Reginald R. EARLY, Appellant
Keith CROCKETT, Clayborn Carroll, Roberta Lewis, and Lamon Mayo, Appellees
FROM THE JEFFERSON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 35CV-10-279],
HONORABLE JODI RAINES DENNIS, JUDGE
Reginald R. Early, pro se appellant.
Rutledge, Att’y Gen., by: Gary Sullivan, Ass’t Att’y Gen.,
A. WOMACK, Associate Justice
Appellant Reginald Early, an inmate in the Arkansas
Department of Corrections (ADC), appeals an order from the
Jefferson County Circuit Court granting summary judgment to
Appellees Keith Crockett, Clayborn Carroll, Roberta Lewis,
and Lamon Mayo. For reversal, Early argues that the circuit
court erred in granting summary judgment on his civil-rights
claim. We affirm.
court provided a full recitation of the facts in Early v.
Crockett, 2014 Ark. 278, 436 S.W.3d 141. Early had filed
a failure-to-protect action against Appellees, as employees
of the ADC, stemming from an attack by Fred Hogan, a general
population inmate, in the shower area at the Tucker Maximum
Security Unit. In his complaint, Early brought causes of
action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983, the Eighth Amendment to
the United States Constitution, and Arkansas law. The circuit
court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellees on the
basis of qualified immunity. In Early I, we affirmed
in part and reversed in part. We remanded for the circuit
court to consider Early’s section 1983 claim under the
federal standard of deliberate indifference to determine
whether Appellees were entitled to qualified immunity in
their individual capacities.
remand, the circuit court considered Early’s section 1983
claims under the deliberate-indifference standard. The court
noted that Early presented no proof to support his claim that
Appellees were deliberately indifferent to his safety. Thus,
the circuit court concluded that Appellees were entitled to
qualified immunity and granted their motion for summary
judgment. Early now brings this appeal.
Appointment of Counsel
his first point on appeal, Early argues that the circuit
court committed procedural error by dismissing his section
1983 claim without making a ruling on his renewed motions for
the appointment of counsel. In criminal cases, the accused
has a constitutional right to counsel at trial. There is no
corresponding right to counsel in a postconviction
proceeding, or in a civil action. See Nelson v.
Redfield Lithograph Printing, 728 F.2d 1003 (8th Cir.
1984); Virgin v. Lockhart, 288 Ark. 92, 702 S.W.2d 9
McElyea v. Babbitt,833 F.2d 196 (9th Cir. 1987),
and Brown-Bey v. United States,720 F.2d 467 (7th
Cir. 1983), Early argues that the circuit court’s failure to
rule on his request for appointment of counsel before
granting summary judgment was an abuse of discretion.
However, McElyea is distinguishable because the
court also found that summary judgment was inappropriate due
to the existence of a genuine issue of material fact. 833
F.2d at 198. In Brown-Bey, while the court did find
there was an abuse of discretion by the circuit court for
failing to rule on the motion to appoint counsel, it also
held that the error was harmless by ...