United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
DESMOND C. PARKER
MARLIN N. GUSMAN, ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
VAN MEERVELD, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Desmond C. Parker, a state prisoner, filed this pro
se and in forma pauperis federal civil rights
action against Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman, Deputy O. Woods,
Correct Care Solutions, LLC, and Dr. Xuong Nguyen. Plaintiff
claimed that he was denied adequate medical care, inmates
were denied needed assistance, his personal property was
lost, and he was sexually assaulted.
was subsequently granted leave to amend the complaint to add
Deputy D. Tapp, Deputy D. Harris, and Shontrell Cooper as
defendants. Plaintiff alleged that Tapp and Harris were
present while plaintiff was being sexually assaulted and yet
failed to take any action to protect him. Plaintiff alleged
that Cooper was deliberately indifferent to his need for
medical care, in that she “ignored plaintiff's
cries for help regarding his continuing pain &
claims against Correct Care Solutions, LLC, Dr. Nguyen, and
Marlin Gusman were subsequently dismissed, as was
plaintiff's claim concerning his lost
only the following claims remain in this lawsuit: (1) Deputy
O. Woods sexually assaulted plaintiff during a strip search;
(2) Deputies D. Tapp and D. Harris were present during that
sexual assault and yet failed to take any action to protect
plaintiff; and (3) Shontrell Cooper was deliberately
indifferent to plaintiff's need for medical care. The
remaining defendants have consented to the jurisdiction of
the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(c).
against Deputy Woods
Woods has filed a motion for summary judgment pursuant to
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Plaintiff has opposed that
reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court may grant
the motion when no genuine issue of material fact exists and
the mover is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). There is no “genuine issue”
when the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational
trier of fact to find for the nonmovant. Matsushita
Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475
U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
the party moving for summary judgment bears the initial
burden of informing the district court of the basis for its
motion, and identifying those portions of the record which it
believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact.” Taita Chemical Co., Ltd. v.
Westlake Styrene Corp., 246 F.3d 377, 385 (5th Cir.
2001) (quotation marks and brackets omitted). The party
opposing summary judgment must then “go beyond the
pleadings and by [his] own affidavits, or by the depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, designate
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 324 (1986) (internal quotation marks omitted);
accord Provident Life and Accident Ins. Co. v. Goel,
274 F.3d 984, 991 (5th Cir. 2001). The Court has no duty to
search the record for evidence to support a party's
opposition to summary judgment; rather, “[t]he party
opposing summary judgment is required to identify specific
evidence in the record and to articulate the precise manner
in which the evidence supports his or her claim.”
Ragas v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., 136
F.3d 455, 458 (5th Cir. 1998). Conclusory statements,
speculation, and unsubstantiated assertions are not competent
summary judgment evidence and will not suffice to defeat a
properly supported motion for summary judgment. Id.;
Douglass v. United Services Auto. Ass'n, 79 F.3d
1415, 1429 (5th Cir. 1996).
lawsuit, plaintiff claims that he was sexually assaulted by
Deputy Woods during a strip search. Plaintiff states his
claim as follows:
On 2/8/16 at the new jail Orleans Justice Center or (OJC),
during a shake down I was strip searched in the shower on the
third floor E-side. After removing all of my clothes I
proceeded to squat & cough. Deputy O. Woods who was
conducting the search said “no, turn around and bend
over.” I thought he meant to turn around & squat
& cough, so when I turned around he pushed me over a
plastic chair that was in the shower & put his hands in
between my butt checks & tried to manually spread my
cheeks. I immediately jumped away, of course feeling violated
& further injuring my ankle again. Two other deputies
were present in the shower when this happened, Deputies D.
Tapp & D. Harris. Once I asked him what he was doing
& at the same time explaining that he can NOT touch me
like that all of the deputies were laughing. Woods in
particular was staring at my penis and smiling.
connection with his motion, Deputy Woods has presented
evidence that a syringe was taken from the jail nurse's
medical cart on February 8, 2016. As a result of that
incident, officers conducted a systematic search
“shakedown” of all inmates housed on the dorm. As
part of that search, Woods performed the strip search of
plaintiff. Plaintiff does not dispute that this was in fact
the reason the search was conducted.
it is permissible for penal officials to conduct such
searches to ensure the security and safety of their
institutions. As the United States Supreme Court has stated:
Prisons, by definition, are places of involuntary confinement
of persons who have a demonstrated proclivity for antisocial
criminal, and often violent, conduct. Inmates have
necessarily shown a lapse in ability to control and conform
their behavior to the legitimate standards of society by the
normal impulses of self-restraint; they have shown an
inability to regulate their conduct in a ...