United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville
a pro se prisoner's civil rights action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Now before the Court is Defendants' motion
for summary judgment [Doc. 38], in support of which
Defendants filed a memorandum [Doc. 39], a statement of
material facts [Doc. 40], and Plaintiff's deposition
[Docs. 42 and 43]. 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. Also pending in this action are
Plaintiff's motion for discovery [Doc. 48], to which
Defendants have filed a response in opposition [Doc. 49], and
Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of prosecution due
to Plaintiff's failure to file his pretrial narrative
statement [Doc. 51], which Plaintiff has now filed [Doc. 52].
For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion for
summary judgment [Doc. 38] will be GRANTED
and the remaining motions [Docs. 48 and 51] will be
DENIED as moot.
Court previously summarized the factual allegations of
Plaintiff's sworn complaint as follows:
Plaintiff filed this complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on
August 22, 2016[, ] against Defendants Lee, Clark, Lundy,
Shelton, Vaught, and O'Neil for alleged violations of his
constitutional rights occurring while he was incarcerated at
the Northeast Correctional Complex (“NECX”).
Plaintiff alleges that on or about April 6, 2016,
Plaintiff's cell at NECX was searched by an Internal
Affairs unit, and then he was required to take a drug test.
After Plaintiff failed the drug test, he claims that
Defendant Clark, a member of the Internal Affairs unit, told
him and his cellmate that if they “wanted to see
[their] family again, ” they would have to tell her how
drugs were being brought into NECX. Plaintiff alleges that he
did not feel safe cooperating in the investigation because a
correctional officer, Officer Hamm, was responsible for
bringing drugs into the prison. However, after Defendant
Clark arranged for him to be taken to the medical bay to
talk, Plaintiff told other correctional officers that Officer
Hamm was the “dirty c/o.” Plaintiff alleges that
the correctional officers involved in the Internal Affairs
investigation arranged for Officer Hamm to be moved to his
pod, and Plaintiff was told to call a “snitch line . .
. when C/O Hamm was bringing the next ‘pack'
(drugs) in.” Plaintiff states that he again expressed
his reservations about being involved in the investigation,
but proceeded “thinking I would not be able to see my
Plaintiff then claims that “the very next day[, ] the
officers ‘leaked' it to another inmate that my
cell[mate] and I w[ere] working with I.A.” Next,
Plaintiff alleges that his cell mate informed Defendant Lundy
that they “wanted nothing to do with” the
investigation. After “it also got back to C/O Hamm that
[Plaintiff and his cell mate were] going to set him up,
” Correctional Officer Hamm allegedly made comments
about how Plaintiff was a snitch and “having [his] eyes
beat shut.” On April 16, 2016, Plaintiff claims that he
was assaulted in his pod, which resulted in his eyes
“beat shut[, ] and [his] leg . . . fractured to where
[he] was on crutches for 4 weeks” and required surgery.
Ultimately, Plaintiff alleges that he “should have
never been assaulted because [he] was in the protective
custody pod, and the inmate who assaulted [him] should not
have been out with [him].” Further, Plaintiff claims
that he “told [Defendant] O'Neil that [he] would be
assaulted, and [he] would not fight back.” Plaintiff
then alleges that after he was still charged with fighting
another inmate, he told Defendant Clark why he was assaulted,
and “she just said, can you go back or not.”
Plaintiff claims that he was still “sent back to the
same pod.” At this point, Plaintiff alleges that he
attempted to convince Correctional Officer Hamm that he was
not a snitch, and his cellmate arranged a deal with Hamm
where the cellmate could find pills for Hamm to pick up.
Plaintiff claims that “this happened a few times, and
[he] did tell [Internal Affairs] what was going on, ”
but, although Correctional Officer Hamm was later arrested,
Plaintiff and his cellmate were also sent “to the hole
with write-ups saying [they] conspired with the C/O to bring
in drugs.” Defendant Clark allegedly “denied any
involvement.” Later, Plaintiff claims that he
“was taken to the hole on a bogus write up and
[Defendant] Vaught yelled to the whole pod that [he] was a
snitch, [and that he] told on C/O Hamm.”
Additionally, Plaintiff claims that he “tried to talk
to [Defendant] Shelton” about his reservation with the
Internal Affairs investigation, but that Defendant Shelton
said that “he did not want to get involved.”
Further, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Lundy “knew
and was [a]part of [Internal Affairs] busting Hamm.”
Lastly, Plaintiff claims that he was placed in the hole for
“bogus write ups” due to his cooperation in the
Internal Affairs investigation.
Ultimately, Plaintiff alleges that his reputation as a snitch
will follow him to other prisons, that his knee is
“forever damaged, ” and that he will “have
to be on protective custody for the remainder of [his]
time.” Plaintiff requests that the Court appoint him a
lawyer and “send out summons, ” as well as seeks
a temporary restraining order and compensatory damages.
[Doc. 6 p. 3-5 (internal citations omitted)]. The Court
screened the complaint and allowed only Plaintiff's
Eighth Amendment claims against Defendants O'Neil, Clark,
and Vaught to proceed [Id. at 6-13].
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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). As such, the 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).
successfully oppose a motion for summary judgment, “the
non-moving party . . . must present sufficient evidence from
which a jury could reasonably find for him.” Jones
v. Muskegon County, 625 F.3d 935, 940 (6th Cir. 2010). A
sworn complaint, however, carries the same weight as an