United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
MELODY L. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATIONS AND CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.
District Judge Thomas M. Rose
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
L. Ovington, United States Magistrate Judge
Melody L. Williams is a former inmate at the Dayton
Correctional Institution (DCI). She is currently incarcerated
at the Ohio Reformatory for Women. She brings this case
pro se under 42 U.S.C. §1983 partly claiming
that Defendants violated her constitutional right of access
to the courts and retaliated against her for exercising her
constitutional right of access to the courts. The violations
and retaliation occurred, she asserts, during her past
incarceration at DCI. Defendants are Gary Mohr, Director of
the Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections; Wanza
Jackson, Warden of DCI; and John Mobley, librarian at DCI.
case is pending on Williams's Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. #62), Defendants' Memorandum in Opposition Motion
for Summary Judgment (Doc. #72), Williams's Response in
Opposition (Doc. #76), Defendants' Motions to Strike and
the parties' related Memoranda (Doc. #78, 79, 80, 81,
82), and the record as a whole.
Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment
as here, parties have filed cross-motions for summary
judgment, the Court grants or denies each motion for summary
judgment on its own merit, applying the standards described
in Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Taft Broadcasting Co. v. United
States, 929 F.2d 240, 248 (6th Cir.1991).
is entitled to summary judgment when there is no genuine
dispute over any material fact and when the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a);
see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322
(1986); see also Barker v. Goodrich, 649 F.3d 428,
432 (6th Cir. 2011). To resolve whether a genuine issue of
material fact exists, the Court draws all reasonable
inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Richland Bookmart, Inc. v. Knox County,
Tenn., 555 F.3d 512, 520 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587-88 (1986)). With these
reasonable inferences in the forefront, “[t]he central
issue is ‘whether the evidence presents a sufficient
disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is
so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of
law.'” Jones v. Potter, 488 F.3d 397,
402-03 (6th Cir.2007) (quoting, in part, Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986)).
“Accordingly, ‘[e]ntry of summary judgment is
appropriate ‘against a party who fails to make a
showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case, and on which that party
will bear the burden of proof at trial.'”
Whitfield v. Tennessee, 639 F.3d 253, 258 (6th Cir.
2011) (citations omitted). An insufficient showing by the
moving party cannot prevail, even if its factual
underpinnings have not been challenged by the non-movant.
Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144,
153-61 (1970). “‘The filing of cross-motions for
summary judgment does not necessarily mean that the parties
consent to resolution of the case on the existing record or
that the district court is free to treat the case as
submitted for final resolution on a stipulated
record.'” Id. (citations omitted). Yet,
“[s]ummary judgment is ‘an integral part of the
Federal Rules as a whole, which are designed ‘to secure
the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every
action.' rather than a ‘disfavored procedural
shortcut.'” Cincom Systems, Inc. v. Novelis
Corp., 581 F.3d 431, 435 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting, in
part, Celotex, 477 U.S. at 327) (other citation
Williams's Allegations and Claims
is no dispute between the parties in the present case over
the fact that DCI provides its inmates with access to a law
library. Williams's overarching claim is that DCI's
library is so inadequate it denied her right of access to the
courts. She grounds this on the following:
1. DCI's law library fails to provide assistance from
persons trained in the law.
2. It fails to provide self-help manuals to instruct inmates
on how to use the law books.
3. It fails to provide adequate space at it only seats 24
inmates at a time, and there are no law-library hours, thus
denying seats for inmates needing legal access.
4. General-populate inmates are not given access to the law
library. They are allowed less than 10 hours a week in the
law library. There are no morning hours. Although the library
is open during afternoon and dinner hours, inmates must
choose between eating and working on legal matters.
5. The library fails to provide adequate staffing because it
is closed during Defendant Mobley's vacations, sick days,
and other scheduled absences. Inmates are unable to print or
save the work when Defendant Mobley is absent.
6. The library fails to provide adequate access to level-3
inmates. They were only given access to the library for less
than 45 minutes a week; no law books were brought in and
inmates were unable to meaningfully research the law and
prepare legal documents needed to file in federal
court-especially concerning habeas-corpus matters such ...