Johnson v. Adams
ORDER granting 36 defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissing the case with prejudice. The Court certifies that an ifp appeal would not be taken in good faith. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 3/13/13. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
PINE BLUFF DIVISION
DWAYNE E. JOHNSON,
ED ADAMS, Captain,
Brassell Detention Center
On 16 February 2012, Dwayne E. Johnson got into a fight with Herman
Brown while both men were detainees at the Brassell Detention Center. As
a result of the fight, Johnson suffered a knot above his left eye, a small
laceration above his eyebrow that did not require stitches, scratches on the
right side of his face, and a bloody nose. He was given antibiotics and
reported feeling "fine." Johnson claims that Captain Ed Adams failed to
prevent the fight or ensure that Johnson received adequate medical care for
his injuries. Adams moves for summary judgment on both claims, which have
been brought against him in his individual and official capacities.
Johnson's failure-to-protect claim against Adams in his individual
capacity fails as a matter of law. Johnson has not offered any evidence to
support his allegations that Brown was taking psychiatric medications, that
the medications or Brown's unspecified mental illness made him dangerous,
or that there was a substantial risk that Brown might harm Johnson.
Similarly, Johnson has not shown that Adams knew that Brown had mental
problems, was taking psychiatric medications, or otherwise posed a
substantial risk of harm. Instead, the evidence suggests that the fight between
Johnson and Brown was a surprise. Schoelch v. Mitchell, 625 F.3d 1041,10461048 (8th Cir. 2010). Summary judgment is appropriate because Johnson has
failed to establish either the objective or subjective element of his failure-toprotect claim. Holden v. Hirner, 663 F.3d 336,341 (8th Cir. 2011); Lenz v. Wade,
490 F.3d 991, 995-996 (8th Cir. 2007).
Johnson's inadequate-medical-care claim against Adams in his
individual capacity also fails as a matter of law. Johnson has not
demonstrated that medical providers were deliberately indifferent when
treating his minor injuries. Langford v. Norris, 614 F.3d 445, 460 (8th Cir. 201 0);
Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234, 1239 (8th Cir. 1997); Logan v. Clarke, 119
F.3d 647, 649-50 (8th Cir. 1997). Although Johnson says there was a severalhour delay in his receiving medical care, he has not shown that any delay
harmed him. Gibson v. Weber, 433 F.3d 642,646-47 (8th Cir. 2006). Finally, and
most importantly, it is undisputed that Adams was not personally involved
in any way in Johnson's medical care or any delay in Johnson receiving that
care. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009). Adams is thus entitled to
summary judgment on this claim.
Johnson's claim against Adams in his official capacity is actually
a claim against Jefferson County. Parrish v. Ball, 594 F.3d 993, 997 (8th Cir.
2010); Jenkins v. CountyofHennepin, Minn., 557F.3d 628,631-32 (8th Cir. 2009).
Jefferson County cannot be held vicariously liable for Adams's alleged
constitutional violations. Monnell v. Dept. of Social Services., 436 U.S. 658, 694
(1978). The County can be held liable, though, if Adams had a custom or
practice of improperly training his subordinates, and that lack of proper
training caused the fight between Johnson and Brown. City of Canton v.
Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 388 (1989); Parrish, 594 F.3d at 997.
Although he has had the opportunity to do so, Johnson has not
provided any evidence to support a custom-or-practice claim. Additionally,
a prisoner cannot maintain an official-capacity claim in the absence of any
underlying constitutional violation. Carpenter v. Gage, 686 F.3d 644, 651 (8th
Cir. 2012); Brockinton v. City of Sherwood, Ark., 503 F.3d 667, 673 (8th Cir. 2007).
Accordingly, Adams is also entitled to summary judgment on the officialcapacity claim.
Defendant's motion for summary judgment, Document No. 36,is granted,
and this case dismissed with prejudice. The Court certifies that an in forma
pauperis appeal would not be taken in good faith. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3).
D.P. Marshal Jr.
United State District Judge
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