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Gray v. Watson

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

December 20, 2018



          Susan O. Hickey United States District Judge

         Before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 39). Plaintiff De'Andre Gray has not filed a response, and the time to do so has passed. See Local Rule 7.2(b). The Court finds this matter ripe for consideration.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's claims in this action arise from alleged incidents that occurred between December 9, 2016, and September 5, 2017, while he was incarcerated in the Clark County Jail (“CCJ”).[1] Viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the relevant facts are as follows.[2]

         On December 9, 2016, Plaintiff was placed in lockdown for twenty days at the CCJ after he and another inmate violated disciplinary infractions B-13 (storing medication) and B-14 (possessing anything not authorized for retention or receipt by the inmate not issued to him by the CCJ staff or commissary service). (ECF No. 40-3). On May 27, 2017, Plaintiff was once again placed in lockdown following an altercation with Defendant Funderburk. This altercation resulted in charges being filed against Plaintiff for Impairing the Operation of a Vital Public Facility and Battery in the 2nd Degree, Class C and Class D felonies respectively. (ECF No. 40, p. 1). According to the Affidavit of Defendant Funderburk, Plaintiff “was only placed on twenty-four hour lock for a short period after becoming violent, refusing to follow orders, and attempting to throw [Defendant Funderburk] into a cell. [Plaintiff] was only locked down until the issue was resolved.” (ECF No. 40-1, p. 1).

         During standard lockdown, isolated inmates at the CCJ are allowed out of their cells for one hour each evening to shower, use the phones, or exercise. (ECF No. 40, p. 1). Inmates in lockdown are treated the same as other inmates in the CCJ, but are segregated from the general population and only allowed out of their cells after the general population is locked down for the evening. Id. The lights and toilets inside the lockdown cells are checked to ensure that they are in working order before an inmate is housed there, and the lights in the cell where Plaintiff was housed during lockdown were functional. In addition, the lights in the lockdown cells are turned on or off at the inmates' request. (ECF No. 40, p. 2). According to the CCJ's Policies and Procedures, inmates are given showers each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The inmates are not allowed to refuse showers and if they do, they are placed in lockdown until they agree to take a shower. (ECF No. 40-4, p. 1). Toiletries and hygiene products are passed out to inmates every Monday. Id. at p. 2.

         In June 2017, Plaintiff received over-the-counter melatonin on four occasions. (ECF No. 40-5, p. 1). The only named Defendant to give Plaintiff this medication was Defendant Funderburk. Id. Jailers at the CCJ do not make any decisions regarding whether inmates receive medication, nor do they have any input into what type of medication they receive. When medications are prescribed, they are placed in cups, separated by inmate block, and labeled with the inmate's name. Jailers distribute medications and ensure that inmates take them. (ECF No. 40-1, p. 1).

         The CCJ's policy regarding the submission of medical requests and grievances states in relevant part:

1. If a Detainee needs to make a request or file a grievance, the Detainee is to be given the appropriate form and return it to the Jailer on Duty. When you receive one of these forms, make sure to put your name, date, and time on the form, then give it to the Administrator to be answered or passed on . . .
3. After the Detainees Request or Grievance has been answered, make copies of all Requests and Grievances and put a copy in their file and give a copy to the Detainee.
4. If a Detainee needs medical attention, [they are given] . . . a Medical Grievance form and have them fill it out. When the Jailer receives the completed Medical Grievance form, [they] fill out a Medical Treatment Sheet and hang it up in dispatch for Nurse Elkin to see on Tuesdays and Fridays.

(ECF No. 40-4, p. 4). Plaintiff's jail file contains no grievances and only one medical request submitted on November 17, 2018. (ECF No. 40-3, p. 2).

         On September 19, 2017, Plaintiff filed this action against Defendants Watson, Barnes, Bolz, Funderburk, Samuel, and Jailer Sam Burdette.[3] (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff asserts three claims in his ...

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