United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
TERRY A. DOUGHTY
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HAYES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court is a Motion for Summary Judgment, filed by
Plaintiff Clay Riggs. [doc. # 60]. The motion is opposed.
[doc. # 64]. For reasons set forth below, it is recommended
that the motion be DENIED.
12, 2017, Riggs properly filed a Complaint pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against Crawford Jordan, Timmy Ducote,
Robert Bannon, Jeremy Underwood, Steven D. Crews, R.
Christopher Nevils, Judge Derr, the 8th Judicial District
Court, Judge 8th Judicial District Court and the State of
Louisiana. [doc. # 6]. On May 24, 2017, he filed an Amended
Complaint, adding Justin Keith Gates and Herman Castette as
defendants. [doc. # 12]. On September 8, 2017, he filed a
second Amended Complaint and requested a restraining order be
placed against the Jackson Parish Correctional Center
(“JPCC”), Crawford Jordan, and all members of the
Winn Parish Sheriffs Department and the City of Winnfield
Police Department. [doc. # 21].
October 6, 2017, Riggs filed a third Amended Complaint,
asserting claims against prison officials Kevin Kelly,
Garrison Williams, and Michael Stewart
(“Defendants”). [doc. # 22]. In his Complaint,
Riggs alleges that on September 15, 2017, Defendants entered
his bunk at JPCC after he requested to speak with Warden
Ducote about Kelly's abusing his authority. (Id.
at 1). Riggs claims he was standing in his bunk area with
both of his hands raised above his head “in a non
threat[en]ing manner, ” when he was approached by
Defendants and shot in the eyes with a G9 Mace Gun,
“paint ball gun, ” by Stewart. (Id. at
2). He received medical treatment, but alleges that his eyes
have still not healed, and he suffers from pain and
blurriness. (Id.). Riggs claims Defendants maced him
in retaliation for filing his prior Complaint. (Id.
February 7, 2018, all claims against the defendants, except
for Riggs' excessive force and retaliation claims against
Kelly, Williams, and Stewart, were dismissed with prejudice
as frivolous, for failing to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted, and for seeking monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. [doc. # 29;
see doc. # 25].
August 6, 2018, Riggs filed the instant motion for summary
judgment. (“MSJ, ” [doc. # 60]). He claims
Stewart used excessive force when he “just razed [sic]
a mase [sic] gun that fires mace at approx 409 miles an hour
at point blank range and shoots [sic] me directly in my
eyes.” (Id. at 3-4). Defendants filed a
response on August 27, 2018. (“Opp. MSJ, ” [doc.
# 64]). The matter is now ripe.
judgment is appropriate “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.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A fact is “material” if proof
of its existence or nonexistence would affect the outcome of
the lawsuit under the applicable law in the case.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A dispute about a material fact is
“genuine” if the evidence is such that a
reasonable fact-finder could render a verdict for the
nonmoving party. Id.
party seeking summary judgment “bears the initial
responsibility of informing the district court of the basis
for its motion, and identifying those portions of ‘the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if
any,' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (quoting
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247). Once the moving party
demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact,
the nonmoving party “must go beyond the pleadings and
designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial.” McCarty v. Hillstone Rest. Grp.,
Inc., 864 F.3d 354, 357 (5th Cir. 2017) (citations and
quotations omitted). This burden cannot be satisfied
“by conclusory allegations, by unsubstantiated
assertions, or by only a scintilla of evidence.”
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the “evidence
of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable
inferences are to be drawn in his favor.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. The court will resolve
factual disputes in favor of the nonmoving party, “but
only where there is an actual controversy, that is, when both
parties have submitted evidence of contradictory
facts.” McCarty, 864 F.3d at 358. The court
will not assume without proof that the nonmoving party could
prove the necessary facts. Id. In such a situation,
there is no genuine issue as to a material fact and the
moving party is “entitled to a judgment as a matter of
law” because ...