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Reeves v. Mancuso

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

September 10, 2019

SHANNON REEVES
v.
TONY MANCUSO, ET AL.

          JAMES D. CAIN, JR. JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM RULING

          James D. Cain, Jr., Judge

         Before the court is a second Motion for Summary Judgment [doc. 17] filed by defendants Tony Mancuso and Scot Nugent, in response to the civil rights suit filed in this court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law by plaintiff Shannon Reeves. Plaintiff opposes the motion.

         I.

         Background

         This suit arises from plaintiffs treatment at the hands of unknown officers at Calcasieu Correctional Center ("CCC"). Plaintiff alleges as follows: He was booked into that facility on or about June 11, 2018, and alerted officers that he had medical needs relating to injuries, including head trauma, that he sustained in a car accident. Doc. 1, ¶¶ 6-8. Plaintiff complained when officers moved him to a cell without a bottom bunk and told them that he could not climb into a top bunk due to his injuries. Id. at ¶ 9. The officers mocked him, and plaintiff admits that he responded rudely. Id. at ¶¶ 9-10. Three officers then beat plaintiff, throwing him to the ground and aggravating his injuries. Id. at ¶¶ 10- 12. After the beating, plaintiff was placed in solitary confinement and denied medical care. Id. at ¶ 13. He filed an inmate complaint with Internal Affairs, but the complaint was not investigated. Id. at ¶ 14.

         Plaintiff filed suit in this court on June 7, 2019. Doc. 1. As defendants he names the three unknown officers, in their individual capacities, and Sheriff Tony Mancuso and CCC Warden Scot Nugent, in their official capacities. He seeks monetary relief from all defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on the alleged violations of his constitutional rights, and state tort law.

         Defendants Mancuso and Nugent moved to dismiss the action or for summary judgment on July 3, 2019, alleging that plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e. Doc. 7. The court denied the motion on July 24, based on defendants' failure to show whether plaintiff was still incarcerated when he filed suit. Doc. 15; see Bargher v. White, 928 F.3d 439 (5th Cir. 2019) ("By its plain language, however, the PLRA's restrictions do not apply to actions filed by former inmates following their release.") Defendants filed another motion for summary judgment on August 9, this time showing that plaintiff was incarcerated at all relevant times and maintaining that the suit should be dismissed due to his failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Doc. 17.

         II.

         Summary Judgment Standard

         A court should grant a motion for summary judgment when 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. The party moving for summary judgment is initially responsible for identifying portions of pleadings and discovery that show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact. Tubacex, Inc. v. M/V Risan, 45 F.3d 951, 954 (5th Cir. 1995). The court must deny the motion for summary judgment if the movant fails to meet this burden. Id.

         If the movant makes this showing, however, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party to "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986) (quotations omitted). This requires more than mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleadings. Instead, the nonmovant must submit "significant probative evidence" in support of his claim. State Farm Life Ins. Co. v. Gutterman, 896 F.2d 116, 118 (5th Cir. 1990). "If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249 (citations omitted).

         A court may not make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence in ruling on a motion for summary judgment. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc.,530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000). The court is also required to view all evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Clift v. Clift,210 F.3d 268, 270 (5th Cir. 2000). Under this standard, a genuine issue of material fact exists if a ...


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