United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
WAYMAN D. THOMAS, JR., Plaintiff,
KEVIN SUTTLE, et al. Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
Wayman D. Thomas, Jr., an inmate at Tippecanoe County Jail in
Lafayette, Indiana, brought this civil rights action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983 alleging violations of his Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment rights while he was an inmate at the
Jackson County Jail in Brownstown, Indiana. The defendants
have moved for summary judgment. Mr. Thomas has not responded
and the time to do so has passed. The motion is now ripe for
review. For the reasons explained in this Order, the
defendants are entitled to summary judgment on all of Mr.
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.
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. Williams v.
Brooks, 809 F.3d 936, 941-42 (7th Cir. 2016). “A
genuine dispute as to any material fact exists ‘if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.'” Daugherty v.
Page, 906 F.3d 606, 609-10 (7th Cir. 2018) (quoting
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
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. Gekas v. Vasilades, 814 F.3d
890, 896 (7th Cir. 2016). The moving party is entitled to
summary judgment if no reasonable fact-finder 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.
Skiba v. Illinois Cent. R.R. Co., 884 F.3d 708, 717
(7th Cir. 2018). It cannot weigh evidence or make credibility
determinations on summary judgment because those tasks are
left to the fact-finder. Miller v. Gonzalez, 761
F.3d 822, 827 (7th Cir. 2014). 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.
Grant v. Trustees of Indiana University, 870 F.3d
562, 573-74 (7th Cir. 2017). Any doubt as to the existence of
a genuine issue for trial is resolved against the moving
party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
consequence of Mr. Thomas's failure to respond to the
motion for summary judgment is that he has conceded the
defendant's version of the facts. Smith v. Lamz,
321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003) (“[F]ailure to
respond by the nonmovant as mandated by the local rules
results in an admission.”); see S.D. Ind.
Local Rule 56-1(b) (“A party opposing a summary
judgment motion must . . . file and serve a response brief
and any evidence . . . that the party relies on to oppose the
motion. The response must . . . identif[y] the potentially
determinative facts and factual disputes that the party
contends demonstrate a dispute of fact precluding summary
judgment.”). This does not alter the standard for
assessing a Rule 56(a) motion, but does “reduc[e] the
pool” from which the facts and inferences relative to
such a motion may be drawn. Smith v. Severn, 129
F.3d 419, 426 (7th Cir. 1997).
the alleged incident was captured on video. The defendants
have provided the available video to the Court, and the Court
has reviewed it. As the nonmoving party, Mr. Thomas is
entitled to all reasonable inferences in his favor drawn from
the admissible evidence and otherwise undisputed facts.
See Premcor USA, Inc. v. American Home Assurance
Co., 400 F.3d 523, 526-27 (7th Cir. 2005). However, the
Court must also “view the facts in the light depicted
by the videotape.” Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S.
372, 381 (2007).
being booked into the Jackson County Jail on May 9, 2017, Mr.
Thomas acted aggressively and erratically and refused to
answer the questions asked of him by jail staff as a part of
the book-in process. Dkt. 50-2. He was placed into a padded
cell near the booking area and continued to act in an
aggressive manner by yelling and kicking the cell door which
was partially unpadded. Sgt. Clark repeatedly ordered him to
stop yelling and kicking because he was interfering with the
jail's operations and was at risk of injuring himself.
Mr. Thomas briefly stopped kicking the door but continued to
yell. Sgt. Clark ordered Mr. Thomas to lie down on the floor
so he could be placed in the restraint device. Mr. Thomas did
not comply and instead removed the top portion of his
jumpsuit. Sgt. Ridlen, Sgt. Everhart, Sgt. Clark, Sgt. Drees
and Jail Nurse Rutan then entered the cell to place him in a
restraint device by subduing Mr. Thomas and securing his arms
and legs. They then lifted Mr. Thomas off the ground and
lowered him back down onto the lower portion of the restraint
device, turned him over to secure the upper portion of the
restraint device, and sat Mr. Thomas against a wall before
leaving the cell.
forty-six minutes later, Sgt. Clark and Sgt. Ridlen entered
the cell and moved Mr. Thomas's arms from the back of his
body to the front. Approximately one hour and twenty-four
minutes later, Sgt. Clark and Nurse Rutan entered the cell
and removed the restraint device. Mr. Thomas told Sgt. Clark
that his wrist had been injured in a fight with another
inmate in another jail the week prior. When Sgt. Clark asked
about what looked like a sunburn on Mr. Thomas's chest,
Mr. Thomas responded that he had been burned by Mexican
criminals when he refused to steal cars for them. Sgt. Clark
then gave Mr. Thomas food and a drink.
15, 2016, Mr. Thomas was moved from the cell in the jail
holding area to a general population pod where he had access
to a shower. He was also provided with food and drink ...