Alford v. Pike County Detention Center et al
ORDER ADOPTING 142 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the plaintiff's Motion for Relief 143 and Motion for Extension of Time to File Objections 145 are collectively treated by the Court as the plaintiff's Objecti ons to Magistrate Judge Parker's Report and Recommendation; FURTHER ORDERED that to the extent the plaintiff's Motion for Extension of Time to File Objections 145 seeks additional time to file a third set of objections, said motion is DENIED; FURTHER ORDERED that Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker's Report and Recommendation 142 is ADOPTED in its entirety as the findings and conclusions of this Court; FURTHER ORDERED that the Plaintiff's Complaint under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. Signed by Honorable David C. Bramlette, III on 3/2/2018 (ND)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
HENRY HINTON, JR.
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:15-cv-77(DCB)(MTP)
PIKE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI;
SHERIFF MARK SHEPPARD;
CAPTAIN GLEN GREEN; and
LIEUTENANT UNKNOWN SMITH
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker
(docket entry 142), on the plaintiff Henry Hinton, Jr.’s Motion for
Relief (docket entry 143), and on the plaintiff’s Motion for
Extension of Time to File Objections (docket entry 145).
carefully considered the record in this case, the Report and
Recommendation, and the plaintiff’s subsequent motions, the Court
finds as follows:
This cause was originally filed by the plaintiff pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 on August 19, 2015. Following an Omnibus hearing,
numerous motions by plaintiff and defendants, and several rulings
by Magistrate Judge Parker and this Court, an evidentiary hearing
was held on January 29, 2018, and Magistrate Judge Parker entered
his Report and Recommendation on February 9, 2018, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b).
The Report and Recommendation advised plaintiff Hinton that he
could file written objections to the Report and Recommendation
within 14 days after being served a copy of same.
On February 14,
2018, Hinton filed his Motion for Relief, which the Court treats as
his written objections. Subsequently, on February 26, 2018, Hinton
filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File Objections.
this motion contains additional objections, the Court treats the
Motion for Relief and Motion for Extension of Time collectively as
Hinton’s written objections.
Insofar as Hinton’s Motion for
Extension of Time seeks additional time to file a third set of
objections, it is denied.
When a party objects to a Report and Recommendation, this
Court is required to “make a de novo determination of those
See also Longmire v. Gust, 921 F.2d 620, 623 (5th Cir.
1991)(a party is “entitled to a de novo review by an Article III
Judge as to those issues to which an objection is made.”).
review means that this Court will examine the entire record and
will make an independent assessment of the law.
The Court is not
required, however, to reiterate the findings and conclusions of the
Magistrate Judge, Koetting v. Thompson, 995 F.2d 37, 40 (5th Cir.
conclusive or general in nature.
Battle v. United States Parole
Commission, 834 F.2d 419, 421 (5th Cir. 1997). No factual objection
is raised when a petitioner merely re-urges arguments contained in
the original petition. Edmond v. Collins, 8 F.3d 290, 293 (5th Cir.
The plaintiff’s lawsuit arises from events which took place
while he was incarcerated at the Pike County Jail.
the plaintiff, he entered the jail on June 30, 2014, and was
transferred to a Mississippi Department of Corrections facility on
November 24, 2015.
The plaintiff asserts three claims in this
action: (1) a denial of access to court claim against defendant
Sheppard; (2) a conditions of confinement claim against defendants
Sheppard, Green, and Smith; and (3) a failure to protect claim
against defendant Sheppard.
The plaintiff seeks compensatory and
punitive damages from the defendants.
The plaintiff alleges in his denial of access to court claim
that he lost a forfeiture hearing in state court and missed his
opportunity to appeal the forfeiture ruling because he did not have
access to a law library or other legal assistance while housed in
the Pike County Jail. At his evidentiary hearing, Hinton testified
that he was arrested on June 30, 2014, and at the time of his
arrest, police officers seized $7,746.00.
The plaintiff testified
that the money was discovered in a backpack along with marijuana.
He further testified that he was charged with intent to distribute
controlled substances and the prosecution pressured him to enter a
He also testified that he dismissed his first two
public defenders because they recommended that he enter a guilty
On October 5, 2015, after the plaintiff was appointed a
third public defender, he entered an Alford plea.
At his hearing
before Magistrate Judge Parker, he submitted into evidence a
transcript of his plea hearing.
Hinton testified that while he was in jail, he filed a claim
in state court for the seized $7,746.00 and, in November of 2015,
attended a forfeiture hearing in state court.
During the state
court hearing the money was ordered forfeited.
At the hearing
before Magistrate Judge Parker, Hinton submitted the state court’s
forfeiture order into evidence and testified that, after the
forfeiture order was entered, he wrote the clerk of court regarding
an appeal, but by the time he received the clerk’s response, his
submitted into evidence his letter and the clerk’s response.
The plaintiff testified that the Pike County Jail did not have
a law library nor any legal aid officials.
He also testified that
he requested that the jail administrator, defendant Glen Green,
provide him a copy of the rules of civil procedure.
Green testified that he did not recall Hinton ever requesting a
copy of the rules of civil procedure.
Defendant Green, however,
testified that the jail did not have a law library.
Green, a law library was unnecessary because each of the inmates
housed in the jail was represented by an attorney.
testified that because he did not have access to a law library or
other legal assistance, he lost at the forfeiture hearing and
missed his opportunity to appeal the forfeiture ruling.
to Hinton, if he had had access to a law library or legal
assistance, he would have prevailed at the forfeiture hearing
because the State wrongfully used his Alford plea, which was not an
admission of guilt, to support the forfeiture.
The plaintiff also
asserted that, with access to a law library or legal assistance, he
would have known how and when to appeal the forfeiture ruling.
In his Report and Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Parker
notes that “[p]risoners possess a constitutional right of access to
courts, including having the ‘ability ... to prepare and transmit
a necessary legal document to court.’
1322, 1328 (5th Cir. 1996).
Eason v. Thaler, 73 F.3d
The right of access to the courts is
limited to allow prisoners opportunities to file nonfrivolous
claims challenging their convictions or conditions of confinement.
‘Interference with a prisoner’s right to access to the courts, such
as delay, may result in a constitutional deprivation.’ Chriceol v.
Phillips, 169 F.3d 313, 317 (5th Cir. 1999)(citation omitted).”
However, Magistrate Judge Parker also finds that “‘[a] denialof-access-to-the-courts claim is not valid if a litigant’s position
is not prejudiced by the alleged violation.’
Ruiz v. United
States, 160 F.3d 273, 275 (5th Cir. 1998); Henthorn v. Swinson, 955
F.2d 351, 354 (5th Cir. 1992).
It is only when a prisoner suffers
some sort of actual prejudice or detriment from denial of access to
the courts that the allegation becomes one of constitutional
magnitude. Walker v. Navarro County Jail, 4 F.3d 410, 413 (5th Cir.
1993); Howland v. Kilquist, 833 F.2d 639, 642 (7th Cir. 1987).
prove his claim, a plaintiff must show real detriment - a true
denial of access, such as the loss of a motion; the loss of a right
to commence, prosecute, or appeal in a court; or substantial delay
in obtaining a judicial determination in a proceeding. See Oaks v.
Wainwright, 430 F.2d 241 (5th Cir. 1970).”
Mississippi Code Annotated § 41-29-179(2) provides as follows:
If the owner of the property has filed an answer
denying that the property is subject to forfeiture, then
the burden is on the petitioner to prove that the
property is subject to forfeiture. However, if an answer
has not been filed by the owner of the property, the
petition for forfeiture may be introduced into evidence
and is prima facie evidence that the property is subject
to forfeiture. The standard of proof placed upon the
petitioner in regard to property forfeited under the
provisions of this article shall be by a preponderance of
Miss. Code Ann. § 41-29-179(2).
The burden of proof in a forfeiture action differs from that
involved in a criminal trial.
The State need not prove beyond a
reasonable doubt that a connection exists between the forfeited
property and the illegal activity.
Thus, a criminal conviction is
not a prerequisite to a civil forfeiture.
See State ex rel.
Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics v. Lincoln County, 605 So.2d 802,
Section 41-29-153(7) provides that “[a]ll monies, coin and currency
found in close proximity to forfeitable controlled substances ...
are presumed to be forfeitable under this paragraph; the burden of
proof is upon claimants of the property to rebut this presumption.”
“Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics has put forth proof that property
at issue is subject to forfeiture under the provisions of §§ 429-153(a)(5) and 41-29-153(a)(7) of the Mississippi Code of 1972,
as amended, having been used, or intended for use, in violation of
the Uniform Controlled Substances Law and having been found in
close proximity to forfeitable controlled substances, to-wit:
See Plaintiff’s Exhibit L.
During testimony before Magistrate Judge Parker, the plaintiff
admitted that the $7,746.00 was found in a backpack along with
Additionally, during the plaintiff’s plea hearing in
state court, the court asked the plaintiff “Are you satisfied that
if we brought a jury in here, and they heard the four charges, that
there would be enough evidence that they might conclude that you
were guilty of each of the charges?”
The plaintiff answered “Yes
See Plaintiff’s Exhibit L.
The state court also explained to the plaintiff that a police
officer would testify that he saw Hinton throw two prescription
bottles out of his vehicle, bottles which contained a substantial
quantity of hydrocodone obtained by fraudulent prescriptions.
state court explained that officers found twenty grams of marijuana
and over five units of Alprazolam in the plaintiff’s possession.
The court also explained that records would be presented indicating
that the plaintiff planned to distribute the controlled substances.
See Plaintiff’s Exhibit L.
The plaintiff has failed to prove that he suffered any sort of
actual prejudice. The record demonstrates that sufficient evidence
was available to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the
controlled substances and was used, or was intended for use, in
violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law.
Hinton has failed to prove that any appeal of the forfeiture order
would have had arguable merit amounting to “more than hope.”
Christopher v. Harbury, 536 U.S. 403, 415-16 (2002).
issue for appeal identified by the plaintiff was his argument that
This issue is frivolous inasmuch as the record
demonstrates that the $7,746.00 was subject to forfeiture under the
provisions of Miss. Code Ann. § 41-29-153.
In his Report and
Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Parker concludes that Hinton has
failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that
defendant Sheppard violated his constitutional rights by denying
him access to the courts.
The plaintiff also raises a conditions of confinement claim,
asserting that he was provided inadequate clothing and supplies
while at the Pike County Jail.
He also asserts that he complained
Specifically, Hinton testified that when he arrived at the Pike
County Jail, he was provided one jumpsuit, but his underwear was
confiscated because only white or grey underwear was allowed at the
underwear from the jail commissary.
Hinton testified that jail
officials offered to launder inmates’ jumpsuits once a week, but
because he was only provided one jumpsuit and no underwear, he was
unable to have the clothes laundered as he did not want to be
The plaintiff also testified that he was not provided a
coat, which left him with the choice of staying inside during
recreation periods or going outside in cold weather.
Jail Administrator Green testified that jail officials offered
to launder clothes once a week.
Defendant Green also testified
that if an inmate turned a jumpsuit in to be laundered, he was
issued another clean jumpsuit.
Green further stated that the
facility was well-heated, and that inmates had the option of
purchasing a coat from the commissary.
The plaintiff testified that he was provided one bar of soap
when he arrived at the jail, but officers would not provide him
additional soap because of defendant Green’s policy, which only
allowed new inmates to get soap.
According to Hinton, inmates had
to purchase additional soap instead of receiving free soap.
plaintiff also testified that he was not provided a towel and did
not have money to purchase a towel.
At the hearing, Donna Adams, a correctional officer at the
jail during the time Hinton was incarcerated, testified that
despite the policy regarding soap, officers were instructed to pass
out soap to inmates, and that she provided soap to inmates during
inmate booking/intake. According to Adams, towels were included in
the inmates’ intake packages.
Defendant Green also testified that
all inmates had towels.
The plaintiff testified that he was provided a blanket but no
bed sheets and, as a result, had to sleep on a plastic mattress.
According to the plaintiff, this was uncomfortable because he would
sweat during the night.
In response, defendant Green testified
that sheets were not provided because they were considered a hazard
as they could be used by inmates to hang themselves.
testified that cost was a factor in the decision not to provide
Hinton stated that officers did not provide the inmates any
cleaning supplies, which resulted in mold in the showers and dirty
According to the plaintiff, bleach was sprayed in the
shower once a month. In response, both defendant Green and witness
Donna Adams testified that each morning inmates were provided
cleaning supplies, including mops, mop buckets, soap, and toilet
In fact, the plaintiff admitted that inmates were
provided a mop and mop bucket.
According to defendant Green, most
of the inmates would keep their area clean.
Donna Adams testified
that officers previously provided inmates spray bottles filled with
bleach to clean the showers each morning.
However, the policy was
subsequently changed, and trustees were allowed to spray bleach in
the showers every two weeks. Adams also testified that at one time
mold would appear in the showers rather quickly, but during the
plaintiff’s incarceration, the showers were repainted using a mold
Hinton admitted that he remembered the showers
The plaintiff also testified that lights in many of the cells
were broken, and that certain cells had metal plates welded over
the windows. Hinton also testified that the jail contained exposed
electrical wires, which resulted in him being shocked on multiple
He testified that defendant Smith stated the lights
would be fixed when the inmates stopped breaking them.
According to the plaintiff, he was housed without lights in
one of his cells for seven months.
The plaintiff submitted into
evidence a letter he wrote to the maintenance supervisor stating,
“you told me you would be right back and refit the bulb ends, I
waited and waited.
You got a chance to see how dark 120 is ....
Would you please come back today ....”
See Plaintiff’s Exhibit H-
Defendant Green testified that two cells in the jail had
Green also testified that inmates would often break
their lights and utilize exposed wires to heat coffee and for other
According to Green, once officials became aware of a
broken light, the maintenance department would repair or replace it
as soon as possible.
Donna Adams also testified that once a light
was broken, the maintenance workers would be notified and they
would fix the light.
The Eighth Amendment protects inmates from cruel and unusual
conditions of confinement. Palmer v. Johnson, 193 F.3d 346, 351-52
(5th Cir. 1999).
As a pretrial detainee, however, the plaintiff’s
constitutional right to adequate conditions of confinement “flow[s]
from both the procedural and substantive due process guarantees of
the Fourteenth Amendment.” Hare v. City of Corinth, Miss., 74 F.3d
633, 639 (5th Cir. 1996)(citing Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520
subjected to jail conditions that are imposed for the purpose of
Bell, 441 U.S. at 535; Hamilton v. Lyons, 74 F.3d 99,
103 (5th Cir. 1996). For Section 1983 claims by pretrial detainees,
the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has distinguished between claims
regarding specific acts by officials and those regarding general
“conditions of confinement” claim is a constitutional attack on
“general conditions, practices, rules, or restrictions of pretrial
Id. at 643-44.
In order to succeed on a claim
alleging unconstitutional jail conditions, a pretrial detainee must
establish that the complained-of conditions have been imposed for
deficiencies” in providing for his “basic human needs.”
v. Dallas Cnty., 591 F.3d 445, 454 (5th Cir. 2009).
purpose may be inferred where the conditions are not reasonably
Hamilton, 74 F.3d
related to a legitimate governmental interest.
An episodic act or omission claim requires courts to employ
following elements of proof: (1) an objective component, under
which the detainee must prove his exposure to a harm or injury that
violates contemporaneous standards of decency, and (2) a subjective
component, under which the detainee must prove that the defendants’
conduct evidences a deliberate indifference to that exposure.
Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 35-36 (1993).
In other words,
under the objective component, the deprivation alleged must be
“sufficiently serious,” resulting in “a substantial risk of serious
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994).
“sufficiently serious,” the deprivation must deny the plaintiff
“the minimal measure of life’s necessities.”
Palmer, 193 F.3d at
Under the subjective component, “the official must be both
aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a
substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he must also draw the
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837.
an extremely high standard to meet.”
339, 346 (5th Cir. 2006).
Deliberate indifference “is
Gobert v. Caldwell, 463 F.3d
The test for establishing deliberate
indifference is “one of subjective recklessness as used in the
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837.
evidentiary hearing, the undersigned agrees with Magistrate Judge
plaintiff’s constitutional right concerning the conditions of his
It is true that the defendants did not dispute
Hinton’s testimony that he was not provided a coat or sheets.
plaintiff, however, did not prove that these conditions were
imposed for a punitive purpose or that they resulted in “serious
deficiencies” in providing for his “basic human needs.”
Shepherd, 591 F.3d at 454.
Defendant Green specifically testified
that sheets were not provided because inmates could use the sheets
to hang themselves.
Jail officials have a legitimate governmental
interest in protecting inmates from suicide. See Phillips v. East,
81 Fed. App’x. 483, 485 (5th Cir. 2003)(“The denial of a blanket and
a mattress was pursuant to a prison regulation denying bedding to
inmates in isolation in order to prevent the higher risk of inmate
suicide, a legitimate penological interest.”).
without sheets and going outside without a coat for a short period
of time may be uncomfortable, such conditions did not constitute a
deprivation of the plaintiff’s basic human needs.
“The fact that
confinement into punishment.” Lee v. Hennigan, 98 Fed. App’x. 286,
288 (5th Cir. 2004).
As for Hinton’s remaining conditions of confinement claims,
the undersigned also agrees with Magistrate Judge Parker that the
more reliable evidence supports a finding that the defendants did
not violate the plaintiff’s constitutional rights.
testified that she and other officers provided soap, towels, and
cleaning supplies to inmates.
The plaintiff even admitted that
soap and certain cleaning supplies were sometimes provided, and
admitted that the showers were painted during his incarceration.
regarding his inability to launder his jumpsuit.
Green, if an inmate turned a jumpsuit in to be laundered, he was
issued another clean jumpsuit.
Magistrate Judge Parker found
Magistrate Judge’s finding.
plaintiff’s testimony concerning lights by testifying that the
maintenance department would repair or replace broken lights as
soon as possible. The evidence submitted by the plaintiff supports
One of the plaintiff’s exhibits demonstrates that
a maintenance man checked on Hinton’s lighting and informed him
that he would be back to fix the light.
See Plaintiff’s Exhibit H-
1.2. Another exhibit submitted by the plaintiff reveals that he
thanked officials for “promptly responding by repairing the hot
water and replacing the nite [sic] light.” See Plaintiff’s Exhibit
The undersigned finds, as did the Magistrate Judge, that the
defendants did not subject the plaintiff to conditions which
resulted in “serious deficiencies” in providing for his “basic
See Shepherd, 591 F.3d at 454.
To the extent that
the plaintiff sought to prove an episodic act or omission claim, he
has failed to prove that the defendants acted with the requisite
Moreover, his claims for compensatory
damages are barred by the physical injury requirement of the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1997, et seq.
plaintiff did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he
suffered a physical injury; thus, his claims for compensatory
damages must be denied.
See Geiger v. Jowers, 404 F.3d 371, 375
(5th Cir. 2005)(“Section 1997e(e)1 applies to all federal civil
actions in which a prisoner alleges a constitutional violation,
nonrecoverable, absent physical injury.”).2
As for the plaintiff’s failure to protect claim, Hinton
testified that towards the end of May, 2015, jail officials moved
him from housing zone C, which housed older inmates, to housing
zone D, which housed violent offenders.
The plaintiff also
referring to him as “Reginald Alford,” not Henry Hinton. According
to the plaintiff, officials moved him and began referring to him by
another name in retaliation for his filing lawsuits.
testified that he wrote the kitchen staff, complaining about the
amount of salt in the food.
According to the plaintiff, a jail
trustee informed the other inmates that Hinton had complained about
the amount of salt in the food.
Hinton testified that in early
July, 2015, Inmate Harris began throwing water in the plaintiff’s
cell because of his complaints regarding the food.
42 USCA § 1997e(e) provides: “Limitation on recovery: No
Federal civil action may be brought by a prisoner confined in jail,
prison, or other correctional facility, for mental or emotional injury
suffered while in custody without a prior showing of physical injury
or commission of a sexual act (as defined in section 2246 of Title
Despite the limitations imposed by § 1997e(e), a prisoner can,
absent a showing of physical injury, pursue punitive or nominal
damages based upon a violation of his constitutional right, but the
plaintiff has failed to prove a constitutional violation. See
Hutchins v. McDaniels, 512 F.3d 193, 197-98 (5th Cir. 2007).
Hinton, Harris was removed from D zone, but because officers did
not file a report about the incident, Harris was eventually
returned to D zone.
The plaintiff also testified that on July 21, 2015, five
inmates, including Harris, attacked him and stabbed him under his
According to the plaintiff, his doctor informed him that, as
a result of the injury, he has droopy eye syndrome and needs
Hinton testified that during the attack, he could not
call for help because the intercom in his cell was not functioning.
He also testified that no one was manning the security tower at the
time of the attack.
Defendant Green and witness Adams testified that inmates often
destroyed the intercoms in their cells.
They also testified that
officers were often in the security tower, but the tower officer
testified that the tower was not the officers’ primary means of
observing the inmates.
According to Green, the jail had many new
and updated cameras, and officers were able to monitor all the
zones from the control room.
Green also testified that an officer
could see footage from all the cameras at the jail at once using
the screens in the control room.
Adams also testified that the
officers in the control room could easily observe the inmates.
Nurse Janet Moore testified that on the morning of July 21,
2015, she made her rounds in D zone distributing medications and
did not notice anything unusual.
According to Nurse Moore, within
five minutes of her leaving that zone, she was alerted that an
incident had taken place.
She testified that when she responded,
she discovered that the plaintiff had been injured in an attack.
According to Nurse Moore, she was treating the plaintiff within ten
minutes of her leaving D zone.
testimony, alleged that the defendants moved him from one zone to
another and referred to him by a different name, “Reginald Alford,”
in order to retaliate against him for filing lawsuits.
not assert a retaliation claim in his complaint, nor has he ever
moved to amend his complaint to assert such a claim.
claim shall be denied.
In addition, Hinton has failed to prove a retaliation claim.
To prove such a claim, an inmate must show “(1) a specific
constitutional right, (2) the defendant’s intent to retaliate
against the prisoner for his or her exercise of that right, (3) a
retaliatory adverse act, and (4) causation.” McFaul v. Valenzuela,
684 F.3d 564, 578 (5th Cir. 2012).
A plaintiff must make a showing
that but for the retaliatory motive, the action complained of would
not have occurred.
Johnson v. Rodriguez, 110 F.3d 299, 310 (5th
Cir. 1997). A plaintiff must either produce direct evidence of the
defendant’s motivation to retaliate or “allege a chronology of
events from which retaliation may plausibly be inferred.” Jones v.
Greninger, 188 F.3d 322, 325 (5th Cir. 1999).
“A prisoner who
brings a retaliation claim bears a heavy burden that may not be
Williams v. Dretke, 306 Fed. App’x 164, 167 (5th Cir.
Courts must take a skeptical view of retaliation claims to
avoid meddling in every act of discipline imposed by prison
Morris v. Powell, 449 F.3d 682, 684 (5th Cir. 2006).
The more reliable evidence in this case supports a finding
that the act of moving Hinton to a different zone was not motivated
Both defendant Green and Donna Adams testified
that the plaintiff had to be moved from one zone to another because
he created problems with other inmates.
Additionally, the more
reliable evidence supports a finding that the act of referring to
the plaintiff by a different name was motivated by confusion caused
by the plaintiff himself, not by retaliation. Hinton admitted that
the FBI informed jail officials of the name “Reginald Alford,” and
Hinton admitted that he had used “Reginald Alford” as an alias in
the past in order to forge documents.
He also admitted that he had
used at least ten different aliases in the past.
plaintiff has caused confusion in this Court by filing the present
action under the name “Reginald Alford.”
See Complaint [docket
entry 1]; Order [docket entry 22].
Concerning the plaintiff’s failure to protect claim, the Due
detainees from violence committed by other prisoners.
City of Corinth, 74 F.3d 633, 639 (5th Cir. 1999).
See Hare v.
is not ... every injury suffered by one prisoner at the hands of
another that translates into constitutional liability for prison
officials responsible for the victim’s safety.” Farmer v. Brennan,
511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). To establish a failure-to-protect claim,
a prisoner must show that “he was incarcerated under conditions
posing a substantial risk of serious harm and that prison officials
were deliberately indifferent to his need for protection.”
v. Greninger, 188 F.3d 322, 326 (5th Cir. 1999).
indifference consists of the official being aware of both the
“facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial
risk of serious harm exists, and he must also draw the inference.”
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837. Deliberate indifference “‘is an extremely
high standard to meet.’” Gobert v. Caldwell, 463 F.3d 339, 346 (5th
Cir. 2006)(quoting Domino v. Texas Dep’t. of Criminal Justice, 239
F.3d 752, 756 (5th Cir. 2001)).
Negligent failure to protect an
inmate does not rise to the level of a constitutional violation.
Oliver v. Collins, 914 F.2d 56, 60 (5th Cir. 1990).
recklessness as used in the criminal law.”
The test for
Farmer, 511 U.S. at
The plaintiff failed to prove that the defendants knew there
was a substantial risk of serious harm to the plaintiff, and that
they were deliberately indifferent to that risk.
that at some point prior to the attack, one of his attackers,
Inmate Harris, threw water into his cell.
This testimony, without
more, does not establish that the defendants knew that Inmate
Harris, or any other inmate, posed a substantial risk to the
monitoring the inmates, and officers promptly responded to the
attack. The plaintiff submitted two incident reports demonstrating
that an officer in the control room reported unusual activity in D
zone and other officers immediately responded.
Exhibits F-1 & L. Nurse Moore testified that she was alerted about
the incident within five minutes of leaving D zone.
Based on the foregoing, Magistrate Judge Parker concluded that
the plaintiff failed to establish by a preponderance of the
evidence that the defendants violated his constitutional rights by
failing to protect him from harm, and this Court agrees.
Finally, to the extent that the plaintiff asserts claims
against Pike County and the individual defendants in their official
capacities, such claims also fail. There is no respondeat superior
liability under Section 1983.
742 & n.6 (5th Cir. 2002).
See Oliver v. Scott, 276 F.3d 736,
Furthermore, the plaintiff failed to
prove that Pike County implemented a policy, custom or practice
that was the “moving force” behind a constitutional violation. See
Monell v. Dep’t of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978).
Having made a de novo determination of those portions of
objection is made by the plaintiff, the Court finds that the
plaintiff’s Complaint should be dismissed with prejudice.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the plaintiff’s Motion for Relief
(docket entry 143) and Motion for Extension of Time to File
Objections (docket entry 145) are collectively treated by the Court
as the plaintiff’s Objections to Magistrate Judge Parker’s Report
FURTHER ORDERED that to the extent the plaintiff’s Motion for
Extension of Time to File Objections (docket entry 145) seeks
additional time to file a third set of objections, said motion is
FURTHER ORDERED that Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker’s
Report and Recommendation (docket entry 142) is ADOPTED in its
entirety as the findings and conclusions of this Court;
FURTHER ORDERED that the Plaintiff’s Complaint under the Civil
Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
SO ORDERED, this the 2nd day of March, 2018.
/s/ David Bramlette
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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