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Alexander v. Parks

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

January 28, 2019

BOYD PARKS, et al., Defendants.



         Antonari Alexander, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] The matter before the Court is Defendant Nurse Stump's motion for summary judgment.[2] I will grant the motion for the reasons that follow.

         I. Background

         On April 15, 2017, Alexander assaulted a corrections officer at Red Onion State Prison. Officers eventually forced Alexander to the floor, restrained him, and escorted him from A-Building to a segregation cell in B-Building. When Stump arrived to evaluate Alexander, Alexander told her that he had been slammed twice and that he was bleeding everywhere. Exh. B, at 9:30-10:00. He alleges the same in his current complaint, and he contends that his restraints were painfully tight. See Compl. 5. When Stump assessed him, she observed that he only had abrasions on his left knee, left shoulder, and left eyebrow, and a red place on top of his head. Exh. B, at 9:30-10:00. She did not observe any active bleeding and suggested that the injuries resembled rug burn. Id. Stump also checked Alexander's ambulatory restraints and was able to place two fingers under both the wrist and ankle restraints. Id.; Stump Aff. ¶6, Dkt. No. 44-1.

         Stump was present when officers removed Alexander from the restraints the following morning, on April 16, 2017. Stump asked Alexander if he required medical attention. Alexander responded affirmatively, complaining about his right hand. Exh. D, at 1:45-1:55. Stump observed that the hand appeared swollen and advised Alexander to keep the hand elevated as much as possible until he could be seen by a doctor. Exh. D., at 4:45. Stump inquired if Alexander had any other issues, and Alexander responded that he did not. Id. Stump prescribed Tylenol and placed Alexander on the schedule to be seen by the institutional physician. Id. at 6:05; Health Services Complaint & Treatment Form, Dkt. No. 44-1.

         Alexander did not complain on April 16, 2017 about any injuries related to being sprayed with oleoresin capsicum (“OC”) spray, his restraints being too tight, the skin being ripped from his legs, face, torso, or arms, swelling of his eye socket, a knot on his head, his testicles, or his fingers. An x-ray of Alexander's right hand on June 2, 2017 came back normal and showed no evidence of acute fracture, dislocation, or osseous lesion. Exh. A, Attach. 3, Dkt. No. 44-1.

         Alexander alleges that Stump violated his constitutional rights by being deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. Furthermore, he asserts that much of Stump's statements are lies, that officers intimidated Stump into saying that she treated Alexander, and that the videos have been altered. He requests a declaration that Stump's actions violated his rights, court costs, an apology, and monetary damages.

         II. Standards of Review

         A. Summary Judgment

          Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) provides that a court should grant summary judgment “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.” “As to materiality, . . . [o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The dispute over a material fact must be genuine, “such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id.; see also JKC Holding Co. v. Wash. Sports Ventures, Inc., 264 F.3d 459, 465 (4th Cir. 2001). As such, the moving party is entitled to summary judgment if the evidence supporting a genuine issue of material fact “is merely colorable or is not significantly probative.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.

         The moving party bears the burden of proving that judgment on the pleadings is appropriate. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). If the moving party meets this burden, then the nonmoving party must set forth specific, admissible facts to demonstrate a genuine issue of fact for trial. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). In considering a motion for summary judgment, the court must view the record as a whole and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-324; Shaw v. Stroud, 13 F.3d 791, 798 (4th Cir. 1994). However, the nonmoving party may not rely on beliefs, conjecture, speculation, or conclusory allegations to defeat a motion for summary judgment. Baber v. Hosp. Corp. of Am., 977 F.2d 872, 874-75 (4th Cir. 1992). The evidence set forth must meet the “substantive evidentiary standard of proof that would apply at a trial on the merits.” Mitchell v. Data Gen. Corp., 12 F.3d 1310, 1315-16 (4th Cir. 1993).

         B. Pro Se Pleadings

         Alexander is proceeding pro se and, thus, entitled to a liberal construction of his pleadings. See, e.g., Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 90-95 (2007). However, “principles requiring generous construction of pro se complaints are not . . . without limits.” Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985). The Fourth Circuit has explained that “though pro se litigants cannot, of course, be expected to frame legal issues with the clarity and precision ideally evident in the work of those trained in law, neither can district courts be required to conjure up and decide issues never fairly presented to them.” Id. at 1276; see Kalderon v. Finkelstein, Case No. 08 Civ 9440, 2010 WL 3359473, at *1 n.1 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 24, 2010) (“Plaintiff's complaint belongs to the everything-but-the-kitchen sink school of thought.” “The complaint is extremely difficult to follow because of its extreme length and purported factual detail. The factual allegations are often repetitive, inconsistent, and contradicted by documents referenced in the complaint.”).

         C. ...

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