United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
P. Jordan III CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Leonard Brown claims Defendants Marshal Turner and Jacquelyn
Banks retaliated against him for complaining about an assault
and denial of medical care. Turner and Banks, in their
individual capacities, moved for summary judgment . Brown
opposes the motion. For the reasons explained, the Court
finds Defendants' motion should be granted as to Banks
and granted in part and denied in part as to Turner.
2015, Brown was incarcerated at the South Mississippi
Correctional Institution (“SMCI”). Defendant
Turner served as warden of Brown's unit, and Defendant
Banks was the superintendent of the Mississippi Department of
Corrections (“MDOC”). On July 24, 2015, inmates
at SMCI stabbed Correctional Officer Zachary Bolton, and
Officer Bolton identified Brown as one of his assailants.
See Turner Aff. [82-2] at 3 (Incident Detail). For
his part, Brown denies any involvement. Brown Aff.  at 2.
This lawsuit stems from three events that transpired after
Brown says that Correctional Officers Keyes and Lucker--in
response to the attack on Officer Bolton--beat him, sexually
assaulted him with a K-9 stick, and placed him in a cold cell
for several days. Brown Aff.  at 3-4. When he requested
medical attention and basic supplies, prison officials denied
his requests. Id. at 4. Brown claims that the
officers told him they were following Warden Turner's
instructions. Id. at 30.
MDOC placed Brown in Administrative Segregation, during and
after the investigation of the attack on Officer Bolton.
Banks Aff. [82-1] at 3-4. According to Brown, officers
repeatedly threatened to kill him during this period
“for complaining to prison officials about being
sexually assaulted.” Brown Aff.  at 3. Brown
therefore reached out to Defendant Banks in August 2015. He
wrote that he “did not feel safe at SMCI” and
requested “to be transferred to another correctional
facility away from the corrections officers who were
torturing and threatening [him].” Id. at 6.
Brown says Banks failed to respond. Id.
MDOC issued a Rule Violation Report (“RVR”) to
Brown finding he participated in the attack on Officer
Bolton. Brown Aff.  at 5; see Banks Aff. [82-1]
at 7 (attaching RVR finding Brown assaulted Officer Bolton).
Brown appealed, and the appeal was rejected by Warden Turner.
Brown Aff.  at 5.
response, Brown filed this lawsuit against Mississippi
Attorney General Jim Hood, Warden Turner, Superintendent
Banks, Officer Lucker, Officer Davis, Officer Keys, and
Captain Johnson. Brown alleged Defendants violated his rights
under the First, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to
the United States Constitution and also violated state law.
disposition of those claims is a little complicated and
begins on January 31, 2018. On that day, the Court dismissed
the official-capacity and state-law claims against Warden
Turner and Superintendent Banks, as well as the claims
against Attorney General Hood. Order . The Court also
found Warden Tuner was entitled to qualified immunity on
Brown's Eighth Amendment delay-in-medical-care claim.
Id. at 11. Based on Brown's limited response to
Defendants' motion to dismiss, the Court concluded that
he had waived the following claims: “(1) Fourth
Amendment unlawful arrest claim; (2) claims related to the
cold and uncomfortable cell; (3) failure to protect; (4)
denial of ARP request; and (5) First Amendment.”
Id. at 9 n.2.
25, 2018, the Court dismissed Brown's claims against
Officer Keys in his official and individual capacities but
granted Brown an opportunity to seek leave to amend. Order
. Brown declined to do so. Then on December 6, 2018, the
Court granted Brown's motion for default judgment against
Officer Lucker, in his individual capacity, “on the
issue of liability alone.” Order  at 1 (quoting
Pl.'s Mot.  at 4). As to Officer Davis, Defendants
filed a suggestion of death  on November 14, 2018.
Finally, it does not appear that Brown ever served Captain
Johnson. Unexecuted Summons  (noting Johnson no longer
works for MDOC); Third Mot. for Extension of Time to Serve
Process  (filed Oct. 23, 2017) (seeking additional time
to serve Johnson).
leaves Brown's claim that Warden Turner and
Superintendent Banks retaliated against him for complaining
about the sexual assault and the lack of medical care. The
Court previously denied Defendants' motion to dismiss
that claim under Rule 12(b)(6) but noted that they could
raise the issue again at the summary-judgment stage. Order
 at 13. Turner and Banks have done just that; their
motion is fully briefed; and the Court has subject-matter
judgment is warranted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56(a) when evidence reveals no genuine dispute regarding any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. The rule “mandates the
entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery
and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential
to that party's case, and on which that party will bear
the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
party moving for summary judgment “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.” Id. at 323.
The nonmoving party must then “go beyond the
pleadings” and “designate ‘specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'”
Id. at 324 (citation omitted). In reviewing the
evidence, factual controversies are to be resolved in favor
of the nonmovant, “but only when . . . both parties
have submitted evidence of contradictory facts.”
Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th
Cir. 1994) (en banc). When such contradictory facts exist,
the court may “not make credibility determinations or
weigh the evidence.” Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing
Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000). Conclusory
allegations, speculation, unsubstantiated assertions, and