Hubbard v. Beauchamp et al
ORDER granting 17 Motion for Summary Judgment Signed by Honorable David C. Bramlette, III on 1/11/2012 (PL)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
ANDREW CHANDLER HUBBARD
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:10-CV-188-DCB-JMR
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Beauchamp’s unopposed Motion for Summary Judgment [docket entry no.
17]. Having carefully considered said Motion, applicable statutory
and case law, and being otherwise fully advised in the premises,
the Court finds and orders as follows:
I. Facts and Procedural History
Plaintiff Andrew Hubbard, an inmate at the Wilkinson County
Correctional Facility (“WCCF”) in Woodville, Mississippi, initiated
a § 1983 action against Elliot Beauchamp, a unit manager at WCCF,
alleging that on August 11, 2010 Beauchamp used “unjustifiable
unprofessionalism within his professionalism status.” Complaint at
¶ III, docket entry no. 1. Specifically, Hubbard claims that
Beauchamp “approached [him] in a very unprofessional manner such as
verbally and physically assaulting him.” Id. Beauchamp denies this
event ever occurred. See Aff. of Elliot Beauchamp at ¶ 4, docket
entry no. 17-1.
After the deadline for discovery had passed, Beauchamp filed
his Motion for Summary Judgment, stating that Hubbard has failed to
present any evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact to
support an Eighth Amendment excessive force claim. Hubbard, who is
proceeding pro se, filed no response to this Motion. Noting that
November 14, 2011, Chief Magistrate Judge Roper issued an Order
directing Hubbard to show cause before December 5, 2011, why
summary judgment should not be granted.1 See Order to Show Cause,
docket entry no. 22. Hubbard has yet to respond to this Order.
A. Summary Judgment Standard
Federal Rule of Procedure 56(a) provides: “The court shall
grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” The party seeking summary judgment
bears the initial burden of “demonstrat[ing] the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 323 (1986). If the moving party meets this burden, it becomes
incumbent upon the nonmoving party to establish a genuine issue of
material fact concerning every element of his claim. Id.; Tubacex,
Inc. v. M/V Risan, 45 F.3d 951, 954 (5th Cir. 1995). The nonmoving
party is entitled to any reasonable inferences that may be drawn
unsubstantiated assertions and conclusory allegations. Forsyth v.
In the Order, the Court warned Hubbard that failure to
respond may result in immediate dismissal of his case without
prejudice and without further notice. Id.
Barr, 19 F.3d 1527, 1533 (5th Cir. 1994). If the court determines,
based on the record before it, that no reasonable fact-finder could
find in the nonmoving party’s favor, then it must grant summary
judgment as a matter of law. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 331 (citing
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986)).
B. Whether Hubbard Has Produced Enough Evidence Avoid Summary
“unjustifiable excessive force” against him. Complaint at ¶ III. In
order for Hubbard’s Eighth Amendment excessive force claim to
survive summary judgment, there must be some evidence in the record
indicating that Beauchamp maliciously or sadistically applied force
with the intent to cause him harm. See Wilkins v. Gaddy, __ U.S.
__, __; 130 S. Ct. 1175, 1178 (2010) (“The ‘core judicial inquiry,’
we held, was not whether a certain quantum of injury was sustained,
but rather ‘whether force was applied in a good-faith effort to
maintain or restore discipline, or maliciously and sadistically to
cause harm.’” (quoting Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 4 (1992)).
As an initial matter, the facts alleged in the Complaint do
not support a § 1983 claim for excessive force. Hubbard asserts
that “Beauchamp approached [him] in a very unprofessional matter
such as verbally and physically assaulting me . . . .” Complaint at
¶ III. The “assaulting” that Hubbard complains of, however, appears
threatening way by speaking very derogatory and also placing his
hands on [him] . . . .” Id. Hubbard’s allegation that Beauchamp put
his hands on him in a “threatening” and “unprofessional” way does
excessive force which requires the intent to cause harm. See, e.g.,
Wilkins, __ U.S. at __; 130 S. Ct. at 1178.
Moreover, Hubbard has produced no evidence creating a genuine
issue of material fact to rebut Beauchamp’s Motion. Beauchamp
provided an affidavit averring that the events Hubbard describes
never occurred. Aff. of Elliot Beauchamp at ¶ 4. The WWCF Warden
substantiated Beauchamp’s position, stating to Hubbard in response
to his complaint:
. . . . I have investigated your claim. The information
I have gathered reveals that staff is to maintain safety
and security to all offenders and to enforce all rules
and regulations. According to Unit Manager Beauchamp, he
has never said anything unprofessional to you nor has he
ever done anything to you.
You have not provided
evidence to substantiate your claim. Your claim holds no
merits. I consider this matter resolved at this level.
supporting his claim, choosing not to conduct discovery or oppose
the pending Motion for Summary Judgment. See Defendant’s Motion for
Summary Judgment, docket entry 17 at ¶ 4. Judge Roper gave him one
last chance to show cause why summary judgment should not be
opportunity. All the evidence before the Court indicates that
Beauchamp never physically or verbally abused Hubbard. Aff. of
Elliot Beauchamp at ¶ 5.
Beauchamp has presented the Court with evidence that the
events described in the Complaint never occurred, thereby meeting
his burden. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323. Hubbard has produced no
contradictory evidence. See id. Accordingly, the Court finds that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and Beauchamp
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See FED . R. CIV . P.
For the foregoing reasons,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Defendant’s Motion for Summary
Judgment [docket entry no. 17] is GRANTED.
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED on this the 11th day of January, 2012.
/s/ David Bramlette
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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