Jane Doe 202a v. Cannon et al
ORDER AND OPINION adopting in part 60 Report and Recommendation; denying 29 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Further details set forth in Order. Signed by Honorable Richard M Gergel on 2/15/2017.(ssam, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Jane Doe 202a,
Case No 2: 16-cv-00530-RMG
Al Cannon, Sheriff of Charleston County,
individually and in his official capacity,
ORDER AND OPINION
Plaintiff, through counsel, brought this action for violations of her constitutional rights
and under state law against Al Cannon, Sheriff of Charleston County; several deputy sheriffs and
employees of the sheriff; and Sandra J. Senn and Senn Legal, LLC. Before the Court is
Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to Liability Against Defendants Farmer,
Dyer, and Fickett for Three Events filed on June 8, 2016. (Dkt. No. 29; see also Dkt. No. 30.)
Defendants filed a Response in Opposition on July 18, 2016, and Plaintiff filed a reply on July
28,2016. (Dkt. Nos. 44,45.) This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
("R. & R.") of the Magistrate Judge recommending that the Court Deny Plaintiff's partial motion
for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 60.) Plaintiff filed objections to the R. & R., and Defendants
filed a reply. (Dkt. Nos. 70, 73.) This Court denies Plaintiff's partial motion for summary
judgment because the motion is premature. The Court adopts only the "Relevant Alleged Facts"
and the Prematurity analysis from the R. & R. (Dkt. No. 60 at 1-2, 10-11.)
The Court adopts the "Relevant Alleged Facts" as outlined in the R. & R. (Dkt. No. 60 at 1
Legal Standard for Summary Judgment
Pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment "shall" be
granted "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter oflaw." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). "Facts are 'material'
when they might affect the outcome of the case, and a 'genuine issue' exists when the evidence
would allow a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party." The News &
Observer Publ'g Co. v. Raleigh-Durham Airport Auth., 597 F.3d 570, 576 (4th Cir. 201 0) (citing
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,248 (1986)).
The Motion for Summary Judgment is Premature
Plaintiff has moved for partial summary judgment on liability for three events:
against Defendant Fickett for excessive force, based on her Taser use
against the Plaintiff while the plaintiff was already entirely restrained
other than her right arm,
against Deputies Farmer, Dyer, and Fickett for each of (a) their refusal
to permit the Plaintiff her Constitutional right of access to counsel, as
required by Detention Center policy and (b) their admitted punishment
of the Plaintiff based on her request to have access to counsel
against Defendant Fickett for excessive force for strangling the
Plaintiff without provocation or necessity.
(Dkt. No. 29 at 1-2.)
For the reasons outlined in the R. & R., Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment
is premature. (Dkt. No. 60 at 10-11.) Plaintiff filed her Motion for Summary Judgment on June
8, 2016, eight (8) days after the Defendants against whom summary judgment is sought filed
their Answer. Discovery has not begun in this case as the Court has not issued a scheduling
order. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(d)(l). In ruling on Defendants' motion to dismiss and motion for
judgment on the pleadings, this Court has granted Plaintiff leave to amend the Complaint, yet
another reason why summary judgment is premature. (Dkt. Nos. 8,46.) Plaintiff argues that the
motion is properly before the court and that the Defendants did not sufficiently identify what
evidence they need through discovery (Dkt. No. 45.), but Defendants' Response in Opposition
does substantively respond to the Plaintiffs Motion after arguing that the motion is premature.
(Dkt. No. 45 at 5-22.) Summary judgment on the issues at bar is premature at this stage given the
intensively factual nature of the inquiries.
Plaintiffs motion for summary judgment is therefore DENIED.
AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
United States District Court Judge
February IS: 2017
Charleston, South Carolina
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