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Sanford v. Schofield

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee

April 10, 2015

GERALD A. SANFORD, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
DERRICK SCHOFIELD, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND/OR FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

JAMES D. TODD, District Judge.

Plaintiff Gerald A. Sanford, Sr., an inmate who was formerly confined at the West Tennessee State Penitentiary ("WTSP"), filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. On March 19, 2013, the court severed the claims against Phillip Seals, Sergeant David Breece, Sergeant David Gary, Corporal Charlie Jones, Officer Tibbs, Officer Brewer, Jason Staggs, Bruce Coats, Sergeant Amanda Staggs, Sergeant Jason Clendenion, Ronnie Williams, Warden Jerry Lester, Deputy TDOC Commissioner Jason Woodall, and TDOC Commissioner Derrick Schofield that allegedly arose from events that occurred at the Turney Center Industrial Complex ("TCIX") and transferred those claims to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee; dismissed the claims based on actions at WTSP against Defendants Corporal Lawson, Corporal Hankins, Officer Blackwell, Deputy WTSP Warden Wayne Carpenter, Unit Manager Margaret Smith, Assistant TDOC Commissioner Jason Woodall, WTSP Assistant Warden Tommy Mills, and former TDOC Commissioner Reuben Hodge; and ordered service of process on Officer Brian Taylor, Officer Jelks, Officer Josh Lovelady, Corporal Maubry, [1] Captain Sharon Wilson, and Nurse Jane [DE# 10]. On July 8, 2013, Nurse Jane and Corporal Maubry were dismissed from the action [DE# 32]. On November 15, 2013, the court granted Plaintiff's motion to voluntarily dismiss Carla Jelks as a defendant [DE# 60].

Defendants Lovelady, Taylor, and Wilson (the only remaining defendants) have filed a motion to dismiss and/or for summary judgment [DE# 132]. Plaintiff has filed a response to the motion [DE# 150]. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion is GRANTED.[2]

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;[3] 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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