Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Garcia v. Harris

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fort Smith Division

November 8, 2019

JOSE ALONSO GARCIA, PLAINTIFF
v.
OFFICER HARRIS, Sebastian County Detention Center; OFFICER MADDOX, Sebastian County Detention Center; and, OFFICER WILLMON, Sebastian County Detention Center, DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          P. K. HOLMES, III, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Jose Alonso Garcia proceeds in this matter pro se and in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1, 2, 3). In his Amended Complaint, Garcia alleges claims of failure to protect with respect to his transfer to the “green group” pod which consists of sexual offenders. (ECF No. 37).

         Currently pending is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 40). On June 17, 2019, the Court entered an Order directing Garcia to respond to the Motion by July 8, 2019. (ECF No. 43).

         Garcia filed a Response to the Motion on July 8, 2019. (ECF Nos. 46, 47). The Defendants filed a Reply to Plaintiff's Response on July 22, 2019. (ECF No. 48).[1]

         In addition, the Court must consider the facts set forth in Garcia's verified Amended Complaint in ruling on the Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 37). A verified complaint is the equivalent of an affidavit for summary judgment purposes. See e.g., Roberson v. Hayti Police Dep't., 241 F.3d 992, 994-95 (8th Cir. 2001).

         As the Court in Roberson points out, “[a]lthough a party may not generally rest on his pleadings to create a fact issue sufficient to survive summary judgment, the facts alleged in a verified complaint need not be repeated in a responsive affidavit to survive the summary judgment motion.” Id. The Court will “piece[] together [Plaintiff's] version of the facts from the verified complaint. Those portions of the Defendant[s'] statement of material facts that do not conflict with [Plaintiff's verified complaint] are deemed admitted.” McClanahan v. Young, No. 4:13-cv-04140, 2016 WL 520983 (D.S.D. Feb. 5, 2016).

         I. FACTS

         Along with their Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendants filed a Statement of Indisputable Material Facts in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 42). Defendants' Statement of Indisputable Material Facts is supported by the Affidavit of Captain Williams Dumas. (ECF No. 42, Ex. 1, Dumas Affidavit). In addition, attached to Dumas' Affidavit are records of the jail, including relevant arrest and booking records for Garcia, Garcia's Inmate Housing History Report, and relevant Incident Reports related to Garcia's claims in this case. Id. According to his Affidavit, Dumas, as custodian of the records of the jail, verifies these documents as true and correct copies of records regularly kept in the ordinary course of business at the jail. Id.

         Although Garcia has filed a Response to Defendants' Statement of Indisputable Material Facts, Garcia has not supported any of his allegations that are contrary to Defendants' Statement of Indisputable Material Facts with affidavits, prison records or other evidence as required by Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). The Court has previously noted this requirement in its Order directing a response to the Motion for Summary Judgment and in its Order giving Garcia additional time to supplement his response to the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment with affidavits from his witnesses. (ECF No. 43, 53). The Court will therefore discuss below only the statements of Garcia's verified Amended Complaint which contradict Defendants' Statement of Material Indisputable Facts.

         According to Defendants' Statement of Material Indisputable Facts:

         On December 28, 2017, Plaintiff Jose Garcia was booked into the Sebastian County jail on a hold for federal authorities related to federal charges of selling methamphetamine. Garcia had previously been incarcerated in the Sebastian County jail from November 8 to December 3, 2017, before being briefly sent to the Scott County jail before a return to Sebastian County. (ECF No. 42, Ex. 1, Dumas Affidavit, Booking Records).

         Garcia was initially housed in GG pod, where he stayed until April 18, 2018. Garcia's housing assignment was decided by Sebastian County's use of the Northpoint classification system, a computer-aided inmate security classification protocol that resulted in the Garcia's initial placement in GG pod, a medium security unit. (ECF No. 42, Ex. 1, Dumas Affidavit, Booking Records).

         Garcia was transferred to FF pod on the evening of April 18, 2018. FF pod is another medium security pod. Garcia was transferred from GG to FF because, during a shift change briefing, Sgt. Tonna Moore found out about a notation from the U.S. Marshal's Service that Garcia and an inmate named Jose Escalante were to be kept separate (because they were co-defendants in their criminal case, not for any protection reason). Before Garcia's move to FF pod, he was being housed with Jose Escalante. (ECF No. 42, Ex. 1, Dumas Affidavit, Moore Report).

         On the afternoon of July 22, 2018, Garcia came to the front of FF pod to assist the officers with the evening meal (Garcia was a 509 inmate at the time, essentially, an in-pod trustee). Officer Chase Harris noticed that Garcia was acting differently and appeared to be upset about something. Garcia asked ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.