United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
R. Spencer, Senior U.S. District Judge.
Matthew Riddick, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, filed this 42 U.S.C. §
1983 action. The matter proceeds on Riddick's
Particularized Complaint. (ECF No. 9.) Riddick's
Particularized Complaint challenges his placement in
administrative segregation at the Meherrin River Regional
Jail ("MRRJ") when Riddick was both a pretrial
detainee and a convicted inmate. As a pretrial detainee,
Riddick's claim is governed by the Due Process Clause of
the Fourteenth Amendment. See Shanklin v.
Seals, No. 3:07CV319, 2010 WL 2942649, at *18 (E.D.
Va. July 27, 2010) (citations omitted). As a convicted
inmate, Riddick's claim is governed by the Eighth
Amendment. See Williams v.
Benjamin, 77 F.3d 756, 768 (4th Cir. 1996) (quoting
Whitley v. Alters, 475 U.S. 312, 327
Court construes Riddick's Particularized Complaint to
assert the following claims:
Claim One: By continuously keeping Riddick in administrative
segregation at the MRRJ, Defendants violated Riddick's right
under the Fourteenth Amendment, as a pretrial detainee, to
not be subjected to punishment.
Claim Two: By continuously keeping Riddick in administrative
segregation at MRRJ, Defendants violated Riddick's
rights, as a convicted inmate, to (a) due process under the
Fourteenth Amendment and (b) to be free from cruel and
unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment.
(Part. Compl. at 2-3.) The matter is now before the Court on
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECFNo. 15.)
Although Defendants provided Riddick with appropriate
Roseboro notice, Riddick has not responded. The
matter is ripe for disposition. For the reasons stated below,
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment will be GRANTED.
STANDARD FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
judgment must be rendered "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). The party seeking summary judgment bears
the responsibility to inform the court of the basis for the
motion, and to identify the parts of the record which
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
323 (1986). "[W]here the nonmoving party will bear the
burden of proof at trial on a dispositive issue, a summary
judgment motion may properly be made in reliance solely on
the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file." Id. at 324 (internal
quotation marks omitted). When the motion is properly
supported, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings
and, by citing affidavits or '"depositions, answers
to interrogatories, and admissions on file, ' designate
'specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.'" Id. (quoting former Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c) and 56(e) (1986)).
reviewing a summary judgment motion, the court "must
draw all justifiable inferences in favor of the nonmoving
party." United States v. Carolina
Transformer Co., 978 F.2d 832, 835 (4th Cir. 1992)
(citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986)). However, a mere scintilla of
evidence will not preclude summary judgment.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251 (citing Improvement
Co. v. Munson, 81 U.S. (14 Wall.) 442, 448
(1871)). '"[T]here is a preliminary question for the
judge, not whether there is literally no evidence, but
whether there is any upon which a jury could properly proceed
to find a verdict for the party ... upon whom the
onus of proof is imposed.'" Id.
(quoting Munson, 81 U.S. at 448). Additionally,
'"Rule 56 does not impose upon the district court a
duty to sift through the record in search of evidence to
support a party's opposition to summary
judgment.'" Forsyth, 19 F.3d at 1537
(quoting Skotak v. Tenneco Resins, Inc., 953 F.2d
909, 915 n.7 (5th Cir. 1992)); see Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(c)(3) ("The court need consider only the cited
support of their Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendants
submit: (1) an affidavit from Defendant Wright (Mem. Supp.
Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 1 ("Wright Aff"), ECF No. 16-1);
(2) an affidavit from James Flynn, an officer at MRRJ
(id. Ex. 2 ("Flynn Aff"), ECF No. 16-2);
and, (3) an affidavit from Roy Green, a licensed professional
counselor employed by Armor Correctional Health Services
Inc., which provides health services for MRRJ (id.
Ex. 3 ("Green Aff"), ECF No. 16-3).
Riddick failed to respond, Riddick fails to cite the Court to
any evidence that he wishes the Court to consider in
opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(3) (emphasizing that "[t]he court
need consider only the cited materials" in deciding a
motion for summary judgment). Riddick's complete failure to
present any evidence to counter Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment permits the Court to rely solely on
Defendants' submissions in deciding the Motion for
Summary Judgment. See Forsyth, 19 F.3d at 1537
(quoting Skotak, 953 F.2d at 915 & n.7)).
the following facts are established for the Motion for
Summary Judgment. The Court draws all permissible inferences
in favor of Riddick.
to 2015, "Riddick was found not guilty by reason of
insanity for a triple murder and [was] committed to Central
State Hospital." (Wright Aff. ¶ 7.) While at
Central State, Riddick was charged for maliciously wounding a
staff member. (Id.) He was booked into MRRJ for that
charge on January 8, 2015. (Id. ¶¶ 2, 7.)
Riddick was uncooperative during the booking process. (Flynn
Aff. ¶ 2.) He "urinated on himself and engaged in
combative behavior requiring [Officer Flynn] and other
officers to place him in a restraint chair."
(Id.) The docket for the Circuit Court of Dinwiddie
County, Virginia, shows that Riddick was convicted of the
malicious wounding charge on September 29,
MRRJ, inmates are assigned housing based upon their
classification. (Wright Aff. ¶ 3.) MRRJ uses a
points-based classification system, which "assigns
points to an inmate based on severity of current charges,
serious offense history, escape history, institutional
disciplinary history, prior felony convictions, alcohol/drug
abuse and stability factors, i.e., whether an inmate
is age 26 or over." (Id.) Inmates who are
"classified as maximum and considered high risk, "
as well as inmates who require protective custody, are placed
in administrative segregation. (Id.) Riddick was
assigned to administrative segregation because he was
"classified as maximum, and placed on high risk
status." (Id. ¶ 8.) Riddick's
classification was "based on his behavior at booking,
his history, and the points assigned to him by the
points-based classification system." (Id.)
classification of inmates placed in administrative
segregation is reviewed every seven days for the first two
months." (Id. ¶ 3.) Afterwards, reviews
are conducted every thirty days. (Id.) The named
Defendants "do not conduct these reviews"; they are
conducted by a classification officer. (Id.)
Riddick's "classification was reviewed every seven
days for the first two months and was reviewed every thirty
days thereafter, pursuant to Jail policies and
procedures." (Id. ¶ 9.) Riddick was also
"evaluated every week by a licensed professional
counselor." (Green Aff. ¶ 2.) Riddick remained in
administrative segregation until he was transferred to the
Newport News City Jail on December 21, 2015. (Wright Aff.
inmate at MRRJ who is assigned to administrative segregation
is housed in a single cell that contains a metal bunk,
toilet, sink, and shower. (Id. ¶ 4.) The cells
in administrative segregation "do not have windows to
the outside, but they do have windows in the door."
(Id.) An "outside recreation yard ... with
concrete block walls that open to the sky [is] attached to
the segregation unit." (Id.) However, no
recreation equipment is available in the segregation
recreation yard. (Id.) Inmates assigned to
segregation "can make telephone calls upon
request." (Id.) These inmates also
"receive their meals on trays delivered through a slot
in the door and they eat their meals in their cells."
(Id. ¶ 6.)
inmates assigned to general population at MRRJ "are
either housed in double bunk inmate cells ... or quad six
bunk cells" (Id. ¶ 5.) Both "adjoin a
larger common area." (Id.) Inmates in general
population are permitted to socialize in their cells and the
common area "for five hours each day unless they are on
lockdown or restriction." (Id.) During this
time, inmates "can shower, recreate, and use the
telephone." (Id.) All general population
housing units have a recreation yard attached; some general
population units have a basketball hoop inside them.
(Id.) Inmates in general population "may eat
their meals at dining tables located in their housing unit
common area, unless the unit is on lockdown. In that case,
they eat their meals in their cells." (Id.
inmates at MRRJ, regardless of classification, "can
participate in Jail programs upon request."
(Id.) All inmates can receive visits from family and
friends twice per week; "[t]he only difference between
inmates in administrative segregation and general population
are the days and times upon which they can receive family and
friend visitors." (Id.) All inmates may request
to go to the law library or "receive requested materials
from the library cart." (Id.) Furthermore, all
inmates "typically receive outside recreation time five
times per week (Monday through Friday) for one hour unless
they refuse, the jail or housing area is on lock-down, or the
weather does not permit it." (Id.) Inmates will
receive, at a minimum, recreation time once per week for one
hour. (Id.) If the outdoor recreation yards cannot
be used, "the Jail has two indoor recreation yards with
basketball goals for use by all inmates, regardless of
housing assignment, but at different days and times."