United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Michael T. Parker United States Magistrate Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Defendants' Motion  for
Summary Judgment. Having carefully considered the
parties' submissions and the applicable law, the Court
finds that Defendant's Motion  for Summary Judgment
should be granted in part and denied in part.
a post-conviction inmate in the custody of the Mississippi
Department of Corrections (“MDOC”), filed this
civil rights lawsuit on April 23, 2018. At the time of the
underlying incident, Plaintiff was housed at Wilkinson County
Correctional Facility (“WCCF”), a private prison
run by Management & Training Corporation
(“MTC”). An omnibus hearing was held in this
matter on January 24, 2019, and Plaintiff clarified his
to Plaintiff, he was housed on the long-term segregation
unit, and on this unit it is required that inmates be placed
in restraints before going to the showers. On January 10,
2018, however, Defendant Chantel Woods allegedly escorted
inmate Marcus Brafield, who was not restrained, out of the
showers. Brafield allegedly took keys from Defendant Woods
and told her and the other officers in the zone to leave.
According to Plaintiff, the officers complied with
Brafield's order and left the zone. Brafield used the
keys to release three other inmates from their cells.
Thereafter, the inmates opened Plaintiff's cell and
to Plaintiff, he was able to escape his cell, but the inmates
pursued and continued their attack. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant Woods, along with Defendants Justin Green and Terry
Daniel, watched the assault through a glass door but did not
attempt to stop the inmates. Plaintiff was taken to
University of Mississippi Medical Center following the
attack. Plaintiff alleges that because of the attack, he lost
his right eye and a tooth.
testified that he believes Defendant Woods knew Brafield
planned to attack him and allowed the attack to occur. He
believes this because Brafield was allowed to go to the
showers unrestrained and because Defendant Woods knew
Brafield and Plaintiff had prior arguments.
February 19, 2019, the Court appointed counsel to represent
Plaintiff. On April 8, 2019, Defendants filed a Motion 
for Summary Judgment arguing that Plaintiff had not exhausted
his administrative remedies prior to filing suit. Plaintiff
responded on April 26, 2018 and Defendants replied on May 7,
judgment is proper if the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admission on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The Court must view
the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Causey v. Sewell Cadillac-Chevrolet, Inc.,
394 F.3d 285, 288 (5th Cir. 2004). If the moving party meets
its burden, the “nonmovant must go beyond the pleadings
and designate specific facts showing there is a genuine issue
for trial.” Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37
F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994).
judgment is proper “where a party fails to establish
the existence of an element essential to his case and on
which he bears the burden of proof.” Washington v.
Armstrong World Indus., Inc., 839 F.2d 1121, 1122 (5th
Cir. 1988). 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). “It is improper for the district
court to ‘resolve factual disputes by weighing
conflicting evidence, … since it is the province of
the jury to assess the probative value of the
evidence.'” McDonald v. Entergy Operations,
Inc., 2005 WL 2474701, at *3 (S.D.Miss. Apr. 29, 2005)
(quoting Kennett-Murray Corp. v. Bone, 622 F.2d 887,
892 (5th Cir. 1980)).
thrust of Defendants' argument is that Plaintiff did not
complete the administrative remedy process
(“ARP”) in place at WCCF before filing a lawsuit
relating to the alleged incident. Plaintiff disputes this
argument and points to a grievance filed on January 27, 2018
where he stated that the medical staff was denying his eye
drops, he wanted justice, and he sought access to the inmate
legal assistance program and a § 1983 form. Mot. ,
Ex. B at 45-46. An ARP investigator responded to this
grievance with a letter stating that each grievance should
only contain one complaint or request and grievances
containing multiple requests would be rejected. Id.
Plaintiff argues that this grievance was enough to start the
process and the letter he received in response on January 30,
2018 was not clear and the record does not show he ever
received the letter.
sufficiency of an administrative grievance is defined by each
prison's own grievance process. Jones v. Bock,
549 U.S. 199, 218 (2007). Defendants submit that the
grievance process is found in the MDOC Inmate Handbook which
states that the grievance should be brief but should also
include all the facts necessary to understand the ...