United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the court on Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment. (Doc. # 23). Plaintiff has responded to the
summary judgment motion (Docs. # 27 & 28), and the motion
is under submission. After careful review, and for the
reasons explained below, Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment is due to be granted in part. Defendants are due to
be granted summary judgment on Plaintiff's federal-law
claims, but Plaintiff's state-law claims are due to be
remanded to state court for further proceedings.
Factual Summary and Procedural
9, 2014, officers arrested Plaintiff for a municipal court
violation and detained him in the Birmingham City Jail. (Doc.
# 27-1). On May 11, 2014, Plaintiff suffered a spider bite
while detained in the jail. (Id.). Plaintiff told
unidentified jail employees that a poisonous spider had
bitten him and that his leg was “visibly swollen and
red.” (Id.). Plaintiff asked jail employees to
transport him to a hospital, but the employees refused to do
so because “they had enough people in the
hospital.” (Id.). Plaintiff received an
unidentified medication at the jail for the bite, but the
medication caused an allergic reaction and did not alleviate
Plaintiff's symptoms. (Doc. # 24-3).
13, 2014, Plaintiff went to a municipal court for a hearing
and showed his injury to a municipal court judge. (Doc. #
27-1). That judge ordered Plaintiff's release from the
jail at 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. (Id.). Nevertheless,
Plaintiff was not released from the jail until the morning of
January 14, 2014. (Id.). Thereafter, he obtained
medical treatment at St. Vincent's Hospital for
cellulitis and a staph infection. (Doc. # 24-3). The costs
for Plaintiff's medical care from this incident totaled
more than $28, 000. (Doc. # 27-1).
September 2014, Plaintiff filed a claim affidavit with the
City of Birmingham regarding the treatment of his spider
bite. (Doc. # 24-3). He complained that the jail's
employees denied him access to hospital care, and he
described the conditions he suffered following the spider
2016, Plaintiff filed this suit in the Circuit Court of
Jefferson County, Alabama against the current Defendants,
A.C. Roper (the City of Birmingham's Chief of Police),
and fictitious party defendants. (See Doc. # 1-1).
Plaintiff raised claims for assault and battery, negligent
supervision, inadequate training, and deliberate
indifference. (See Id. at ¶¶ 11-24).
Plaintiff brought this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
Alabama state law, but the Complaint fails to specify which
claims are brought under federal law and which are brought
under state law. (See generally Doc. # 1-1).
Moreover, Plaintiff has not specified whether the § 1983
claims against Defendant Kathie Davis are brought in her
official capacity or her individual capacity, although he
requests compensatory and punitive damages from her in her
individual capacity. (See Id. at p. 6). Defendants
removed the suit to this court based on the court's
federal question jurisdiction over the § 1983 claims.
(See Doc. # 1 at 2). By agreement, the court
dismissed Plaintiff's claims against A.C. Roper with
prejudice. (See Docs. # 10-11).
Summary Judgment Standard
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, summary judgment is
proper “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.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The party asking for
summary judgment always bears the initial responsibility of
informing the court of the basis for its motion and
identifying those portions of the pleadings or filings which
it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact. Id. at 323. Once the moving party has
met its burden, Rule 56 requires the non-moving party to go
beyond the pleadings and -- by pointing to affidavits, or
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and/or admissions on
file -- designate specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324.
substantive law will identify which facts are material and
which are irrelevant. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)
(“Anderson”). All reasonable doubts
about the facts and all justifiable inferences are resolved
in favor of the non-movant. See Allen v. Bd. of Pub.
Educ. for Bibb Cnty., 495 F.3d 1306, 1314 (11th Cir.
2007); Fitzpatrick v. City of Atlanta, 2 F.3d 1112,
1115 (11th Cir. 1993). A dispute is genuine “if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson,
477 U.S. at 248. If the evidence is merely colorable, or is
not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted.
See Id. at 249.
faced with a “properly supported motion for summary
judgment, [the non-moving party] must come forward with
specific factual evidence, presenting more than mere
allegations.” Gargiulo v. G.M. Sales, Inc.,
131 F.3d 995, 999 (11th Cir. 1997). As Anderson
teaches, under Rule 56(c) a plaintiff may not simply rest on
his allegations made in the complaint; instead, as the party
bearing the burden of proof at trial, he must come forward
with at least some evidence to support each element essential
to his case at trial. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
“[A] party opposing a properly supported motion for
summary judgment ‘may not rest upon the mere
allegations or denials of his pleading, but . . . must set
forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial.'” Id. at 248 (citations
judgment is mandated “against a party who fails to make
a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case, and on which that party
will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex
Corp., 477 U.S. at 322. “Summary judgment may be
granted if the non-moving party's evidence is merely
colorable or is not significantly probative.”
Sawyer v. Sw. Airlines Co., 243 F.Supp.2d 1257, 1262
(D. Kan. 2003) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at
the summary judgment stage the judge's function is not
himself to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the
matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249.
“Essentially, the inquiry is ‘whether the
evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require
submission to the jury or whether it is so one-sided that one
party must prevail as a matter of law.'”
Sawyer, 243 F.Supp.2d at 1262 (quoting
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251-52); see also LaRoche
v. Denny's, Inc., 62 F.Supp.2d 1366, 1371 (S.D. Fla.
1999) (“The law is clear . . . that suspicion,
perception, opinion, and belief cannot be used to defeat a
motion for summary judgment.”).