Lackey v. Cradduck et al
ORDER adopting in part 37 Report and Recommendations and Defendants motion for summary judgment Doc. 32 is GRANTED.Judgment will be entered accordingly. Signed by Honorable P. K. Holmes, III on November 20, 2017. (rg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
ADAM R. LACKEY
SHERIFF KELLEY CRADDUCK;
LIEUTENANT J. MARTINEZ;
SERGEANT LARA; SERGEANT
MONDAY; AND SERGEANT
The Court has received a report and recommendation (Doc. 37) from United States
Magistrate Judge Erin L. Wiedemann.
The magistrate recommends that the Court grant
Defendants’ motion for summary judgment (Doc. 32) and dismiss this case with prejudice. No
objections have been filed and the deadline to object has passed. The report and recommendation
will be adopted in part and rejected in part.
Plaintiff filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 asserting claims under
the due process clause and the equal protection clause for the defendants’ actions in not offering
plaintiff the opportunity to participate in a GED educational program at the Benton County
Detention Center. The Court has already dismissed the due process claim with prejudice (Doc.
13). The report and recommendation is rejected to the extent that it addresses the due process
Plaintiff is a sex offender who was segregated from the general prison population, along
with all other sex offenders, in the Benton County Detention Center. Citing Little v. Terhune, 200
F. Supp. 2d 445 (D.N.J. 2002), for the proposition that segregating inmates for security reasons
provides a rational basis for the disparate availability of educational programs and does not violate
the equal protection clause, the magistrate judge recommends dismissal of the equal protection
claim on the basis that denying plaintiff participation in the GED program is related to a legitimate
penological need—the security of the inmates, staff and volunteers in the GED program. The
Court rejects that reasoning. Little involved a prisoner segregated from the general prison
population for disciplinary violations. The plaintiff in this case was segregated from general
population based only on his classification as a sex offender. While segregation of sex offenders
or those charged with sex offenses is based on a legitimate penological need, it does not necessarily
follow that those inmates should be denied educational opportunities because of their
classification. For that reason, the Court declines to adopt the reasoning of the magistrate judge
in the report and recommendation as it relates to the equal protection claim. While the individual
capacity claims are subject to dismissal for the reasons set for the in the report and
recommendation, and the Court adopts that reasoning, the question of whether plaintiff might have
an official capacity claim for injunctive relief for a violation of the equal protection clause remains
However, the Court need not address whether there was an equal protection clause
violation in this case because the plaintiff completed and graduated from the GED program after
being transferred to the Arkansas Department of Corrections (Doc. 34-6 at 40-41). Therefore, the
Court finds that plaintiff’s equal protection claim for injunctive relief is moot and the Court need
not decide the issue. See McMillan v. Chief Judge, Cir. Ct. of Green Cty., 711 F.2d 108, 109 (8th
Cir. 1983) (“Because [the plaintiffs] have already received the relief they request, we dismiss their
appeal as moot.”).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the report and recommendation is ADOPTED IN
PART, and Defendants’ motion for summary judgment (Doc. 32) is GRANTED. The individual
capacity claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The official capacity claim seeking
injunctive relief premised on a violation of the equal protection clause is DISMISSED WITH
PREJUDICE on the grounds that the plaintiff’s claim is MOOT. Judgment will be entered
IT IS SO ORDERED this 20th day of November, 2017.
/s/P. K. Holmes, III
P.K. HOLMES, III
CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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