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Lynn v. Maddox

United States District Court, D. Kansas

February 27, 2015

PATRICK C. LYNN, Plaintiff,


MONTI L. BELOT, District Judge.

This case comes before the court on defendant's motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 162). The motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for decision. (Docs. 117[1], 163, 185, 186, 194, 212, 213).

I. Procedural History

Plaintiff, a prisoner, contends that defendant Maddox, a guard, violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from excessive force. On May 1, 2013, the court denied defendant's motion to dismiss. The parties proceeded to discovery and the dispositive motion deadline was set for March 7, 2014. Prior to the deadline, plaintiff filed a "Response and Supporting Arguments that Defendant is Absolutely Not Entitled to Qualified Immunity." (Doc. 160). Two days later, defendant submitted his motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 162).

On March 13, 2014, plaintiff sought additional time to file a response to defendant's motion. The court granted the request and ordered plaintiff to comply with Rule 56. The court notified plaintiff that failure to comply may result in sanctions and/or dismissal. (Doc. 167). Plaintiff sought additional extensions and ultimately filed a response and memorandum (Docs. 185, 186). Plaintiff's response, however, does not comply with Rule 56. In his response, plaintiff fails to respond to defendant's statement of facts.

On December 3, 2014, the court ordered plaintiff to file a supplemental response to defendant's motion for summary judgment in which he was to respond to defendant's statement of facts and, if necessary, set forth his statement of facts. Plaintiff filed his supplemental response on December 30, 2014. (Doc. 212). In his response, plaintiff set forth his response to defendant's statement of facts. Plaintiff's response also contained a four-page statement of facts; however, plaintiff failed to number the paragraphs as required by D. Kan. Rule 56.1. Plaintiff's statement of facts is simply a stream of consciousness with no citations to the record to support his facts. Out of an abundance of caution, the court will consider plaintiff's statement of facts as long as the facts contained therein are supported by competent evidence.

On January 13, 2015, defendant submitted a supplemental reply. (Doc. 213). Plaintiff moves to strike the reply as improper and asserts that defendant did not have permission to file the reply. Defendant's supplemental reply is permitted under the rules. D. Kan. R. 56.1. Plaintiff's motion to strike is therefore denied. (Doc. 214). In addition to filing a motion to strike, plaintiff submitted a surreply without seeking leave of court. Therefore, the court will not consider plaintiff's surreply. (Doc. 215).

II. Facts[2]

Plaintiff is currently confined in Lansing Correction Facility (LCF). In 2011, plaintiff was confined in El Dorado Correctional Facility (EDCF). At that time, defendant was employed at EDCF as a Corrections Officer on the Special Security Team (SST). In early February 2011, plaintiff was assigned to a segregation cell in the EDCF infirmary due to frequent complaints of chest pains. Plaintiff, however, refused to be examined by medical staff and made repeated threats, i.e., "I'm going to rape that bitch, " "I want to break her neck, " and threatened to throw feces on staff. (Doc. 163, exh. 2).

On February 13, plaintiff again complained of chest pain but refused to be restrained and examined, and instead continued threatening staff. As a result, EDCF Major Dragoo and Deputy Wardens Snyder and Gabriel made the decision to move plaintiff to an observation cell so that he could be monitored by medical staff. EDCF staff formed a use of force team to perform the forced cell extraction due to plaintiff's refusal to cooperate.

Defendant and the use of force team approached plaintiff's cell door and informed plaintiff that if he failed to come to the door and be restrained they would use force. Plaintiff refused to come to the door and continued to threaten staff. Defendant and the team entered the cell and restrained plaintiff by first using an electric shield which was applied to plaintiff for approximately seventeen seconds. The team then placed plaintiff in handcuffs and leg irons. The team lifted plaintiff in a standing position and plaintiff refused to walk, telling the team that he would need to be carried. The team then carried plaintiff to the observation cell. Once inside the observation cell, the team removed plaintiff's clothing so that the nurse could examine plaintiff. During the move and inside the observation cell, plaintiff continued to make multiple threats to staff. See Doc. 163 ΒΆ 18.

The team removed plaintiff's restraints while plaintiff was lying face down on the floor of the cell. Defendant instructed plaintiff to remain on the floor until the door was secured.[3] Prior to the door being secure, plaintiff rolled onto his side and pushed up off of the floor using his hands. Defendant and the team immediately reentered the cell and secured plaintiff. Defendant feared that plaintiff would attempt to batter medical or corrections staff. After plaintiff was again secured by the team, plaintiff yelled that his teeth were broken due to someone hitting him in the mouth with a knee. Plaintiff continued to complain about his teeth. Plaintiff is then examined by the nurse who did not see any physical injuries. The team then released plaintiff and exited the cell without any issues.

On February 14, plaintiff complained of dental pain and was given ibuprofen. Plaintiff continued to complain of dental pain but refused treatment.

On February 16, plaintiff filed a grievance concerning the use of force used during the cell move on February 13. On February 28, the Unit Team Manager responded to the grievance and stated that the use of force was appropriate based on plaintiff's actions in failing to follow defendant's directions. (Doc. 163, exh. 7). Plaintiff timely appealed the grievance to the Warden of EDCF on March 1. The Warden concurred with the Unit Team Manager. Plaintiff did not appeal the Warden's ...

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