United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. SELF, III, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that, while he was incarcerated
at Macon State Prison (“MSP”) in Oglethorpe,
Georgia, he was attacked by another inmate while being
escorted to his cell by Defendants Stevenson and Raines, both
MSP corrections officers. [Doc. 1');">1, p. 5]. Specifically,
Plaintiff claims that he heard the door to the other
inmate's cell being electronically opened, despite the
prison's policy of having the Disciplinary Segregation
Unit's cell doors locked at all times. [Id.].
When the cell door swung open, the other inmate “rushed
out” and stabbed Plaintiff several times with a
“thick sharpened screw-type weapon [about] ten to 1');">12
inches long.” [Id.]. Plaintiff was handcuffed
and attempted to defend himself to no avail. [Id.].
He claims that Defendants Stevenson and Raines stood by and
watched him being attacked and did not use pepper spray or
any other means to stop the attack. [Id.].
Defendants Stevenson and Raines allegedly watched the events
unfold for two-and-a-half to three minutes before calling for
assistance. [Id.]. The Court construed these
allegations to state a claim against Defendants Stevenson and
Raines for failure to intervene in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. [Docs. 1');">10, 1');">15].
officer who “fails or refuses to intervene when a
constitutional violation such as an unprovoked beating takes
place in his presence” is directly liable for an Eighth
Amendment violation. Byrd v. Clark, 1');">1002');">783 F.2d 1');">1002,
1');">1007 (1');">11');">1th Cir. 1');">1986). A plaintiff asserting a claim for
failure to intervene must show that the officer “was
physically able and had a realistic chance to intervene and
act in time to protect the inmate [p]laintiff.”
Seals v. Marcus, No. 1');">1:1');">11');">1-CV-99, 201');">13 WL 656873, at
*8 (M.D. Ga. Jan. 25, 201');">13). But where the officer shows that
he “responded reasonably to the risk [of harm], even if
the harm ultimately was not averted, ” he is entitled
to summary judgment. Staley v. Owens, 367 Fed.Appx.
1');">102, 1');">107 (1');">11');">1th Cir. 201');">10) (per curiam) (quoting Farmer v.
Brennan, 1');">11');">1 U.S. 825');">51');">11');">1 U.S. 825, 844- 45 (1');">1994)).
Stevenson and Raines moved for summary judgment, refuting
Plaintiff's recitation of the facts and arguing that they
acted reasonably under the circumstances. [Doc. 34]. The
United States Magistrate Judge reviewed the motion and found
that Defendants Stevenson and Raines committed no Eighth
Amendment violation. [Doc. 37]. The Magistrate Judge based
his findings on Defendants' version of the facts, which
were not controverted by Plaintiff. See LR 56, MDGa.
Under that version of the facts, Defendants Stevenson and
Raines radioed for assistance quickly, stood between
Plaintiff and the other inmate, ordered the other inmate to
stop, tried to separate the inmates, and “tried, as
best they could, to put themselves in positions to protect
[Plaintiff] without getting hurt themselves, ” but the
other inmate was able to stab Plaintiff five times. [Doc.
34-1');">1, p. 2]. Defendant Stevenson was eventually able to
restrain the other inmate to end the attack. [Id. at
p. 3]. According to Defendants Stevenson and Raines, the
entire incident lasted less than one minute. [Id.].
The Magistrate Judge concluded that these facts establish
that Defendants Stevenson and Raines acted reasonably under
the circumstances, despite the unfortunate fact that
Plaintiff ended up being stabbed five times. Plaintiff filed
no objection to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation.
thorough review of Defendants Stevenson and Raines'
motion, the Court ADOPTS the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation [Doc. 37] and
MAKES IT THE ORDER OF THE COURT.
Accordingly, Defendants Stevenson and Raines' Motion for
Summary Judgment [Doc. 34] is GRANTED, and
the Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to enter
judgment in favor of Defendants.[1');">1"
[1');">1" name="ftn.FN1');">1" id=
"ftn.FN1');">1">1');">1] The Court previously dismissed the
claims against the other Defendants in this ...