United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division
A. INGRAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
2017, the Clerk of Court docketed a complaint by pro
se Plaintiff Andrew Allen Reeves in which he alleges
violation of his constitutional rights by the jailer and
various correctional officers at the Laurel County
Correctional Center. See D.E. 1. Now, the
defendants, Sgt. Travis Cathers, Lt. Shawn Davis, Det. Billy
Madden, and Jailer Jamie Mosley have filed their second motion
for summary judgment. D.E. 46. The District Judge has
referred this matter to the undersigned for a recommendation.
See D.E. 16; D.E. 30. For the following reasons, the
Court RECOMMENDS that the defendants'
motion (D.E. 46) be GRANTED.
discussion of the procedural posture of this case gives
context to the defendants' motion. Reeves's original
complaint was docketed on June 5, 2017. See D.E. 1.
In his complaint, Reeves alleges that Sgt. Cathers struck him
in the jaw while his hands were handcuffed behind his back,
that Lt. Davis was deliberately indifferent to the situation
and disregarded the grievances that Reeves filed, that Det.
Madden failed to investigate the situation properly, and that
Jailer Mosley “failed to take any action.”
See Id. at 2. Based on these allegations, Reeves
claims that the defendants violated his Eighth Amendment
rights by subjecting him to cruel and unusual punishment and
by failing to protect him. See Id. at 4.
September 2018, the defendants filed their first motion for
summary judgment. See D.E. 34. That motion was based
on Reeves's failure to answer certain questions in
discovery posed to him by the defendants. See Id.
However, the Court determined summary judgment was not proper
at that time because the defendants did not meaningfully
discuss the elements Reeves would be required to prove to
succeed on his Eighth Amendment claims. See D.E. 42
defendants filed their second motion for summary judgment on
February 18, 2019. See D.E. 46. The next day, the
undersigned ordered Reeves to file a response to the
defendants' motion on or before March 18, 2019.
See D.E. 48. Reeves did not file a response to the
defendants' motion, and he has not made any filings with
the Court since September 2018. The defendants' motion
now stands submitted to the undersigned for a recommended
disposition. See D.E. 30; see also D.E. 16.
be explained below, the Court recommends that the
defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted for
two reasons. First, Reeves failed to respond to the motion,
meaning it is unopposed. Second, even viewing the facts in
the light most favorable to Reeves, his claims fail on the
motion for summary judgment under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56 challenges the viability of the other
party's claim by asserting that at least one essential
element of that claim is not supported by legally sufficient
evidence. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324-25 (1986). Under Rule 56(a),
“[t]he court shall grant summary judgment if the movant
shows that there is no genuine dispute of material fact and
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Reeves's Failure to Respond to the Defendants' Motion
defendants are first entitled to summary judgment because
Reeves failed to respond to their motion. Importantly, Local
Rule 7.1 permits this result. That rule provides in relevant
part that: “Failure to timely respond to a motion may
be grounds for granting the motion.” LR 7.1(c). In this
case, the parties' dispositive motions deadline was
February 18, 2019, see Docket Entry 42 at 3, and Reeves was
apprised of the need to file a response to the
defendants' motion by the Court's order at Docket
pro se litigants are entitled to leniency from the
Court and to liberal construction of their pleadings, they
are still required to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, the Local Rules of this Court, and Court orders.
Because Reeves did not respond to the defendants' motion
for summary judgment, the Court views the motion as unopposed
and will recommend that the motion be granted.
Reeves's § 1983 Claims
the defendants are entitled to summary judgment because of
Reeves's failure to timely respond to their motion, the
Court will briefly address each of Reeves's claims on the
merits brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
1983 creates no substantive rights, but merely provides
remedies for deprivations of rights established
elsewhere.” Flint ex rel. Flint v. Ky. Dep't of
Corr., 270 F.3d 340, 351 (6th Cir. 2001). Two elements
are required to state a claim under § 1983. Gomez v.
Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). “[A] plaintiff
must allege the violation of a right secured by the
Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show
that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting
under color of state law.” West v. Atkins, ...