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Ruffin v. Jack

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

January 15, 2019

BRANDON RUFFIN #573976
v.
MICHAEL JACK, ET AL.

          NOTICE

          RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         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.

         ABSOLUTELY NO EXTENSION OF TIME SHALL BE GRANTED TO FILE WRITTEN OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE=S REPORT.

         MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

         Before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment filed on behalf of defendants Assistant Warden Barrett Boeker, Col. Randall Robertson, Major Nicholas Sanders, Cpt. Herman Holmes, and Assistant Warden Jonathan London (R. Doc. 20). The Motion is not opposed.

         Pro se plaintiff, an inmate currently confined at the David Wade Correctional Center (“DWCC”), Homer, Louisiana, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Assistant Warden Barrett Boeker, Col. Randall Robertson, Major Nicholas Sanders, Capt. Herman Holmes. Assistant Warden Jonathan London, Cpt. Michael Jack, and the Tactical Unit at Louisiana State Penitentiary 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] Defendants Boeker, Robertson, Sanders, Holmes, and London move for summary judgment relying upon the pleadings, a Statement of Undisputed Facts, the Affidavit of Assistant Warden Barret Boeker, and certified copies of a Disciplinary Board Report, Disciplinary Hearing Audio, the plaintiff's penitent Administrative Remedy Procedure, and the plaintiff's medical records.

         Despite an extension of time to do so, the plaintiff has not opposed the instant motion. See R. Doc. 25. Additionally, while the plaintiff's allegations in his unverified Complaint provide context to the evidence provided by the defendants, those allegations are not sufficient to survive a properly supported motion for summary judgment.[2]

         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, the plaintiff alleges the following: On October 12, 2016, defendant Boeker approached the plaintiff's cell and asked the plaintiff if he was the inmate who had thrown human waste on Col. Trent Barton. The plaintiff replied, “Do you feel like I threw it?” Defendant Boeker then ordered the plaintiff to remove his clothing, bend over and expose his anus. The plaintiff refused to comply and defendant Boeker repeated the order. When the plaintiff again refused to comply, defendant Boeker stated, “I don't know what wrong with you niggers over here shitting down the colonel and officers. But today is ya'lls day.” Defendant Boeker then spit on the plaintiff's face. In response, the plaintiff retrieved a cup of coffee and threw it towards defendant Boeker, striking him in the arm.

         Defendant Boeker ordered Cpt. Michael Jack to spray the plaintiff with a chemical agent. Jack then sprayed the plaintiff with the entire can of chemical agent without first asking the plaintiff to come to the bars to be restrained. Defendants Sanders, Robertson, Holmes, and London were present but failed to intervene. The plaintiff immediately complained to defendants Boeker, Sanders, Holmes, Robertson and London, and Jack, of difficulty breathing, and burning of his eyes, face, and body. The plaintiff pleaded with the defendants for a shower.

         The Tactical Unit then arrived, entered the plaintiff's cell, wrestled the plaintiff to the floor, placed an electronic capture shield over him, and shocked the plaintiff. Members of the unit also beat the plaintiff's shins with batons, stomped and kicked the plaintiff in the stomach and ribs, and slapped his face. The plaintiff's clothes were stripped off, and the plaintiff was placed in four-point restraints. The Tactical Unit then exited the cell. Defendants Jack, Boeker, Sanders, Holmes, Robertson, and London were present but did not intervene.

         For the remainder of the day, the plaintiff remained in the four-point restraints. He requested a shower but was informed that only a supervisor could remove the plaintiff's restraints. The plaintiff was not let out of the restraints to decontaminate, eat, or use the restroom. Defendants Sanders, Holmes, and Jack, made routine rounds but never offered the plaintiff a shower. The plaintiff requested medical care and for his cell to be cleaned but was ignored by Sanders, Holmes, and Jack.

         Upon release from the four-point restraints on October 13, 2016, the plaintiff was not examined by medical personnel. While restrained the plaintiff did not receive notice of any ...


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