United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CHARLES A. SHAW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a motion for summary judgment
filed by defendants Jason Davis, Cindy Griffith, and Alan
Earls (collectively “defendants”). Pro se
plaintiff Andew Arman, a Missouri prisoner, brings this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment rights by use of excessive
force and his First Amendment rights by moving him into a
different housing unit in retaliation for filing grievances.
Plaintiff opposes the motion for summary judgment and it is
fully briefed. For the following reasons, the motion for
summary judgment will be granted as to all defendants.
January of 2017, plaintiff was incarcerated at the Potosi
Correctional Center (“PCC”) in Potosi, Missouri.
Plaintiff filed this action on September 1, 2017 pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging numerous violations of his
civil rights stemming from an altercation between himself and
PCC corrections officers on January 16, 2017. (Doc. 1).
Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on October 16, 2017.
(Doc. 10). Named as defendants in the amended
complaint are Jason Davis (corrections offer), Cindy Griffith
(warden), and Alan Earls (deputy division director of adult
review of plaintiff's amended complaint, this Court
dismissed plaintiff's due process, deliberate
indifference, failure to protect, supervisory liability, and
equal protection claims for failure to state a claim. (Docs.
13, 14). As a result, only two claims remain: (1) use of
excessive force by Jason Davis; and (2) retaliation by Cindy
Griffith and Alan Earls.
plaintiff alleges that while he was confined to a restraint
chair and situated in a “submissive and non-threatening
posture, ” Davis punched him in the face with a closed
fist. (Doc. 10 at 5). Regarding Griffith and Earls, plaintiff
claims that after he filed grievances and complaints
regarding his alleged assault by Davis, Griffith and Earls
transferred plaintiff to another housing unit “in an
attempt to silence and hinder” him. (Id. at
6). Plaintiff sues the defendants in their individual
have filed a motion for summary judgment on the remaining two
claims. In addition to seeking summary judgment on the
merits, defendants also assert they are protected as
government officials by the doctrine of qualified immunity.
Summary Judgment Standard
standards applicable to summary judgment motions are well
settled. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), a
court may grant a motion for summary judgment if all of the
information before the court shows “there is no genuine
issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” See Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
initial burden is placed on the moving party. City of Mt.
Pleasant, Iowa v. Associated Elec. Co-op., Inc., 838
F.2d 268, 273 (8th Cir. 1988) (the moving party has the
burden of clearly establishing the non-existence of any
genuine issue of fact that is material to a judgment in its
favor). Once this burden is discharged, if the record shows
that no genuine dispute exists, the burden then shifts to the
non-moving party who must set forth affirmative evidence and
specific facts showing there is a genuine dispute on a
material factual issue. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986).
the burden shifts, the non-moving party may not rest on the
allegations in his pleadings, but by affidavit and other
evidence must set forth specific facts showing that a genuine
issue of material fact exists. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e);
Herring v. Canada Life Assur. Co., 207 F.3d 1026,
1029 (8th Cir. 2000); Allen v. Entergy Corp., 181
F.3d 902, 904 (8th Cir. 2000). The non-moving party
“must do more than simply show that there is some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). A dispute about a
material fact is “genuine” only “if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Herring, 207
F.3d at 1029 (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). A
party resisting summary judgment has the burden to designate
the specific facts that create a triable question of fact.
See Crossley v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 355 F.3d
1112, 1114 (8th Cir. 2004). Self-serving, conclusory
statements without support are not sufficient to defeat
summary judgment. See Conolly v. Clark, 457 F.3d
872, 876 (8th Cir. 2006).
this standard in mind, the Court accepts the facts below as
true for purposes of resolving this motion for summary