United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an inmate in custody of the Missouri Department of
Corrections (“MDOC”), brought the instant action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendant
correctional officers alleging excessive force was used
against him while incarcerated at Eastern Reception,
Diagnostic, and Correctional Center (“ERDCC”).
Defendants have moved for summary judgment (#51) on May 16,
2016. Although plaintiff has not responded to the motion, the
time for doing so has long passed.
Shawn Owens, Jermiah Richardson, and David Shipley were at
all relevant times correctional officers at ERDCC. On October
25, 2012, plaintiff, who was then an inmate at ERDCC, was
being loud and disruptive during recreation time. Defendant
Owens told him to lower his voice and return to his cell.
Plaintiff continued his loud and disruptive behavior in his
cell. Owens ordered him to cease his loud and disruptive
behavior. Plaintiff continued that behavior, however, and
Owens gave him a final warning, at which time plaintiff
assumed an “aggressive stance.” Owens ordered
plaintiff to submit to wrist restraints. Plaintiff refused
and then struck Owens in the face with a closed fist.
Plaintiff struck Owens a second time. In response to the
attack by plaintiff, defendants Owens, defendant Richardson,
and nonparty Correctional Officer Tessa McEntire wrestled
plaintiff to the ground in an attempt to prevent further
assaults and to gain control over the offender. McEntire and
nonparty Correctional Officer Christel Duncan sprayed pepper
spray at plaintiff's face; Duncan then exited the cell to
place a 10-5 call (i.e., officer in need of assistance) over
the radio. More correctional officers arrived in response to
the call, including defendant Shipley. They were able to gain
control of plaintiff and put wrist restraints on him. At that
point, defendants were able to see facial injuries plaintiff
sustained during the struggle. Defendant Owens and McEntire
assisted plaintiff to his feet and escorted him to
administrative segregation. At some point during that escort,
another nonparty officer took defendant Owens's place,
ending Owens's involvement in the incident.
the escorted walk to administrative segregation, plaintiff
continued to resist and struggle, resulting in the officers
placing plaintiff on the ground again in order to regain
control. In response to the plaintiff's attempt to spit
blood on officers during the escort, defendant Shipley struck
the plaintiff in the face one time. Plaintiff was assessed by
a nurse in administrative segregation and taken to the
was criminally charged with battery against a correctional
officer and sentenced for his attack on defendant Owens.
filed his complaint on September 18, 2014, claiming his
constitutional rights were violated when the defendants used
excessive force against him.
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), 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 material fact and the moving party
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Poller
v. Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc., 368 U.S. 464, 467
(1962). The burden is on the moving party. City of Mt.
Pleasant, Iowa v. Assoc. 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
the nonmoving party bears the burden of setting forth
specific facts showing that there is sufficient evidence in
its favor to allow a jury to return a verdict for it.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 249 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 324 (1986).
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.
Buller v. Buechler, 706 F.2d 844, 846 (8th Cir.
1983). The court is required to resolve all conflicts of
evidence in favor of the nonmoving party. Robert Johnson
Grain Co. v. Chem. Interchange Co., 541 F.2d 207, 210
(8th Cir. 1976). With these principles in mind, the Court
turns to the discussion.
initial matter, the Court notes that plaintiff did not
respond to the motion or to defendants' statement of
undisputed facts. Therefore, the Court must deem all of the
defendants' facts admitted because plaintiff did not
specifically admit or deny defendants' facts.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Local Rule 7-4.01(E); Lujan v.
Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992);
Hernandez v. Jarman, 340 F.3d 617, 622 (8th Cir.
claim is that his right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment under the Eighth Amendment was violated by the
defendants' acts on October 25, 2012. The “Eighth
Amendment bars correctional officers from imposing
unnecessary and wanton pain on inmates.” Johnson v.
Blaukat, 453 F.3d 1108, 1112 (8th Cir. 2006) (citing
Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 9 (1992)).
“Officers may reasonably use force in a good-faith
effort to maintain or restore discipline but may not apply
force maliciously and ...