Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Brown v. Stacy

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London

February 2, 2018



          David L. Bunning United States District Judge.


         This matter is before the Court upon the Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) of United States Magistrate Judge Edward B. Atkins (Doc. # 62), wherein he recommends that the Court deny both Plaintiff's and Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment. (Docs. # 52 and 54). Defendants having objected to the R&R (Doc. # 63), and Plaintiff having responded to those objections (Doc. # 65), the R&R is now ripe for the Court's review.

         For the reasons that follow, the Court finds that the Defendants' arguments are without merit, overrules the objections, and adopts the R&R as the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the Court.


         The events giving rise to this action occurred on September 13, 2015. (Doc. # 62 at 1). During that time, Plaintiff was an inmate at the Kentucky Department of Corrections at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex (“Complex”) in West Liberty, Kentucky. Id. The incident began when Defendant William Wells, a corrections officer, removed a food tray from Plaintiff's possession. Id. at 2. A conversation ensued, during which Defendant Wells applied force to Plaintiff's arm and pinned him against a nearby structure. Id. Afterwards, Defendants Jonathon Dingus and Ryan Stacy, two other corrections officers, handcuffed Plaintiff and placed him in a “chicken wing restraint.” Id.

         After Plaintiff was restrained, Defendants Dingus and Stacy removed him from the cafeteria, where another officer, Defendant Conner Hall placed leg restraints on him and took him to the Segregation Area. Id. Once in the Segregation Area, Plaintiff was rushed to an empty shower stall. Id. What occurred inside the shower stall is contested. Id. It is known, however, that Nurse Lewis observed bruising around Plaintiff's wrists upon her entry into the shower stall. Id. Plaintiff was then placed in a restraint chair and taken to the entrance of the Segregation Area, where he was surrounded by all Defendants, Nurse Lewis, and an unidentified female nurse. Id. While restrained in the chair, Lieutenant Kevin Dennis used scissors to remove Plaintiff's clothing-leaving only his boxer shorts. Id. Nurse Lewis noted a “deep abrasion” to the top of Plaintiff's head. Id. Plaintiff also appeared “drowsy” with “eyes red, ” Plaintiff's pupils were “pinpoint, ” and he exhibited a “sluggish” reaction to light and slurred speech. Id. at 2-3.

         After Plaintiff's head wound was addressed, he was taken to an observation cell, where he remained for approximately one to two hours. Id. at 3. Plaintiff was removed from the restraint chair, but stayed in the Segregation Unit, where he remained for nine days. Id. During this time, Plaintiff was denied access to additional clothes beyond his boxer shorts, soap, toothpaste, blankets, sockets, and was forced to sleep on a metal rack. Id. Plaintiff was removed from the Segregation Unit on November 25, 2015, and was moved to another institution on January 5, 2016. Id.

         Plaintiff initiated the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on May 27, 2016, alleging that Defendants violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. (Doc. # 1). On July 26, 2016, a Memorandum Opinion and Order was issued by this Court, dismissing Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims against Defendant Wells. (Doc. # 7). However, the Order permitted the Plaintiff to pursue his Eighth Amendment claims against Defendants Ryan Stacy, Conner Hall, Aaron Potter, and Jonathon Dingus. Id. Plaintiff filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on May 10, 2017 (Doc. # 52), which was referred to Magistrate Judge Atkins for the preparation of an R&R. (Doc. # 33). Later, Defendants Ryan Stacy, Johnathan Dingus, Conner Hall, and Aaron Potter filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, which was also referred to Magistrate Judge Atkins. (Doc. # 54). On December 5, 2017, Magistrate Judge Atkins issued an R&R recommending that the Court deny both the Plaintiff's and Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment. (Doc. # 62).

         Defendants filed Objections to the R&R, alleging four specific errors.[1] (Doc. # 63). First, Defendants argue that the Magistrate Judge should have considered whether Plaintiff's injuries were de minimis when deciding whether summary judgment was appropriate. Id. at 1-3. Second, Defendants argue that the Magistrate Judge improperly considered “handcuffing” in denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. Id. at 3. Specifically, Defendants argue that none of the allegations concerning handcuffing should be permitted to proceed because Plaintiff never alleged that he complained that his handcuffs were too tight. Id. Third, Defendants argue that summary judgment should have been granted in favor of Defendant Hall. (Doc. # 63 at 4). Specifically, because Plaintiff could not have known Defendants' state of mind, Defendants argue that the Magistrate Judge should not have considered Plaintiff's statement in the Complaint that “[o]n the way to segregation, Stacy, Dingus, and Hall intentionally crashed Browns head into every door and door frame between the prison's basement A.K.A. ‘Phase 1 pill call' and the segregation dorm.” Id. Lastly, Defendants argue that because Plaintiff has not alleged any resulting injury from Defendant Wells's conduct, he should be absolved from liability. (Doc. # 63 at 5). Each objection will be addressed in turn.

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Standards of Review

         The Court reviews de novo portions of the R&R to which specific objections have been raised. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986). Where no objections are raised, or the objections are vague or conclusory, the Court is not required to review under a de novo, or any other, standard. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985); United States v. Jenkins, No. 6:12-cr-13-GFVT, 2017 WL 3431834, at *1 (E.D. Ky. Aug. 8, 2017).

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the record reveals “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 genuine dispute of material fact exists where “there is sufficient evidence … for a jury to return a verdict for” the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). The “moving party bears the burden of showing the absence of any genuine issues of material fact.” Sigler v. Am. Honda Motor Co., 532 F.3d 469, 483 (6th Cir. 2008). Once a party files a properly supported motion for summary judgment, by either affirmatively negating an essential element of the non- moving party's claim or establishing an affirmative defense, “the adverse party must set forth specific facts showing that ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.