United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CRITES-LEONI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant St. Charles
County's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 15.) For the
following reasons, the Court will grant Defendant's
Lywayne Marquis Scott brought this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), 42
U.S.C. § 20000cc, alleging various violations of his
civil rights. (Doc. 1.) He named St. Charles County,
Missouri, as well as four individual St. Charles County
officials as Defendants. Scott was an inmate at the St.
Charles County Adult Correctional Facility
(“Jail”) at the time of the incidents at issue
and at the time he filed his Complaint.
Court dismissed the individual Defendants and many of
Scott's claims as frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). (Doc. 7.) The only claim remaining is the
RLUIPA claim against Defendant St. Charles County.
alleges that he is a Hindu and, as part of his religion, he
cannot consume any meat. He claims that when he arrived at
the Jail on September 28, 2017, he informed unnamed booking
officers and Nurse Jessica Richards that he could not consume
meat as a “practicing Hindu, ” and that he
desired a complete vegetarian diet. Scott alleges that he was
told by an unnamed person at the Jail that the Jail does not
make “religious accommodations.” Scott claims
that after he was placed in general population, his
subsequent requests for a vegetarian diet were denied,
forcing him to choose between his religious practice or meals
that did not accommodate his religious practice. Scott brings
a RLUIPA claim for injunctive relief against St. Charles
County for allegedly placing a burden on his ability to
exercise his religion in the Jail.
St. Charles County has moved for summary judgment on
Scott's Complaint on the basis that Scott's cause of
action is moot. Specifically, Defendant states that Scott was
transferred from the Jail and is no longer subject to the
policies he claims were a violation of RLUIPA. Scott has not
filed a Response, and the time for doing so has expired.
Summary Judgment Standard
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), a district court
may grant a motion for summary judgment if all of the
information before the court demonstrates that “there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
The burden is on the moving party. City of Mt. Pleasant,
Iowa v. Associated Elec. Co-op. Inc., 838 F.2d 268, 273
(8th Cir. 1988). After the moving party discharges this
burden, the nonmoving party must do more than show that there
is some doubt as to the facts. Matsushita Elec.
Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986). A genuine issue of material fact is not the
“mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between
the parties.” Lawrence, 358 F.3d 982, 985 (8th
Cir. 2004). “Instead, the dispute must be outcome
determinative under prevailing law.” Mosley v. City
of Northwoods, 415 F.3d 908, 910-11 (8th Cir. 2005)
(internal quotations omitted). A fact is material when it
“might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
nonmoving party bears the burden of setting forth specific
facts showing that there is sufficient evidence in his favor
to allow a jury to return a verdict for him.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249; Celotex, 477
U.S. at 324. “If ‘opposing parties tell two
different stories,' the court must review the record,
determine which facts are material and genuinely disputed,
and then view those facts in a light most favorable to the
nonmoving party - as long as those facts are not ‘so
blatantly contradicted by the record . . . that no reasonable
jury could believe' them.” Reed v. City of St.
Charles, Mo., 561 F.3d 788, 790 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007)).
Self-serving, conclusory statements without support are not
sufficient to defeat summary judgment. Armour and Co.,
Inc. v. Inver Grove Heights, 2 F.3d 276, 279 (8th Cir.
ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must
review the facts in a light most favorable to the nonmoving
party and give that party the benefit of any inferences that
logically can be drawn from those facts. Matsushita,
475 U.S. at 587; Woods v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 409
F.3d 984, 990 (8th Cir. 2005). The Court may not “weigh
the evidence and determine the truth of the matter.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. The court is required,
however, to resolve all conflicts of evidence in favor of the
nonmoving party. Robert Johnson Grain Co. v. Chemical
Interchange Co., 541 F.2d 207, 210 (8th Cir. 1976).
movant's statement of facts are deemed admitted if not
specifically controverted by the party opposing the motion.
Local Rule 4.01(E) provides:
A memorandum in support of a motion for summary judgment
shall have attached a statement of uncontroverted material
facts, set forth in a separately numbered paragraph for each
fact, indicating whether each fact is established by the
record, and if so, the appropriate citations. Every
memorandum in opposition shall include a statement of
material facts as to which the party contends a genuine issue
exists. Those matters in dispute shall be set forth with
specific references to portions of the record, where
available, upon which the opposing party relies. The opposing
party also shall note for all disputed facts the paragraph
number from movant's listing of facts. All matters set
forth in the statement of the movant shall be deemed admitted
for purposes of summary judgment unless specifically
controverted by the opposing party.
(emphasis added). Even so, where a plaintiff fails to respond
to a motion for summary judgment, the Court should not treat
such a non-response as sufficient to dispose of the motion.
Lowry v. Powerscreen USB, Inc.,72 F.Supp.2d 1061,
1064 (E.D. Mo. 1999) (citing Canada v. Union Electric
Co.,135 F.3d 1211, 1213 (8th Cir. 1997)). “Courts
should proceed to examine those portions of the record
properly before them and decide for themselves whether the
motion is well taken.” Id. “In so
ruling, even on an unopposed motion for summary ...