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Mobley v. Ericson

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division

May 4, 2017

WILLIAM MOBLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
NOAMI ERICSON; and SCOTT FARRIS, Defendants.

          ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          R. STAN BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, who was formerly housed at the Appling County Detention Center in Baxley, Georgia, filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, contesting certain conditions of his confinement. (Doc. 1.) On February 23, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 19.) The Clerk of Court mailed a Notice to Plaintiff advising him that Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and that a response must be filed by March 16, 2017. (Doc. 20.) That Notice further advised Plaintiff that:

1. If you do not timely respond to this motion . . ., the consequence may be that the Court will deem the motion unopposed, and the Court may enter judgment against you.
2. If your opponent's Statement of Material Facts sets forth facts supported by evidence, the Court may assume that you admit all such facts unless you oppose those facts with your own Statement of Material Facts which also sets forth facts supported by evidence.
3. If a summary judgment motion is properly supported, you may not rest on the allegations in your [Complaint] alone.

(Id.)

         Plaintiff filed no Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and the Court received no indication this Notice or Defendants' Motion was undeliverable. However, “the district court cannot base the entry of summary judgment on the mere fact that the motion [is] unopposed but, rather, must consider the merits of the motion.” United States v. One Piece of Real Property Located at 5800 SW 74th Ave., Miami, Fla., 363 F.3d 1099, 1101 (11th Cir. 2004) (citation omitted). Specifically, the court “must still review the movant's citations to the record to determine if there is, indeed, no genuine issue of material fact.” Mann v. Taser Int'l, Inc., 588 F.3d 1291, 1303 (11th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted).

         Based on the reasons which follow, I RECOMMEND the Court GRANT Defendants' unopposed Motion and DISMISS Plaintiff's Complaint with prejudice. I further RECOMMEND the Court DIRECT the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case and DENY Plaintiff in forma pauperis status on appeal.

         BACKGROUND[1]

         Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at the Appling County Detention Center. (Doc. 1, p. 4.) He alleges that Defendants used excessive force against him on May 15, 2016, at approximately 6:00 p.m. Specifically, he states that Defendant Ericson attempted to throw him to the ground without cause and that she hurt his arm in doing so. (Id. at pp. 4, 6.) Plaintiff further contends that Defendant Farris grabbed Plaintiff and slammed him into a wall, injuring Plaintiff's left shoulder. (Id. at pp. 5, 7.)

         DISCUSSION

         Defendants maintain they are entitled to summary judgment because Plaintiff fails to set forth a viable excessive force claim under the Fourteenth Amendment. Defendants also contend they are entitled to qualified immunity. Additionally, Defendants assert Plaintiff did not exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing his Complaint.[2] In moving for summary judgment, Defendants rely on their Statement of Material Facts, a copy of the transcript from Plaintiff's deposition, several declarations sworn under penalty of perjury, and a DVD depicting the May 15, 2016, incident.

         As set forth below, the undersigned agrees that Plaintiff fails to establish a genuine dispute as to his excessive force claims. Therefore, the Court should GRANT Defendants' Motion.

         I. Standard of Review

         Summary judgment “shall” be granted if “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “A dispute about a material fact is genuine and summary judgment is inappropriate if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. However, there must exist a conflict in substantial evidence to pose a jury question.” Hall v. Sunjoy Indus. Grp., Inc., 764 F.Supp.2d 1297, 1301 (M.D. Fla. 2011) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986), and (Verbraeken v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 881 F.2d 1041, 1045 (11th Cir. 1989)).

         The moving party bears the burden of establishing that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Williamson Oil Co., Inc. v. Philip Morris USA, 346 F.3d 1287, 1298 (11th Cir. 2003). Specifically, the moving party must identify the portions of the record which establish that there are no “genuine dispute[s] as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Moton v. Cowart, 631 F.3d 1337, 1341 (11th Cir. 2011). When the nonmoving party would have the burden of proof at trial, the moving party may discharge his burden by showing that the record lacks evidence to support the nonmoving party's case or that the nonmoving party would be unable to prove his case at trial. See id. (citing Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986)). In determining whether a summary judgment motion should be ...


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