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Adams v. Louisiana Department of Corrections

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

March 12, 2019

COREY MARQUEE ADAMS #357624
v.
LOUISIANA DEPT. OF CORR., 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 Partial Summary Judgment filed on behalf of defendants Louisiana Department of Corrections, James Leblanc, Darrel Vannoy, Jerry Goodwin, Joseph Lamartiniere, Stephanie Lamartiniere, Jimmy Smith, Tim Delaney, Kevin Benjamin, Randy Lavespere, Trent Barton, Shirley Cooley, Tracy Falgout, Matthew Gamble, Melvin Warner, Lonnie Nail, Justine Worsham, Michael Strain, Jesse Bellamy, Mark Hunter, Roy Adams, and Roger Young (R. Doc. 41). The Motion is opposed. See R. Docs. 55 and 63.

         Pro se plaintiff, an inmate formerly 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 the Louisiana Department of Corrections, LSP Prison Medical Providers, DWCC Prison Medical Providers, James Leblanc, Darrel Vannoy, Burl Cain, Jerry Goodwin, Joseph Lamartiniere, Asst. Warden Ducote, Jimmy Smith, Tim Delaney, Asst. Warden Benjamin, Trent Barton, Stephanie Lamartiniere, Shirley Cooley, Tracy Falgout, Dr. Gamble, Lt. Col. Wright, Melvin Warner, Lonnie Nail, Clay Williams, Justine Worsham, Michael Strain, Randy Lavespere, Mark Hunter, Major Bellamy, Roy Adams, Roger Young, Lt. Smith, Supervisor Darbone, EMT Diaz, Nurse Joel, EMT John Doe, Charles Barkmeyer, Jane Doe, Steve Hayden, River Kirby, Marcia Booker, Carol Gilcrease, Herman Holmes, Joel Williams, and Edward Honeycutt complaining that his constitutional rights were violated due to the use of excessive force and deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.[1] Defendants Louisiana Department of Corrections[2], James Leblanc, Darrel Vannoy, Jerry Goodwin, Joseph Lamartiniere, Stephanie Lamartiniere, Jimmy Smith, Tim Delaney, Kevin Benjamin, Randy Lavespere, Trent Barton, Shirley Cooley, Tracy Falgout, Matthew Gamble, Melvin Warner, Lonnie Nail, Justine Worsham, Michael Strain, Jesse Bellamy, Mark Hunter, Roy Adams, and Roger Young move for summary judgment relying upon the pleadings, a Statement of Undisputed Facts, certified copies of the plaintiff's pertinent administrative remedy proceedings. The plaintiff opposes the Motion relying upon the pleadings, his own Declaration, excerpts of various administrative remedy proceedings, and the declarations of inmates Charles Parker, Courtney Becnel, Jay Taylor, Harold Bunch, and Deshain Moore.

         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, 6, 8, 31, and 69), the plaintiff alleges in short that on May 16, 2015 his upper body and head were shut in a cell door due to a mechanism dysfunction. As a result of the incident, the plaintiff began to suffer from vertigo and seizures which caused him to fall furthering injuring his head, neck, and back. The resultant unbearable pain causes the plaintiff to suffer from anxiety and depression resulting in acts of self-harm which include cutting of various body parts and banging of the head.

         Despite numerous requests for treatment of his pain, the plaintiff has not been provided with any form of effective treatment for his pain. On several occasions of self-harm, the plaintiff's resulting injuries were untreated or not promptly treated. On other occasions, the plaintiff's threats of self-harm were ignored resulting in the plaintiff being placed on standard watch only and ending in acts of self-harm. Additionally, the plaintiff has been written up for behaviors resulting from his mental illness and excessive force has been used against the plaintiff for the same reason. In September of 2017, the plaintiff filed a “sensitive ARP” directly with the secretary of the Department of Corrections. The ARP was rejected in October of 2017 and the details of the plaintiff's grievance became known at the prison. The following month, the plaintiff was transferred to the David Wade Correctional Center (“DWCC”) in retaliation for filing the “sensitive ARP.”

         At DWCC some of the plaintiff's property was lost and some was unfairly confiscated. The plaintiff's medical and mental health needs still remain untreated, and the plaintiff is subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement.

         The moving defendants assert that some of the plaintiff's claims are subject to dismissal because the plaintiff has failed to exhaust available administrative remedies relative thereto as mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e. More specifically, the moving defendants assert that the plaintiff has not exhausted his claims of excessive force, failure to protect, conditions of confinement, ADA/RA, retaliation and supervisory liability. The moving defendants also assert that the plaintiff has not exhausted his claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs asserted against defendants LeBlanc, Vannoy, Goodwin, Benjamin, Delaney, Cooley, Nail, Warner, Barton, Young, Strain, and Worsham.

         Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e, 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.

         In Louisiana, an inmate must follow a two step Administrative Remedy Procedure (“ARP”) process to exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit in federal court. The ARP process is codified in the Louisiana Administrative Code under Title 22, Part I, § 325. An inmate initiates the ARP process by completing a request for administrative remedy or writing a letter to the warden. An ARP screening officer screens the inmate's request and either accepts the request into the first-step or rejects it for one of the enumerated reasons. If a request is accepted, the warden must respond on a first-step response form within forty (40) days of receipt of the request. If the inmate is dissatisfied with the response, he may proceed to the second-step of the ARP process by appealing to the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections (“DOC”). The DOC Secretary must issue a response within 45 days from the date the request is received using a second step request form. The law is clear that exhaustion of administrative remedies occurs in one of the following three instances: ...


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