United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
MICHAEL P. MILLS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on the pro se prisoner
complaint of Gregory Paul Carr, who challenges the conditions
of his confinement under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the
purposes of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the court notes
that the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed this suit.
The plaintiff has brought the instant case under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, which provides a federal cause of action against
“[e]very person” who under color of state
authority causes the “deprivation of any rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws.” 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff alleges
that defendant Lloyd Hoover arrested him without a warrant or
probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the
United States Constitution. The defendant filed a motion for
summary judgment, and the plaintiff responded. After
reviewing the motion and response, the court ordered
additional briefing on the matter in accordance with
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. The defendant has provided the additional
briefing, as has the plaintiff. The matter is ripe for
resolution. For the reasons set forth below, the motion by
the defendant for summary judgment will be granted, and
judgment will be entered for the defendant in all respects.
judgment is appropriate if the “materials in the
record, including depositions, documents, electronically
stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials”
show 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) and (c)(1).
“The moving party must show that if the evidentiary
material of record were reduced to admissible evidence in
court, it would be insufficient to permit the nonmoving party
to carry its burden.” Beck v. Texas State Bd. of
Dental Examiners, 204 F.3d 629, 633 (5th Cir.
2000) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317
(1986), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 1066 (1988)).
proper motion for summary judgment is made, the burden shifts
to the non-movant to set forth specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2511, 91
L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Beck, 204 F.3d at 633; Allen
v. Rapides Parish School Bd., 204 F.3d 619, 621
(5th Cir. 2000); Ragas v. Tennessee Gas
Pipeline Company, 136 F.3d 455, 458 (5th Cir.
1998). Substantive law determines what is material.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. “Only disputes over
facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary
judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary
will not be counted.” Id., at 248. If the
non-movant sets forth specific facts in support of
allegations essential to his claim, a genuine issue is
presented. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 327. “Where
the record, taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier
of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine
issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 89 L.Ed.2d 538
(1986); Federal Savings and Loan, Inc. v. Krajl, 968
F.2d 500, 503 (5thCir. 1992).
facts are reviewed drawing all reasonable inferences in favor
of the non-moving party. Allen, 204 F.3d at 621;
PYCA Industries, Inc. v. Harrison County Waste Water
Management Dist., 177 F.3d 351, 161 (5th Cir.
1999); Banc One Capital Partners Corp. v. Kneipper,
67 F.3d 1187, 1198 (5th Cir. 1995). However, this
is so only when there is “an actual controversy, that
is, when both parties have submitted evidence of
contradictory facts.” Little v. Liquid Air
Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994);
see Edwards v. Your Credit, Inc., 148 F.3d 427, 432
(5th Cir. 1998). In the absence of proof, the
court does not “assume that the nonmoving party could
or would prove the necessary facts.” Little,
37 F.3d at 1075 (emphasis omitted).
Allegedly in Dispute
response to the court's invitation for additional
briefing in this case, Mr. Carr has argued that summary
judgment is inappropriate because several material facts are
in dispute. He is mistaken, and the court will address each
fact in turn. First, Mr. Carr disputes whether an unknown
female called 911, asked for police assistance, then hung up.
However, when asked about this during his deposition, he
stated that he did not know anything about the 911 call:
Q: … But to make sure I'm understanding, you
don't know whether somebody called 911 or not?
A: I mean, I don't know. Doc. 93-3 at 23. He gave the
same answer later on in his deposition:
Q: … Do you know who made the call?
A: I do not know who made the call.
Q: But you have no reason to dispute the call was made?
A: I don't even know if the call was made or not.
Doc. 93-3 at 32. Thus, the ample proof of the call in the
record before the court is undisputed.
Mr. Carr disputes whether a woman was crying at the residence
when Officer Hoover arrived at the scene. The court will thus
assume, for the purposes of summary judgment, that no one was
crying at the scene during that time.
Mr. Carr disputes that his truck was running and the lights
were on. Again, the court will assume, for summary judgment
purposes, that the truck was not running and that the lights
Carr's fourth contested material fact is the same as the
Mr. Carr states that he was not loud and did not use profane
language. The court will assume in its analysis that this
assertion is true.
the court will accept as true for summary judgment analysis
that Mr. Carr did not have alcohol on his breath.
the court will accept as true on summary judgment that
Officer Hoover never asked him about the tools in his truck.
the legality of Mr. Carr's possession of Sudafed and how
it relates to probable cause, are issues of law based upon
other facts gleaned during this case. Thus, these issues are
not, themselves, facts which may be used to defeat a motion
for summary judgment.
whether Officer Hoover investigated the scene and questioned
the other people present is not material to whether
he had probable cause to arrest M r. Carr. Further,
in any event, Mr. Carr concedes that Officer Hoover looked in
his truck, found the Sudafed, and saw the tools.
the issue regarding whether Officer Hoover arrested others on
the scene is not material to the question of whether probable
cause existed to arrest Mr. Carr. However, Mr. Carr testified
at his deposition that one other person was arrested at the
scene. He stated during his deposition:
A: I mean, when I got arrested, along with somebody at
that house - [the officer] that arrested me ...