing the facts and all
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986), the record
"shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "Once a party
moving for summary judgment has made a sufficient showing,
the burden rests with the non-moving party to set forth
specific facts, by affidavit or other evidence, showing that
a genuine issue of material fact exists.” National
Bank of Commerce v. Dow Chemical Co., 165 F.3d 602, 607
(8th Cir. 1999).
non-moving party "must do more than simply show that
there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts." Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. "They
must show there is sufficient evidence to support a jury
verdict in their favor." National Bank, 165
F.3d at 607 (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986)). "A case founded on
speculation or suspicion is insufficient to survive a motion
for summary judgment." Id. (citing, Metge
v. Baehler, 762 F.2d 621, 625 (8th Cir. 1985)).
“When opposing parties tell two different stories, one
of which is blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no
reasonable jury could believe it, a court should not adopt
that version of the facts for purposes of ruling on a motion
for summary judgment.” Scott v. Harris, 550
U.S. 372, 380 (2007).
Court will first address Plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment, filed on May 2, 2019. (ECF No. 62). Defendants
filed a Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion on
May 16, 2019. (ECF No. 64, 65). The Initial Scheduling Order
for this case set the dispositive motion deadline for
December 17, 2018. (ECF No. 23; 64 at 1). Plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 62) was filed over four
months past the deadline for dispositive motions. The
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 62)
should be DENIED as untimely filed.
their Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendants argue: (1)
Plaintiff's claims for monetary and injunctive relief are
barred by sovereign immunity: (2) Plaintiff did not exhaust
his Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claims prior
to filing this lawsuit; (3) Defendants are protected from
Plaintiff's personal capacity claims by qualified
immunity because Defendant did not violate his due process
rights and Plaintiff failed to state an Eighth Amendment
claim against them. (ECF No. 52.)
disputes several facts relied upon by Defendants. (ECF No.
59). Most notably, Plaintiff argues: (1) he plead not guilty
to all four of the disciplinary charges at his disciplinary
hearing; and (2) he exhausted his administrative remedies
concerning his Eighth Amendment claims, even though he
received no response at each level. (ECF No. 59 at SOF 28);
59 at SOF 116-117).
Official Capacity Claims
seeks monetary damages against Defendants for his claims.
“Claims against individuals in their official
capacities are equivalent to claims against the entity for
which they work.” Gorman v. Bartch, 152 F.3d
907, 914 (8th Cir.1998). The Defendants in this case are all
employees of the ADC. Thus, Plaintiff's official capacity
claims against the Defendants is a claim against the ADC.
Id. The ADC is a state agency. See Fegans v.
Norris, 351 Ark. 200, 206, 89 S.W.3d 919 (2002). States
and state agencies are not “persons” subject to
suit under § 1983. Howlett v. Rose, 496 U.S.
356 (1990); Will v. Mich. Dept. of State Police, 491
U.S. 58 (1989); McLean v. Gordon, 548 F.3d 613, 618
(8th Cir. 2008). “This bar exists whether the relief
sought is legal or equitable.” Williams v.
Missouri, 973 F.2d 599, 599 -600 (8th Cir. 1992)
(citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 276
(1986)). “Congress did not abrogate constitutional
sovereign immunity when enacting the law that was to become
section 1983.” Burk v. Beene, 948 F.2d 489,
493 (8th Cir. 1991) (citing Quern v. Jordan, 440
U.S. 332, 342 (1979)).
Defendants in this case are all employees of the State of
Arkansas. As such, the official capacity claims against them
for monetary damages are barred by sovereign immunity.
Plaintiff's claim for prospective injunctive relief as to
the alleged noise and constant illumination in punitive
isolation, however, is not barred. See Monroe v. Arkansas
State University, 495 F.3d 591, 594 (8th Cir. 2007)
(Under the exception set forth in Ex Parte Young,
209 U.S. 123 (1908), “ state officials may be sued in
their official capacities for prospective injunctive relief
without violating the Eleventh Amendment.”). As
discussed below, however, there were no violations of
Plaintiff's constitutional rights and thus no need for
prospective injunctive relief.
are therefore entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law
as to Plaintiff's official capacity claims.
Disciplinary Charge - First ...