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Gray v. Mosely

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

August 29, 2018

SANTANA GRAY, Plaintiff,



         Pro se Plaintiff Santana Gray (“Mr. Gray”), who is incarcerated at Pendleton Correctional Facility, brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants David Mosely (“Deputy Mosley), [1] Jace Dundich, (“Deputy Dundich”), Allen Ward (“Deputy Ward”), and Renaird Sanford (“Deputy Sanford”) (collectively, “Defendants”), alleging that the Defendants used excessive force against him while he was incarcerated at the Marion County Jail awaiting a post-conviction hearing. Deputies Dundich and Ward seek summary judgment because they were not present at the events alleged by Mr. Gray. Deputy Sanford seeks summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity. Dkt. [35]. Deputy Mosley does not seek summary judgment. Mr. Gray responded to the Motion and the Defendants replied. The Motion is now ripe for review.


         Summary judgment is appropriate when the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). A “material fact” is one that “might affect the outcome of the suit.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). To survive a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must set forth specific, admissible evidence showing that there is a material issue for trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). 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).

         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, 477 U.S. at 248. If no reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party, then there is no “genuine” dispute. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007).


         The following statement of facts was evaluated pursuant to the standard 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. Gray as the non-moving party. See Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000).

         On January 3, 2017, Mr. Gray arrived at Marion County Jail's book-in, awaiting his post-conviction hearing. While there, Deputy Mosley handed Mr. Gray the wrong size of clothing. This led to an “exchange of words” between the two men and Deputy Mosley used a racial slur. Mr. Gray then struck Deputy Mosley. Thereafter, Mr. Gray laid face down on the ground with his hands in front of him. Deputy Sanford then used his body weight to sit on or “straddle” Mr. Gray and handcuffed him. Deputy Sanford continued to sit on Mr. Gray while other officers beat him.

         The Defendants have produced affidavits and timecards that demonstrate that Deputies Dundich and Ward were not working at the time the alleged incident occurred. Dkts. [36]-2, [36]-3, [36]-8, [36]-9. Mr. Gray does not dispute this in his response, (Dkt. [45]), although he alleges that these Defendants investigated the incident and are needed as witnesses at trial.


         A. Deputy Dundich and Deputy Ward

         The undisputed evidence shows that Deputy Dundich and Deputy Ward were not working at the time of the incident and therefore could not have been involved in the assault of Mr. Gray. Although he asserts that they later investigated the incident, and that they are needed as witnesses at trial, these assertions do not support any constitutional claim against Deputies Dundich or Allen Ward. “A damages suit under § 1983 requires that a defendant be personally involved in the alleged constitutional deprivation.” Matz v. Klotka, 769 F.3d 517, 528 (7th Cir. 2014); see Minix v. Canarecci, 597 F.3d 824, 833 (7th Cir. 2010) (“[I]ndividual liability under § 1983 requires ‘personal involvement in the alleged constitutional deprivation.'”) (citation and quotation marks omitted). Furthermore, these individuals can testify at trial regarding their investigation without being defendants.

         Because Deputy Dundich and Deputy Ward were not present when the incident occurred, they are entitled to summary judgment on Mr. Gray's excessive force claim against them.

         B. De ...

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