United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
A. DOUGHTY MAG. JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HAYES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the undersigned Magistrate Judge, on reference from the
District Court, is a motion for summary judgment filed by
Morehouse Parish Sheriff Mike Tubbs, Warden Carl Patrick,
Nurse Brandon Goodson, and Nurse Daniel Pennington
(collectively, “Defendants”). [doc. # 29]. For
reasons set forth below, it is recommended that the motion be
Charles Godeaux, proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, is a pre-trial detainee formerly house at the
Morehouse Parish Jail in Louisiana. On July 16, 2018, he
filed the above-captioned lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Tubbs and Patrick, claiming (1) inmates
are required to place outgoing mail in a cracker box,
“waste gets on outgoing mail, ” and “mail
is ‘often' picked up by inmate workers and logged
in by inmate workers”; (2) the food is unsanitary and
food trays are covered in black mold; and (3) he has no
access to law books. [doc. # 1].
August 15, 2018 Plaintiff amended his Complaint, adding
Goodson, Pennington, Mail Officer Patricia Sisk, Corporal
White, and Lieutenant Richard Smith as defendants and raising
the following additional claims: (1) he was denied glasses;
(2) correctional officers dispense medical without gloves and
often drop pills on the floor, causing them to be
contaminated; and (3) he did not receive two items of mail
even though they were logged in. [doc. # 8].
September 11, 2018, Plaintiff again amended his Complaint,
adding Correctional Officer Butch Aulds, Deputy Higginbottom,
and Lieutenant Chuck Lord as defendants. [doc. # 10]. He also
raised a new claim: he has a “chronic heart condition
with a pacemaker” and Tubbs, Patrick, Goodson,
Pennington, Aulds, and Higginbottom refuse to allow him to
see his heart doctor. (Id. at 6-8).
Court conducted a preliminary screening of Plaintiff's
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A and
1915(e)(2) and dismissed his claims against Sisk, White,
Smith, Aulds, Higginbottom, and Lord. The two remaining
claims in this action are: (1) Plaintiff's claim against
Tubbs and Patrick concerning the deprivation of incoming
mail; and (2) Plaintiff's claim against Tubbs, Patrick,
Goodson, and Pennington concerning his lack of glasses.
[docs. # 12, 19].
April 29, 2019, Defendants filed the instant motion for
summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56. Defendants contend Plaintiff's suit should be
dismissed because (1) Plaintiff failed to exhaust available
administrative remedies as required by 42 U.S.C. §
1997e; and (2) the conduct alleged does not rise to the level
of a Constitutional violation. (MSJ at 1, [doc. # 29-2]).
8, 2019, Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion, in
which he stated he needed more time to conduct discovery to
“review each fact which defendants contend is
undisputed, identify facts that are not material to [his]
claim, and show which material facts are genuinely
disputed.” [doc. # 31]. Plaintiff also filed a separate
motion for a continuance [doc. # 32], which the Court denied,
[doc. # 34]. Defendants did not file a reply.
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). The moving party may
meet its burden “by pointing out that the record
contains no support for the non-moving party's
claim.” Stahl v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., 283
F.3d 254, 263 (5th Cir. 2002). If the nonmoving party is then
unable to point to anything in the record to support its
claim, summary judgment is appropriate. Id.
considering the evidence in a motion for summary judgment,
the court resolves factual disputes in favor of the nonmoving
party, “but only when there is an actual controversy,
that is, when both parties have submitted evidence of
contradictory facts.” Alvarez v. City of
Brownsville, 904 F.3d 382, 389 (5th Cir. 2018). Rule 56
mandates the entry of summary judgment if the nonmoving party
“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., 477 U.S. at 322. In
such a situation, there is “no genuine issue as to any