United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
MEADE SARGENT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
se plaintiff, Vincent Lamont Woodhouse,
(“Woodhouse”), an inmate incarcerated at Red
Onion State Prison, (“Red Onion”), brings this
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
the defendants -- Duncan, Unit Manager; Kiser, Warden of Red
Onion; Artrip, Assistant Warden; Gallihar, E.B.P. Manager;
Swiney, Unit Manager; Geraldine Baker, T.P.S.; Lt. Kiser; Lt.
Stanley; Correctional Officer Miller; Counselor Sowards;
Counselor Stallard; Counselor Kegley; Counselor Jonathan M.
Gibson; Ingrim, Regional Administrator; J. B. Messer,
Grievance Coordinator; Adams, Investigator; Lt. Fannin,
Investigator; Lt. McQueen, Investigator; C. Michael Younce,
Unit Manager; and Harold Clarke, Director of the Virginia
Department of Corrections,
(“VDOC”). Woodhouse asserts various claims arising
from his long-term placement in segregation housing and his
brief transfer to a step down unit on February 13, 2017.
matter is before the undersigned magistrate judge on the
Defendants' Motion For Summary Judgment, (Docket Item No.
32) (“Motion”), on referral pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B) for a report setting forth appropriate
findings of fact and conclusions of law and recommended
disposition. The Motion seeks the entry of summary judgment
on the plaintiff's claims based, in part, on his failure
to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing suit. An
evidentiary hearing was held before the undersigned on
September 5, 2017.
sworn Complaint, (Docket Item No. 1), Woodhouse alleged
numerous violations of his constitutional rights.
Specifically, Woodhouse alleged:
1. He has been held in segregation at Red Onion under harsh
conditions since 2012;
2. He was denied witnesses in violation of his due process
rights at a December 30, 2016, Institutional Classification
Authority, (“ICA”), hearing;
3. On January 11, 2017, Unit Manager Duncan came to his cell
door to conduct an ICA hearing and told Woodhouse that his
security level would be decreased from an “S” for
segregation to a Level 6. Duncan told Woodhouse that he would
be moved to the step down phase 1 unit. Woodhouse said that
he told Duncan that he was at risk of being attacked by Blood
gang members, and he requested to be placed in protective
custody. Duncan denied this request;
4. On January 15, 2017, Woodhouse told defendant Gallihar
that he was at risk of being harmed by Blood gang members if
placed in general population. Woodhouse said that he told
Gallihar that he needed to be placed in protective custody.
He said that Gallihar responded, “you either go to
phase 1 or rot is seg[regation];”
5. On January 18, 2017, after Woodhouse filed enemy forms,
Counselor Stallard told him “I hope those Bloods kill
you in phase 1, since you want to do paperwork;”
6. On January 20, 2017, Woodhouse told Geraldine Baker that
the Bloods wanted to kill him, and Baker responded, “I
know all about it; I don't give a fuck this is red neck
7. On January 23, 2017, Woodhouse advised defendant Ingrim
that he had been in segregation for eight years and that he
risked being harmed by Blood gang members if he was not
placed in protective custody. He said Ingrim just walked
8. On January 27, 2017, Lt. Kiser and Counselor Sowards came
to Woodhouse's cell door and conducted an ICA hearing.
Woodhouse was not allowed to call QMHP Trent as a witness.
Woodhouse told Kiser and Sowards that he was at risk of being
attacked by Blood gang members in general population, and
Kiser told him, “I understand that but the decision to
send you to step down phase one population came from …
Gallihar and I cannot disobey his orders;”
9. On February 3, 2017, another ICA hearing was conducted at
Woodhouse's cell door by Lt. Stanley and Sowards.
Woodhouse advised them that he was at risk of being attacked
by Blood gang members in general population, but Stanley and
Sowards recommended that he be placed in step down phase 1.
Duncan reviewed and approved of this recommendation;
10. On February 13, 2017, Correctional Officer Miller forced
Woodhouse to leave segregation. Miller told Woodhouse,
“if you don't move we will stop feeding you;”
11. Woodhouse recognized three Blood gang members housed in
the step down phase 1 unit where he was moved on February 13,
2017. The next day, one of the Blood gang members told him
“I'm a get the [correctional officer] in the booth
to pop your door and I'm going in that cell.” When
Stallard came to his cell door, Woodhouse asked Stallard why
he had been placed in population when it was documented that
he was at risk of attack by Blood gang members. Woodhouse
told Stallard that he was going to file a lawsuit, and
Stallard replied, “I don't give a fuck about your
paperwork, I dare you to try to write it up, you'll never
get a response. I might get Swiney to beat [your] ass again
if you try to write me up!”
12. On February 24, 2017, Stallard served Woodhouse with a
notice of an ICA hearing, and his three requested witnesses
were denied; and
13. Swiney and Stallard conducted an ICA hearing at
Woodhouse's cell door on February 27, 2017. Swiney denied
his request to be placed in protective custody and said,
“I don't put niggers on [protective
custody].” Swiney also threatened Woodhouse with bodily
harm and stated, “We don't do grievances
support of their Motion, the defendants filed an Affidavit
from J. Messer, the Institutional Ombudsman at Red Onion.
(Docket Item No. 33-1) (“Messer Affidavit”). In
her affidavit, Messer stated that Operating Procedure,
(“OP”), 866.1, Offender Grievance Procedure, is a
mechanism for VDOC offenders to resolve complaints, appeal
administrative decisions and challenge procedures. Messer
said that the administrative process provided corrections
officials with a means to assess potential problems, and, if
necessary, correct those problems in a timely manner. A copy
of OP 866.1 was attached to Messer's Affidavit. (Docket
Item No. 33-1 at 7-20.) Under OP 866.1, all issues are
grieveable except those pertaining to policies, ...