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 defendants Dave Dormire, Terry
Russell, Troy Steele, and Dale Phillips's motion for
summary judgment. Also before the Court is defendant Terry
Taylor's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff filed
memoranda opposing the motions, to which defendants replied.
The motions are fully briefed and ripe for review. For the
following reasons, the Court grants defendants' motions
for summary judgment.
Tony Ray King is a prisoner residing at the Eastern Reception
Diagnostic and Correctional Center (“ERDCC”) in
Bonne Terre, Missouri. Plaintiff murdered his young son, and
while awaiting sentencing, he murdered his cellmate. In his
First Amended Complaint, plaintiff brings claims against Dave
Dormire, the Director of Adult Institutions for the Missouri
Department of Corrections (“MDOC”); Dale
Phillips, a Functional 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
alleges 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, from November 5, 2013 until
December 30, 2015, he 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,
recreational opportunities, canteen access, contact visits,
and he was allowed only one fifteen-minute phone call per
month. Plaintiff also alleges that he was denied adequate
hygiene supplies and medical supplies for his dry, cracked,
and bleeding skin and for a ringworm rash. He further alleges
that he experienced a worsening of his anxiety disorder as a
result of being held in prolonged administrative segregation.
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 the constitutional right to be free of cruel
and unusual punishment, against defendants Phillips and
Taylor (Count II). For relief, plaintiff seeks a declaration
that defendants violated his constitutional rights,
compensatory damages, and punitive damages.
response to the First Amended Complaint, defendants Dormire,
Russell, Steele, and Phillips filed motions to dismiss, which
were denied. After conducting discovery, defendants Dormire,
Russell, Steele, and Phillips now move for summary judgment
on two grounds. Defendants Dormire, Russell, and Steele argue
that in light of the fact plaintiff murdered his cellmate, it
was reasonable and lawful to house him in single-cell
administrative segregation. They argue he received
constitutional due process during his assignment in
administrative segregation. Defendant Phillips argues the
deprivation of skin lotion does not amount to
constitutionally prohibited cruel and unusual punishment.
Defendants Dormire, Russell, Steele and Phillips also argue
that they are entitled to qualified immunity. Defendant
Taylor also moves for summary judgment arguing that
plaintiff's dry skin was not a serious medical condition.
Defendant Taylor further argues that he did not disregard any
medical condition, and to the extent he delayed in treating
plaintiff's ringworm, it had no detrimental
Summary Judgment Standard
56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
summary judgment shall be entered “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 a judgment as a matter of
law.” In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the
Court is required to view the facts in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party and must give that party
the benefit of all reasonable inferences to be drawn from the
underlying facts. AgriStor Leasing v. Farrow, 826
F.2d 732, 734 (8th Cir. 1987). The moving party bears the
initial burden of showing both the absence of a genuine issue
of material fact and entitlement to judgment as a matter of
law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
250 (1986); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
the moving party has met its burden, the non-moving party may
not rest on the allegations of his pleadings but must set
forth specific facts, by affidavit or other evidence, showing
that a genuine issue of material fact exists. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(e); Anderson, 477 U.S. at 257; Heisler v.
Metropolitan Council, 339 F.3d 622, 626 (8th Cir. 2003).
Rule 56(c) “mandates the entry of summary judgment,
after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a
party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's case,
and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at
trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322 (1986).
reviewing the record, and with the summary judgment standard
in mind, the Court accepts the following facts as true for
purposes of resolving defendants' motions for summary
2, 2013, plaintiff was convicted of murdering his
seven-year-old son by manual strangulation. While awaiting
sentencing for the murder of his son, plaintiff was confined
with another cell-mate in the Buchanan County Jail. On June
11, 2013, while confined in the Buchanan County Jail,
plaintiff murdered his cellmate, also by manual
September 17, 2013, plaintiff was transferred to ERDCC. On an
initial classification form dated the same day, it was noted
the ERDCC Classification Committee recommended that plaintiff
was to be assigned to the general population at ERDCC - a
recommendation that was approved. Doc. 64, Ex. 9 at 1.
entered a guilty plea for the murder of his cellmate on
September 26, 2013. He was transferred back to Buchanan
County sometime thereafter for sentencing. Upon his return to
ERDCC on November 4, 2013, plaintiff was placed in
single-cell administrative segregation “pending review
by mental health staff.” Doc. 62, Ex. D. It was noted
on a Temporary Administration Segregation Confinement Form
dated November 4, 2013, that plaintiff was “an
immediate security risk” and, therefore, “[t]here
is an urgent need to separate the offender from others for
his/her own safety or that of others” and “[f]or
the security and good order of the institution.”
November 6, 2013, a prison psychiatrist, Dr. Anna Irving,
M.D., conducted an examination of plaintiff and determined
that he was not, at that time, mentally disabled or hostile.
On November 13, 2013, following a hearing at which plaintiff
was present, the Classification Committee at ERDCC
recommended that plaintiff remain in single-cell confinement
in the prison's administrative segregation unit,
“pending review by mental health staff - special
security concerns.” Doc. 62, Ex. H. Plaintiff refused
to sign the Classification Hearing Form. Doc. 64, Ex. 9 at 2.
an inmate in administrative segregation, plaintiff was
monitored by the mental health staff at ERDCC at least every
ninety (90) days. On November 25, 2013, plaintiff was
assessed by Diane Kearns, LPC, the Institutional Chief of
Mental Health Services. In an email dated November 25, 2013, to
defendant Russell, and a number of others, Ms. Kearns wrote
that “the mental health treatment team recommends that
Offender King remained [sic] single cell, based on his
history of violent behaviors, to ensure safety and security
at ERDCC.” Doc. 62, Ex. I. Ms. Kearns wrote,
“Although Offender King currently presents as stable,
he has a history of impulsive behavior and mood swings. In
addition, he has reportedly made statements to staff since
his arrival at this facility that he has killed more than
once and that he is not finished killing
next classification hearing was held on December 11, 2013, at
which plaintiff was present. On the Classification Hearing
Form dated the same day, it was written that plaintiff was
“currently being reviewed for long term single man cell
placement at request of mental health staff.” Doc. 61,
Ex. 9 at 3.
January 21, 2014, Dwayne Kempker, the Deputy Division
Director for the Missouri Division of Adult Institutions,
approved long-term single-cell status for plaintiff. Mr.
Kempker wrote in an email to Chrystal Schmitz, Central
Transfer Authority Manager for MDOC, “Per the Buchanan
County event, I do approve a single cell status until further
notice. He was charged with murdering his cellmate there. . .
. I do order his single cell status. He may remain at ERDCC
unless other necessitating factors arise.” Doc. 62, Ex.
March 5, 2014, the ERDCC Classification Committee held a
90-day classification review hearing, at which plaintiff was
present. Plaintiff declined to make a statement at the
hearing. The Classification Hearing Form for the March 5,
2014 hearing includes a notation that plaintiff was in
“single cell status approved - long term, continuously
reviewed by mental health staff.” Doc. 64, Ex. 9 at 4.
March 7, 2014, plaintiff submitted an Informal Resolution
Request (“IRR”) challenging his assignment to
administrative segregation. On March 27, 2014, the staff at
ERDCC denied the IRR and informed plaintiff as follows:
“Your mandated single cell assignment is for safety and
security concerns and was approved by a Deputy Director of
Adult Institutions of the Department of Corrections. This
decision will be re-evaluated occasionally. A recommendation
will be made and submitted at the time of review.” Doc.
62, Ex. M.
27, 2014, the Classification Committee at ERDCC held a 90-day
classification review hearing, a which plaintiff was present.
Doc. 64, Ex. 9 at 5. Plaintiff declined to make a statement.
The Classification Hearing Form dated that day noted that
plaintiff should continue to remain in single-cell status and
be monitored by mental health staff. Id.
his IRR was denied, plaintiff submitted an Offender Grievance
on March 25, 2014, and a Grievance Appeal on May 12, 2014,
both of which were denied. On June 5, 2014, Alan Butterworth,
Functional Unit Manager at ERDCC, wrote to a letter to
plaintiff in response to correspondence plaintiff sent to
defendant Russell. Mr. Butterworth wrote: “You have
been assigned to single cell status at the approval of the
Deputy Division Director, with a review date in approx. one
year. This recommendation is based on the totality of your
circumstances, as well as evaluations from medical, mental
health, and classification staff.” Doc. 62, Ex. O.
23, 2014, Dwayne Kempker, Deputy Division Director, wrote an
appeal response in which he informed plaintiff:
Your single cell status was initiated due to your murder of
your cellmate at Buchanan County Jail. Even though the event
in question occurred outside of the Department, it is the
responsibility of the Department to ensure the safety of the
offenders housed within, which includes separating those
offenders who can be considered a potential risk to other
offenders. Your single cell status will be periodically
reevaluated, to determine if it needs to be continued.
Doc. 62, Ex. P. Mr. Kempker denied plaintiff's request
that he be placed in the general population.
next classification review hearing was held on August 20,
2014, at which plaintiff declined to participate. Doc. 62,
Ex. Q at 1. The Classification Hearing Form dated that day
noted “single cell status of [sic] approved from Div.
Director for continued mental health observation.”
classification review hearing was held on November 10, 2014,
at which plaintiff was present. Plaintiff told the committee
that he “want[ed] out!” Doc. 62, Ex. Q at 2. At
this hearing, the Administrative Segregation Committee
recommended continued placement in administrative
segregation. The Classification Hearing Form for the November
10, 2014 hearing states, “single cell mandated per
November 12, 2014, ERDCC Corrections Case Manager Diane
Montgomery submitted a memorandum to defendant Russell in
connection with the one-year review of plaintiff's
placement in single-cell administrative segregation. In her
November 12, 2014 memorandum, Montgomery wrote:
Offender King is a 30 year old male who initially arrived
within the MoDoc 07/16/2013 to serve a life sentence for
Murder 1st Degree. He also has convictions for Murder 2nd
degree, Arson, and Abuse of a Child. File material indicates
he caused the death of his 7 year old son by means of manual
strangulation and then setting fire to the trailer they
resided in. While incarcerated in the Buchanan County jail,
King killed his cell mate, stating he did so in order to
compare the two autopsy reports, proving his innocence in the
murder of his son. He was assigned to Administrative
Segregation Single Cell on 10/13/2013 per mental health
request due to his history of violence. [H]e has remained on
single cell status in the ERDCC adseg unit since assignment.
King has an education score of 1 a vocational score of 3 and
a mental health score of 3. A qualified Mental Health
Professional has evaluated his mental health status and
indicates that continued segregation is not contraindicated
at this time.
Since arrival in the MoDOC, King has incurred no conduct
violations and has exhibited acceptable institutional
adjustment. It is suggested he be released from single cell
status in order to re-integrate him to two man cell in