United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
LAWRENCE M. EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
TOM VILLMER, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the court on Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 182). This matter is fully briefed
and ready for disposition.
Lawrence M. Edwards ("Edwards") is an offender in
the Missouri Department of Corrections ("MDOC") and
is currently incarcerated at the Eastern Reception Diagnostic
Correctional Center ("ERDCC"). (DSUMF, ¶l). At
all times related to Edwards' Complaint, he was
incarcerated at the Farmington Correctional Center
("FCC"). (DSUMF, ¶2). Defendant Wendy Dashner
is employed by MDOC as a Functional Unit Manager
("FUM") at FCC. (DSUMF, ¶3), Defendant James
Ford was employed by MDOC as a Corrections Officer II
C'COII"), or Sergeant, at FCC. (DSUMF, ¶4).
seeks declaratory relief and compensatory damages in the
amount of no less than $150, 000.00 against the Defendants.
(DSUMF, ¶6). Most of the claims in the amended complaint
were previously dismissed by this Court. Defendants Dashner
and Ford are the only remaining Defendants. (DSUMF, ¶7).
received several telephone calls from the mother of an
offender where she expressed concerns for the offender's
safety. (DSUMF, ¶8). The mother stated that the calls
were made by a different offender. (DSUMF, ¶8). Dasher
investigated the source of the telephone calls and determined
that they were made by Edwards. (DSUMF, ¶9). Dashner
issued a conduct violation to Edwards. (DSUMF, ¶IO).
Dashner reported that Edwards was in violation of Rule 12.1.
(DSUMF, ¶ll). Edwards was interviewed the same day and
made the following statement: "I wrote to Warden Villmer
because [the offender] was being threatened." (DSUMF,
¶12). On November 5, 2014, Edwards had a hearing before
the Disciplinary Healing Officer ("DHO") after an
investigation into the telephone calls. (DSUMF, ¶13).
The Disciplinary Action Report shows that witnesses were
called and considered, and Edwards prepared a written
statement. (DSUMF, ¶14). Based upon the evidence and
witness testimony, the DHO found Edwards guilty, but amended
the violation from a Rule 12.1 violtion to a Rule 38.3
violation for using another offender's PIN. (DSUMF,
¶15) DHO Charles Buford and Edwards both signed the
Disciplinary Action Report, and the Assistant Warden approved
the recommended action. (DSUMF, ¶16).
October 30, 2014, Edwards filed an Informal Resolution
Request ("IRR"), complaining that Dashner and
another officer were harassing him and retaliating against
him due to filing IRRs against Dashner. (DSUMF, ¶17).
Dashner responded that she was not aware that Edwards had
filed any previous IRRs. (DSUMF, ¶l 8). Edwards'IRR
was denied. (DSUMF, ¶19). On November 24, 2014, Edwards
filed a grievance because the DHO had amended the violation
from a Rule 12.1 violation to a Rule 38.3 violation and
asserted that the accusations against him were false. (DSUMF,
¶20). The Warden denied the grievance stating, "The
amending of a violation does not prove the accusation was
false. You have failed to provide any additional
information/evidence to support your claism FUM Dashner
violated your Due Process Rights." (DSUMF, ¶21). On
December 5, 2014, Edwards filed a Grievance Appeal, stating
that he had an affidavit from the other offender's mother
that Dasher had lied. (DSUMF, ¶22). The Deputy Division
Director of the Division of Adult Institutions, Dwayne
Kemper, denied the Grievance Appeal and informed Edwards that
the violation would remain a part of his institutional
record. (DSUMF, ¶23).
September 2014, MDOC replaced the Prison Rape Elimination Act
("PREA") Assessment with the Adult Internal Risk
Assessment ("AIRA"). (DSUMF, ¶24). On October
27, 2014, Edwards was reassessed by Correctional Manager II
Baxley and his score was determined to be Alpha. (DSUMF,
¶25). All case managers were instructed to perform new
classification assessments on offenders using AIRA. (DSUMF,
¶26). Dashner did not direct anyone to reevaluate
Edwards. (DSUMF, ¶27). On November 12, 2014, Edwards
filed an IRR against Dashner, wherein he accused her of
retaliating against him because the previous conduct
violation ("CDV") was dropped for inaccurate
information. (DSUMF, ¶28). The IRR response found that
Edwards received due process on his CDV and was found guilty
of violating Rule 38.3 and denied the IRR. (DSUMF, ¶29).
On December 3, 2014, Edwards filed an Offender Grievance
stating that Dashner had issued the previous CDV because
"[s]he is white and I am black, which poses-cultural
distances/differences, separate realities, visible/invisible
barricades that places white and blacks on the opposite sides
of the racial spectrum." (DSUMF, ¶30). On December
24, 2014, the Warden responded that Edwards did not present
any substantial evidence that would warrant changes to the
CDV. The Warden's response noted that Edwards had been
hostile and rude to Dashner. (DSUMF, ¶31). On January 5,
2015, Edwards filed an offender Grievance Appeal, (DSUMF,
¶32). On February 6, 2015, Deputy Division Director
Kempker denied the Grievance Appeal. (DSUMF, ¶33).
December 11, 2014, Edwards' cell was searched by
Corrections Officer I Goodson, who removed a blanket and a
ball cap. (DSUMF, ¶34). On December 15, 2014, Edwards
filed an IRR alleging harassment and retaliation by Ford and
Dashner based on the removal of the ball cap. (DSUMF,
¶35). Correctional Officer I Goodson issued a CDV for
violating Rule 24.1 for being in possession of a blue ball
cap that was not on Edwards' property list. After an
investigation, the CDV was dismissed and the ball cap was
returned to Edwards. (DSUMF, ¶36). The IRR response did
not address Edwards' allegations of retaliation. (DSUMF,
¶37). Edwards did not mention the retaliation in his
Offender Grievance. (DSUMF, ¶38). Edwards did not file a
Grievance Appeal. (DSUMF, ¶39). Ford issued a CDV to
Edwards on December 18, 2014 for failing to report his
appointment with the Grievance Officer. (DSUMF, ¶40).
The CDV was sustained, but the DHO, Julie Smith, amended it
to a violation of Rule 41.1 (institutional rules). (DSUMF,
¶41). On December 18, 2014, Edwards filed an IRR against
Ford for depriving him of his Federal and State
constitutional rights by being denied access to the courts.
(DSUMF, ¶42). Edwards' IRR was denied and he was
reminded that each IRR is limited to one grievable issue.
(DSUMF, ¶43). On January 29, 2015, Edwards filed an
Offender Grievance that requested a review of Edwards'
complaint against Ford. The Warden responded to Edwards'
Grievance as follows:
Information received concerning the above subject indicates
the following: A review of the documentation indicates you
are now assigned to HU#9 and assigned as a dorm worker. As to
your complaint that COII Ford has deprived you of your right
to access to the courts, I find no evidence to support this
claim. You do not have a current Medical Lay-In that would
prevent you from working in Food Service. You have failed to
provide any evidence that HU#6 staff has violated your rights
or acted unprofessionally.
(DSUMF, ¶45). On March 19, 2015, Edwards filed a
Grievance Appeal. (DSUMF, ¶46). Edwards stated that he
had a medical lay-in that specified janitorial services
restrictions, (DSUMF, ¶47). Edwards did not present any
evidence of any wrongdoing by Ford, and Edwards'
Grievance Appeal was denied. (DSUMF, ¶48). On January
14, 2015, Corrections Officer Terry Snow issued a CDV to
Edwards for being in possession of contraband, a violation of
Rule 24.6. (DSUMF, ¶49). Ford was the interviewing
officer that attempted to resolve the IRR. (DSUMF, ¶50).
Edwards was found guilty of the conduct violation. (DSUMF,
¶51). On January 20, 2015, Edwards filed an IRR against
Ford, Corrections Officer I Snow and Corrections Officers
Dunn. (DSUMF, ¶52). In response to the IRR, it was noted
that Ford had not ordered that the CDV be issued. The IRR was
denied because there was no evidence to indicate that Ford
ordered the staff to issue violations to Edwards. (DSUMF,
¶53). On March 10, 2015, Edwards filed his Offender
Grievance related to his January 20, 2015 IRR. (DSUMF,
¶54). The Warden responded to the Offender Grievance and
found Edwards was not targeted or harassed. Rather, Edwards
was placed in Housing Unit 5 (administrative segregation)
because of Edwards' own actions. Edwards' grievance
was denied. (DSUMF, ¶55). On April 20, 2015, Edwards
filed a grievance appeal that was denied for the reasons
previously stated. (DSUMF, 156).
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT