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Singleton v. Fisher

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

September 27, 2017

SHAWN M. SINGLETON DEFENDANTS
v.
COMMISSIONER MARSHALL L. FISHER, et al. PLAINTIFF

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DEBRA M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This pro se prisoner civil rights action is before the Court for consideration of the motion for summary judgment filed by Wendall Banks, Marshall Fisher, Earnest Lee, Timothy Morris, and Jerry Williams. Doc. #42.

         I

         Procedural History

         On June 15, 2015, Shawn M. Singleton filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi against numerous defendants, claiming sexual assault during pat-down searches, unconstitutionally harsh general conditions of confinement, mail tampering, deficient handling of grievances, deprivation of property without due process of law, failure to protect, denial of medical care, and constitutionally inadequate living space within his cell. Doc. #1 at 37-39. On November 9, 2015, Singleton appeared before United States Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander for a Spears hearing.[1]

         On December 15, 2015, Judge Alexander issued a Report and Recommendation addressing Singleton's claims. Doc. #20. Judge Alexander recommended that Singleton's: (1) claims for sexual assault, unconstitutionally harsh general conditions of confinement, mail tampering, deficient handling of grievances, and failure to protect, be dismissed for failure to exhaust; (2) claim for unlawful taking be dismissed for failure to exhaust and failure to state a claim; (3) denial of medical care claim be dismissed for failure to state a claim; and (4) the constitutionally inadequate living space claim proceed against Fish Commissioner Marshall L. Fisher, Deputy Commissioner Jerry Williams, Superintendent Earnest Lee, Warden Timothy Morris, and Deputy Warden Wendell Banks. Id. at 6-7. Singleton filed timely objections to the Report and Recommendation. Doc. #22.

         On December 2, 2016, Banks, Fisher, Lee, Morris, and Williams, filed a motion for summary judgment on the claim for constitutionally inadequate living space. Doc. #42. Singleton responded in opposition, Doc. #46; and the moving defendants did not reply.

         On May 12, 2017, this Court entered an order rejecting the Report and Recommendation to the extent it recommended dismissal of Singleton's claims for failure to exhaust, but adopting the Report and Recommendation in all other respects. Doc. #49.

         II

         Standard of Review

         Under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[s]ummary judgment is proper only when the record demonstrates that no genuine issue of material fact exists and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Luv N' Care Ltd. v. Groupo Rimar, 844 F.3d 442, 447 (5th Cir. 2016). “A factual issue is genuine if the evidence is sufficient for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the non-moving party and material if its resolution could affect the outcome of the action.” Burton v. Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., 798 F.3d 222, 226 (5th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted). On a motion for summary judgment, a court must “consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in its favor.” Edwards v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 841 F.3d 360, 363 (5th Cir. 2016).

         In seeking summary judgment, “[t]he moving party bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the record which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Nola Spice Designs, L.L.C. v. Haydel Enters., Inc., 783 F.3d 527, 536 (5th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted). If the moving party satisfies this burden, “the non-moving party must go beyond the pleadings and by her own affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). “Where the nonmoving party bears the burden of proof at trial, the moving party satisfies this initial burden by demonstrating an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.” Celtic Marine Corp. v. James C. Justice Cos., Inc., 760 F.3d 477, 481 (5th Cir. 2014).

         III

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