United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Stephanie K. Bowman United States Magistrate Judge
an incarcerated individual who proceeds pro se,
filed suit against four individuals employed at the Warren
Correctional Institution, alleging that the Defendants used
excessive force against him during an incident that occurred
on February 15, 2015. On January 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed a
motion for summary judgment. The Defendants filed a response
in opposition to Plaintiff's motion, to which Plaintiff
has filed no reply. The undersigned now recommends that
Plaintiff's motion be DENIED.
complaint alleges that he was seriously injured by the
Defendant officers (Shostak, Dunn, Back and Wilson). The
incident began while Plaintiff was inside his cell, with
Plaintiff and Defendant Shostak (who was outside the cell)
becoming engaged in a verbal altercation. At some point,
Plaintiff's cell window was covered, preventing Officers
from seeing Plaintiff, although the parties dispute whether
Plaintiff or Defendants themselves obscured the window. As
the incident progressed, Defendants Shostak and Dunn entered
Plaintiff's cell and allegedly punched and maced
Plaintiff, dragging him out of the cell. Plaintiff alleges
that Defendant Wilson “smashed my head against [a]
glass door” in a hallway, and that Defendant Back later
tightened his handcuffs to the point where Plaintiff's
circulation was cut off.
of an institutional report entitled “Investigation
Summary Report Use of Force” (“UOF report”)
is attached to Plaintiff's complaint. The report
generally contains witness statements, and reflects that
after an initial struggle in his cell, Plaintiff was
handcuffed and removed from his cell. During his escort by
Officers Wilson and Hake, the report states that Inmate Bates
turned toward Officer Hake, causing Officer Wilson to
“quickly push inmate Bates through the door and into
the wall past the door.” (Doc. 15 at 3). The report
further states that while Inmate Bates was “struggling,
” Defendant Officer Wilson “administered a knee
strike to the side of inmate Bates.” (Id.).
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that the officers administered
additional blows, which amounted to the excessive use of
force in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff alleges
that all four officers are liable both for excessive force,
and/or for failing to protect him from excessive force.
Plaintiff further alleges that the officers falsified reports
during the institutional investigation, and that he suffered
serious injuries from mace and from a concussion. Plaintiff
alleges that he was transported to the hospital after he lost
consciousness, where he spent a week in recovery. (Doc. 3 at
13). He alleges that he continued to suffer ill effects from
his purported concussion upon his return from the hospital,
and had to undergo speech therapy as a result. (Doc. 3 at 8).
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) provides that summary 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.” A dispute is
“genuine” when “the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A court must view the evidence and draw
all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). The moving party has the burden of
showing an absence of evidence to support the non-moving
party's case. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 325 (1986).
the moving party has met its burden of production, the
non-moving party cannot rest on his pleadings, but must
present significant probative evidence in support of his
complaint to defeat the motion for summary judgment.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 248-49.
The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence to support the
non-moving party's position will be insufficient; the
evidence must be sufficient for a jury to reasonably find in
favor of the nonmoving party. Id. at 252.
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment
motion for summary judgment argues that there is no need to
proceed to trial in his case, and that he is instead entitled
to judgment against all four Defendants based upon the UOF
report that is attached to both his initial complaint and his
pending motion. The report concludes that specific elements
of the force used during the incident were not
“justified” or “appropriate under the
circumstances, ” based upon the officers' failure
to fully comply with institutional policies. (Doc. 15 at 8).
In essence, Plaintiff's motion argues that the UOF
report's Conclusion, that the force was not justified
under regulatory standards, amounts to an admission that all
Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights.
Court begins with the Conclusion section of the UOF report.
After the investigator checked “no” in response
to inquiries asking whether the force used was
“justified” or “appropriate, ” the