United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. STIVERS, JUDGE
the Court is the motion for summary judgment filed by
Defendants (DN 22). Plaintiff Christopher Maynard Golliday
was given an extended time in which to file a response; he
did not. For the following reasons, Defendants'
summary-judgment motion will be granted.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
only remaining claim in this case is the claim brought by
Plaintiff (hereinafter “Plaintiff”) against
Defendants in their official capacities for failing to
provide cleaning supplies to clean mold and fungus in the
Warren County Regional Jail (WCRJ) while Plaintiff was a
pretrial detainee there.
complaint, Plaintiff stated that after moving to WCRJ Pod A-1
on December 2, 2016, he “started breaking out around
[his] neck and back.” He stated that he filled out
several medical forms to request to see the doctor/nurse, but
all “they” did was give him some anti-fungal
cream after “the fifth or sixth medical request”
around May 23, 2017. He alleged that he then began having
“breathing issues and stayed sick from the ceiling in
A-1 from a lot of black mold.” According to Plaintiff,
the mold forms on the shower ceiling due to poor ventilation.
He stated that he filed multiple grievances about the mold
but “[t]hey never give us proper equipment to clean the
mold off, plus I'm allergic to mold.” In
particular, he asserted:
It got so bad that I had to stop taking showers as often as I
was. The staff threatened to take the T.V. and phone if we
didn't clean it (the mold on the ceiling). So I started
cleaning it myself, then paying other inmates to clean the
bathroom. The break-outs has caused permanent scars on my
neck. All Misse Causey does is tell us to clean it with the
watered down bleach. . . They said that they don't issue
pure bleach to us. . . . All 12 people in the pod were
willing to clean, but when we asked for things to protect our
head, face, eyes, and neck we were denied.
judgment is proper “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). The party moving for summary judgment bears the burden
of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material
fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323
moving party's burden may be discharged by demonstrating
that there is an absence of evidence to support an essential
element of the nonmoving party's case for which he or she
has the burden of proof. Id. A moving party with the
burden of proof who seeks summary judgment faces a
“substantially higher hurdle.” Arnett v.
Myers, 281 F.3d 552, 561 (6th Cir. 2002). “[W]here
the moving party has the burden -- the plaintiff on a claim
for relief or the defendant on an affirmative defense -- his
showing must be sufficient for the court to hold that no
reasonable trier of fact could find other than for the moving
party.” Calderone v. United States, 799 F.2d
254, 259 (6th Cir. 1986) (internal quotation marks, citation,
and emphasis omitted). The party with the burden of proof
“must show that the record contains evidence satisfying
the burden of persuasion and that the evidence is so powerful
that no reasonable jury would be free to disbelieve
it.” Arnett, 281 F.3d at 561.
“Accordingly, summary judgment in favor of the party
with the burden of persuasion ‘is inappropriate when
the evidence is susceptible to different interpretations or
inferences by the trier of fact.'” Green v.
Tudor, 685 F.Supp.2d 678, 685 (W.D. Mich. 2010) (quoting
Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 553 (1999)).
civil-rights cases are subject to the mandate of the Prison
Litigation reform Act (PLRA) that “[n]o action shall be
brought with respect to prison conditions under [42 U.S.C.]
§ 1983 . . . by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison,
or other correctional facility until such administrative
remedies as are available are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(a). To exhaust a claim, a prisoner must proceed
through all of the steps of a prison's or jail's
grievance process, because an inmate “cannot abandon
the process before completion and claim that he has exhausted
his remedies.” Hartsfield v. Vidor, 199 F.3d
305, 309 (6th Cir. 1999). The Supreme Court held in
Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 93 (2006), that
failure to “properly” exhaust bars suit in
federal court. “Proper exhaustion” means that the
plaintiff complied with the administrative
“agency's deadlines and other critical procedural
rules because no adjudicative system can function effectively
without imposing some orderly structure on the course of its
proceedings.” Id. at 90-91.
argue that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies through the Warren County Jail's Inmate Rights
and Rules. They assert that Plaintiff received a copy of the
Jail's Inmates Rights and Rules and that, although he
filed six grievances relating to the bathroom in his cell,
the presence of mold, and lack of cleaning supplies, he did
not appeal the initial responses of these grievances.
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 216 (2007), the Supreme
Court held that exhaustion under the PLRA is an affirmative
defense. Therefore, the heightened summary judgment standard
set out above applies to Defendants' motion for summary
judgment based on the affirmative defense that Plaintiff
failed to exhaust.
review, Defendants have met their burden. To the
summary-judgment motion, they attach the affidavit of
Defendant Stephen Harmon, the WJRC's jailer, who avers
that a copy of the Inmates Rights and Rules was given to
Plaintiff when he was booked into the jail as evidenced by
his signed acknowledgement on the document. Those Inmates
Rights and Rules provide that if an inmate is dissatisfied
with the initial response to a grievance, that inmate may
appeal to the jailer or his designee within 48 hours of the
Harmon also avers that he attached the six grievances filed
by Plaintiff. Each of those grievances received a response by
a staff member. Defendant Harmon further avers that Plaintiff
did not appeal from any of the responses to his grievances,
which denied that he was not receiving effective cleaning
products. Thus, Defendants have demonstrated that Plaintiff
abandoned the grievance process before it was complete.
Defendants have submitted adequate summary-judgment proof
that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies
when he failed to timely appeal the initial responses to his
grievances. Plaintiff has produced no evidence to contradict