United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ORDER TO MODIFY THE DOCKET AND PARTIALLY GRANTING AND PARTIALLY DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
JAMES D. TODD, District Judge.
The pro se Plaintiff, Kelvin Valentine McDuffie a/k/a Kelvin Valentin McDuffie, a Tennessee Department of Correction ("TDOC") inmate at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary ("WTSP") in Henning, Tennessee, filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on September 26, 2011. (ECF No. 1.) The Court granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis and assessed the civil filing fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a)-(b). (ECF No. 5.) On August 30, 2012, the Court dismissed portions of the complaint and directed that process be issued for eleven individual Defendants. (ECF No. 20.) Seven of those Defendants,  former WTSP Warden Henry Steward; Correctional Officers Jennifer Binkley, Shawn Braden, and Steve Werkmeister; Corporals Wayne England and Michael Harber; and Sergeant Barry Gruggett were served and responded to the complaint.
The Defendants subsequently moved for summary judgment on the grounds that Plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies (ECF No. 41), but that motion was denied on September 10, 2013 (ECF No. 66). Presently before the Court is the Defendants' second motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 80.) Plaintiff has filed a response to the Defendants' motion. (ECF No. 83.)
Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56, summary judgment is appropriate "if the movant shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "[T]he burden on the moving party may be discharged by showing'-that is, pointing out to the district court-that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). Rule 56(c)(1) provides that "[a] party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed" is required to support that assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations..., admissions, interrogatory answers or other materials; or
(B) showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
"If a party fails to properly support an assertion of fact or fails to properly address another party's assertion of fact as required by Rule 56(c)" the district court may:
(1) give an opportunity to properly support or address the fact;
(2) consider the fact undisputed for purposes of the motion;
(3) grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials-including the facts considered undisputed-show that the movant is entitled to it; or
(4) issue any other appropriate order.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e).
In Celotex Corp., the Supreme Court explained that Rule 56:
mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. In such a situation, there can be "no genuine issue as to any material fact, " since a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial. The moving party is "entitled to judgment as a matter of law" because the ...