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Berryman v. Booker

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

January 5, 2018

MICHAEL BERRYMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER BOOKER, OFFICER M. COX, OFFICER MORRISON, Defendants.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND OTHER PENDING MOTIONS AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge

         For the reasons explained in this Entry, the motion for summary judgment filed by defendant Officers Booker and Cox, dkt. [121], is granted.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Michael Berryman brings this action under the theory of Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Mr. Berryman at all times relevant to this action was incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, Indiana (“FCI-TH”).

         Mr. Berryman alleges that on or about August 14, 2013, after a stay in a hospital he was returned to FCI-TH and was placed in a small holding cell. He was verbally harassed by Officers Booker and Cox. Mr. Berryman struck his forehead on the door bars, causing cuts on his forehead. He was taken to medical, where he refused treatment and refused to talk to anyone. He alleges that Officer Booker placed him in hard restraints consisting of a steel belly chain, steel handcuffs, and a black box over the cuffs, rendering him unable to move his hands. He further alleges that the chain and cuffs were excessively tight, causing severe pain and swelling in his hands, right wrist, and kidneys. He was unable to use the restroom without soiling himself because he was unable to lift the smock he had to wear. He also was unable to eat, drink, or take his medication. These conditions lasted 72 hours. He also alleges that Officer Cox videotaped and Officer Morrison watched the placement of the restraints on Mr. Berryman but did nothing to remedy the situation.

         The defendants remaining after the Court screened the complaint are: 1) Officer Booker; 2) Officer M. Cox; and 3) Officer Morrison. The U.S. Marshal attempted to serve defendant Officer Morrison but reported that Officer Denny Morris is deceased and there is no Officer Morrison employed at FCI-TH. Dkt. 26. No. motion to substitute a party for the claim against Officer Morris has been filed. Dkt. 29; dkt. 33.[1]

         Officers Booker and Cox seek resolution of Mr. Berryman's claims through the entry of summary judgment. Dkt. 121. Mr. Berryman has opposed the motion, dkt. 138, the moving defendants replied, dkt. 140, and Mr. Berryman filed an additional declaration, dkt. 141.

         II. Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate if “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 dispute about a material fact is genuine only “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). If no reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party, then there is no “genuine” dispute. Scott v. Harris, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 1776 (2007).

         III. Discussion

         A. Undisputed Facts

         The following statement of facts was evaluated pursuant to the standards set forth above. That is, this 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 Mr. Berryman as the non-moving party with respect to the motion for summary judgment. See Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000).

         1. The August 14, 2013 Application of Ambulatory Restraints

         On August 8, 2013, while he was incarcerated at the FCI-TH, Mr. Berryman was transferred to Union Hospital after he intentionally overdosed on his metoprolol blood pressure medication. Dkt. 121-1, ¶¶ 6-7. Mr. Berryman was discharged from Union Hospital on the morning of August 14, 2013, and returned to the Special ...


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