United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HORNSBY U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Ricard (“Plaintiff”) is a self-represented
convicted inmate who is housed at the David Wade Correctional
Center (“DWCC”). He filed this civil rights
action against five DWCC correctional officers based on
allegations that (1) some of them used chemical spray on
Plaintiff without cause and (2) others used excessive
physical force. Before the court is a Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 65) filed by Defendants. For the reasons that
follow, it is recommended that the motion be denied.
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. Pro. 56(a). A fact is “material” if it might
affect the outcome of the suit under governing law.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 106 S.Ct. 2505,
2510 (1986). A dispute is “genuine” if there is
sufficient evidence so that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for either party. Anderson, supra;
Hamilton v. Segue Software Inc., 232 F.3d 473, 477
(5th Cir. 2000).
party seeking summary judgment has the initial responsibility
of informing the court of the basis for its motion and
identifying those parts of the record that it believes
demonstrate the absence of a genuine dispute of material
fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 106 S.Ct. 2548
(1986). If the moving party carries his initial burden, the
burden then falls upon the nonmoving party to demonstrate the
existence of a genuine dispute of a material fact.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
106 S.Ct. 1348, 1355-56 (1986).
convicted inmate's claim of excessive force is governed
by the Eighth Amendment. “[W]henever prison officials
stand accused of using excessive physical force in violation
of the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause, the core
judicial inquiry is … whether force was applied in a
good-faith effort to maintain or restore discipline, or
maliciously and sadistically to cause harm.” Hudson
v. McMillian, 112 S.Ct. 995, 999 (1992).
focus of the standard is on the corrections official's
subjective intent to punish, and his intent is determined by
reference to certain well established Hudson
factors: (1) the extent of the injury suffered, (2) the need
for the application of force, (3) the relationship between
the need and the amount of force used, (4) the threat
reasonably perceived by the responsible official, and (5) any
efforts made to temper the severity of a forceful response.
Cowart v. Erwin, 837 F.3d 444, 453 (5th Cir. 2016).
“A plaintiff need not show significant injury, although
the extent of the injury may supply insight as to the amount
of force applied.” Id., citing Wilkins v.
Gaddy, 130 S.Ct. 1175 (2010).
Hudson standard applies with equal force to claims
that prison officials used a chemical agent on an inmate.
Baldwin v. Stalder, 137 F.3d 836, 840-41 (5th Cir.
1998); Davis v. Cannon, 91 Fed.Appx. 327 (5th Cir.
2004). Each case is judged on its own facts, after
considering the non-exclusive factors listed above.
Baldwin, 137 F.3d at 839.
alleges that he was on suicide watch when Officer Vincent
Coleman used chemical spray on him without cause or warning
and in violation of prison policy. Officer Coleman moves for
summary judgment and offers affidavit testimony from himself
(Doc. 67-3) and two witnesses. Coleman testifies that
Plaintiff was on standard suicide watch on the afternoon of
August 12, 2016 when Officer Keith Coleman informed Vincent
Coleman that Plaintiff was using an object to scratch his
wrist. Vincent Coleman testifies that he immediately went to
Plaintiff's cell and saw Plaintiff scratching his left
Coleman testifies that he gave Plaintiff several direct
verbal orders to cease his actions. Plaintiff refused to
comply, and he placed the object to his throat and threatened
to cut himself. Coleman then administered a short burst of
chemical agent to Plaintiff's face and head in an attempt
to prevent him from causing further injury to himself.
Plaintiff ceased his actions after the chemical agent was
applied, and he then walked over to his toilet and flushed
the object. Officers were able to get Plaintiff to submit to
restraints, and medical personnel treated Plaintiff for his
injuries. Plaintiff was offered an eye wash and shower, but
he refused. ...