Turner v. Hobbs et al
ORDER ADOPTING 52 Report and Recommendations of Magistrate Judge. Defendants' 46 Motion for Summary Judgment is granted. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 1/17/2014. (mcz)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CARL STANLEY TURNER
RAY HOBBS, Director, ADC; DANNY BURL,
Warden, E.A.R.U., ADC; TODD BALL, Assistant
Warden, E.A.R.U., ADC; VALERIE WESTBROOK,
Classification Supervisor, E.A.R.U., ADC;
MOSES JACKSON, Chief of Security, E.A.R.U.,
ADC; and PAULETTE GREEN, Classification
Supervisor, E.A.R.U., ADC
1. The Court has considered Magistrate Judge Jerome T. Kearney's
proposed findings and recommendations, NQ 52, and Turner's objections,
NQ 53. On de novo review, FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b)(3), the Court adopts Judge
Kearney's recommendation as supplemented.
2. Turner's claim for damages against all Defendants in their official
capacities is barred by sovereign immunity. His claims against Hobbs and
Burl fail as a matter of law because supervising prison administration alone
is not enough to support liability under§ 1983.
3. Turner's retaliation claim fails for lack of evidence. First, Turner
alleges that Defendants retaliated against him for filing another lawsuit by
holding him in punitive isolation for longer than his thirty-day assignment in
May and June 2010, and by then assigning him to administrative segregation.
NQ 2 at 7, 48-3, & 53 at 1. Defendants have provided Turner's complete
disciplinary history, Ng 48-2, and say that Turner's assignments were based
on this history, NQ 48 at 10. Turner doesn't challenge his disciplinary history
directly, though he does say that the June 17th report-assigning him to
administrative segregation because of his disciplinary history- was falsified .
NQ 53 at 5-7. Turner, though, offers no evidence to support this falsification
The undisputed facts show that after completing his first thirty-day
period of punitive isolation, and before starting a term of administrative
segregation, Turner was moved to administrative review for eleven days
while awaiting a status review. NQ 48-1 at 5 & 48-7. During this time,
however, he remained in the same lock-down cell- a standard practice at the
prison. NQ 48-6. The record shows that Turner was not held in punitive
isolation for more than thirty days in May and June, so his punitive-isolation
retaliation claim fails.
As for his administrative-segregation
retaliation claim, the law only requires" some evidence" that Turner actually
committed a rule violation to sustain the discipline, Hartsfield v. Nichols, 511
F.3d 826,829 (8th Cir. 2008), and Defendants have carried their burden. So the
assignment parts of Turner's retaliation claim cannot go forward.
Turner also alleges that he lost some privileges in retaliation for his
having filed another lawsuit. NQ 48-3. But this claim has no evidentiary
support on causation. Taking the record in the light most favorable to him,
he should have had certain privileges restored (personal property and
telephone access) during the eleven-day period he was on administrative
review, but those privileges were withheld. NQ 48-3, 48-4, & 48-6. He has
offered no evidence, however, supporting his theory that his pursuing another
lawsuit motivated the withholding of privileges. The omission may have
been partly addressed in the grievance process. NQ 48-4. But assuming a
complete privilege gap during the eleven June days between the punitiveisolation and administrative-segregation periods, no causation evidence
makes a jury issue here. Turner has offered no evidence that the gap was
push back from the Defendants based on other litigation.
4. Turner's due-process claim fails too. The undisputed material facts
taken in a light most favorable to Turner do not establish the violation of his
right to due process; his housing assignments did not impose an" atypical and
significant hardship ... in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life."
Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472,484 (1995).
5. Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity in any event. Scott v.
Baldwin, 720 F.3d 1034, 1036 (8th Cir. 2013). The Court sees no constitutional
violation. At the very most, the ADC officials made a mistake at the margin
about restoring some privileges during an eleven-day period.
Defendants' motion for summary judgment, NQ 46, granted.
D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
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