United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. MCKINLEY JR., DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the motion to dismiss or alternatively for
summary judgment filed by Defendants Grayson County and Jason
Woosley (DN 30). Briefing on the motion is complete, as is
discovery. For the following reasons, the motion for
summary judgment will be granted.
alleged that on March 28, 2016, while on probation, he was
seen by his primary care physician, Dr. Sean Ryan, for a
“severe insect bite reaction/painful injury to the
region of [his] upper-inner-right thigh.” He states
that Dr. Ryan gave him prescriptions for more than one
antibiotic and follow up orders for bed rest. Plaintiff also
was told to let Dr. Ryan know if his medical condition
worsened by the next day. Plaintiff stated that the next
morning his condition was worse but that he was not able to
contact his doctor because he was arrested by the U.S.
Marshals Service (USMS).
stated that after being arrested, he informed the USMS of his
medical condition. He alleged that the USMS booking officer
assured him that the facility where he would be sent would
collaborate with his treating physician and treat him
alleged that when he was booked into the Grayson County
Detention Center (GCDC), a medical staff member came to the
intake area, briefly looked at his leg, asked him who his
doctor was, and placed him in the medical observation pod. He
alleged that despite telling her of the medical treatment he
had received, including an ultrasound and instructions to
notify his treating doctor if his condition worsened,
“medical staff did not start any of my medications
which neglected my medical condition and furthered it to
worsen.” He further stated that when his mother called
GCDC to insist that they continue his doctor's orders,
the medical staff responded that Plaintiff “‘was
no longer in Dr. Sean Ryan's care . . . .'”
Plaintiff alleged that his condition continued to worsen. He
stated that in the evening he was given one of his
antibiotics and an aspirin. He stated that the next day, the
wound began to bleed, at which time the medical staff
“slid some band-aides under the door, told [him] to
pack up, and moved [him] to solitary confinement.” He
alleged that he spent two days in solitary confinement while
his wound continued to bleed and to worsen. Plaintiff states
that, on April 1, 2016, he was taken to medical for the first
time where his wound was wrapped before he was taken to the
courthouse for his detention hearing. Plaintiff stated that
the Assistant U.S. Attorney and his probation officer had him
immediately released “to go to the hospital myself, at
my own expense to be treated” because “they
feared I may lose my leg or worse if kept in custody.”
He stated that he went immediately to the hospital where
emergency surgery was performed.
initial review, the Court found that Plaintiff alleged a GCDC
policy not to treat prisoners who are under the authority of
the USMS and allowed Plaintiff's
deliberate-indifference-to-serious-medical-needs claim under
the Fourteenth Amendment to continue.
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)).
motion first argues that Plaintiff's complaint is barred
by the one-year statute of limitations for 42 U.S.C. §
1983 actions in Kentucky. According to Defendants,
Plaintiff's original complaint was filed on April 19,
2017, and Plaintiff's cause of action accrued on March
29, 2016, when he arrived at GCDC. In Kentucky, § 1983
actions are limited by the one-year statute of limitations
found in Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(a). Collard v.
Ky. Bd. of Nursing, 896 F.2d 179, 182 (6th Cir. 1990).
aside the question of whether Plaintiff's claim did
accrue on March 29, 2016, Defendants' argument fails
because although Plaintiff's complaint was not
file-stamped by the Clerk until April 19, 2017, Plaintiff
signed it on March 24, 2017. Under the mailbox rule, a
prisoner's action is deemed filed on the date it was
presented to prison officials for mailing. Miller v.
Collins, 305 F.3d 491, 497-98 (6th Cir. 2002) (citing
Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988)); see also
Bowlds v. Dortch, No. 4:10-CV-P61-M, 2010 WL 2203258
(W.D. Ky. May 26, 2010) (applying the mailbox rule to a
civil-rights action brought pursuant to § 1983).
complaint form from the United States District Court for the
District of Minnesota, which Plaintiff used, does not have a
place to sign and date as to when it was presented to prison
authorities for mailing. However, “[t]he fact that the
parties may never be able to determine precisely when
Plaintiff mailed his [c]omplaint should not prevent the
application of the mailbox rule in this litigation.”
Higgenbottom v. McManus, 840 F.Supp. 454, 456 (W.D.
Ky. 1994). Therefore, the Court declines to grant
Defendants' motion based on statute of limitations.
motion next argues that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA). They argue that although the GCDC had a
grievance procedure available to Plaintiff, Plaintiff failed
to file a grievance regarding the alleged deliberate
indifference to his medical needs. Among the attachments to
the motion is the affidavit of Defendant Woosley, GCDC
Jailer. Defendant Woosley avers that at all times during
Plaintiff's incarceration there, GCDC had in effect an
inmate grievance procedure and that, upon arrival and booking
at GCDC, all inmates are provided with a copy of the inmate
handbook, which includes the GCDC's Inmate Grievance
Policy and Procedure. According to that affidavit, the GCDC
grievance policy provides that “‘any inmate shall
be allowed to file a grievance at such time as the inmate
believes he . ...