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Dixon v. Leu

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division

February 16, 2018

James T. Dixon, Plaintiff
v.
Corrections Officer Leu, et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Jeffrey J. Helmick United States District Judge.

         I. Brief Background

         This case involves an altercation at the Lucas County Jail on November 23, 2016, between Plaintiff James T. Dixon, an inmate at that time, and several employees of the Lucas County Sheriff's Department. Those employees include Correction Officers Leu, Momenee, and Arp, Sgt. Mysinger, and Lt. Brownridge.

         In his statement of claim, the pro se Plaintiff alleges the following:

On 11-23-16[, ] I J. Dixon was on the 6th floor of the Toledo County Jail. I was in my cell 1# and I told an Inmate to get the C/O Arp[.] So when the C/O came he got mad[.] I told him let me get by 4hr out for 2nd Shift[.] I can only come out the cell 8hr a day do to me comeing to State Jail[.] So C/O Arp open[e]d the door to the unit and Said I don[']t If I[‘]m late[.] I will still lock down at 11:00 pm[.] So I told him I want my time[.] So we was haveing a verbal event. So the other C/Os heard C/O Leu and C/O Momenee came[.] So as things was going on C/O Leu told me to lock down [.] at first I did not[.] the C/O Leu push[ed] me So that[‘]s when I went in my cell[.] So as I was standing at the door C/O Leu Began to say how he will Beat my ass[.] So when he was talkin[g] he was spit[t]ing on me [and] he punched me In my face. Then the other too C/Os was punching me In my head and face. I spoke to the Sgt [M]ysinger about C/O Arp and Leu But he only smiled and told me to le[a]ve it Be[.] Befour this happen on 11-23-16[, ] he fail to Intervene[.] I was took to the ER off Campes for my face[.] So when I told Lt Brownridge about the video[, ] he played like it showed nothing and after this C/O Leu was still saying things[.] I did speak to Lt Brownridge and he fail[ed] to do a thing.

(Doc. No. 1 at pp. 3-4).

         Based upon these allegations, Plaintiff's claims include: (1) a failure to intervene against Defendants Mysinger and Momenee; and (2) excessive use of force against Defendants Leu, Arp, and Momenee. In his civil cover sheet, submitted after his complaint was filed, Plaintiff indicated the nature of the action to be a federal question and falling under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as violations of his civil rights. (Doc. No. 3).

         This matter is before me on the Defendants' unopposed motion for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, the Defendants' motion is well taken.

         II. Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate if the movant demonstrates there is no genuine dispute of material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). All evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmovant, White v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 533 F.3d 381, 390 (6th Cir. 2008), and all reasonable inferences are drawn in the nonmovant's favor. Rose v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 766 F.3d 532, 535 (6th Cir. 2014). A factual dispute is genuine if a reasonable jury could resolve the dispute and return a verdict in the nonmovant's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A disputed fact is material only if its resolution might affect the outcome of the case under the governing substantive law. Rogers v. O'Donnell, 737 F.3d 1026, 1030 (6th Cir. 2013).

         III. Analysis

         1. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

         Under the general federal question jurisdiction statute, federal district courts have original jurisdiction of “all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. As correctly noted by Defendants, the deprivation of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and federal law is actionable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         While the complaint does not expressly invoke a violation of his Constitutional rights, I agree with the Defendants that the complaint could be construed to allege an assault, a battery, or both. As a convicted prisoner, the Plaintiff may bring an excessive force claim ...


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