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Wilson v. Kiser

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

October 16, 2017

MICHAEL A. WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFFREY KISER, ET AL., Defendant.

          Michael A. Wilson, Pro Se Plaintiff

          Laura H. Cahill, Office of the Attorney General, Richmond, Virginia, for Defendants.

          OPINION

          James P. Jones United States District Judge

         Michael A. Wilson, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed this civil action under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, and 1986. He alleges that the defendant prison officials conspired to abduct him while armed with a weapon. After review of the record, I conclude that Wilson is barred from pursuing his claims because he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing this action.

         I.

         In February 2017, Wilson was incarcerated in the protective custody unit at Red Onion State Prison (“Red Onion”). Toward the end of the month, he filed an Informal Complaint alleging that defendant Swiney had “order[ed] his officer to false[ly] imprison [Wilson].” Mem. Supp. 5, ECF No. 1-1. One morning about a week later, defendant Gwynn escorted Wilson to the office of defendant Stanley, who was the building supervisor. Stanley sat behind his desk, while Gwynn, Phillips, and Stallard “cornered” Wilson inside the office. Id. Stanley allegedly held up the Informal Complaint about Swiney and “screamed at [Wilson] in a violent and threatening manner . . . ‘What is this bullshit?'” Id. Then, Stanley allegedly “pulled out a weapon, and placed the Informal Complaint form over the weapon to obstruct the view of the Rapid Eye camera, and further stated, ‘Do you see this? You ain[']t leaving this office until you withdraw this bullshit complaint against my officers.'” Id. at 6. Wilson describes the weapon as “a home made knife.” Id.

         Wilson alleges that because the other officers blocked his “retreat to safety, out of fear of [his] life that Defendant Stanley would use the weapon, and the other defendants would further conspire to cover up the crimes, [he] was forced to sign, agree, and withdraw” the Informal Complaint against Swiney. Id. Wilson also allegedly notified defendant Kiser of these events, but Kiser “refuse[d] to correct the problems concerning the unequal treatment of inmates housed within the protective custody unit at Red Onion, ” and Kiser and Ponton “knowingly failed to prevent the conspiracy” that occurred on March 1. Id. Wilson also alleges that after his arrival at Red Onion, an Officer Moore told him ‘“the reason why yall [sic] was transferred here is to force you to sign off protective custody, and return to general population, because its too many of yall in here.” Id. at 7. Wilson states:

Upon reliable information and belief [he] declares that Defendant Henry Ponton is legally responsible for the premeditation of the true motives behind the transfer of [Wilson] and protective custody unit to Red Onion . . . to deprive [him] of due process and equal protections, and gave orders to do whatever it takes to reduce the African-American population.

Id. He states that defendants Kiser and Ponton “possessed the power to prevent or aid in preventing conspiratorial wrongs, and they failed or neglected to act.” Id.

         Wilson filed this civil rights action in against Kiser, Swiney, Phillips, Gwynn, Stanley, Ponton, and Stallard. He contends that their actions constituted a conspiracy to commit the crime of abduction with a weapon and to use that weapon to force him to “divest his constitutional rights in exchange for his freedom.” Id. at 8. As relief in this action, Wilson seeks declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief.

         The defendants have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, contending, among other things, that Wilson failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing this action as required by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). Wilson has responded to the defendants' motion, making it ripe for disposition.[1]

         II.

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) provides that a prisoner cannot bring a civil action concerning prison conditions until he has first exhausted the available administrative remedies. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). This exhaustion requirement is “mandatory, ” Ross v. Blake, 136 S.Ct. 1850, 1856 (2016), and “applies to all inmate suits about prison life.” Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 532 (2002). To comply with § 1997e(a), an inmate must follow each step of the established grievance procedure that the facility provides to prisoners and meet all deadlines within that procedure. See Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 90-94 (2006). Even if the particular form of relief the inmate seeks in his lawsuit is not available through the prison's grievance proceedings, he must, nevertheless, exhaust properly all available remedies under that procedure before bringing a civil action in this court. Booth v. Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 741 (2001).

         As stated, the defendants argue that Wilson did not exhaust his available administrative remedies before filing this lawsuit. In support of this contention, they present an ...


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