United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court on Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 35). This matter is fully briefed
and ready for disposition.
Demetrius Taylor, #368339 ("Taylor" or
"Plaintiff), has been incarcerated as an inmate at the
Potosi Correctional Center ("PCC"), a Missouri
State prison located in Mineral Point, Missouri.
(Defendants' Statement of Uncontroverted Material Facts
("DSUMF"), ECF No. 36, ¶l). On November 5,
2015, Taylor stated to staff that he was in fear of his life
from Inmate Corey Rogers, Inmate Number 522621 (hereinafter
"Inmate Rogers"). See Temporary
Administrative Segregation Confinement order, ECF No. 41-1.
On November 12, 2015, Officer Jenkins was instructed to move
Taylor out of a single-man cell in the B-Wing of the prison
housing unit into another prison cell in the C-Wing of the
housing unit. (DSUMF, ¶¶2-3). Taylor objected to
moving out of his single cell because he wanted protection
from other inmates. (DSUMF, ¶4). Officer Jenkins learned
that Taylor would be cellmates with Inmate Rogers before
Officer Jenkins took Taylor into Cell No. 2-C-25. (DSUMF,
¶5). Taylor waited on the restraint bench in the B-Wing
of the housing until while Officer Jenkins checked with the
prison "bed broker" to determine whether Inmate
Rogers had been identified as one of Taylor's
"enemies" on his "Enemies List," or
whether any other reason existed that Taylor should not be
placed in a cell with Inmate Rogers. (DSUMF, ¶6). Inmate
Rogers was not one of the forty-five (45) inmates Taylor
declared as his "enemy" as of November 12, 2015.
(DSUMF, ¶7). The prison "bed broker"
confirmed that Taylor could be placed in a cell with Inmate
Rogers. (DSUMF, ¶8). Officer Jenkins informed Taylor and
Defendant Shane Pashia that Inmate Rogers was not on
Plaintiffs enemies list and the two inmates could be in the
same cell. (DSUMF, ¶9). Officer Jenkins escorted Taylor
from the B-Wing to the C-Wing and placed Taylor into Cell No.
2-C-25 with Inmate Rogers. (DSUMF, ¶10). Officer Jenkins
was never informed of any fight or conflict between Taylor
and Inmate Corey Rogers prior to placing them together in
Cell No. 2-C-25. (DSUMF, ¶ll). Taylor admitted that he
did not submit to Officers Jenkins or Pashia the documents
necessary for designating Inmate Rogers as an enemy prior to
November 12, 2015 (DSUMF, ¶12), but Taylor claims he
told Defendants his documents were with his personal legal
papers (ECF No. 39 at 3, ¶12; ECF No. 41 at
duress button inside Cell No. 2-C-25 was pressed one hour
after Taylor was placed with Inmate Rogers. (DSUMF,
¶13)- Officer Jenkins and other prison guards
immediately responded. (DSUMF, ¶13). When he arrived at
Cell No. 2-C-25, Officer Jenkins found Taylor and Inmate
Rogers grappling with each other. (DSUMF, ¶14). The two
inmates were separated by officers and taken to the medical
unit for examination by prison nursing staff. (DSUMF,
¶15). Taylor walked without assistance and had no
injuries, other than some scrapes, scratches, and back pain.
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Standard of Review
Court may grant a motion for summary judgment if "the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law." Fed. R Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v.
Citrate, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Torgerson v. City
of Rochester, 643 F.3d 1031, 1042 (8th Cir. 2011). The
substantive law determines which facts are critical and which
are irrelevant. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Only disputes over facts that might
affect the outcome will properly preclude summary judgment.
Id. Summary judgment is not proper if the evidence
is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party. Id.
moving party always bears the burden of informing the Court
of the basis of its motion. Celotex Corp., Ml U.S.
at 323. Once the moving party discharges this burden, the
nonmoving party must set forth specific facts demonstrating
that there is a dispute as to a genuine issue of material
fact, not the "mere existence of some alleged factual
dispute." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Anderson, Ml U.S.
at 248. The nonmoving party may not rest upon mere
allegations or denials of his pleading. Id.
passing on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must view
the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party,
and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.
Celotex Corp., Ml U.S. at 331. The Court's
function is not to weigh the evidence but to determine
whether there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson,
Ml U.S. at 249. '"Credibility determinations,
the weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate
inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a
judge.'" Torgerson, 643 F.3d at 1042
(quoting Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc.,
530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000)).
prison official violates the eighth amendment if he or she
"acts with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk
of harm to the prisoner." Perkins v. Grimes,
161 F.3d 1127, 1130 (8th Cir.1998) (citing Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d
811 (1994)). "To show deliberate indifference, the
prisoner ... must prove both that the official's acts
caused a sufficiently serious deprivation and that the
official had a subjectively culpable state of mind."
Perkins, 161 F.3d at 1130. "With respect to the
latter requirement, the prisoner ... must prove that the
official was aware of facts from which the inference could be
drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm existed and
that the official drew that inference." Id.
This subjective state of mind must be present before a
plaintiff can be successful because '"only the
unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain implicates the
Eighth Amendment."' Jensen v. Clarke, 73
F.3d 808, 810 (8th Cir.1996) (quoting Wilson v.
Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 297, 111 S.Ct. 2321, 115 L.Ed.2d
271 (1991) (internal quotation marks, emphasis, and citations
omitted in Jensen)); Blades v. Schuetzle, 302 F.3d
801, 803 (8th Cir. 2002). The Court holds that no genuine
issues of material facts exist regarding whether Defendants
Jenkins or Pashia knew of any substantial risk that Taylor
and Inmate Rogers would engage in violence and grants summary
judgment in favor of Defendants.
support of his position, Taylor has come forward with his
Temporary Administrative Segregation Confinement Form, dated
November 5, 2015, which reported Taylor was placed in
"PC [protective custody] status after stating to staff
he was in fear for his life from Rogers, Cory [sic]
#522621." (ECF No. 41-1). Likewise, Defendant Jenkins
states in a State of Missouri Department of Corrections
Potosi Correctional Center Memorandum, dated December 14,
2015, that, on November 12, 2015, "Offender Taylor,
Demetrius #368339 was assigned to cell 2-C-25 by the bed
broker, offender advised he could not cell in that cell due
to an enemy." (hereinafter referred to as "12/14/15
Memorandum"; ECF No. 36-3). Thus, the Court is ...