United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
F. BIVINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Kendarrius Daniels, 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
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment be GRANTED. It is
further recommended that Plaintiff Kendarrius Daniels'
action be dismissed with prejudice.
imprisoned at Holman Correctional Facility (Holman),
Plaintiff Kendarrius Daniels (Daniels) claims that
Defendants, Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner
Jefferson Dunn, Warden Cynthia Stewart, Warden Terry Raybon,
Warden Phillip Mitchell, Lieutenant Regina Bolar,
Officer Tamekio Roberts, failed to protect him from being
assaulted by another inmate, Heath McCray. (Doc. 1).
complaint, Daniels alleges that on or about October 30, 2016,
at approximately 9:30 p.m., while housed on death row in cell
P-1, he was holding a hand mirror out of the bars of his cell
looking into the hallway. (Doc. 1 at 4). According to
Daniels, as Inmate Heath McCray (McCray) passed by his cell,
“[he] ask[ed] Inmate Heath McCray for a cigarette, [and
McCray] then cut [Daniels] across the arm several times with
razors wrapped around a tooth brush causing blood to flow
from [his] arm.” (Id.). Daniels alleges he
screamed for help but no officers came to assist him, so he
started a fire in his cell to “get the officers
attention.” (Id.). Lieutenant Bolar, Sergeant
Day, and Officer Roberts arrived to assist; the fire was
extinguished, and Daniels was taken to the health care unit
and received medical treatment for his cuts. (Id. at
claims that, prior to this incident, he submitted several
letters to Defendant Dunn and notified Defendant Wardens
Stewart, Raybon, and Mitchell requesting to be moved because
his life was in danger at the institution. (Id. at
5). In his complaint, Daniels alleges that Defendants are
liable for failing to protect him from the inmate assault
occurring on October 30, 2016, for providing inadequate
security, and for denying him medical care in violation of
the Eighth Amendment. Daniels seeks compensation in the
amount of $250, 000.00 for his injuries.
have answered the suit, denying the allegations against them,
and filed a special report in support of their position.
(Docs. 23, 24). In an Order dated January 3, 2019, the Court
converted Defendants' Special Report and Answer into to a
Motion for Summary Judgment, explained to the parties the
procedure under Federal Rule 56, and afforded the parties an
opportunity to respond to the motion by February 4, 2019.
(Doc. 39). The Court also directed Daniels to notify the
Court if he desired to continue with this litigation. Daniels
has filed no response to the Court's Order. Following a
careful review of the parties' pleadings, Defendants'
motion for summary judgment, and supporting materials, the
Court determines that the motion is ripe for consideration.
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) (unpublished)).
Eighth Amendment imposes a duty on prison officials to take
reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the
inmates.” Caldwell v. Warden, FCI Talladega,
748 F.3d 1090, 1099 (11th Cir. 2014) (quoting Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d
811 (1994)) (alterations and quotations omitted). “It
is not, however, every injury suffered by one prisoner at the
hands of another that translates into constitutional
liability for prison officials responsible for the
victim's safety.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834;
Purcell v. Toombs Cnty., 400 F.3d 1313, 1321 (11th
Cir. 2005) (“[A] prison custodian is not the guarantor
of a prisoner's safety.”) (quotation omitted).
action, it is undisputed that Daniels set a fire on P-side of
death row on October 30, 2016; that Daniels had four cuts on his
right forearm; that Lt. Regina Bolar and Sgt. Day
escorted Daniels to the health care unit on October 30, 2016
after he set a fire in his cell; that Daniels received
treatment for the cuts in the health care unit until the cuts
were noted as “healed” on November 4,
2016; that Inmate Heath McCray denied cutting
Daniels' arm on October 30, 2016; that Daniels stated he was
going to use his crisis cell for his own personal
gain; that Officer Tameakio Roberts witnessed
Daniels set fire to his cell;that Daniels was found guilty of
intentionally creating a security or health hazard by setting
the October 30, 2016 fire in his cell.