Stickley v. Byrd et al
ORDER denying 49 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 3/1/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
KARL BYRD, Sheriff, Faulkner County,
Arkansas; TORLING, Officer; ANDREWS,
Lt.; ANDREWS, Officer; CHILDS, Officer;
BOBBY BROWN, Major; and JOHN RANDALL,
Captain, Faulkner County Detention Center
The Defendants' motion for summary judgment, Document No. 49, is
denied. The law enforcement officials point to the Faulkner County Detention
Center's policy of allowing inmates one roll of toilet paper per week. They
say that if an inmate runs out, then he can get another roll; and they argue
that, as a matter of law, these circumstances pass constitutional muster. But
Stickley says this is not the way things worked in practice. One testifying
officer agreed. This evidence indicates that the practice was one roll a week,
no more, no matter what. The record thus presents a genuine dispute of
material fact on the merits, a dispute that precludes judgment as a matter of
R. CN. P. 56(a).
Nor are the Defendants entitled to qualified immunity. First, there are
material disputes of fact about the jail's policy and practice. Second, pretrial
detainees (like Stickley) have clearly established constitutional rights to basic
human dignity, reasonably adequate sanitation and personal hygiene, and at
least the minimal civilized measures of life's necessities. See, e.g., Morris v.
Zefferi, 601 F.3d 805, 809, 812 (8th Cir. 2010); Owens v. Scott County Jail, 328
F.3d 1026, 1027 (8th Cir. 2003); Howard v. Adkison, 887 F.2d 134, 137 (8th Cir.
1989). Taking Stickley's story as true, the record is this: Defendants denied
Stickley more than one roll of toilet paper a week during the approximately
five months he was detained; he needed more than this; he was not doing
anything improper with the toilet paper, such as stopping up the toilet; and
each time he ran out of toilet paper, Stickley had to wait up to thirty minutes
to shower and clean himself after bowel movements.
This is not a case where no toilet paper was provided for a few days.
Compare, e.g., Harris v. Fleming, 839 F.2d 1232,1234-36 (7th Cir. 1988) (four-to
five day" temporary neglect of Harris's needs was not intentional, nor did it
reach unconstitutional proportions."). A reasonable officer might make a
mistake about whether that kind of omission violated clear law. But if what
Stickley says is true, a reasonable officer would understand that, in these
circumstances, not providing additional toilet paper violated Stickley's right
to reasonably adequate sanitation and personal hygiene during pretrial
detention. Montoya v. City of Flandreau, _ F.3d _, No. 11-1787, at *7-8 (8th
Cir. 23 February 2012).
Motion, Document No. 49, denied. An amended final scheduling order,
which will set pre-trial deadlines and a new trial date, will issue soon.
D.P. Mars all Jr.
United States District Judge
/ JtfMth dOt:L
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