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King v. Lombardi

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

December 12, 2017

TONY RAY KING, Plaintiff,
v.
GEORGE LOMBARDI, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          CHARLES A. SHAW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on defendants Dave Dormire, Terry Russell, and Troy Steele's motion to dismiss, and defendant Dale Phillips's separate motion to dismiss, both of which are filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Plaintiff opposes the motions and filed response memoranda. The motions are fully briefed and ripe for review. For the following reasons, the Court will deny defendants' motions.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Tony Ray King is a prisoner residing at the Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center ("ERDCC") in Bonne Terre, Missouri. In his First Amended Complaint, plaintiff brings claims against Dave Dormire, the Director of Adult Institutions for Missouri Department of Corrections ("MDOC"); Dale Phillips, a Function Unit Manager at ERDCC, Terry Russell, warden of ERDCC until February or March 2015; Troy Steele, warden at ERDCC since February or March 2015; and Terry Taylor, a nurse for Corizon, LLC, who worked at ERDCC. All defendants are sued in their individual and official capacities. Plaintiff brings two counts in his First Amended Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983: (1) deprivation of due process rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, against defendants Dormire, Russell, and Steele (Count I); and (2) deprivation of constitutional right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment, against defendants Phillips and Taylor (Count II). For relief, plaintiff is asking for a declaration that defendants violated his Constitutional rights, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.

         Defendant Terry Taylor answered the First Amended Complaint. Defendants Dormire, Russell, and Steele responded by filing a motion to dismiss. In their motion to dismiss, these defendants argue that plaintiff fails to state a claim against them because he did not exhaust his administrative remedies. Defendant Phillips filed a separate motion to dismiss also on the grounds that plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as to the claim against him.

         II. Allegations

         Plaintiff alleges in his First Amended Complaint that he was held in administrative segregation at ERDCC for 923 consecutive days, from November 5, 2013, to May 16, 2016, the majority of which was in single cell confinement. During his time in administrative confinement, he alleges that he was deprived of privileges allowed to prisoners in the general population, such as attending religious services, contact visits, and telephone calls. He also alleges that he was denied adequate hygiene supplies. Plaintiff further alleges that there was no reason to hold him in administrative segregation because he only had one minor conduct violation in two and half years, and he was not given any meaningful opportunity to challenge his continued confinement in administrative segregation.

         According to the First Amended Complaint, on May 2, 2013, plaintiff was convicted of first degree murder for killing his son. On June 11, 2013, while awaiting sentencing for the conviction, plaintiff killed his cellmate in the Buchanan County Jail. Plaintiff alleges that when he first arrived at ERDCC on September 17, 2013, he was given an initial classification hearing and placed in the general population. According to the First Amended Complaint, he stayed in the general population until October 29, 2013, when he left to be sentenced for killing his cellmate in the Buchanan County Jail. Upon arriving back at ERDCC on November 5, 2013, he was placed in single cell administrative segregation. He alleges this assignment came from the warden's office. He remained in single cell administrative segregation for 785 days.

         Plaintiff alleges in his First Amended Complaint that he did attend administrative segregation review hearings, but despite being told by mental health staff that there was no reason he should be kept in administrative segregation, he continued to be held there. Plaintiff also alleges that he should not have been held in administrative segregation because he had only one minor conduct violation and no "unwaived enemies." Plaintiff further alleges that defendants Russell, Dormire, and later Steele approved of his placement in long-term segregation.

         On March 7, 2014, plaintiff submitted an IRR challenging his placement and continued stay in single-cell administrative segregation. A copy of the IRR is attached to the First Amended Complaint as Exhibit 5. Plaintiff explained in his IRR that as a result of his placement in administrative segregation, he had lost the benefits of a general population inmate. Plaintiff's IRR was denied. On March 25, 2014, plaintiff submitted an Offender Grievance that generally raised the same issues raised in his IRR, a copy of which is attached to the First Amended Complaint as Exhibit 6. Plaintiff complained that he had been assigned to single-cell administrative segregation, and that he did not have the same benefits as the general population. Plaintiff's March 25, 2014 Offender Grievance was denied on May 2, 2014. Plaintiff submitted an Offender Grievance Appeal on May 12, 2014, copy of which is attached to the First Amended Complaint as Exhibit 7. In his appeal, plaintiff requested that he be placed in general population or given additional privileges. Plaintiff noted that he had not received any conduct violations at ERDCC, and there had been no issues when he was in ERDCC general population from September 16, 2013, through October 28, 2013. Id. Plaintiff's appeal was denied on June 23, 2014.

         According to the First Amended Complaint, defendant Dormire issued an order on December 29, 2015, stating that plaintiff could be moved to a double cell, and after 120-180 days in double-cell administrative segregation, his case could be reviewed for a possible release to general population. On December 30, 2015, plaintiff was notified, after 785 days in single-cell administrative segregation, that he would be moved to a double cell in the administrative segregation unit. Plaintiff alleges that despite continuing to have good behavior, he was not released to the general population until May 16, 2016.

         While he was in administrative segregation, plaintiff alleges that defendants Phillips and Taylor failed to provided him with proper hygiene supplies and adequate medical care. He alleges that during his confinement he did not have adequate hygiene supplies and developed such dry skin that his hands became cracked and bloodied. He alleges that this created a serious medical situation because his cellmate was infected with Hepatitis C. He alleges that written requests to defendant Phillips for hygiene supplies to treat his skin condition were ignored. According to the First Amended Complaint, on January 20, 2016, plaintiff consulted with defendant Taylor about his hands and wrists, and the nurse informed him that the DOC does not treat dry skin.

         On February 4, 2016, plaintiff submitted an IRR regarding defendant Taylor's failure to treat his cracked and bloodied skin, and his inability to obtain creams or lotions while in administrative segregation. A copy of the IRR is attached as Exhibit 20 to plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. ERDCC denied plaintiff's IRR.

         After the denial of his IRR, plaintiff filed an Offender Grievance on April 2, 2016, in which he reiterated his complaint about defendant Taylor's failure to adequately treat his skin condition. Plaintiff also complained that a policy in administrative segregation prevented him from purchasing skin care products. A copy of the April 2 Offender Grievance is attached as Exhibit 21 to the First Amended Complaint. Plaintiff requested that he be allowed to purchase hygiene supplies, ...


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