United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' DEFENDANTS'
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR FAILURE TO EXHAUST
ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES (ECF NO. 49); GRANTING
DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS AS TO
STATE LAW CLAIMS (ECF NO. 39); GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION TO DISMISS FALSE ARREST CLAIM (ECF NO. 86); AND
DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO ORDER ADMINISTRATION AT
PEARL RIVER COUNTY JAIL TO ANSWER GRIEVANCES AND
ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDY REQUEST (ECF NO. 61)
C. GARGIULO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
THE COURT are five motions: a Motion to Dismiss False Arrest
Claim (ECF No. 86) and a Motion to Order Administration at
Pearl River County Jail to Answer Grievances and
Administrative Remedy Request (ECF No. 61) filed by Plaintiff
Rodney Smith; and a Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 79),
a Motion for Summary Judgment for Failure to Exhaust
Administrative Remedies (ECF No. 49), and a Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings as to State Law Claims (ECF No. 39)
filed by Defendants Rob Williams and Pearl River County,
Mississippi. Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings and Motion for Summary Judgment for Failure to
Exhaust Administrative Remedies are fully briefed, as is
Plaintiff's Motion to Order Administration to Answer
Grievances. Plaintiff responded to Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment following the Court's issuance of an
Order to Show Cause (ECF No. 87). (ECF No. 89). For the
reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss False
Arrest Claim (ECF No. 86) will be GRANTED, Plaintiff's
Motion to Order Administration at Pearl River County Jail to
Answer Grievances and Administrative Remedy Request (ECF No.
61) will be DENIED, Defendants' Motion for Judgment on
the Pleadings as to State Law Claims (ECF No. 39) will be
GRANTED, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment for
Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies (ECF No. 49) will
be DENIED AS MOOT, and Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 79) will be GRANTED.
Rodney Smith is an inmate currently incarcerated at the
Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, MS. He
filed his Complaint (ECF No. 1) while incarcerated at the
Lenoir Rowell Criminal Justice Center (“LRCJC”)
in Poplarville, Mississippi. His claims have been
supplemented through responses to court orders (ECF Nos. 14,
32-33) numerous “attachments” (ECF Nos. 15-18,
20), motions to amend (ECF Nos. 9, 19), and testimony at the
omnibus hearing held January 18, 2017. Many of
Plaintiff's claims have already been dismissed in prior
Orders. See (ECF No. 22); (ECF No. 23); Text Order
dated Jan. 19, 2017; (ECF No. 78). Remaining are his claims
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Mississippi Tort
Claims Act (“MTCA”) against Defendants Rob
Williams and Pearl River County, Mississippi. He proceeds
pro se and in forma pauperis.
alleges that Defendant Williams, an officer with the Pearl
River County Sheriff's Department, unlawfully seized
Plaintiff when he arrested Plaintiff on January 13, 2015.
(ECF No. 1, at 4). Plaintiff states that he had been serving
a sentence of house arrest when he cut off his monitoring
bracelet on December 23, 2014. Id. He asserts that
Williams had no authority to arrest him because “Pearl
River Co Sheriff did not have jurisdiction to charge me with
anything.” Id. He says this is because he
“was under MDOC's custody” and the arrest was
“just harassment from Det Rob Williams because of bad
blood between [Plaintiff] and him from years ago.”
Id. Therefore, Plaintiff asserts that Defendant
Williams wrongfully arrested him in violation of the Fourth
Pearl River County, Plaintiff asserts denial of prompt dental
care in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff says
that he filed a sick call request via the inmate kiosk at
LRCJC on November 18, 2015, requesting to see a dentist for a
broken tooth. Id. at 5. He testified that he saw a
nurse the next day, who told him that he would be going to
see a dentist soon. He says he sent four more sick call
requests via the kiosk on December 9, 2015, January 8, 2016,
January 29, 2016, and February 22, 2016 before finally seeing
a dentist on February 26, 2016. Id.; (ECF No. 14, at
1). He says that the dentist had to pull five teeth out,
which had been causing him tooth aches such that he
“couldn't hardly eat.” (ECF No. 14, at 1). He
testified that he was given ibuprofen for the pain in
response to his numerous sick calls. Plaintiff says that two
other inmates went to see the dentist before him on January
29, 2016, and neither had been at the LRCJC even sixty days.
(ECF No. 9, at 5).
also makes a claim against Pearl River County for tampering
with his mail. Id. at 6. He says that staff in the
LRCJC mail room opened his legal mail and that he is not
receiving all of the letters sent to him by his girlfriend.
Id. He states that he is sure staff are tampering
with his mail because he mailed a letter addressed to himself
and he never received it. Id.
Plaintiff is a prisoner pursuing a civil action seeking
redress from government employees, the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA), Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321, H.R.
3019 (codified as amended in scattered titles and sections of
the United States Code), applies and requires that this case
PLRA provides that “the Court shall dismiss the case at
any time if the court determines that . . . the action . . .
(i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). Accordingly, the statute “accords judges
not only the authority to dismiss a claim based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory, but also the unusual
power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual
allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual
contentions are clearly baseless.” Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992).
prisoner is proceeding in forma pauperis, and his
complaint is dismissed on grounds that it is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim, the dismissal counts as
a strike. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). If a prisoner receives
three strikes, he may no longer proceed in forma
pauperis in a civil suit unless he is in imminent danger
of serious physical injury. Id.
Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss False Arrest Claim
Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss False Arrest Claim (ECF No.
86), Plaintiff seeks “to dismiss the False Arrest Claim
against Det Rob Williams, ” but “ask[s] that all
other claims stay in Place.” (ECF No. 86, at 1). The
Court construes this Motion as a Motion to Voluntarily
dismiss Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Williams for
unlawful arrest. Defendants filed a Response (ECF No. 88)
indicating no opposition. Because Defendants do not oppose
Plaintiff's voluntary dismissal of his unlawful arrest