United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Glen E. Conrad Senior United States District Judge
Demosthenese Antwyan Wesley, a former Virginia inmate
proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, complaining that jail
officials used excessive force against him, in violation of
his Eighth Amendment rights. After review of the record, the
court concludes that the defendants are entitled to summary
judgment on the ground that Wesley failed to exhaust
available administrative remedies before filing suit.
of 2018, Wesley was confined at the Northwestern Regional
Adult Detention Center (“NRADC”) in Winchester,
Virginia. On July 11, 2018, he refused to comply with
officers' orders to be handcuffed and pack up his
property. A lieutenant “warned of
consequences” as she left the area. Compl. 3, ECF No.
1. Wesley packed his things and placed them on his bunk. The
lieutenant returned with staff and sprayed pepper spray into
Wesley's cell. In response, Wesley “immediately
layed [sic] on the floor crossed [his] legs and placed [his]
hands behind [his] back.” Id. While he was
“prone, ” staff rushed into the cell, used force
to place him in handcuffs, and removed him from the cell.
Id. Wesley “blacked out” and came to in
the restraint chair. Id.
Wesley's § 1983 complaint, he alleges that:
(1) During a cell extraction Officer Travis Fritzges
assaulted me while I lay prone giving no resistance. Also
sexually assaulting me probing my anal area with his finger
with my jumpsuit on saying “We run the shit
bitch” in an aggressive manner.
(2) During a cell extraction Sergeant Jason Harding brutally
assaulted me while I lay prone giving no resistance causing
facial bruising, lacerations, and chipping my front tooth
Id. at 2. As relief, Wesley seeks monetary
defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing
that Wesley's claims should be dismissed because he
failed to exhaust administrative remedies before filing this
lawsuit. Wesley has responded,  making the motion ripe for
award of summary judgment is appropriate “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). For a party's evidence to
raise a genuine issue of material fact sufficient to avoid
summary judgment, it must be “such that a reasonable
jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). In making this determination, “the court is
required to view the facts and draw reasonable inferences in
a light most favorable to the nonmoving party.”
Shaw v. Stroud, 13 F.3d 791, 798 (4th Cir. 1994).
When a motion for summary judgment is properly supported by
affidavits, the nonmoving party may not rest on the mere
allegations; rather, he must respond by affidavits or
specific facts that support a finding in his favor. See
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), a
prisoner cannot bring a civil action concerning prison
conditions until he has first exhausted 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 desires is not available under the
facility's administrative procedure, the inmate must,
nevertheless, properly exhaust all available remedies under
that procedure before bringing a civil action in this court.
Porter, 534 U.S. at 524.
defendants bear the burden of proving the affirmative defense
that Wesley failed to exhaust available administrative
remedies regarding his claims before filing suit. Jones
v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 212 (2007). Once they have done
so, Wesley may yet escape summary judgment under §
1997e(a) if he states facts showing that the remedies under
the established grievance procedure were not
“available” to him. Ross, 136 S.Ct. at
1859 (noting that circumstances making prison grievance
procedures unavailable “will not often arise”).
Generally, “an administrative remedy is not considered
to have been available if a prisoner, through no fault of his
own, was prevented from availing himself of it.”
Moore v. Bennette, 517 F.3d 717, 725 (4th Cir.
support of the defendants' motion, they offer undisputed
evidence that the NRADC has an established Inmate Grievance
Procedure that provides inmates the opportunity to formally
submit complaints regarding their treatment or NRADC policy.
When an inmate is booked into NRADC, he receives a copy of
the inmate handbook, ...