United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court on Defendants Johnnie Pollard and
Joshua Zuccarini's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No.
51). This matter is fully briefed and ready for disposition.
James Elston ("Elston") is an offender in the
Missouri Department of Corrections ("MDOC") and is
incarcerated currently and at all relevant times at the
Moberly Correctional Center ("MCC").
(Defendants' Statement of Uncontroverted Material Facts
in Support of Summary Judgment ("DSUMF"), ECF No.
53, ¶¶1, 2). Defendant Johnnie Pollard
("Pollard") is employed by MDOC as a correctional
officer II ("CO II") and assigned to MCC. (DSUMF,
¶3). Defendant Joshua Zuccarini ("Zuccarini")
is employed by MDOC and is assigned to MCC. (DSUMF, ¶4).
of damage to his esophagus, Elston has a medical lay-in,
permitting him thirty minutes to eat. (DSUMF, ¶5). On
October 16, 2017, Elston was eating in the dining hall.
(DSUMF, ¶6). Pollard was on duty in the dining hall.
(DSUMF, ¶7). The Captain instructed Pollard to check the
identification of the remaining offenders in the dining hall.
(DSUMF, ¶8). Elston instead produced his medical lay-in.
(DSUMF, ¶9). Pollard gave four directives for Elston to
produce his identification before Elston produced his
identification. (DSUMF, ¶10). Another officer told
Elston to leave the dining hall. (DSUMF, ¶11). Elston
was asked to leave because he did not comply repeatedly with
Pollard's order to produce his identification. (DSUMF,
¶12). Elston did not suffer any medical injuries because
of the incident on October 16, 2017. (DSUMF, ¶13).
Elston violated Rule 20.1 of the Offender Handbook
("Failing to comply with a written or verbal of
instruction of any employee."). Under MDOC policy IS
19-1.1, Pollard could have issued a conduct violation to
Elston for violation of Rule 20.1, but Elston was permitted
to return to his housing unit. (DSUMF, ¶15).
October 17, 2017, Elston filed an Informal Resolution Request
("IRR"), complaining that he tried to show Pollard
his medical lay-in on the prior day, but that Pollard would
not look at it and that another officer made him leave,
despite Elston's medical lay-in that provided him extra
time for eating. (DSUMF, ¶17). On or around November 14,
2017, Elston's IRR was denied because the investigator
found Elston had not been harassed by staff. (DSUMF,
around November 27, 2017, Elston filed a grievance about the
October 16, 2017 incident. (DSUMF, ¶20). Elston argued
that there had not been an investigation and that video
footage would have proven him correct. (DSUMF, ¶21).
Elston's grievance was denied. (DSUMF, ¶22).
around January 12, 2018, Elston filed a grievance appeal,
which was denied on or around February 22, 2018. (DSUMF,
¶¶23-24). In this action, Elston brings claims
under the 42 U.S.C. §1983 for violation of the Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendments, Title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act ("ADA"), and the Rehabilitation
Act ("RA"). (ECF No. I). Elston's allegations
against Defendants in his complaint are:
On 10/16/2017, 1/28/2018, 2/13/2018 CO II Pollard, CO I
Zukerina (sic) and Unknown Captain, custody personaell (sic)
who run the operation in the dining facility denied Plaintiff
the right to eat even after he showed this is layin for
reasonable accommodation and made him throw away his food.
Plaintiff informed the CO's that he had grieved the issue
to Dean Minor the Warden at MCC who stated his layin would be
honored in MCC-07-1033, now grieved to appeal deputy director
in Jefferson City. The CO's did not care what the warden
had said and refused to honor the layin.
(ECF No. 1, p. 8). Elston, however, had not filed a grievance
about the alleged incidence on January 28, 2018 and February
13, 2018. (DSUMF, ¶26). Elston did not allege Zuccarini
was present during the dining hall confrontation on October
16, 2017. (DSUMF, ¶29).
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 ...