United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division
JASON D. GALVAN
DOUGLAS MONROE, et al.
Honorable William J. Haynes, Senior District Judge
BARBARA D. HOLMES United States Magistrate Judge
Order entered July 17, 2015 (Docket Entry No. 5), this action
was referred to the Magistrate Judge for pretrial proceedings
under 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(A) and (B), Rule 72(b)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Local Rules
pending is the motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry No.
74) of Defendants Douglas Monroe, Shannon Helton, and Bruce
Bridges. Plaintiff has not responded to the motion. For the
reasons set out below, the Court recommends that the motion
2015, Jason D. Galvan (“Plaintiff”) was confined
at the Maury County Jail (“Jail”) as a pretrial
detainee. He filed this action pro se and in
forma pauperis on June 8, 2015, seeking monetary relief
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his
constitutional rights alleged to have occurred at the Jail.
Although Plaintiff brought his lawsuit against several Jail
officials, the Court, upon initial review of the complaint
under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A, found
that Plaintiff asserted arguable claims against only three
defendants: Douglass Monroe (“Monroe”), Shannon
Helton (“Helton”), and Bruce Bridges
(“Bridges”) (hereinafter referred to collectively
as “Defendants”). See Docket Entry No. 5
alleges that, on May 19, 2015, Defendant Monroe physically
assaulted him in his Jail cell after a dispute occurred over
food trays that were in the cell. See Complaint
(Docket Entry No. 1) at 8-9. Plaintiff alleges that Monroe
grabbed him by the neck, slammed him against the wall, threw
him to the ground, choked him, and twisted his foot, all
while taunting him. Id. Plaintiff asserts that he
suffered a broken ankle as a result of the assault.
Id. He alleges that Helton did not assault him but
failed to intervene to stop the assault and failed to report
Monroe afterwards. Id.
also alleges that he was physically assaulted by another
inmate on May 27, 2015, while he was on recreation time for
the medical special needs inmates. Id. at 6-7. He
contends that another inmate, who had been verbally
threatening him from a housing cell and who was a general
population inmate, came into the recreation area and attacked
him. Id. Plaintiff asserts that he was on crutches
because of the ankle injury he suffered the prior week and
that he was rendered unconscious as a result of the attack.
Id. He asserts that he awoke in a local hospital
after the attack with a concussion and significant bruising
and swelling. Id. Plaintiff contends that Defendant
Bridges is liable for this incident because Bridges released
the general population inmate from his locked cell while
Plaintiff, a medical special needs inmate at the time, was
still in the recreation area. Id.
were served with process and filed a joint answer.
See Docket Entry No. 15. The Court issued a
scheduling order providing the parties with a period for
pretrial activity in the action. See Docket Entry
No. 16. In the scheduling order, Plaintiff was advised of his
obligation to keep the Court and the opposing parties
informed of his current address. Id. at 16.
Subsequent to filing the lawsuit, Plaintiff was released from
the Jail, taken back into custody at the Jail, and then
released again. See Docket Entry Nos. 19, 26, and
77. His intermittent confinement created difficulties in
completing discovery and in ensuring that he was receiving
mail and copies of orders and also required several
extensions of pretrial deadlines. See Docket Entry
Nos. 21, 27, 41, and 81. Although Plaintiff provided a
non-institutional residential address in his latest change of
address notice, see Docket Entry No. 77, the most
recent Court mail sent to that address was returned as
undeliverable. See Docket Entry Nos. 80, 84, and 85.
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
15, 2016, Defendants filed the pending motion for summary
judgment. Defendants acknowledge that the two incidents
complained about by Plaintiff occurred. However, they argue
that there is no evidence supporting Plaintiff's claims
that his constitutional rights were violated during these
incidents. They further contend that there is no evidentiary
support for a claim of municipal liability to the extent that
they have been sued in their official capacities, and they
raise the defense of qualified immunity for the damage claims
brought against them individually. In support of their
motion, Defendants rely upon the declaration of Helton
(Docket Entry No. 75-1), the declaration of Jail Correctional
Sergeant Craig D'Apolito (Docket Entry No. 75-2), the
declaration of Monroe (Docket Entry No. 75-3),
Plaintiff's deposition transcript (Docket Entry No.
75-4), and a Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (Docket
Entry No. 76).
respect to the incident during which Plaintiff was attacked
by another inmate, Defendant Bridges asserts that the
undisputed evidence shows that, prior to the attack, the
Maury County Sheriff's Department had no record of any
actual or threatened violence by the attacking inmate against
any other inmate at the Jail. In fact, Defendant Bridges
asserts that Plaintiff admitted in his deposition that he did
not feel threatened by or have reason to fear the attacking
inmate prior to the attack. Defendant Bridges asserts that:
1) the attack on Plaintiff occurred without warning; 2) there
is no evidence that the inmate who attacked Plaintiff posed a
threat to Plaintiff prior to the actual attack; and 3)
Plaintiff had not alerted any prison official that the inmate
who attacked him posed a threat to him. Defendant Bridges
argues that there is simply no evidence supporting a
conclusion that he was aware that the attacking inmate posed
a substantial risk of harm to Plaintiff yet ignored or
disregarded that risk.
respect to the incident on May 19, 2015, Defendants Monroe
and Helton assert that they entered Plaintiff's cell
while in the process of moving another inmate into the cell.
They contend that Plaintiff initially refused a verbal order
from Defendant Monroe to remove a paper that was covering an
air vent in the cell and then refused a verbal order to
return several food trays that the officers had noticed were
sitting in the cell. Defendants state that both the covered
air vent and the extra food trays were violations of Jail
policies and that Plaintiff's verbal responses to these
orders were argumentative and combative. Defendants assert
that Plaintiff shoved the food trays towards Monroe, causing
the food to spill onto Monroe's pants and shoes and
pulled away from Defendant Helton when Helton attempted to
gain control of Plaintiff by grabbing his shoulders.
Defendant Monroe ...