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Tolson v. Donahue

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division

March 24, 2015

DAMIEAN DEVON TOLSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL DONAHUE, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

JAMES D. TODD, District Judge.

Plaintiff Damiean Devon Tolson, formerly an inmate a the Hardeman County Correctional Facility ("HCCF"), filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 against HCCF Warden Michael Donahue, Assistant Warden of Operations Terrence Dickerson, Chief Bryan Smalls, Lieutenant Derek Cannon, and Corrections Corporation of America. On November 27, 2013, the court ordered service of process on Defendants Smalls and Cannon and dismissed the remaining defendants [DE# 8].

Defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment [DE# 50]. Plaintiff filed a response to the motion on January 7, 2015 [DE# 53].[1] For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion is GRANTED.

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). Revised 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;[2] 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 ...

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