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Miller v. Marberry

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

January 30, 2015

WILLIAM ALLEN MILLER, Plaintiff,
v.
H. J. MARBERRY, et al., Defendants.

ENTRY GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.

The Court has before it the defendants' motion for summary judgment, which is fully briefed. For the reasons explained in this Entry, the motion for summary judgment must be granted.

I. Parties and Nature of the Action

William Miller is the plaintiff. Miller is an inmate at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana ("the FCC") and alleges that he suffered injuries because of the misconduct of the defendants in failing to honor his assignment to a bottom bunk. Specifically, Mr. Miller claims that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated by Warden Marberry and Officer Rogers when Miller was forced to sleep on a top bunk, despite having a lower bunk restriction due to a brain tumor. The action is brought pursuant to the theory recognized in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).

There are three defendants, these being (1) former FCC Warden H.J. Marberry, (2) Correctional Officer Gary Rogers, and (3) Nurse Trisa Haddix. Each defendant is employed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("BOP").

Based on the ruling of August 22, 2013, the action is proceeding only as to the claim which reasonably arises from the events detailed in Administrative Remedy Request 610075. The full text of Administrative Remedy Request 610075 is the following:

On 1/6/09 I was put in SHU for investigation. I am a disabled man with a brain tumor, and had previous neck surgery and was on a prescribed narcotic (percoset). I had several medical needs, namely a cane, special shoes, lwr.bunk etc. When I was put in the SHU by C/O Nichols I wasn't given these items. On 2/14/09 I fell out of bed breaking my back, forcing me to have surgery. I fell from an upper bunk, which staff was deliberately indifferent to me getting a lower bunk as well as my other special items (see above). My cell mate refused to let me have a lower bunk. I request a complete investigation to this 8th amendment violation (deliberate indifference) to my rights. Administrative remedy is delayed due to no knowledge until now of constitutional violation.

II. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate when "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." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A factual dispute is "material" only if it might affect the outcome of the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). For an issue to be "genuine, " a reasonable fact-finder must be able to return a verdict in favor of the non-moving party. Id.

A party moving for summary judgment always bears the initial burden of informing the Court of the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the record that it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). Summary judgment is the moment in litigation where the non-moving party is required to marshal and present the court with evidence on which a reasonable jury could rely to find in his favor. Goodman v. Nat'l Sec. Agency, Inc., 621 F.3d 651, 654 (7th Cir. 2010). A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by citing relevant portions of the record, including depositions, documents, affidavits, or declarations, or showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or showing that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Summary judgment is therefore appropriate when the non-moving party fails to rebut the moving party's argument that there is no genuine issue of fact by pointing to evidence that is "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." Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322.

The primary purpose of summary judgment is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims." Albiero v. City of Kankakee, 246 F.3d 927, 932 (7th Cir. 2001). "As stated by the Supreme Court, summary judgment is not a disfavored procedural shortcut, but rather 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." Harney v. Speedway SuperAmerica, LLC, 526 F.3d 1099, 1103 (7th Cir. 2008) (citations omitted).

III. Uncontested Material Facts

The following statement of facts is not necessarily objectively true, but as the summary judgment standard requires, the undisputed facts and the disputed evidence are presented in the light reasonably most favorable to Miller as the non-moving party. See ...


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