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Francis v. Unknown Boeker

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

January 2, 2019




         Please take notice that the attached Magistrate Judge's Report has been filed with the Clerk of the U.S. District Court.

         In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), you have 14 days after being served with the attached report to file written objections to the proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations set forth therein. Failure to file written objections to the proposed findings, conclusions and recommendations within 14 days after being served will bar you, except upon grounds of plain error, from attacking on appeal the unobjected-to proposed factual findings and legal conclusions accepted by the District Court.



         Before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment filed on behalf of defendant Deputy Warden Stephanie Lamartiniere (R. Doc. 47). The Motion is opposed. See R. Docs. 49, 54, and 55.

         Pro se plaintiff, an inmate confined at the Louisiana State Penitentiary (“LSP”), Angola, Louisiana, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. (“ADA”) against Stephanie Lamartiniere, Capt. Boeker, and Sgt. Rogers complaining that his constitutional rights were violated due to the use of excessive force, failure to protect him from the use of excessive force, and deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.[1] Defendant Lamartiniere moves for summary judgment relying upon the pleadings, a Statement of Undisputed Facts, a certified copy of the plaintiff's pertinent administrative remedy proceeding including a conventionally filed audio recording, her own Affidavit, the Affidavit of Sgt. Morgan Rogers, the Affidavit of Captain Aurielle Boeker, a certified copy of LSP Directive 09.002 for Use of Force, a certified copy of the plaintiff's Conduct Report, and a certified copy of the plaintiff's medical and mental health records. The plaintiff opposes the Motion relying upon the pleadings and an unverified declaration.

         Pursuant to well-established legal principles, summary judgment is appropriate where there is no genuine disputed issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Rule 56, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986). A party moving for summary judgment must inform the Court of the basis for the motion and identify those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, that show that there is no such genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, supra, 477 U.S. at 323. If the moving party carries its burden of proof under Rule 56, the opposing party must direct the Court's attention to specific evidence in the record which demonstrates that the non-moving party can satisfy a reasonable jury that it is entitled to a verdict in its favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., supra, 477 U.S. at 248. This burden is not satisfied by some metaphysical doubt as to alleged material facts, by unsworn and unsubstantiated assertions, by conclusory allegations, or by a mere scintilla of evidence. Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994). Rather, Rule 56 mandates that summary judgment be entered against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, supra, 477 U.S. at 323. Summary judgment is appropriate in any case where the evidence is so weak or tenuous on essential facts that the evidence could not support a judgment in favor of the non-moving party. Little v. Liquid Air Corp., supra, 37 F.3d at 1075. In resolving a motion for summary judgment, the Court must review the facts and inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and the Court may not evaluate the credibility of witnesses, weigh the evidence, or resolve factual disputes. International Shortstop, Inc. v. Rally's, Inc., 939 F.2d 1257, 1263 (5th Cir. 1991).

         In his Complaint as amended (R. Docs. 1, 5), the plaintiff alleges the following: On December 22, 2015, the plaintiff attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on pain pills. He was seen by an EMT and was sent to wait in the “bullpen.” As the plaintiff was being escorted to the bullpen by Sgt. Rogers, he stopped walking because he had not yet been seen by a doctor or a psychiatrist. He asked why he had not been seen by a doctor or someone from mental health, and Sgt. Rogers responded in a hostile tone that, “He didn't have time for that sh*t.” Sgt. Rogers then aggressively grabbed the plaintiff by his restraints, flipped him upside down, and slammed the plaintiff forcefully onto the floor onto the top of his left shoulder. The plaintiff remained on the floor due to excruciating pain caused by a cut on his left leg.

         Moments later, defendant Lamartiniere and Capt. Boeker arrived and stood over the plaintiff as he lay on the floor in pain. Defendant Lamartiniere instructed Sgt. Rogers to pick the plaintiff up. Sgt. Rogers and three other staff members then picked the plaintiff up by his arms and leg shackles causing the plaintiff to flinch due to the injury to his left shoulder. The plaintiff was then dropped to the floor, and a staff member jumped onto the plaintiff and placed his knee in the plaintiff's back while applying pressure to the plaintiff's ankles. The plaintiff repeatedly yelled that he was not resisting, but the staff member continued to apply more force.

         Another inmate, Derrick Scott, inquired as to why the plaintiff, a mental health inmate, was being mistreated and defendant Lamartiniere informed inmate Scott that the situation had “nothing to do” with him. Inmate Scott continued to question the treatment of the plaintiff, and defendant Lamartiniere the stated, “Okay, that's enough. Pick him up.” Sgt. Rogers then picked the plaintiff up by his arms and leg shackles. The plaintiff screamed due to pain in his left shoulder, but was ignored and thrown into the bullpen. The plaintiff began hitting his head on the door while stating that something was wrong with his shoulder, and threatened to continue doing so until he was provided with medical treatment and seen by someone from mental health.

         The plaintiff was then taken out of the bullpen and his shoulder was x-rayed. The doctor stated that there was a slight dislocation of the left shoulder. The plaintiff was not seen by anyone from mental health.

         Defendant Lamartiniere first asserts that the plaintiff's ADA claims are subject to dismissal because Plaintiff has failed to exhaust available administrative remedies relative thereto as mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e. Pursuant to this statute, the plaintiff was required to exhaust administrative remedies available to him at the prison prior to commencing a civil action in this Court with respect to prison conditions. This provision is mandatory and applies broadly to “all inmate suits about prison life.” Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 532 (2002). Further, a prisoner must exhaust administrative remedies by complying with applicable prison grievance procedures before filing a suit relative to prison conditions. Johnson v. Johnson, 385 F.3d 503, 517 (5th Cir. 2004). Not only must the prisoner exhaust all available remedies, but such exhaustion must be proper, including compliance with an agency's deadlines and other critical procedural rules. Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 90 (2006). One of the principal purposes of the administrative exhaustion requirement is to provide fair notice to prison officials of an inmate's specific complaints so as to provide “‘time and opportunity to address complaints internally.'” Johnson v. Johnson, supra, 385 F.3d at 516, quoting Porter v. Nussle, supra, 534 U.S. at 525. Further, the degree of specificity necessary in a prisoner's grievance should be evaluated in light of this intended purpose. Id.

         Upon a review of the plaintiff's pertinent administrative grievance, i.e., the grievance that he filed relative to the claims asserted in this proceeding, the Court concludes that the defendant's motion is well-taken in this regard and should be granted. The plaintiff makes no mention of any ADA claims in his grievance. See R. Doc. 47-6, p. 11-12. As such, defendant Lamartiniere was not provided with ...

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