Story v. Stovall et al
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 15 Report and Recommendations. denying 13 Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. Signed by Honorable Susan O. Hickey on December 14, 2011. (cap)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CASE NO. 4:10-CV-4160
SHERIFF RON STOVALL,
Miller County Arkansas; and
NURSE CARMILLITA WILLIAMS,
Miller County Detention Center
Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation filed April 21, 2011 by the Honorable
Barry A. Bryant, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. (ECF No.
15). Judge Bryant recommends that Separate Defendant Sheriff Ron Stovall’s Motion for Judgment
on the Pleadings (ECF No. 13) be denied. After reviewing the record de novo, the Court adopts
Judge Bryant’s Report and Recommendation as its own.
Defendant Stovall first objects to Judge Bryant’s denial of his motion on the grounds that
the transportation mix up by the detention center on October 7, 2010 was the cause of delay in
Plaintiff’s medical treatment, not the grievance procedure. Plaintiff was injured on September 29,
2010. After allegedly not getting proper medical attention for a full week, Plaintiff submitted a
written complaint on October 6. A transportation mix-up on October 7, seemingly the fault of the
detention center, prevented Plaintiff from attending a scheduled appointment. This appointment was
later rescheduled for October 13. Over the course of the week following the October 7 mix up,
Plaintiff submitted at least one other written inquiry, this time directed to Defendant Stovall, and
asked several prison officials how he could get in touch with someone who had the power to
expedite his medical treatment. These inquiries were not responded to. He was finally x-rayed on
While the transportation mix-up, in and of itself, might have caused a delay in Plaintiff’s
medical treatment, Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged several other factors that could have contributed
to the delay. For example, Plaintiff alleges that his inquiries made previous to and subsequent to
the mix-up were not responded to. Accepting Plaintiff’s allegations as true, it is possible that the
medical care could have been expedited had Plaintiff’s concerns been addressed.
Defendant Stovall also objects to Judge Bryant’s recommendation on the grounds that “there
is no evidence that Stovall directly oversees the grievance procedure.” Judge Bryant relied upon
Langford v. Norris, 614 F.3d 445, 464 (8th Cir. 2010) which stands for the proposition that an
individual who designs or oversees a prisoner grievance procedure can be held liable “if [the
grievance procedure] resulted in the denial of constitutionally adequate treatment.” Defendant
Stovall is the sheriff of Miller County. Plaintiff’s alleged mistreatment occurred within the Miller
County Detention Center. At this early stage in the proceedings, Plaintiff’s allegation that the top
law enforcement officer in Miller County might have had some involvement or authority regarding
the grievance procedure policy in his own detention facility is not without merit.
In his Report and Recommendation, Judge Bryant fully addressed the legal standard that
accompanies a motion for judgment on the pleadings. Applying the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) general pleading standard, a plaintiff is only required to supply “‘sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.’” Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009)(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S. Ct. 1937,
1940 (2009)). Furthermore, a pro se complaint like the one before the Court “can only be dismissed
for failure to state a claim if it appears ‘beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in
support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.’” Crooks v. Nix, 872 F.2d 800, 801 (8th Cir.
1989)(quoting Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 92 S.Ct. 594 (1972)). Applying this standard,
Plaintiff has sufficiently plead facts that point to the possible existence of inadequate prison
grievance procedures or medical supervision policies that could have led to a violation of his
The Court overrules Defendant Stovall’s objections and adopts Judge Bryant’s Report and
Recommendation (ECF No. 15). For the reasons stated herein and above, as well as those contained
in the Report and Recommendation, Separate Defendant Sheriff Ron Stovall’s Motion for Judgment
on the Pleadings (ECF No. 13) is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 14th day of December, 2011.
/s/ Susan O. Hickey
Hon. Susan O. Hickey
United States District Judge
The Court notes that Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (ECF No. 21) subsequent to the
issuance of Judge Bryant’s Report and Recommendation. However, the changes made to the Complaint
do not alter the Court’s analysis toward the present motion.
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