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Stowe v. Enlers

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

July 27, 2015

JAMES R. STOWE, Plaintiff,
v.
NINA ENLERS ET AL., Defendants.

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

LOUIS GUIROLA, Jr., Chief District Judge.

BEFORE THE COURT is the [29] Proposed Findings of Fact and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker regarding the Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants Nina Enlers and Shetica Lockhart. Magistrate Judge Walker determined that the [19] Motion for Summary Judgment based on failure to exhaust administrative remedies should be denied, which finding Plaintiff James R. Stowe does not challenge. The Magistrate Judge also determined that the [26] Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Enlers and Lockhart addressing the merits of Stowe's Complaint should be granted, and that the claims against all Defendants, including Defendants Unknown Rankin and Unknown Collins, should be dismissed for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

Because Plaintiff Stowe timely filed objections to the Proposed Findings of Fact and Recommendation (ECF No. 33) with respect to the Magistrate Judge's determination that the claims against Defendants should be dismissed pursuant to § 1915, the Court reviews the objected-to portions de novo. See Kreimerman v. Casa Veerkamp, S.A. de C.V., 22 F.3d 634, 646 (5th Cir. 1994); Longmire v. Guste, 921 F.2d 620, 623 (5th Cir. 1991). Such a review means that the Court will consider the record which has been developed before the Magistrate Judge and make its own determination on the basis of that record. See, e.g., United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 675 (1980). Having now done so, the Court is of the opinion that the Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendation should be adopted as the opinion of this Court.

BACKGROUND

On September 4, 2014, Stowe, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a prisoner civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that certain employees of the South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI) - identified as Defendants Nina Enlers, Shetica Lockhart, Unknown Rankin, and Unknown Collins - failed to protect him from an assault by another inmate. Specifically, Stowe claims that he had an altercation with an inmate known as "Ironhead" when Stowe stepped in to prevent Ironhead from assaulting a handicapped inmate. Stowe testified that he stepped in to protect the inmate and Ironhead "pushed [him] back, walked away, and that was the end of it[.]" (Hearing Tr. 13, ECF No. 28). Stowe alleges that Enlers and Lockhart were informed about the initial altercation, but they did nothing, and Ironhead assaulted Stowe two days later.

Stowe contends that Rankin and Collins failed to protect him during the second altercation because they did not properly secure the area and Ironhead was able to come out into the hall, where Stowe had run to escape the assault:

Mr. Stowe: Collins and Rankin had walked into the zone and walked to the other side of the zone door or the zone itself, not the side that [Ironhead] was on, and did not secure the door, as I was outside, and allowed him [Ironhead] to come off his rack and run out into the hallway and continue to beat on me again out in the hallway.
The Court: So you saw him come off his rack, and he went through the open door.
Mr. Stowe: Yes, Your Honor....
The Court: And he continued to assault you?
Mr. Stowe: Yes, Your Honor.
The Court: For how long?
Mr. Stowe: For a matter of minutes. And at that point, Lieutenant Collins came running out and sprayed him.
The Court: And where did he hit you that time?
Mr. Stowe: In the face.
The Court: And then Lieutenant Collins ran out of the zone?
Mr. Stowe: Ran out in the zone and sprayed him with the mace she ...

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