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Moore v. Taylor

United States District Court, D. Kansas

May 1, 2018

ROD TAYLOR, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff Kendrick Dewayne Moore brings this case pro se, claiming that defendants Rod Taylor, Jake Cox, and Brodan Gaede violated his constitutional rights when plaintiff was housed in the Thomas County jail on April 25, 2015. Defendants Cox and Gaede (“Thomas County defendants”) filed Thomas County Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 29). Plaintiff also filed his own Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 40). In response to plaintiff's motion, defendant Taylor asked for summary judgment in his favor, as well. But defendant Taylor did not comply with this court's rules governing the filing of a dispositive motion in a case against a pro se plaintiff, and the court therefore construes his response as just that: a response to plaintiff's motion, and not a cross-motion for summary judgment.

         I. Factual Background

         The following facts are taken from defendants' motion for summary judgment and their responses to plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, as plaintiff failed to properly controvert any of defendants' proposed facts or adequately support his own proposed facts. To the extent warranted, the court has also considered the facts proposed by plaintiff, but for the most part, they consist of unsupported allegations and conclusory statements.

         Plaintiff was arrested on April 25, 2015 and booked into the Thomas County Jail. The jail is a small facility, with fifteen beds on one floor. It has one cell, called the “detox cell, ” that holds one detainee and may be used to provide a safe space for disruptive detainees.

         After plaintiff was arrested, he began banging his head against the patrol car's window and refused to stop. He was placed in a group cell at the jail, but then began banging the cell's telephone against the wall. Sometime after 5:45 p.m., Defendant Gaede moved plaintiff to the detox cell. While there, plaintiff began yelling and banging against the door. The dispatcher eventually placed a system-wide call for officers to address the jail disturbance. Defendant Gaede then left the facility at 8:00 p.m., when his shift ended.

         Plaintiff remained agitated and loud, and at 7:59 p.m., defendant Taylor stated that he planned to move plaintiff from the jail's main building to the “Lester” building, which is next to the jail's main building and serves as a garage and storage space. Defendant Taylor originally planned to use a suicide blanket, reinforced with duct tape, to restrain plaintiff for the move. He later changed his mind and had defendant Cox place plaintiff in handcuffs and a belly chain to take plaintiff to the Lester building. Presumably in connection with defendant Taylor's abandoned original plan to restrain plaintiff for the move, plaintiff claims that defendant Taylor threatened to hang plaintiff and duct tape him to a chair. Ultimately, defendant Taylor took neither of these actions.

         Once in the Lester building, defendant Taylor sat in a chair and allowed plaintiff to pace freely (although still in handcuffs). Defendant Cox left to get plaintiff shoes that fit better, and placed an audio recording device in the building to record the interactions between plaintiff and defendant Taylor. Neither defendant Taylor nor plaintiff knew about the recording device. The audio recording contains no threats by defendant Taylor against plaintiff. It does, however, contain over an hour of offensive and abusive language by plaintiff toward defendant Taylor. Neither of the Thomas County defendants ever heard defendant Taylor threaten plaintiff.

         Defendant Cox returned to the Lester building periodically throughout the evening. Around 9:15 or 9:30 p.m., he moved plaintiff's handcuffs from his back to his front so plaintiff could lie down on a mattress. About 10:20 p.m., defendant Cox helped escort plaintiff back to the detox call. Plaintiff did not sustain any injuries during the night, and did not submit any medical requests or grievances related to the incident. Plaintiff was returned to a group cell the following day.

         II. Legal Standards

         Summary judgment is appropriate if the moving party demonstrates that there is “no genuine issue as to any material fact” and that it is “entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In applying this standard, the court views the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 144 F.3d 664, 670 (10th Cir. 1998) (citing Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986)).

         Where, as here, the plaintiff proceeds pro se, the court construes the pro se filings liberally. Hall v. Doering, 997 F.Supp. 1445, 1451 (D. Kan. 1998) (citing Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9-10 (1980)). On the other hand, a plaintiff's pro se status does not relieve him from complying with this court's procedural requirements. Barnes v. United States, 173 Fed.Appx. 695, 697 (10th Cir. 2006) (citations omitted); see also Santistevan v. Colo. Sch. of Mines, 150 Fed.Appx. 927, 931 (10th Cir. 2005) (holding that a pro se litigant must follow the same rules of procedure as other litigants). As noted previously, plaintiff's response includes little support for his allegations (other than that evidence already provided by defendants), and the court therefore evaluates the merits of defendants' motion based solely on the evidence presented by defendants. Although plaintiff filed affidavits in the record, he did not file them with his summary judgment motion or his response, and he did not reference them in either document. The court therefore has not considered Docs. 36 or 37 in ruling on the pending motions.

         III. Discussion

         A. The Thomas County Defendants' Motion for ...

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