United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant Franklin Sparks'
Motion for Summary Judgment. [Filing No. 74.]
Plaintiff David Owens, Jr., proceeding pro se, alleges that
Mr. Sparks hit Mr. Owens in the hand with a spatula while
working in the kitchen at Pendleton Correctional Facility
(“PCF”). [Filing No. 57.] Mr.
Owens alleges that Mr. Sparks' conduct violates the
Eighth Amendment prohibition on excessive force, in violation
of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. [Filing No. 57.]
Because a reasonable trier of fact could find that Mr. Sparks
intentionally struck Mr. Owens without any justification, the
Court DENIES Mr. Sparks' Motion.
motion for summary judgment asks the Court to find that a
trial is unnecessary because there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, instead, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a). As the current version of Rule 56 makes clear,
whether a party asserts that a fact is undisputed or
genuinely disputed, the party must support the asserted fact
by citing to particular parts of the record, including
depositions, documents, or affidavits. Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(c)(1)(A). A party can also support a fact by showing
that the materials cited do not establish the absence or
presence of a genuine dispute or that the adverse party
cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(B). Affidavits or
declarations must be made on personal knowledge, set out
facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the
affiant is competent to testify on matters stated. Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(c)(4). Failure to properly support a fact
in opposition to a movant's factual assertion can result
in the movant's fact being considered undisputed, and
potentially in the grant of summary judgment. Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(e).
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court need only
consider disputed facts that are material to the decision. A
disputed fact is material if it might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law. Hampton v. Ford Motor
Co., 561 F.3d 709, 713 (7th Cir. 2009). In other words,
while there may be facts that are in dispute, summary
judgment is appropriate if those facts are not outcome
determinative. Harper v. Vigilant Ins. Co., 433 F.3d
521, 525 (7th Cir. 2005). Fact disputes that are irrelevant
to the legal question will not suffice to defeat summary
judgment. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 248 (1986).
summary judgment, a party must show the Court what evidence
it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its
version of the events. Johnson v. Cambridge Indus.,
325 F.3d 892, 901 (7th Cir. 2003). The moving party is
entitled to summary judgment if no reasonable factfinder
could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Nelson
v. Miller, 570 F.3d 868, 875 (7th Cir. 2009). The Court
views the record in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in that
party's favor. Darst v. Interstate Brands Corp.,
512 F.3d 903, 907 (7th Cir. 2008). It cannot weigh evidence
or make credibility determinations on summary judgment
because those tasks are left to the fact-finder.
O'Leary v. Accretive Health, Inc., 657 F.3d 625,
630 (7th Cir. 2011). The Court need only consider the cited
materials, Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(3), and the Seventh
Circuit Court of Appeals has “repeatedly assured the
district courts that they are not required to scour every
inch of the record for evidence that is potentially relevant
to the summary judgment motion before them, ”
Johnson, 325 F.3d at 898. Any doubt as to the
existence of a genuine issue for trial is resolved against
the moving party. Ponsetti v. GE Pension Plan, 614
F.3d 684, 691 (7th Cir. 2010).
following factual background is set forth pursuant to the
standards detailed above. The facts stated are not
necessarily objectively true, but as the summary judgment
standard requires, the undisputed facts and the disputed
evidence are presented in the light most favorable to
“the party against whom the motion under consideration
is made.” Premcor USA, Inc. v. American Home
Assurance Co., 400 F.3d 523, 526-27 (7th Cir. 2005).
2014, Mr. Owens, an inmate at PCF, worked in the kitchen.
[Filing No. 76-1 at 5.] As a kitchen worker, Mr.
Owens performed a variety of duties, such as slicing
vegetables, cleaning, and preparing trays. [Filing No.
76-1 at 3-4.] Mr. Sparks was an employee of Aramark
Correctional Services, LLC (“Aramark”),
which provided food services to inmates at PCF. [Filing
No. 76-2 at 2.]
17, 2014, Mr. Owens was cleaning utensils in the kitchen when
Mr. Sparks entered from the Aramark office. [Filing No.
76-1 at 5.] Then, according to Mr. Owens' deposition
testimony, Mr. Owens and Mr. Sparks had the following
And I was like standing off to the side, and he was
coming like from like the office area where the Aramark Logo
is like the non-inmates come from And I was like, I just I
spoke to him. I was like. "What's up, Frank?”
And he was like, "Get to work" That wag his first
I said, “I am working” I said, "Man,
find you something to do." I said, "1 shouldn't
have even spoke to you, '
So at that point he walked in the pots and pans
section. He grabbed a Spatula and turned around and was like,
"Shut up, " and swinging like this. And I put my
hand up to keep him from hitting me in the ...