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Terry v. Clark

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

July 10, 2017

EDWARDS TERRY, Plaintiff,
v.
PAMELA CLARK, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          E. RICHARD WEBBER, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 60] and Plaintiff Edwards Terry's Motion for Subpoenas [ECF No. 46].

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Edwards Terry (“Plaintiff”) filed a complaint in this Court on March 14, 2016. On April 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint alleging Defendants Pamela Clark, Darrick Honeywood, Luzella King, Timothy Mann and Russell Roberts (“Defendants”) violated the Fourteenth and Eighth Amendments of the United States Constitution by not placing him in protective custody to prevent an assault by another inmate. Defendants filed their Motion for Summary Judgment asserting Plaintiff cannot establish Defendants were aware of facts from which they could infer the existence of a substantial risk of serious harm to Plaintiff, Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity, and Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Plaintiff did not file a response to Defendants' Motion. The uncontroverted facts are as follows.

         A. Uncontroverted Facts

         Plaintiff was a pre-trial detainee at the Medium Security Institution (“MSI”) in St. Louis Missouri, from December 8, 2015, to May 16, 2016, and from May 19, 2016, to August 25, 2016, when he was transferred to Jefferson County then returned on October 14, 2016.[1]Defendants are employees at MSI. From January 13, 2016, to January 22, 2016, Plaintiff resided in Dorm 1.

         On January 14, 2016, Defendant King called in reporting too sick to work. On January 15, 2016, Defendant Roberts worked from 2:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in Pod 3. He would not have had any interaction with inmates in Dorm 1. On January 17, 2016, Defendant Mann worked from 2:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. On January 19, 2017, Defendant Honeywood was assigned to Pod 4, where he would not have had any interaction with inmates in Dorm 1. On January 20, 2016, Defendant Clark was not at work.

         Prior to January 21, 2016, Plaintiff did not tell Defendants another inmate, Clemmins, threatened him. Defendants were never aware of any threat made by inmate Clemmins to Plaintiff. On January 21, 2016, Plaintiff was assaulted by a fellow inmate. Plaintiff admits he does not know whether Defendants actually inferred a substantial risk of serious harm to him based on his alleged statements to Defendants.

         On or about August 19, 2016, Constituency Services Unit (“CSU”) officer Netsanet Newete received a complaint from Plaintiff. In the complaint, Plaintiff complained the Superintendant of MSI improperly took an extra mattress prescribed to him by a doctor as a result of the assault on January 21, 2016. The CSU officer voided the complaint because Plaintiff was transferred to Jefferson County, making the complaint moot. The Division of Corrections has no record of any other complaints, informal resolution requests, or grievances from Plaintiff mentioning an assault on January 21, 2016.

         II. STANDARD

         A court shall grant a motion for summary judgment only if the moving party shows “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). By definition, material facts “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law, ” and a genuine dispute of material fact is one “such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). If the non-moving party has failed to “make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, . . . there can be ‘no genuine issue as to any material fact, ' since a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the non-moving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-23.

         The moving party bears the initial burden of proof in establishing “the non-existence of any genuine issue of fact that is material to a judgment in his favor.” City of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa v. Associated Elec. Co-op., Inc., 838 F.2d 268, 273 (8th Cir. 1988). If the moving party meets this initial burden, the non-moving party must then set forth affirmative evidence and specific facts demonstrating a genuine dispute on the specific issue. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250. When the burden shifts, the non-moving party may not rest on the allegations in its pleadings, but, by affidavit and other evidence, must set forth specific facts showing a genuine dispute of material fact exists. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1); Stone Motor Co. v. Gen. Motors Corp., 293 F.3d 456, 465 (8th Cir. 2002). The non-moving party must demonstrate sufficient favorable evidence that could enable a jury to return a verdict for it. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. “If the non-moving party fails to produce such evidence, summary judgment is proper.” Olson v. Pennzoil Co., 943 F.2d 881, 883 (8th Cir. 1991).

         In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court may not “weigh the evidence in the summary judgment record, decide credibility questions, or determine the truth of any factual issue.” Kampouris v. St. Louis Symphony Soc., 210 F.3d 845, 847 (8th Cir. 2000). The Court instead “perform[s] only a gatekeeper function of determining whether there is evidence in the summary judgment record generating a genuine issue of material fact for trial on each essential element of a claim.” Id. The Court must view the facts and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Reed v. City of St. Charles, 561 F.3d 788, 790 (8th Cir. 2009).

         III. ...


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