United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Hattiesburg Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Keith Ball, United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment  filed by
Defendants in this action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff, Daniel Louis Williams, has not
responded to the motion. The Court held an Omnibus Hearing in
this matter, at which time the parties consented to proceed
before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge, and
the District Judge subsequently entered an Order of
Reference. 28 U.S.C. § 636(c); Fed.R.Civ.P. 73. Williams
is proceeding in this matter in forma pauperis and
pro se. For the reasons explained in this opinion,
the Court finds that the motion for summary judgment should
be granted in part and denied in part.
is currently a post-conviction inmate housed at the South
Mississippi Correctional Institution (“SMCI”). He
alleges that his constitutional rights were violated while he
was a pre-trial detainee at the Forrest County Detention
Center (“FCDC”) during 2014 and 2015. Defendants
are Sheriff Billy McGee, Captain Donell Brannon, Sergeant
Jason Milsap, Sergeant Andrea Estrada, Phillip Jackson,
Brandon Freeman, Charles Sanders, Shane Giacone, Richard
Laubsher, Adrian Jones, and Greg Anderson.
the omnibus hearing, Plaintiff's claims were narrowed.
See . Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed some
conditions of confinement claims, and the Court dismissed
others. Id. Plaintiff also dismissed his claims
against Defendant Officer Adam Graves. Id.
Accordingly, the claims remaining at this juncture are
Williams's claims that (1) Defendants showed deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs related to his
teeth, and (2) Defendants denied him visitation with his son.
Defendants have moved for summary judgment as to both of
these claims. Additionally, Defendants have moved for summary
judgment as to Plaintiff's claim of denial of access to
assistance at a law library. The Court, however, previously
dismissed that claim based on Williams's failure to
allege an injury. See Id. at 1-2.
to his claims, Williams alleges that Defendants did not allow
him visitation with his three-year-old son, but that
Defendants allowed other inmates visitation with whomever
they wished to see. [1-2] at 1. At the omnibus hearing,
Williams clarified that he was not allowed to visit with his
son on approximately three occasions during 2014 and 2015.
 at 23-24. He testified that the Defendants explained
that it was the policy of FCDC not to allow visitors under
also alleges that Defendants denied him adequate dental care
when he broke two wisdom teeth in March 2014 and June 2014,
and for the following months until he saw a dentist in May
2015.  at 12-16. He alleges that one tooth broke in half
in March 2014, and that he suffered a chip to the other one
in June 2014. Id. at 12-13. He admits that the
nurses gave him ibuprofen for his pain, but he argues that he
was informed by FCDC officers and medical personnel that his
family would have to pay for any non-emergency dental work.
Id.; [38-2] at 5, 9, 14, 15, 21. At the omnibus
hearing, Williams admitted that he was sent to a dentist in
May 2015, at which time the dentist pulled one of his teeth.
 at 15-16. Williams alleges that the dentist arranged a
follow up appointment to pull the second tooth, but that
Defendants refused to transport him to the second
reasons explained below, the Court grants summary judgment as
to Williams's claim of denial of visitation. However, the
Court finds insufficient evidence in the record to grant
summary judgment in favor of Defendants on Plaintiff's
claims related to dental treatment.
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 Aresolution of the issues might affect the
outcome of the suit under governing law."
Lemoine, 174 F.3d at 633. 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 non-moving 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
alleges that Defendants violated his constitutional rights
when they did not allow him to have visitation with his
three-year-old son on an unspecified date in 2014, on an
unspecified date in February or March of 2015, and on August
19, 2015.  at 24. In a response to the Court , he
alleges that all defendants were involved in this denial of
visitation, while other inmates were allowed to have special
visits with their children.  at 1-2.
other bases for summary judgment, Defendants argue that
Williams did not exhaust his administrative remedies with
regard to this claim. Statutory law and case law require a
prisoner to exhaust administrative remedies, regardless of
the relief sought, before bringing a § 1983 action in
federal court. The relevant portion of 42 U.S.C. §