United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
RONNIE GREER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a pro se prisoner's civil rights complaint filed pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1983. Now before the Court is Defendant
Amanda Hinds's motion for summary judgment [Doc. 33].
Along with her motion for summary judgment, Defendant filed a
memorandum in support thereof, a statement of material facts,
and two affidavits [Docs. 34‒37]. Plaintiff has not
filed a response to this motion and the time for doing so has
passed. E.D. Tenn. LR 7.1(a)(2). As such, Plaintiff has
waived any opposition thereto. Elmore v. Evans, 449
F.Supp. 2, 3 (E.D. Tenn. 1976), aff'd mem. 577
F.2d 740 (6th Cir. 1978); E.D. Tenn. LR 7.2. Based on the
reasons set forth below, Defendant Hinds's motion for
summary judgment [Doc. 33] will be GRANTED,
and this action will be DISMISSED.
pro se, Shaun Johnson (“Plaintiff”), an inmate
confined in the Morgan County Correctional Complex
(“MCCX”), submitted a civil rights complaint for
damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [Doc. 1]. On March 22,
2017, after screening the Complaint in accordance with the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), the Court
permitted Plaintiff to advance his claims against Defendant
Hinds and dismissed all other Defendants from this action
September 25, 2017, Defendant Hinds filed her first motion
for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure [Docs. 11]. Plaintiff responded in
opposition and filed two of his own motions for summary
judgment [Docs. 19, 25]. Defendant Hinds filed responses in
opposition to both of Plaintiff's summary judgment
motions [Docs. 21, 26]. On September 10, 2018, this Court
denied all pending motions for summary judgment and scheduled
this case for trial on September 3, 2019.
March 18, 2019, Defendant Hinds filed her second motion for
summary judgment [Doc. 33]. No. response in opposition has
Allegations of the Complaint
alleges that his constitutional rights were violated and his
safety placed in jeopardy when Defendant Hinds allowed
“non-maximum security, non-mental health inmates”
to work in the mental health unit even after he filed
complaints warning Hinds of potential harm [Doc. 3 at 7].
Plaintiff complained to Hinds that the non-mental health
inmates get violent and aggressive toward the mentally ill
inmates when they act out due to their illness
[Id.]. Plaintiff asserts that Hinds ignored his
October 20, 2015, inmate Cortez, a non-mental health inmate
was working in the mental health unit where Plaintiff resided
[Id. at 8]. While Plaintiff was talking to
Correctional Officer York through the pie flap in his cell
door, Cortez swung a broomstick through the pie flap hitting
Plaintiff in the face and knocking out three of his teeth
not specifically set forth in the Complaint, this Court
interprets Plaintiff's allegations against Defendant as a
failure to protect claim under the Eighth Amendment. The
Eighth Amendment prohibits prisons from inflicting cruel and
unusual punishment on prisoners. “The Constitution
‘does not mandate comfortable prisons,' but neither
does it permit inhumane ones.” Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). The Eighth Amendment
does, however, impose a duty on prison officials to protect
prisoners from violence at the hands of other prisoners.
Id. at 833. Nevertheless, “not all injuries
suffered by an inmate at the hands of another prisoner result
in constitutional liability for prison officials under the
Eighth Amendment.” Wilson v. Yaklich, 148 F.3d
596, 600 (6th Cir. 1998). To establish an Eighth Amendment
claim that a prison official failed to protect an inmate, the
inmate must show that the official was deliberately
indifferent “to a substantial risk of serious
harm” to the inmate. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 828;
Greene v. Bowles, 361 F.3d 290, 294 (6th Cir. 2004).
“To demonstrate deliberate indifference, an inmate must
present evidence from which a trier of fact could conclude
‘that the official was subjectively aware of the
risk' and ‘disregard[ed] that risk by failing to
take reasonable measures to abate it.'”
Greene, 361 F.3d at 294, quoting Farmer,
511 U.S. at 829, 847. Generally, an isolated or occasional
attack is insufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim.
See Stewart v. Love, 696 F.2d 43, 44 (6th Cir.
Summary Judgment Standard
56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
“[t]he court shall grant summary judgment if the movant
shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the
court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
nonmoving party. McLean v. 988011 Ontario Ltd, 224
F.3d 797, 800 (6th Cir. 2000). Summary judgment is proper if
the evidence, taken in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, shows that there are no genuine issues of
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Hartman v. Great
Seneca Fin. Corp., 569 F.3d 606, 611 (6th Cir. 2009)
(internal quotation marks omitted).
moving party has the burden of conclusively showing the lack
of any genuine issue of material fact. Smith v.
Hudson, 600 F.2d 60, 63 (6th Cir. 1979). In order to
successfully oppose a motion for summary judgment, a party
“‘must set forth specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial'” and
“‘may not rest upon the mere allegations or
denials of his pleading.'” Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 47 U.S. 242, 248 (1986) (quoting First
Nat'l Bank of Arizona v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S.
253, 288-89 (1968)).
district court cannot grant summary judgment in favor of a
movant simply because the adverse party has not responded,
however. Stough v. Mayville Cmty. Sch., 138 F.3d
612, 614 (6th Cir. 1998). Rather, the court is required to,
at a minimum, examine the motion to ensure that the movant
has met its initial burden. Id. In doing so, the
court “must not overlook the possibility of evidentiary
misstatements presented by the moving party.”
Guarino v. Brookfield Twp. Trs., 980 F.2d 399, 407
(6th Cir. 1992). The court must “intelligently and
carefully review the legitimacy of  an unresponded-to
motion, even as it refrains from actively pursuing advocacy
or inventing the riposte for a silent party.”
Id. In the absence of a response, however, the Court
will not “sua sponte comb the record from the
partisan perspective of an advocate for the non-moving
party.” Id. at 410. If the court determines
that the unrebutted ...