United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. SHARP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is a Report and Recommendation (“R
& R”) of the Magistrate Judge, (Docket No. 83),
recommending that the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by
Defendants W.B. Melton (“Melton”), Shannon Harvey
(“Harvey”), and Rodney Phillips
(“Phillips”) be denied in part and granted in
part. Specifically, the Magistrate Judge recommends that
their Motion for Summary Judgment be granted as to the claims
against them in their official capacities, but denied as to
the claims against them in their individual capacities.
(Docket No. 83 at 26-27). Melton, Harvey, and Phillips filed
objections to the R & R. (Docket No. 85). Plaintiff Jack
Newberry (“Newberry”) filed a Response to the
Objections. (Docket No. 87). Having undertaken de
novo review of the matter in accordance with Rule 72 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court finds that
the R & R is correct and properly applies the governing
is incarcerated in Overton County Jail and suffers from
epilepsy. In his complaint, Newberry alleges violations of
his constitutional rights in connection with the treatment-or
lack of treatment-of his epilepsy. This Motion for Summary
Judgment was filed by three of the defendants: Melton, former
Sheriff of Overton County; Harvey, an employee of the Overton
County Sheriff's Department; and Phillips, another
employee of the Overton County Sheriff's Department.
Generally, Newberry alleges that these three defendants:
were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs
by, inter alia, (1) not providing him with his
anti-seizure medication for the first month of his
incarceration; (2) not providing him with his oral potassium
supplement pills; (3) not providing any assistance or
stabilization for him during his seizures; (4) not providing
first aid or other medical attention to Plaintiff's
gashes, scrapes, bruising, black eyes, concussion, strained
ligaments, and other injuries incurred during his seizures;
and (5) not sending Plaintiff for examination by a physician
who could ascertain why his seizures were increasing in
frequency, intensity, and duration, in violation of his
Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
(Docket No. 83 at 2) (citing Docket No. 26).
claims these allegations amount to violations of his Fourth
and Eighth Amendment rights by way of the Fourteenth
Amendment. (Docket No. 26).
judgment is proper if “there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact [such that] the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). But
“summary judgment will not lie if the . . . evidence is
such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
non-moving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In considering a motion
for summary judgment, the court must construe the evidence in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). The movant therefore has the burden
of establishing that there is no genuine issue of material
fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23
(1986); Barnhart v. Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling
Co., 12 F.3d 1382, 1388-89 (6th Cir. 1993). But the
non-moving party “may not rely merely on allegations or
denials in its own pleading.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2).
See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; Searcy v. City of
Dayton, 38 F.3d 282, 286 (6th Cir. 1994). The non-moving
party must present “significant probative
evidence” to show that there is more than “some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Moore
v. Philip Morris Co., 8 F.3d 335, 339-40 (6th Cir.
Fourth Amendment Claims
Fourth Amendment protects “the right of the people to
be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
against unreasonable searches and seizures.” U.S.
Const. amend. IV. Although Newberry claims violations of his
Fourth Amendment right “against unreasonable seizure,
” the Court cannot discern from Newberry's
Complaint where the unreasonable seizure allegedly exists.
(Docket No. 26 at 9). Newberry also does not discuss his
Fourth Amendment claims in his Opposition to Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment. (Docket No. 61). Furthermore,
“[t]he Fourth Amendment's prohibition against
unreasonable seizures of the person applies to
excessive-force claims that arise in the context of an arrest
or investigatory stop of a free citizen, while the Eighth
Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment applies
to excessive-force claims brought by convicted criminals
serving their sentences.” Aldini v. Johnson,
609 F.3d 858, 864 (6th Cir. 2010) (internal quotations and
citations omitted). Because (1) Newberry has not met his
initial pleading requirements to sufficiently allege
violations of his Fourth Amendment rights and (2) the Eighth
Amendment is the more appropriate amendment under which to
analyze Newberry's deliberate indifference claims that
occurred while he was incarcerated, the Court will dismiss
Newberry's Fourth Amendment claims.
Claims Against Melton, Harvey, and Phillips in ...