United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Timothy L. Brooks United States District Judge.
before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 20). Barrows filed a Response in Opposition to
the Motion (Doc. 24), and the matter is now ripe for
decision. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is
claims asserted in this case arose while Plaintiff Danny
Trent Barrows was incarcerated in the Washington County
Detention Center ("WCDC") from September 4, 2018,
to September 22, 2018. Barrows names as Defendants Deputies
Collins, Grimes, Rex, Self, Hawkins and Simpson. With the
exception of Deputy Simpson, Barrows has sued the Defendants
in both their individual and official capacities. Deputy
Simpson has been sued only in his official capacity.
contends that his constitutional rights were violated when:
(1) he was placed in administrative segregation
("A-seg") without having been charged with a
disciplinary infraction or provided with due process; and (2)
he was subjected to unconstitutional conditions of
confinement-specifically, jail overcrowding and a leaky
toilet in his jail cell-which created a punitive and unsafe
August 15, 2018, Barrows was arrested on various criminal
charges. He had fled from police and, in a last-ditch effort
to escape, had attempted to jump off a highway bridge. (Doc.
22-2 at 12). Barrows had to be dragged back onto the bridge
by police officers. He was then taken to the WCDC and booked.
The next day, August 16, 2018, jailers made a note in his
file that he was to be placed on suicide watch. (Doc. 22-5 at
1). Barrows indicated to the officers at the time that he
wanted to be placed in B-pod. Id. Sergeant Wingate
advised Barrows that with his charges, he was sure to be
classified as a medium- or maximum-security inmate and not
eligible to be housed in B-pod. Id.
testified in his deposition that from the date of his arrest
on August 15, 2018, until September 2, 2018, he was in
isolation. (Doc. 22-8 at 29, 36). He claims he began
suffering from anxiety at this time. Id. at 52. On
September 2, Barrows was moved to A-seg where he spent two
days in a cell by himself. Id. at 36. He was moved
to cell P-14 on September 4 with detainees James Johnson,
Luis Salazar, and Braden Collins. Id. at 36-37, 45.
Around that time, Barrows's anxiety grew stronger, and he
felt claustrophobic in cell P-14 with the three other men.
Id. at 52. The cell was designed to house three
people, not four. Id.
as Barrows was moved to cell P-14, he noticed water leaking
around the bottom edge of the toilet. (Doc. 22-8 at 39).
Specifically, he claimed that water was leaking all the way
around the toilet at the point where it was attached to the
floor. Id. at 60. The water was "sludgy"
and "slimy" looking, "smelled like
sewage," and drew flies. Id. at 47. Barrows
estimated that the toilet leaked at least a "good gallon
of water" a day. Id. at 60. Barrows and his
cell mates were given a blanket to wrap around the bottom of
the toilet to keep the "spilled water and stuff from
leaking out all over the middle of the floor."
Id. at 19, 61. Barrows agreed that the blanket
"soaked up most of the water." Id. at
testified that he and his cell mates asked several officers
to request that maintenance fix the toilet. (Doc. 22-8 at
18). However, no one from maintenance ever came. Id.
at 18-19. Barrows testified that he and his cell mates were
forced to eat in the cell every day. In addition, one
inmate-not Barrows-had to sleep on the floor, and the blanket
was soaked and "covered in sewage every day." Doc.
22-8 at 25. The blanket was only changed about once a week.
testified that on September 6, he and his cell mates asked
Deputy Collins, Deputy Grimes, and Deputy Bowman to be moved
to a different cell. They also asked the officers to put in a
work order for the toilet to be fixed. (Doc. 22-8 at 70).
Barrows testified that the following day, they asked four
officers on duty whether one person in the cell could be
moved to an empty neighboring cell. Id. at 23,
70-71. According to Barrows, Deputy Collins agreed this would
be a good idea. Id. Barrows and his cell mates asked
Deputy Collins the same question later in the day, but he
told them that his shift was ending, and no one would be
moved to a different cell. Id.
testified that after that, he and his cell mates asked every
officer on duty on almost a daily basis to move an inmate out
of P-14. (Doc. 22-8 at 24). Barrows does not know who was in
charge of reviewing inmate classification and housing status
in the jail. Id. at 39.
September 9, Barrows submitted his first grievance. In that
grievance, he complained that he was being kept in a
twenty-three-hour-a-day lock-down cell with only one hour
out. (Doc. 22-3 at 12). He also complained that his
"hour out" was so early in the day that he could
not make personal calls. Id. Barrows pointed out in
his grievance that he and three other inmates had been housed
for over a week in a three-man cell. Id. He also
stated that the toilet was leaking in his cell, which meant
that one of his cell mates was forced to sleep on a cramped,
wet floor, since there were only three bunks in the cell.
Id. Barrows claimed one of his cell mates, Collins,
had asked numerous times to be moved. Id. Barrows
also asserted that there was an unoccupied cell right beside
his overcrowded one. Id. He contended the conditions
in his cell amounted to cruel and unusual punishment and
asked for a § 1983 form so that he could "follow up
on this grievance." Id.
explained in his deposition that he had not submitted a
grievance prior to this one because he knew that in most
jails, the jailers required that the prisoner speak with the
floor officer about the issue before submitting a formal
grievance. (Doc. 22-8 at 48). This, however, was not the
policy and practice of the WCDC. Id.
September 11, Barrows's cell mate Johnson was moved out
of the cell after he suffered a seizure and was taken to the
hospital. (Doc. 22-8 at 22). Johnson returned to the cell the
following day. Id. at 26. Also on September 11,
Corporal Mulvaney responded to Barrows's September 9
grievance. In the response, Corporal Mulvaney stated that
Barrows's "hour-out" time was generally at
around 8:00 a.m., with the exception of September 5, when the
"hour out" took place at around noon, and September
8, when it took place around 6:45 a.m. (Doc. 22-3 at 13).
Corporal Mulvaney also stated in his response to the
grievance that he understood there were no longer four
inmates assigned to Barrows's cell and that maintenance
had been notified to address the leaking toilet. Id.
Finally, Corporal Mulvaney explained that Barrows had been
given an address to use to request § 1983 paperwork. He
asked Barrows to state briefly what his complaint was about
so that it could be documented, and he also asked Barrows
whether any video needed to be saved in connection with the
reply to Corporal Mulvaney's written response, Barrows
stated that inmate Collins had been moved into the cell on
September 4. (Doc. 22-3 at 14). Barrows claimed that the
following day, the cell next to P-14 was empty. Id.
According to Barrows, he and his cell mates asked several
times on September 5 for Collins to be moved. Id.
Barrows indicated that they also asked Corporal Graham to
move Collins during "morning chow on the following
day." Id. Barrows ultimately testified in his
deposition that all the officers he named as Defendants were
asked if one of the four inmates in Barrows's cell could
be moved out due to "overcrowding and the condition the
cell was in." (Doc. 22-8 at 21).
September 12, Barrows submitted another grievance in which he
asked to be moved to B-Block. (Doc. 22-3 at 2). Barrows felt
he should be housed in general population. (Doc. 22-8 at 56).
Corporal Atchley responded that Barrows was classified as a
medium 7 and "[i]n order to be in B-pod you must be
classified as a minimum." (Doc. 22-3 at 2-3). Barrows
was told that his next classification review was on October
14. Id. at 3.
testified that late in the evening on September 13, when he
got up to use the toilet, "my flipflop got hung up on
the blanket [that had been wrapped around the toilet] causing
me to twist my ankle, fall back. And I fell down and landed
on my rear-end and when I did, it tore ligaments in my leg,
as far as muscles in my ankle, and I twisted my ankle real
bad." (Doc. 22-8 at 19, 44). Barrows did not fall onto
Collins, who was sleeping on the floor, because Collins was
lying against the back wall of the cell, farthest away from
the leaking toilet. Id. at 45. Barrows testified
that for days he was not able to walk after the incident and
had to rely on other inmates to help him around. Id.
at 19-20. Barrows testified that the injury is still causing
him joint pain at nighttime and requires him to elevate his
foot. Id. at 19.
submitted a medical request related to this foot injury the
day after it occurred, September 14. In the medical request,
he stated that he had slipped and fallen in his cell and
could not walk. (Doc. 22-3 at 28, 44). Barrows was seen that
day at sick call. Id. at 28. According to Barrows,
the nurse told him she did not feel his foot was broken, so
there was no need for an x-ray. (Doc. 22-8 at 48). Barrows
testified the nurse told him that the injury "was
probably torn ligaments" and torn "muscle
tissue," basically, a "sprained ankle."
Id. Barrows testified he asked for a wheelchair or
crutches, and the nurse responded that there was a wheelchair
in the facility he could use. Id. at 50. According
to Barrows, Deputy Grimes indicated he would try to locate
the wheelchair, but he never did. Id. at 50-51.
Pt stating that he tripped over a blanket and twisted his
foot during the night, then landing hard on his left heel. Pt
stated it felt like a stone bruise but was also sore during
flexion of the foot when bearing weight on the plantar
surface. Pt stated that he did not feel that it was broken.
Pt has FROM [full range of motion], just advised that it was
painful, no swelling or heat noted. Will RX naproxen per
protocol. Advised Pt to elevate and report any further
symptoms to medical.
(Doc. 22-4 at 12-13). The Naproxen was prescribed two times a
day until September 21. Id. at 13.
September 15, Barrows submitted a grievance "in hopes to
get my toilet fixed in cell p 14 because of an injury
[I've] got now because of the leaking sewage and blanket
placed over it that caused me to twist my ankle and fall back
on my [heel] causing problems now for me to get around."
(Doc. 22-3 at 15). He also complained that the situation
resulted in him incurring expenses for medical services due
to his injury. Id. Barrows asserted that he had been
told by the floor officers that a maintenance call had
already been placed, and Barrows asked if there was any way
to speed it up. Id. In response, Officer Cody
Stidham told Barrows that he would speak to maintenance.
September 16, Barrows asked how he could get classified as a
minimum-security inmate so that he could be moved to B-Block.
(Doc. 22-3 at 3). Officer J. Velasco responded in writing,
"you are a medium 7 so that is why your [sic] over in
September 19, Barrows submitted a request to be removed from
A-seg to a different area of the jail. (Doc. 22-3 at 3).
Barrows noted he had not been giving the officers any
trouble. Id. Sergeant Byrd responded that due to
Barrows's pending charges, he would not be allowed in
B-pod. Id. However, Sergeant Byrd said If Barrows
wanted out of A-seg, he would see what he could do.
Id. Barrows responded that he wanted out of A-seg
and had not caused any problems since he had been there.
Id. at 4. Corporal Terry Warford responded that
Barrows's request would be forwarded to a sergeant.
Id. On September 20th, Barrows asked if a sergeant
had looked at his request. Id. Sergeant Byrd
responded that he would come and speak to Barrows soon.
same day, Barrows submitted a medical request stating he was
still housed in A-seg and wondered if there was a medical
reason why he was being kept there. (Doc. 22-3 at 29). In
response, medical personnel informed him that he would need
to speak with the officers about that. Id.
September 21, Barrows submitted another grievance, asking
again to be moved out of A-seg. (Doc. 22-3 at 5). He noted he
had not caused any problems and had no disciplinary charges.
Id. The following day, Deputy Atchley responded that
Barrows would be moved. Id.
testified that on September 22, Sergeant Byrd moved him out
of A-seg and into general population. (Doc. 22-8 at 24, 56,
68). Barrows indicated Deputy Grimes had been talking to
Sergeant Byrd about him and helped get him moved.
Id. at 68. However, Barrows maintains his legal
claims against Deputy Grimes in this lawsuit are due to the
overcrowding conditions Barrows claims he endured and Deputy
Grimes's failure to get maintenance to fix the leaking
toilet in Barrows's cell. Id.
September 22, Barrows requested copies of the grievances he
submitted on September 9. (Doc. 22-3 at 6). He indicated that
he needed a statement regarding his prisoner account to be
completed to go along with his § 1983 paperwork.
Id. Corporal Mulvaney responded on September 24,
advising he would get the paperwork regarding Barrdws's
inmate account back to him that day. Id. Corporal
Mulvaney declined to provide copies of the inmate account to
Barrows and stated that during the process of the case,
Barrows would be afforded copies of everything. Id.
Corporal Mulvaney again asked what the complaint was
concerning so that he could document it and to see if there
was "any relevant video that may need to be saved."
Id. at 7.
September 25, Barrows submitted a medical request asking for
something for pain in his ankle and heel. (Doc. 22-3 at 30).
He indicated the pain was keeping him up at night.
Id. He also noted that walking made his heel worse.
Id. In response, Barrows was added to the sick call
list. Id. Barrows was seen at sick call the
following day. (Doc. 22-4 at 12). The nurse noted a full
range of motion with no bruising or discoloration.
Id. Barrows was prescribed Tylenol, told to rest and
elevate his foot and ankle when possible, and to do gentle
exercises to increase ankle strength. Id. The
Tylenol was prescribed through October 10, on an as-needed
basis twice a day. Id.
September 26, Barrows submitted a medical request stating he
had been told by the nurses to keep his ankle elevated when
possible. (Doc. 22-3 at 31). He said he was having trouble
keeping the ankle elevated and asked for a second blanket to
help with this. Id. The following day, a note was
made in his file that a second blanket was added and to
"verify at AM med pass to receive it." Id.
Barrows was asked to describe the policy, practice, or custom
that he believed caused his injury, he responded that it was
"[j]ust the lack of maintenance." (Doc. 22-8 at
59). While Barrows did not believe any of the Defendants did
maintenance work, he explained that "they are the ones
that you're speaking to about putting maintenance calls
in to be fixed." Id.
Barrows was asked about the nature of his individual or
personal capacity claims against each of the Defendants,
Barrows responded they were the same for every Defendant.
(Doc. 22-8 at 62-63). Barrows maintains that between
September 4 and September 22, each Defendant was told
multiple times about the conditions in P-14, specifically,
the overcrowding and the leaky toilet. Id. Barrows
kept track of the Defendants' names and badge numbers.
Id. at 67. Barrows contends that all ...