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Bryant v. Marquart

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

January 21, 2015

WILLIE LEE BRYANT, #128787, PLAINTIFF
v.
SCOTT MARQUART, L. WARREN, S. JONES, J. BIRDTAIL, D. SMITH, J. GRAHAM, M. STEELE, AND S. RATCLIFFE, DEFENDANTS

Willie Lee Bryant, Plaintiff, Pro se, Meridian, MS.

For MTC J. Birdtail, MTC S. Jones, MTC Lakisha Warren, MTC D. Smith, MTC Joyce Graham, Chairman Scott Marguardt, Owner of Management/Training Corporation, M. Steele, S. Ratcliff, Defendants: Steven James Griffin, DANIEL, COKER, HORTON & BELL - Jackson, Jackson, MS.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

JOHN C. GARGIULO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

Before the Court is the motion [42] for summary judgment filed by Defendants J. Birdtail, S. Jones, L. Warren, D. Smith, M. Steele, S. Ratcliffe, J. Graham and Scott Marquardt. A response was not filed by Plaintiff Willie Lee Bryant. Having considered the facts and applicable law, the undersigned is of the opinion that the motion should be granted and that this action should be dismissed without prejudice.

Facts

Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) and is housed at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF). Plaintiff filed this lawsuit against prison officials pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on July 2, 2013. Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis .[1]

This lawsuit stems from a rule violation report (RVR) that a prison guard (Sergeant Donald) issued to Plaintiff on November 11, 2012. The RVR indicates that Plaintiff called Donald " stupid" after Donald denied Plaintiff's request for a second dinner plate. A disciplinary hearing was held on November 21, 2012. Plaintiff admitted to the disciplinary hearing officer (Defendant Jones) that he called Donald " stupid" at the hearing. Jones found Plaintiff guilty of being disrespectful toward correctional staff and revoked Plaintiff's commissary privileges for thirty (30) days as punishment.

Plaintiff filed a grievance with the prison's administrative remedy program (ARP) after the hearing. The grievance sought to invalidate the RVR conviction on procedural grounds. Plaintiff argued that the disciplinary hearing was not held within seven (7) days after he was issued the RVR, and that Jones failed to provide him with an explanation for the three-day delay. Plaintiff did not dispute that he committed the underlying offense in the grievance.

Plaintiff did not complete the prison's ARP grievance procedure before filing this lawsuit. Plaintiff claims that the individual and collective actions of Defendants Birdtail, Jones, Warren, Smith, Steele, Ratcliffe, and Graham, prevented him from completing the ARP grievance procedure. Plaintiff contends that this alleged interference forced him to file this lawsuit on July 2, 2013.

In this lawsuit, Plaintiff claims that the procedural defects in his prison disciplinary hearing violated his constitutional rights. Plaintiff alleges that his constitutional rights were violated because he lost commissary privileges for thirty days, a job in the prison commissary, and was subjected to custody reclassification after his RVR conviction. These claims are asserted against the disciplinary hearing officer, Defendant Jones.

Plaintiff also alleges that his constitutional rights were violated by Defendants' failure to properly process his ARP grievance, and that Defendants' alleged interference with the grievance process was (i) an unconstitutional interference with legal mail; (ii) an unconstitutional denial of access to the courts; and (iii) an unconstitutional retaliation. Plaintiff also claims that he was discriminated against on the basis of his gender because all the defendants (except for Defendant Marquardt) are female. These claims are asserted against Defendants Birdtail, Jones, Warren, Smith, Steele, Ratcliffe, and Graham. Plaintiff also claims that Defendant Marquardt is vicariously liable for the actions of his co-defendants because they are " employees of his corporation" and he has failed to take any disciplinary action against them.

On April 24, 2014, an omnibus hearing was held and a scheduling order [34] was entered. At the omnibus hearing, Defendants produced all records relating to Plaintiff's complaint, including prison records, incident reports, the RVR, the offender log, and the classification log at that time. The discovery deadline lapsed on June 2, 2014. [34]. Defendants timely moved for summary judgment on June 16, 2014. [42]. Plaintiff did not respond.

Legal Standard

" The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). " A factual dispute is 'genuine' where a reasonable party would return a verdict for the non-moving party." Chiu v. Plano Indep. Sch. Dist., 339 F.3d 273, 282 (5th Cir. 2003). When considering a summary judgment motion, a court " must view all facts and evidence in the light most favorable to the ...


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