United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
ADAM B. SHOULTS, PLAINTIFF
RANDY WHITE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. RUSSELL, SENIOR JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court upon a motion for summary judgment
by Defendant's Randy White, Troy Belt, Brendan English,
Jesse Coombs, James Smith, and Michael Pillion (collectively
“Defendants”). Plaintiff Adam Shoults has not
filed a response to the motion, and the time to do so has
passed. Defendant's motion is ripe for review, and for
the following reasons, it is GRANTED IN PART, and DENIED IN
is an inmate at Green River Correctional Complex. (DN 23).
Plaintiff initiated this action on September 13, 2017, by
filing a complaint against five KSP officials. On December 7,
2017, the court conducted its first screening of the
complaint and directed Plaintiff to file an amended complaint
to clarify in what capacities he sought to sue each Defendant
and what claims he sought to bring against each Defendant (DN
9). Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on January 8, 2018
(DN 10). On January 31, 2018, the Court conducted its second
screening based upon a combined reading of the original
complaint and the amended complaint (DN 14). In its second
screening, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's
official-capacity claims for damages but allowed Plaintiffs
official capacity claims for injunctive relief to continue
(DN 14 at 5). The Court was satisfied that Plaintiff intended
to sue Defendants White, Belt, English, and Coombs in their
individual capacities for failure to protect and retaliation
and therefore allowed these claims to continue (DN 14 at 5).
complaints, Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants placed
restraints on another inmate incorrectly so that the inmate
would be able to free himself of the restraints and attack
Plaintiff (DN 1 and 10). Furthermore, Plaintiff alleges that
the Defendants' actions were in retaliation for a lawsuit
that he had filed against the Defendants in Lyon County (DN 1
and 10). Plaintiff also alleges that he was being kept in
segregation by the Defendants in retaliation for the Lyon
County complaint (DN 1 and 10). Plaintiff seeks compensatory
damages and injunctive relief in the form of release from
judgment is appropriate where “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). In determining whether summary judgment
is appropriate, a court must resolve all ambiguities and draw
all reasonable inferences against the moving party. See
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986).
every issue of fact or conflicting inference presents a
genuine issue of material fact.” Street v. J.C.
Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1477 (6th Cir.1989).
The test is whether the party bearing the burden of proof has
presented a jury question as to each element in the case.
Hartsel v. Keys, 87 F.3d 795, 799 (6th Cir.1996).
The plaintiff must present more than a mere scintilla of
evidence in support of his position; the plaintiff must
present evidence on which the trier of fact could reasonably
find for the plaintiff. See id. (citing Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52, 106 S.Ct.
2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986)). Mere speculation will not
suffice to defeat a motion for summary judgment: “the
mere existence of a colorable factual dispute will not defeat
a properly supported motion for summary judgment. A genuine
dispute between the parties on an issue of material fact must
exist to render summary judgment inappropriate.”
Moinette v. Elec. Data Sys. Corp., 90 F.3d 1173,
1177 (6th Cir.1996).
Abandonment of Claims
argue that several of Plaintiff's claims should be
dismissed because, although Plaintiff did raise them in his
original complaint, he did not assert them in his amended
complaint. The Court will not dismiss any of these claims on
the theory that Plaintiff has abandoned them. Instead, the
Court will engage in a combined reading of Plaintiff's
complaint and amended complaint to determine whether
defendant has established the absence of a dispute of
material fact. A combined reading of the complaints is
consistent with the maxim that complaints filed by pro
se parties are to be liberally construed and is a
regular practice in the Western District of Kentucky.
See (DN 14); Daugherty v. K.S.P. Medical
Department, et al, No. 5:17-CV-P41-TBR, 2017 WL 2910610
(W.D. Ky. 2017); Martinez v. Bolton, No.
3:17-CV-P265-DJH, 2017 WL 2989185 (W.D. Ky 2017); Downer
v. Bolton, No. 3:17-CV-P341-CRS, 2017 WL 3485009 (W.D.
Ky 2017). Therefore, the Court exercises its discretion to
read the Plaintiff's complaint and amended complaint
together in deciding Defendant's motion.
Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies
argue that they are entitled to judgement as a matter of law
because Plaintiff has failed to exhaust the administrative
remedies that were available to him. The Court will grant the
motion for summary judgment on the segregation claims and all
claims against Randy White, Troy Belt, Jesse Coombs, James
Smith, and Michael Pillion. The Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA) bars a civil rights action challenging prison
conditions until the prisoner exhausts “such
administrative remedies as are available.” 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(a); see also Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. at
211, 127 S.Ct. 910 (2007) (“There is no question that
exhaustion is mandatory under the PLRA and that unexhausted
claims cannot be brought in court”). “[T]he
PLRA's exhaustion requirement applies to all inmate suits
about prison life, whether they involve general circumstances
or particular episodes, and whether the allege excessive
force or some other wrong.” Porter v. Nussle,
534 U.S. 516, 532 (2002).
order to exhaust administrative remedies, prisoners must
complete the administrative review process in accordance with
the deadlines and other applicable procedural rules
established by state law. Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S.
199, 218-19, 127 S.Ct. 910. (2007) “Proper exhaustion
demands compliance with an agency's deadlines and other
critical procedural rules.” Woodford v. Ngo,
548 U.S. 81, 90, 126 S.Ct. 2378, 165 L.Ed.2d 368 (2006).
Importantly, however, “failure to exhaust
administrative remedies under the PLRA is an affirmative
defense that must be established by the
defendants.” Napier v. Laurel Cty.
Ky., 636 F.3d 218, 225 (6th Cir. 2011) (citing
Jones, 549 U.S. at 204, 127 S.Ct. 910 (2007)).
“Summary judgment is appropriate only if ...