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Phillips v. Hurley

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

August 18, 2016

ROY PHILLIPS, Plaintiff,
v.
JAMES HURLEY, et al., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The motion has been fully briefed and the matter is ripe for disposition. For the following reasons, the Court will grant the motion.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Roy Phillips, who was an inmate at the Northeast Correctional Center (“NECC”)[1], filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 against numerous Missouri Department of Corrections employees. This case has a complicated procedural history which, for the sake of brevity, is omitted in this memorandum. Remaining for disposition in this case are: Count I against defendants James Hurley, Tyree Butler, Kristin Cutt, and Larry Allen claims violations regarding plaintiff’s placement and continuation in administrative segregation; Count II against defendant James Hurley claims a failure to replace broken eyeglasses; and Count III against defendants James Hurley, Marsha Kiel, and Amber Grote claims interference with legal mail.

         II. Legal Standard

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), a district court may grant a motion for summary judgment if all of the information before the court demonstrates that “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The burden is on the moving party. City of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa v. Associated Elec. Co-op. Inc., 838 F.2d 268, 273 (8th Cir.1988). After the moving party discharges this burden, the nonmoving party must do more than show that there is some doubt as to the facts. Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Instead, the nonmoving party bears the burden of setting forth affirmative evidence and specific facts by affidavit and other evidence showing that there is a genuine dispute of a material fact. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must review the facts in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion and give that party the benefit of any inferences that logically can be drawn from those facts. Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587; Woods v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 409 F.3d 984, 990 (8th Cir. 2005). “Where parties file cross-motions for summary judgment, each summary judgment motion must be evaluated independently to determine whether a genuine issue of material fact exists and whether the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Allen v. Missouri, 4:11CV2224 JAR, 2013 WL 2156259, at *3 (E.D. Mo. May 17, 2013) (citing Husinga v. Federal-Mogul Ignition Co., 519 F.Supp.2d 929, 942 (S.D. Iowa 2007)).

         III. The Parties’ Statements of Fact

         The Court has reviewed the statements, the responses, and the supporting documentation, and, where appropriate, will accept facts as supported by appropriate admissible evidence. In accordance with Local Rule 4.01 (E), all matters set forth in the movants’ statement of facts are deemed admitted unless specifically controverted by the opposing party. Unless otherwise indicated, the facts set forth below are undisputed.

         Plaintiff goes to great lengths to dispute the defendants’ statement of facts and argue that those facts are irrelevant. Plaintiff relies primarily on his own deposition testimony and affidavit to dispute defendants’ facts. Although there are a multitude of disputed facts, the material facts necessary to make the determination on the claims alleged are undisputed and/or are deemed admitted because they are not specifically controverted.

         Facts for each of the remaining counts will be discussed below.

         IV. Discussion

         Defendants seek summary judgment on each of the remaining counts.

         A. Count I: placement and continuation in administrative segregation

         Plaintiff has been incarcerated at Farmington Correctional Center (FCC) in Farmington, Missouri, and at Northeast Correctional Center (NECC) in Bowling Green, Missouri. Plaintiff transferred from FCC to NECC on June 5, 2012. Defendant Hurley was the Warden of NECC, defendant Butler was a Functional Unit Manager (FUM), defendant Cutt was a Corrections Case Manager II (CCM II), and defendant Allen was a Corrections Officer III (CO III). At the time of the alleged incidents, defendant Butler was assigned to the administrative segregation unit and served as the head of the administrative segregation committee. Defendant Cutt was, at times, assigned to the administrative segregation unit and served on the administrative segregation committee. ...


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