United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
EMMANUEL S. TROTTER, Plaintiff,
DIANE RAMSEY, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND/OR FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
JAMES D. TODD, District Judge.
Plaintiff Emmanuel S. Trotter, an inmate at the Northwest Correctional Complex ("NWCX"), filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA") against Correctional Officer Diane Ramsey, Sergeant Ray Lamb, Lieutenant Artie Lynch, Associate Warden Melvin Tirey, Kurt Gross, Warden Wayne Carpenter, and Tennessee Department of Correction ("TDOC") Commissioner Derrick Schofield. The court dismissed the claims against Defendants Gross, Tirey, Carpenter, and Schofield for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted and ordered service of process for Defendants Officer Ramsey, Sergeant Lamb, and Lieutenant Lynch. Defendants have now filed a motion to dismiss and/or for summary judgment [DE# 44]. Plaintiff has filed a response to the motion, and Defendants have filed a reply to the response. 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; 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 nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of [his] case with respect to which [he] has the burden of proof.
477 U.S. at 322-23. In considering whether to grant summary judgment, "the evidence as well as the inferences drawn therefrom must be read in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion." Kochins v. Linden-Alimak, Inc., 799 F.2d 1128, 1133 (6th Cir. 1986); see also Matsushita ...