United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
REPORT & RECOMMENDATION
BRADLEY MURRAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Brandon Martell Oden, an Alabama prison inmate proceeding
pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action has been
referred to the undersigned for appropriate action pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and S.D. Ala. GenLR
72(a)(2)(R). After careful review, it is recommended that
summary judgment should be GRANTED in favor
of Defendant Stewart and that Plaintiff Oden's action
against this Defendant be DISMISSED with
Plaintiff is hereby placed on Notice by the filing of this
Report and Recommendation of the Court's intention to
recommend the granting of summary judgment for Defendants
Jesse Wilson and C. Arthur, who have not been served with
this complaint to date.
Procedural Aspects of the Case.
Oden brings this action against Warden Cynthia Stewart,
Officer C. Arthur, and Officer Jesse Wilson, for excessive
use of force, denial of medical care, false disciplinary
charges, and deprivation of property. (Doc. 7 at 5, 7-8, 10,
14-15). The action was served on Defendant Warden Cynthia
Stewart, and she has answered the suit and filed a special
report,  complete with incident reports, medical
records, internal investigation reports, and affidavits.
(Docs. 20, 21, 26). After review of the pleadings, the Court
converted the answer and special report into a Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 22), to which Plaintiff Oden has
responded. (Doc. 25).
filed a Motion for Extension of Time to Respond to
Defendant's Supplement to the Special Report (Doc. 27).
Defendant's supplement (doc. 26) is comprised entirely of
the Internal Investigation of the November 9, 2016 incident
subject of this complaint and presents no new arguments,
facts, or issues to which Plaintiff has not previously
mentioned in his complaint or responded to in opposition to
the Motion for Summary Judgment. (See Doc. 25). For
this reason, the Court denies
Plaintiff's Motion for an Extension of Time to Respond
(doc. 27) as futile.
Oden also filed a Motion to Subpoena documents from Holman
Correctional Facility. (Doc. 28). In his motion, he requests
the bed rosters for November 7-9, 2016, as well as access to
a computer, printer, and Internet for assistance in bringing
this suit. (Id. at 1). Given that Plaintiff has
sufficiently pleaded the facts related to his asserted claims
(and they are not complex in nature), Plaintiff has shown no
need for Internet and computer assistance beyond that to
which he currently has access. Importantly, the Court is
required to take Plaintiff's version of the facts as true
for purposes of this motion; thus, Plaintiff's request
for copies of the prison bed assignments are futile and not
necessary at this stage of the action. Consequently, the
Court hereby denies Plaintiff's motion
thorough review of the record, the Court determines that
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is ripe for
Summary Judgment Standard.
Judgment is proper "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); see Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91
L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d
265 (1986); Garczynski v. Bradshaw, 573 F.3d 1158,
1165 (2009) ("[S]ummary judgment is appropriate even if
'some alleged factual dispute' between the parties
remains, so long as there is 'no genuine issue of
material fact.'"(emphasis omitted)).
party asking for summary judgment "always bears the
initial responsibility of informing the district court of the
basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the
'pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if
any,' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact." Celotex, 477
U.S. at 323. The movant can meet this burden by presenting
evidence showing there is no dispute of material fact, or by
showing, or pointing out to, the district court that the
nonmoving party has failed to present evidence in support of
some element of its case on which it bears the ultimate
burden of proof. Id. at 322-24.
Once the moving party has met its burden, Rule 56(e)
"requires the nonmoving party to go beyond the pleadings
and by [its] own affidavits, or by the 'depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file,'
designate 'specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial.'" Id. at 324. To avoid
summary judgment, the nonmoving party "must do more than
show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538
(1986). On the other hand, the evidence of the nonmovant must
be believed and all justifiable inferences must be drawn in
its favor. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
ThyssenKrupp Steel USA, LLC v. United Forming, Inc.,
926 F.Supp.2d 1286, 1289-90 (S.D. Ala. Jan. 29, 2013)
requirement to view the facts in the nonmoving party's
favor extends only to "genuine" disputes over
material facts. A genuine dispute requires more than
"some metaphysical doubt as to material facts."
Garczynski, 573 F.3d at 1165 (internal citations
omitted). A "mere scintilla" of evidence is
insufficient; the nonmoving party must produce substantial
evidence in order to defeat a motion for summary judgment.
Id. In addition, "[t]here is no burden upon the
district court to distill every potential argument that could
be made based upon the materials before it on summary
judgment." Resolution Trust Corp. v. Dunmar
Corp., 43 F.3d 587, 599 (11th Cir. 1995). More
importantly, where "opposing parties tell two different
stories, one of which is blatantly contradicted by the
record, so that no reasonable jury could believe it, a court
should not adopt that version of the facts for purposes of
ruling on a motion for summary judgment." Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 1776, 167
L.Ed.2d 686 (2007); see also Logan v. Smith, 439
Fed.Appx. 798, 800 (11th Cir. Aug. 29, 2011) ("In cases
where opposing parties tell different versions of the same
events one of which is blatantly contradicted by the
record-such that no reasonable jury could believe it- a court
should not adopt the contradicted allegations."
(citations omitted) (un-published)).
Summary Judgment Facts.
claims asserted against the defendants center around two
incidents: (1) November 9, 2016 Incident and (2) November 19,
2016 Incident. The parties' allegations and facts
relevant to these incidents are summarized below.
November 9, 2016 Incident.
complaint, Plaintiff Oden claims:
On Nov. 9, 2016, ADOC Cert team entered B-Dorm at Holman
Correction around 5:00 a.m. They entered B-Dorm brutally
beating inmates waking them up out of their sl[ee]p, then
tying our hands behind our back in zip tie's making us
lay face down. In full compliance, they continue[d] beating
us. They had a list of twenty inmate[s'] names they were
suppose to apprehended using the proper precautions to do so.
They beat 3/4 ‘s of 114 inmates. Officer Jesse Wilson
and C-Author step on my private part and step on my neck
[and] beat on an Inmate sleeping on Bed B-46, stepping onto
my Bed B-45. I was denied medical attention for several
day[s] until Nov. 17, 2016.
I have been in server[sic] pain since [and] have [had]
(Doc. 7 at 13). The prison incident report regarding the
force used on November 9, 2016 describes preceding events to
the dormitory raid and clarifies why the CERT team entered to
seize certain inmates; notably, Plaintiff does not refute the
facts contained in the incident report. The report states:
On November 7, 2016, the Southern CERT members entered
B-Dormitory and ordered all inmates to remove sticks and tied
up blankets from their beds. The inmates refused to comply
and became very hostile and aggressive toward the CERT
members. The inmates gathered in a threatening and
intimidating manner around the CERT members stating,
“This is 2016, and we run this, slavery is over with,
we already done killed one of y'all.” Several
unidentified inmates were observed with handmade knives in
their possession. The CERT members were able to exit the
dormitory without incident. The inmates with handmade knives
were later identified by the CERT members through IMAS. On
November 9, 2016, at approximately 6:35 a.m., the North
Central, South Central, and Southern Team CERT Teams entered
B-Dormitory to arrest the suspects. . . . The inmates were
arrested and escorted to the health care unit for medical
assessments. . . .
(Doc. 21-1 at 5). The CERT team's search resulted in the
confiscation of thirty (30) handmade knives and twenty one
(21) inmates were transferred to segregation pending
disciplinary actions for failing to obey a direct order,
gathering in a threatening or intimidating manner, and
unauthorized possession of a weapon or device that could be
used as a weapon. (Id. at 6). It is undisputed that
Plaintiff Oden was not one of the inmates who was arrested
and/or charged by the CERT team on November 9, 2016.
medical records show, however, that Plaintiff received a body
chart on November 9, 2016, at 7:45 a.m., at the request of
the CERT team. (Doc. 21- 1 at 65). Oden's single
statement to the nurse was, “My side hurts” and
no distress or signs of injury were noted. (Id.).
November 10, 2016, Oden submitted a sick call request
On Nov. 9th the CERT team entered into B-dorm and
brutally beat me and almost 50 individuals - applying an
extreme amount of pressure with their knee causing it to hurt
with abnormal pain, as well as hitting me on my left side
above the lungs, smashing my hand with a black jack with
metal in it. In intensive pain which my head hurt badly.
(Id. at 63). Oden was examined that same day and
Ibuprofen was prescribed for Oden's complaints of
“neck and hand” soreness, but no signs of injury
were noted, including no edema or bruising. (Id. at
November 13, 2016, Oden was involved in an altercation with
an inmate and was treated in the healthcare unit for a 1.5 cm
superficial laceration to his right cheek and abrasions to
the knuckles on his left hand. (Id. at 53-60)
November 14, 2016, Oden submitted another sick call request
On Nov. 9, 2016 the CERT team come in and place us in zip
tie's and beat us. One of them was standing on my neck
and stepped on my private part which they have been swollen
since and if I turn my neck to the left or right it sends a
sharp pain down my spain[sic] threw[sic] the entire left side
of my body. Which hurts extremely bad which I believe one of
my shoulder bones are broken or out of place because my back
is in pain. . .
(Id. at 53). Oden was provided a left shoulder sling
and scrotal support and orders were made for an x-ray and
appointment with the physician. (Id. at 46, 54-57).
The chest x-ray revealed no acute disease and reported normal
findings of the heart and lungs, with no pleural effusions,
pneumothorax, or fracture. (Id. at 68).
November 23, 2016, Oden was examined by the institution's
doctor for complaints of genital pain initiating on November
9, 2016. (Doc. 21-1 at 49). The chart notes detail that Oden
“was involved in an altercation” two weeks prior
and was suffering from neck, low back, and groin pain.
(Id.). An x-ray revealed unremarkable findings,
specifically detailing that Oden's spine was intact
without significant depression or ...