United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BENJAMIN W. CHEESBRO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Complaint contesting certain
events occurring during his incarceration at Georgia State
Prison in Reidsville, Georgia. Doc. 1. This matter is before
the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment,
doc. 65, to which Defendant has filed a Response, doc. 67.
For the following reasons, I RECOMMEND the
Court DENY Plaintiff's Motion for
April 28, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint containing
allegations against multiple Defendants, including Officer
Brantley. Doc. 1. Plaintiff contends Defendant
Brantley, a correctional officer at Georgia State Prison, was
assigned to administrative segregation on May 1, 2014 and was
picking up food trays. Id. at 5. Plaintiff asserts
that he had previously notified Defendant Brantley's
supervisor that Defendant Brantley had not given ice to
prisoners in segregation even though it was May and
approximately 100 degrees in Plaintiff's cell.
Id. Plaintiff claims that, when he put his cup out
to get ice, Defendant Brantley intentionally closed the box
door on Plaintiff's hand, resulting in the destruction of
the middle finger on Plaintiff's right hand. Id.
Plaintiff further claims that Defendant Brantley walked away
after injuring Plaintiff, and once Plaintiff notified another
officer of his injury, Defendant Brantley was dismissive and
unconcerned and did not provide Plaintiff medical treatment.
Id. at 8. Another officer then took Plaintiff to the
infirmary. Id. Plaintiff claims that as a result of
Defendant Brantley's actions, he was in pain for 12 days
and no longer has any feeling or sensation in his injured
finger. Id. at 13.
August 8, 2016, the Magistrate Judge recommended the Court
dismiss Plaintiff's claims against all Defendants except
for Defendant Brantley and Nurse Strickland and that the
Court dismiss all of Plaintiff's claims for monetary
damages against Defendants in their official capacities. Doc.
7. The Court adopted those recommendations on October 25,
2016. Doc. 13. Plaintiff was allowed to proceed on deliberate
indifference claims against Defendants Brantley and
Strickland, as well as an excessive force claim against
Defendant Brantley. Defendant Strickland subsequently filed a
motion to dismiss. Doc. 10. The Magistrate Judge recommended
that the Court grant that motion and dismiss Defendant
Strickland based on Plaintiff's failure to exhaust
administrative remedies. Doc. 59. The Court adopted that
recommendation on March 9, 2018 and dismissed Defendant
Strickland from this case. Doc. 61.
Brantley is the sole remaining Defendant in this case. The
United States Marshal personally served Defendant
Brantley's wife at Defendant Brantley's residence on
August 21, 2017. Doc. 45. Defendant Brantley then filed an
Answer on September 11, 2017, and the parties engaged in
discovery. Doc. 49. Discovery closed on March 29, 2018, and
the deadline for pretrial motions was set for April 28, 2018.
Doc. 64. On April 16, 2018, Plaintiff filed the Motion for
Summary Judgment now before the Court, and on May 7, 2018,
Defendant filed a Response. Docs. 65, 67.
moves for summary judgment. As explained below, a genuine
dispute of material fact remains. I, therefore,
RECOMMEND the Court DENY
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment.
Standard of Review
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, 248
(1986), and Verbraeken v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp.,
881 F.2d 1041, 1045 (11th Cir. 1989)).
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. 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.”
See 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 Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
322-23 (1986)). In determining whether a summary judgment
motion should be granted, a court must view the record and
all reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the record
in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Peek-A-Boo Lounge of Bradenton, Inc. v. Manatee
County, 630 F.3d 1346, 1353 (11th Cir. 2011) (citing
Rodriguez v. Sec'y for Dep't of Corr., 508
F.3d 611, 616 (11th Cir. 2007)).
Plaintiff's Remaining Claims
has two remaining claims against Defendant Brantley, a claim
for deliberate indifference to medical needs and a claim for
excessive force. Doc. 7. Plaintiff must prove the essential
elements of these claims in order to prevail. In the context
of deliberate indifference, Plaintiff must show: (1) an
objective, serious risk of physical harm; (2) a subjective,
deliberate indifference by defendant to that risk; and (3)
causation. Smalls v. Berrios, No. 3:06cv95, 2007 WL
1827465 at *4 (N.D. Fla. June 25, 2007); Alexander v.
Barefield, No. 5:06cv22, 2007 WL 1655383 at*3-4 (N.D.
Fla. June 7, 2007). In the context of excessive force,
Plaintiff must show that “force was applied . . .
maliciously and sadistically for the very purpose of causing
harm.” Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 320-21
(1986) (citations omitted). Plaintiff has not demonstrated
that there is no genuine dispute of material fact as to these
Motion consists of 10 pages of argument and is not
accompanied by any evidence or exhibits. Doc. 65. The first
three pages of Plaintiff's Motion consist primarily of a
recitation of the allegations contained in his Complaint.
Id. at 1-3. The next three pages are difficult to
follow but appear to identify alleged discrepancies in
Defendant's discovery responses. Id. at 4-6.
Plaintiff references his interrogatories and requests for
production but does not attach any of the requests or
Defendant's responses to his Motion. Id. The
remainder of Plaintiff's Motion consists of assertions
that Plaintiff properly exhausted his administrative remedies
and appears to suggest that his Complaint should not be
dismissed.Id. at 8 (“Defendant must
produce more than a ‘mere scintilla' of evidence to