Bartley v. Walk
OPINION and ORDER granting 15 Motion for Summary Judgment ; adopting 27 Report and Recommendations; this action is STRICKEN from the active docket; (Opinion & Order mailed to Pro Se Party). Signed by District Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon on 9/25/2017. (tvt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA
ALAN DALE BARTLEY,
Civil Action No. 7:16-cv-00224
By: Elizabeth K. Dillon
United States District Judge
OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Alan Dale Bartley, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that defendant Walk either used excessive force on him
while he was experiencing an epileptic seizure or failed to intervene as others used excessive
force on him. He also claims that Walk was deliberately indifferent to his need for medical care
and asserts a state law assault and battery claim against Walk. Walk filed a motion for summary
judgment arguing, in part, that Bartley failed to exhaust available administrative remedies before
filing this action.
The court referred the matter to United States Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent
for an evidentiary hearing and a report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B). Judge Sargent conducted an evidentiary hearing on August 22, 2017, and filed a
report, finding that: (1) the undisputed evidence shows that Bartley did not exhaust his
administrative remedies prior to filing suit against Walk; (2) the undisputed evidence shows that
neither Walk, nor anyone else, used excessive force against Bartley on June 1, 2014; and (3) the
court should enter summary judgment in defendant Walk’s favor.
Bartley filed a letter (Dkt. No. 30) that the court construes as an objection to the report.
Bartley objects to his case “being made to go forward” on the day of the evidentiary hearing
because he was prepared to address only the issues of exhaustion and availability of
administrative remedies, not the merits of his claims.
In its order referring this matter to the magistrate judge, the court found that an
evidentiary hearing was necessary to resolve the issue of whether administrative remedies were
available to Bartley. Although the court referred the whole motion for summary judgment,
which also addressed the merits of Bartley’s claims, to the magistrate judge, the court can
understand why Bartley was prepared to proceed only with the issues of exhaustion and
availability of administrative remedies. Thus, the court will sustain Bartley’s objection to any
findings with regard to the merits of his excessive force claim.
However, even if Bartley was not prepared to discuss the merits of his case at the
evidentiary hearing, he admits that he was prepared to address exhaustion and availability of
administrative remedies. And he makes no objection to the magistrate judge’s findings about
his failure to exhaust.
Having reviewed the report and recommendation, the objection thereto, and pertinent
portions of the record de novo in accordance with § 636(b)(1), the court agrees with the
magistrate judge’s recommendation that Walk’s motion for summary judgment should be
granted because Bartley failed to exhaust administrative remedies. In light of that finding, the
court determines that the magistrate judge’s findings as to the merits of Bartley’s claims are
moot. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that:
Bartley’s objection (Dkt. No. 30) is SUSTAINED;
The magistrate judge’s report and recommendation (Dkt. No. 27) is ADOPTED in part
and MOOTED in part;
Walk’s motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 15) is GRANTED;
This action is STRICKEN from the active docket; and
The Clerk shall send copies of this opinion and order to the parties.
Entered: September 25, 2017.
/s/ Elizabeth K. Dillon
Elizabeth K. Dillon
United States District Judge
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