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Turner v. Davis

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

May 11, 2018

STEPHEN J. TURNER, Plaintiff,
v.
SHERIFF CHRIS DAVIS, et al, Defendants.

          Crenshaw, Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JEFFERY S. FRENSLEY, United States Magistrate Judge

         I. Introduction and Background

         This matter is before the Court upon Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.[1]Along with his Motion, Defendant has contemporaneously filed a supporting Memorandum of Law (Docket No. 21), a “Statement of Material and Undisputed Facts” (Docket No. 22), and his Affidavit (“Def. Aff.”) (Docket No. 23).

         Plaintiff has not responded to either the instant Motion or to Defendant's Statement of Material and Undisputed Facts, nor has Plaintiff filed his own Statement of Undisputed Material Facts.

         Plaintiff filed this pro se, in forma pauperis action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging, inter alia, that Defendant, solely in his official capacity as Sheriff of Humphrey's County, violated his Eighth Amendment rights when Humphreys County employees failed to take him to the emergency room after he was “jumped by 5 inmates” in the Humphreys County Jail and sustained a bloody nose and lip, swollen eyes, and chipped teeth. Docket No. 1. Plaintiff avers, “They told us they had to call the Nurse and the Sheriff Chris Davis to see if I should go [to the hospital]. Neither was there to see me . . . “ Id. at 8. As to Defendant specifically, Plaintiff avers, “Sheriff Chris Davis denied me of medical treatment. Sheriff Davis never seen how bad my injuries was to make that call.” Id. at 6. Plaintiff seeks “$200, 000 in damages for starters.” Id. at 7.

         Defendant filed the instant Motion and supporting materials arguing that this action should be dismissed because: (1) Plaintiff did not have a serious medical need; (2) no Humphreys County employee was deliberately indifferent to any serious medical need; (3) no official Humphreys County policy, practice, or custom was the driving force behind any alleged constitutional violation; and (4) any state law claims would be barred by the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act. Docket No. 20.

         For the reasons set forth below, the undersigned recommends that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket No. 20) be GRANTED, and that this action be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         II. Undisputed Facts[2]

         Plaintiff was booked into the Humphreys County Jail on June 24, 2016 at approximately 7:45 pm on charges of domestic assault and simple possession. Docket No. 23, Def. Aff., ¶ 5, Ex. 1.

         At approximately 9:20 pm, Plaintiff was involved in a fight with several other inmates. Id., ¶ 6, Ex. 2. Plaintiff had blood coming from his nose and his lip, and he had at least one chipped tooth. Id. After the fight, Correctional Officer Potvin brought Plaintiff to the booking hallway. Id. Correctional Officer Jarnagin called the Jail Administrator to inform him of what happened, and also called Jail Nurse Ragan and informed him of Plaintiff's condition. Id. Nurse Ragan advised Correctional Officer Jarnagin that Plaintiff did not need to be taken to the emergency room, but instead should be placed on medical watch and observed. Id. Plaintiff was placed in the detox cell for observation, and released the following day at 10 am. Id., see also, Ex. 2.

         Sheriff Chris Davis was, at all times relevant to the instant action, the Sheriff of Humphreys County, Tennessee. Id., ¶ 3. In his capacity as Sheriff, he has access to inmate records and jail records, including booking reports and incident reports, which are kept in the regular course and scope of operating the Humphreys County Jail. Id. Also in his capacity as Sheriff, Defendant has knowledge of the policies and procedures applicable to the Humphreys County Jail generally. Id., ¶ 4. Humphreys County has a policy in place requiring that “[n]ecessary medical services will be provided to all inmates incarcerated in the Humphreys County Jail. This can include, but not limited to first aid, doctors office visits, or treatment in the emergency room.” Id., ¶ 7, Ex. 3. All correctional officers and Humphreys County Jail employees are trained on the Jail policies and procedures and are expected to follow them. Id., ¶ 4.

         At no time during Plaintiff's incarceration between June 24th and June 25th of 2016 did Defendant interact with Plaintiff. Id., ¶ 8. Additionally, at no time during Plaintiff's incarceration was Defendant made aware of Plaintiff's fight, alleged injuries, or treatment provided for injuries. Id. Moreover, the Jail nurse on duty at the time during Plaintiff's incarceration was not a Humphreys County employee, but rather, is employed by a third party medical provider who contracts to provide medical services in the Jail. Id., ¶ 9.

         III. Law and Analysis

         A. Local Rules 7.01(b) and 56.01(c) and (g)

         Local Rule 7.01(b) states, in pertinent part:

b. Response. Each party opposing a motion shall serve and file a response, memorandum, affidavits and other responsive material not later than fourteen (14) days after service of the motion, except, that in cases of a motion for summary judgment, that time shall be twenty-one (21) days after the service of the motion, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. Failure to file a timely response shall indicate that there is no opposition to the motion.

         Defendant filed the instant Motion on October 18, 2017. Docket No. 20. Plaintiff has failed to respond to Defendant's Motion.

         Additionally, with respect to Motions for Summary Judgment specifically, Local Rules ...


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