Hill v. Jackson
ORDER denying 13 Motion for Summary Judgment; adopting Report and Recommendations re 15 Report and Recommendations. Signed by District Judge David C. Bramlette, III on 11/17/20. (cp)
Case 5:20-cv-00009-DCB-MTP Document 17 Filed 11/17/20 Page 1 of 7
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:20-cv-9-DCB-MTP
SERGEANT LAURA JACKSON
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
This matter is before the Court on Defendant Sergeant Laura
Jackson (“Jackson”)’s Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 13] and
Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker’s Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) [ECF No. 15].
On August 3, 2020, Defendant Jackson filed
her objections to the Report and Recommendation [ECF No. 16].
Having reviewed the Report and Recommendation, the objections,
applicable statutory and case law, and being otherwise fully
informed of the premises, the Court finds as follows:
Plaintiff Tierre Hill (“Hill”) filed his complaint pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. [ECF No. 1]. In his complaint, Hill alleges
that Jackson violated his constitutional rights during a use of
force incident on November 25, 2019. Id. Plaintiff alleges that
Jackson sprayed him with a chemical agent that caused irritation
to the skin on his arms and facial area, and that he was not
provided any medical attention following the use of the chemical
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Before filing suit in this Court, Hill submitted a “Request
Corrections (“MDOC”) Administrative Remedy Program (“ARP”). [ECF
No. 13-1]. In his request, Hill described the incident and asked
the MDOC for monetary relief. Id.
Hill’s request was rejected. Id. The ARP rejection form
explains that Hill’s request was denied by the Director of ARP
because it asked for relief “beyond the power of the ARP department
to grant.” Id.
Jackson filed a Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 13],
arguing that this action should be dismissed because Plaintiff
failed to exhaust available administrative remedies. Magistrate
Judge Parker carefully reviewed the matter and found that the
Defendant has not met the summary judgment burden of proving that
the Plaintiff failed to exhaust available administrative remedies.
[ECF No. 15]. For this reason, Judge Parker recommends that the
Motion for Summary Judgment be denied. [ECF No. 15]. Jackson filed
objections claiming (1) that the R&R is premised on an inaccurate
description of the evidence in the record and (2) that the R&R is
inconsistent with legal authority directly on point with this case.
[ECF No. 16].
Standard of Review
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A motion for summary judgment will be granted when “the record
indicates that there is ‘no genuine issue as to any material fact
and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.’” Causey v. Sewell Cadillac-Chevrolet, Inc., 394 F.3d 285,
288 (5th Cir. 2004) (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986)). “The moving party must show
admissible evidence in court, it would be insufficient to permit
the moving party to carry its burden.” Beck v. Texas State Bd. of
Dental Examiners, 204 F.3d 285, 288 (5th Cir. 2004) (citing Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322
(1986)). The Court must view “the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party.” Id. However, the nonmoving party
unsubstantiated assertions, or ‘only a scintilla of evidence.’”
Turner v. Baylor Richardson Medical Center, 476 F.3d 337, 343 (5th
Cir. 2007) (quoting Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075
(5th Cir. 1994)).
When a party objects to a Report and Recommendation, this
Court is required to “make a de novo determination of those
recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1);
see also Longmire v. Guste, 921 F.2d 620, 623 (5th Cir. 1991).
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findings objected to. Frivolous, conclusive or general objections
need not be considered by the district court.” Allen v. Outlaw,
No. 5:14-cv-60-DCB-MTP, 2015 WL 4759268, at * 2 (S.D. Miss. Aug.
12, 2015). Moreover, “no factual objection is raised when a
petitioner merely reurges arguments contained in the original
petition.” Hinton v. Pike County, No. 18-60817, 2018 WL 3142942,
at *1 (S.D. Miss. June 27, 2018). A de novo review means that this
Court will “examine the entire record and will make an independent
assessment of the law.” Lambert v. Denmark, No. 2:12-cv-74-KS-MTP,
2013 WL 786356, at *1 (S.D. Miss. Mar. 1, 2013). In conducting
such a review, the Court is not “required to reiterate the findings
and conclusions of the magistrate judge.” Koetting v. Thompson,
995 F.2d 37, 40 (5th Cir. 1993).
Defendant Jackson first objects to the claim that the R&R is
premised on an inaccurate description of the evidence in the
record. [ECF No. 16]. After reviewing the evidence, the Court
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”)’s exhaustion requirement. Cowart v.
Erwin, 837 F. 3d 44, 451 (5th Cir. 2016). Even so, only “available”
remedies need be exhausted. Ross v. Black, 126 S. Ct. 1850, 1855
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MDOC Policy 20-08-01 (“The Policy”) lists several requests
for which the relief sought is beyond the power of the MDOC to
grant; monetary relief is not listed as one which is beyond the
power of the MDOC. [ECF No. 13-2]. The Policy did not put Hill on
notice that his requested relief was beyond the power of MDOC prior
to his request for relief with the ARP as Jackson suggests. [ECF
No. 16]. Furthermore, the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility
(“WCCF”) Inmate Handbook, indicates that relief that is beyond the
power of the MDOC to grant cannot be appealed through the ARP
process. [ECF No. 13-3]. Hill’s request was rejected because it
asked for relief beyond the power of the ARP department to grant.
[ECF No. 13-1]. Once Hill’s request was rejected, according to the
Therefore, after reviewing the evidence the Court agrees with Judge
Parker’s finding that the “Plaintiff was prohibited from appealing
the rejection by the ARP’s own rules.” [ECF No. 15] at 5.
inconsistent with legal authority directly on point with this case.
However, this argument
reasserts her claim
opportunity to resubmit a corrected grievance seeking relief that
investigation of the subject incident to determine whether there
was a violation of MDOC policy. See [ECF No. 14]. This argument is
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a restatement of Defendant’s prior claim and thus has already been
reviewed by Magistrate Judge Michael Parker. Id.
Jackson specifically relies on Morris v. Walker, in which
this Court found, “even if a prisoner seeks relief that cannot be
granted by the administrative process, such as monetary damages,
he must first exhaust all administrative remedies prior to filing
suit.” Morris, No. 5:16-CV-122-DCB-MTP, 2018 WL 2758258, at *2
(S.D. Miss. June 8, 2018) (citing Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 85
(2006)). In Morris, the Petitioner filed his complaint with the
Court “prior to receiving the First Step Response”. Id. at 83.
Here, Hill filed an initial request with the MDOC seeking monetary
relief and received his rejection letter prior to filing his
complaint with the Court. Hill took his request as far as the ARP
would allow before commencing action in this Court. Moreover, Judge
Parker’s findings are consistent with this Court’s previous ruling
in Bell v. Mgmt. & Training Corp., No. 5:16-CV-39-DCB-MTP, 2017 WL
6060885, at *1 (S.D. Miss. Dec. 7, 2017).
Having conducted a de novo review of the portions of the R&R
objected to and having reviewed the remainder for plain error and
finding none, the Court is satisfied that Magistrate Judge Parker
has undertaken an extensive examination of the issues in this case
and has issued a thorough opinion which the Court has adopted.
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IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Magistrate Judge Parker’s Report
and Recommendation [ECF No. 15] is ADOPTED as the findings and
conclusions of this Court.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Defendant’s objections [ECF
No. 16] are OVERRULED.
SO ORDERED this the 17th day of November, 2020.
_/s/ David Bramlette________
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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