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Holloway v. Fisher

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

August 14, 2017

JASON R. HOLLOWAY PLAINTIFF
v.
MARSHALL FISHER, ET AL. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          F. KEITH BALL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment [44] for Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies filed by Defendants Marshall Fisher, Jerry Williams, Gloria Perry, Ron King, Brian Ladner, James Fillyaw, Supt. Earnest Lee, Warden Sonja Sanciel, Deputy Warden Simon Lee, Lt. Jamaal Murriel, Lt. Kevin Nunn, Lt. Lorrance Cross, and Richard Pennington in this action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants Dr. Gail Williams and Centurion of Mississippi, LLC, filed a Joinder [51] to the Motion for Summary Judgment.[1] Plaintiff, Jason R. Holloway, has responded to the motion. [47].

         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. Holloway 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 [44] should be granted in part and denied in part, and Holloway's Motion response [47] should be granted in part and denied in part.

         I. CLAIMS

         Holloway alleges that his constitutional rights were violated while he was housed in the Mississippi Department of Corrections at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (“CMCF”) in October 2015, and thereafter when he was transferred to the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Parchman, Mississippi (“Parchman”), where he was housed in October and November 2015. Defendants are Dr. Gail Williams, who allegedly failed to provide adequate mental health care treatment at Unit 42, as well as current and former employees of MDOC: Marshall Fisher, the former Commissioner of MDOC; Jerry Williams; Gloria Perry; Ron King; Brian Ladner; James Fillyaw; Supt. Earnest Lee; Warden Sonja Sanciel; Deputy Warden Simon Lee; Lt. Jamaal Murriel; Lt. Kevin Nunn; and Richard Pennington (“MDOC Defendants).[2] In this action, Plaintiff's claims may be summarized as follows:

1. Plaintiff alleges that the MDOC Defendants failed to protect him from harm when he was raped by another inmate on October 1, 2015, at CMCF. [1] at 12-13.
2. Plaintiff alleges that after he underwent treatment at a private hospital, he was transported to the hospital at Unit 42 of the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, Mississippi, on October 14, 2015. He was housed at Unit 42 for approximately fifteen to seventeen days, after which time he was transferred to the East Mississippi Correctional Facility (“EMCF”), where he is currently housed. Plaintiff makes claims regarding his conditions of confinement for the period in which he was housed at Unit 42. Id. at 13-14, 15-17. More specifically, he claims that the facilities were filthy, were infested by vermin, had no hot water, had inadequate ventilation, and had inadequate lighting and plumbing. Id. at 15-17.
3. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Dr. Williams denied him adequate medical and mental health treatment while he was housed at Unit 42. Id. at 17-20.[3]

         In their filings, the MDOC Defendants acknowledge that Holloway did file and exhaust his administrative remedies on his claim that the MDOC Defendants failed to protect him from harm on October 1, 2015, when he was allegedly raped by another inmate at CMCF. See [44] at 2 n.1. The MDOC Defendants argue, however, that Holloway failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as to his conditions of confinement claim and his denial of adequate mental health and medical care treatment claims.

         II. RELEVANT STANDARDS

         Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states, in relevant part, that A[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 at 1075.

         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. § 1997e, as amended by the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PLRA), states the following:

No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such ...

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