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Thompson v. MTC, Jones

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

March 10, 2015

DAVE LYNN THOMPSON, #129152, Plaintiff,
v.
MTC, LIEUTENANT JONES, AND WARDEN FRANK SHAW Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

F. KEITH BALL, Magistrate Judge.

Before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [24] and supporting Memorandum in this suit founded upon 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has failed to file a response. For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that the Motion [24] should be granted, and this case should be dismissed.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The Court previously held an omnibus hearing[1] in this matter, at which time it conferred with Plaintiff and counsel for Defendants. At that hearing, the parties consented to have a United States Magistrate Judge conduct any and all further proceedings in the case and order the entry of final judgment, and the District Judge subsequently entered an order of reference. 28 U.S.C. § 636(c); Fed.R.Civ.P. 73. Thompson is proceeding in this matter in forma pauperis and pro se.

In this action, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated his constitutional rights during his confinement at East Mississippi Correctional Facility ("EMCF"). Defendants are Lieutenant S. Jones, Warden Frank Shaw, and Management & Training Corporation ("MTC"), which operates EMCF. In his complaint, Thompson made claims related to RVR #17890, which he received in August 2012 while housed at EMCF. First, Thompson alleged due process claims regarding a disciplinary hearing and the resulting reclassification related to RVR #17890. This Memorandum Opinion and Order addresses those claims. Second, Plaintiff asserted claims regarding his conditions of confinement while housed in administrative segregation resulting from the RVR, which have been dismissed for his failure to exhaust administrative remedies.[2]

Turning to his remaining claims, Thompson alleges several claims regarding RVR #17890. He alleges that he suffered due process violations during the disciplinary hearing on RVR #17890, which was conducted by Defendant Jones. After he was found guilty of the RVR, Thompson was punished by "objective reclassification" and subjected to administrative segregation. Thompson claims that his reclassification and administrative segregation violated his constitutional protections because he lost privileges while he was in administrative segregation. Thompson appealed his conviction through the Administrative Remedy Program, and Defendant Warden Frank Shaw responded at the first step. At the omnibus hearing, Thompson stated that he had sued Defendant Shaw because Shaw failed to investigate the appeal properly and denied his appeal. Thompson also testified that he had sued MTC because it is responsible for its officers.

With this action, Thompson seeks to have RVR #17890 overturned and removed from his file and records. [1] at 7. He also desires that his custody be reviewed and that he be reclassified. Id. Finally, Plaintiff seeks monetary compensation for filing fees, court costs, damages, suffering, and mental anguish. Id.

The Court will address these claims, in turn.

II. Summary Judgment Standard

Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states, in relevant part, that "[t]he 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). An issue of fact is genuine if the "evidence is sufficient to permit a reasonable factfinder to return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'" Lemoine v. New Horizons Ranch and Center, 174 F.3d 629, 633 (5th Cir. 1999)(quoting Colston v. Barnhart, 146 F.3d 282, 284 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 119 S.Ct. 618 (1998)). Issues of fact are material if "resolution of the issues might affect the outcome of the suit under governing law." Lemoine, 174 F.3d at 633. "Federal summary judgment procedure requires the court to pierce through the pleadings and their adroit craftsmanship to reach the substance of the claim.'" Hicks v. Brysch, 989 F.Supp. 797, 806 (W.D. Tex. 1997)(citing Tacon Mech. Contractors v. Aetna Cas. and Sur. Co., 65 F.3d 486, 488 (5th Cir. 1995)). The Court does not, "however, in the absence of any proof, assume the nonmoving [or opposing] party could or would prove the necessary facts." Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994)(en banc)(emphasis omitted). Moreover, the nonmoving party's burden to come forward with "specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial, " Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986), is not satisfied by "conclusory allegations" or by "unsubstantiated assertions, " or by only a "scintilla" of evidence. Little, 37 F.3d at 1075.

In addition, "if it becomes evident that the plaintiff has failed to state or otherwise to establish a claim, then the defendant[s] [are] entitled to dismissal on that basis." Wells v. Bonner, 45 F.3d 90, 93 (5th Cir. 1995)(citing Siegert v. Gilley, 500 U.S. 226, 231-33 (1991)).

III. Discussion

Having considered Defendants' filings, Plaintiff's omnibus hearing testimony, and the Complaint, the Court finds that summary judgment ...


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