United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CHARLES A. SHAW, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on defendant Gwenn Botkin's motion for summary judgment. Also pending before the Court is plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. The motions are fully briefed and ripe for review. For the follow reasons, the Court will deny both motions for summary judgment.
Plaintiff Samuel Lewis Taylor is an offender in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections ("MDOC"). He originally brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for monetary damages against Unknown Bailey (Caseworker), Unknown Botkins (Librarian),  Cindy Griffith (Functional Unit Manager), Unknown Spoo (Correctional Officer), Unknown Mezo (Correctional Officer), Unknown Rich (Correctional Officer), Unknown Glore (Correctional Officer), Unknown Cain (Correctional Officer), Unknown Holly (Nurse), and Unknown Cassie (Nurse). In his complaint, plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, alleged a number of claims that arose from unrelated incidents. In paragraphs one through six of his complaint, plaintiff's asserts claims against defendants Botkin and Glore. The allegations arise from an incident in the prison library that occurred sometime in January 2011. Plaintiff alleges that at the behest of Botkin he was placed in administrative segregation, during which he did not have recreation time and his personal property was damaged. In paragraphs seven through nine of the complaint, plaintiff asserts claims against defendants Spoo and Bailey. The allegations arise out of his work assignment in the prison's main kitchen. Plaintiff alleges that he was forced to work beyond his physical capabilities. In paragraphs ten through eleven, plaintiff asserts a claim against defendant Cain, arising out of an April 16, 2011 cell search that resulted in property damage and theft. In paragraphs twelve through fourteen, plaintiff asserts claims against defendants Spoo and Bailey, arising out of plaintiff's alleged theft of some pizza in June 2011. In paragraphs fifteen through seventeen, plaintiff asserts claims against defendants Mezo and Rich, arising out of a June 2011 incident when Mezo wrote-up plaintiff for giving too much pudding to another inmate. In paragraphs eighteen through nineteen, plaintiff asserts claims against defendants Spoo, Cain, Holly, and Cassie arising out of a June 2011 incident when plaintiff was denied medical care after he experienced extreme pain from lifting heavy objects in the prison's kitchen.
In a Memorandum and Order dated May 12, 2012, the Court found that the defendants in this case were not properly joined. It found that the allegations against defendants Botkin and Glore in paragraphs one through six of the complaint did not pertain to the same defendants or arise out of the same series of transactions and occurrences as those in the remaining counts of the complaint. As a result, the Court dismissed, without prejudice, defendants Unknown Bailey, Cindy Griffith, Unknown Spoo, Unknown Mezo, Unknown Rich, Unknown Cain, Unknown Holly, and Unknown Cassie.
As for defendants Botkin and Glore, the Court conducted a § 1915(e)(2)(B) review and concluded that plaintiff's claims against Botkin and Glore in their official capacities were legally frivolous. As for plaintiff's claims against these two defendants in their individual capacities, the Court found "[p]laintiff does not set forth any facts indicating, nor does it appear likely, that defendant Botkin, the librarian, was directly involved in or personally responsible for the conditions of plaintiff's administrative segregation confinement, including recreation" and that plaintiff's allegations "do not indicate that he has suffered the type of atypical and significant hardship in which the state might conceivably create a liberty interest." See Doc. 5 at 7. The Court dismissed the action as to defendants Botkin and Glore. Id . at 9.
Plaintiff appealed, and on November 30, 2012, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Court's dismissal, with the exception of the retaliation claim against defendant Botkin in her individual capacity. The Eight Circuit held that:
Taylor sufficiently stated a nonfrivolous First Amendment retaliation claim against Botkin[ ]. Taylor alleged that Botkin[ ] - who supervised Taylor in his job at the prison law library - confronted him over a pending lawsuit which she believed he had brought against her, and that six days later she had him placed in administrative segregation on a trumped-up allegation (for which he was never formally charged or disciplined). See Zutz v. Nelson, 601 F.3d 842, 848-49 (8th Cir. 2010) (for First Amendment retaliation claim, plaintiff must "plead that he/she engaged in protected activity and that defendants, to retaliate for the protected activity, took adverse action against [them] that would chill a person of ordinary firmness from engaging in that activity'" (alteration in original) (quoting Lewis v. Jacks, 486 F.3d 1025, 1028 (8th Cir. 2007))); see also Beaulieu v. Ludeman, 690 F.3d 1017, 1025 (8th Cir. 2012) (filing of inmate lawsuit is protected First Amendment activity); cf. Smith v. Fairview Ridges Hosp., 625 F.3d 1076, 1087-88 (8th Cir. 2010) (temporal proximity between knowledge of protected activity and adverse action may alone support causality in employment-retaliation case when proximity is very close).
See Taylor v. Bailey, 494 Fed.Appx. 674, 675 (8th Cir. 2012). The Eighth Circuit reversed and remanded as to plaintiff's First Amendment retaliation claim against defendant Botkin.
After conducting discovery, defendant Botkin now moves for summary judgment on three grounds. First, she argues plaintiff failed to properly exhaust his administrative remedies. Second, she argues that the undisputed evidence establishes that she did not unlawfully retaliate against plaintiff. And finally, she argues that she is entitled to qualified immunity. Plaintiff also submitted a motion for summary judgment in which he argues that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law in regard to his retaliation claim, as well as his due process claims, which were previously dismissed.
II. Summary Judgment Standard
Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that summary judgment shall be entered "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court is required to view the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and must give that party the benefit of all reasonable inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts. Agristor Leasing v. Farrow, 826 F.2d 732, 734 (8th Cir. 1987). The moving party bears the initial burden of showing both the absence of a genuine issue of material fact and entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
Once the moving party has met its burden, the non-moving party may not rest on the allegations of his pleadings but must set forth specific facts, by affidavit or other evidence, showing that a genuine issue of material fact exists. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Anderson, 477 U.S. at 257; Heisler v. Metropolitan Council, 339 F.3d 622, 626 (8th Cir. 2003). Rule 56(c) "mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element ...