Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lee v. Wagner

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 2, 2018

GREGORY LEE #791018, Plaintiff,
UNKNOWN WAGNER, et al., Defendants.


          ELLEN S. CARMODY, U.S. Magistrate Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 9). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), the undersigned recommends that Defendant's motion be granted and this matter terminated.


         The following allegations are contained in Plaintiff's complaint. (ECF No. 1). On February 8, 2016, Plaintiff was convicted of a misconduct charge and escorted to segregation by Sergeant Wagner. On the way to segregation, Plaintiff asked Wagner if he “was still holding a grudge” regarding a previous incident involving the two. Wagner indicated that he was, in fact, still holding a grudge. Plaintiff responded by telling Wagner that his previous actions had been retaliatory to which Wagner responded, “you shouldn't file lawsuits.”

         After being placed in segregation, Plaintiff “attempted to commit suicide, ” immediately after which he was placed in a “close observation” cell. This particular cell did not contain a mattress. When Plaintiff asked Sergeant Wagner why his cell did not contain a mattress, Wagner responded, “you know why.” When Plaintiff repeated his question, Wagner responded, “I'm entitled to my opinion of you, just as you are in your lawsuit with Tingrella.” When Plaintiff told Wagner that his actions constituted retaliation, Wagner told Plaintiff to “file another lawsuit.”

         Plaintiff later asked Sergeant Harrison how long his mattress restriction would remain in effect, to which Harrison responded that “there is no restriction just food loaf.” However, when Plaintiff then requested a mattress, Sergeant Wagner interjected that Plaintiff was, in fact, on mattress restriction. Over the course of the next several days, Plaintiff spoke with four other prison officials in an attempt to determine whether he was subject to a legitimate mattress restriction. These individuals were not aware of any mattress restriction, but nevertheless informed Plaintiff that they were instructed to not provide him with a mattress. On February 16, 2016, Plaintiff was released from the “close observation” cell and “placed in a regular cell with a mattress.”

         Plaintiff initiated the present action against Sergeant Wagner and five other prison officials alleging that depriving him of a mattress for eight days violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Plaintiff also alleged that Sergeant Wagner “confiscated Plaintiff's mattress in retaliation for Plaintiff filing lawsuits on his co-workers.” Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims were dismissed on screening for failing to state a claim. (ECF No. 4). Defendant Wagner now moves for summary judgment on the ground that Plaintiff has not properly exhausted his administrative remedies.


         Summary judgment “shall" be granted “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). A party moving for summary judgment can satisfy its burden by demonstrating “that the respondent, having had sufficient opportunity for discovery, has no evidence to support an essential element of his or her case." Minadeo v. ICI Paints, 398 F.3d 751, 761 (6th Cir. 2005). Once the moving party demonstrates that “there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case, " the non-moving party “must identify specific facts that can be established by admissible evidence, which demonstrate a genuine issue for trial." Amini v. Oberlin College, 440 F.3d 350, 357 (6th Cir. 2006).

         While the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, the party opposing the summary judgment motion “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Amini, 440 F.3d at 357. The existence of a mere “scintilla of evidence" in support of the non-moving party's position is insufficient. Daniels v. Woodside, 396 F.3d 730, 734-35 (6th Cir. 2005). The non-moving party “may not rest upon [his] mere allegations, " but must instead present “significant probative evidence" establishing that Athere is a genuine issue for trial." Pack v. Damon Corp., 434 F.3d 810, 813-14 (6th Cir. 2006).

         Moreover, the non-moving party cannot defeat a properly supported motion for summary judgment by “simply arguing that it relies solely or in part upon credibility determinations." Fogerty v. MGM Group Holdings Corp., Inc., 379 F.3d 348, 353 (6th Cir. 2004). Rather, the non-moving party “must be able to point to some facts which may or will entitle him to judgment, or refute the proof of the moving party in some material portion, and. . .may not merely recite the incantation, 'Credibility, ' and have a trial on the hope that a jury may disbelieve factually uncontested proof." Id. at 353-54. In sum, summary judgment is appropriate “against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Daniels, 396 F.3d at 735.

         While a moving party without the burden of proof need only show that the opponent cannot sustain his burden at trial, a moving party with the burden of proof faces a “substantially higher hurdle." Arnett v. Myers, 281 F.3d 552, 561 (6th Cir. 2002). Where the moving party has the burden, “his showing must be sufficient for the court to hold that no reasonable trier of fact could find other than for the moving party." Calderone v. United States, 799 F.2d 254, 259 (6th Cir. 1986). The Sixth Circuit has emphasized that the party with the burden of proof “must show the record contains evidence satisfying the burden of persuasion and that the evidence is so powerful that no reasonable jury would be free to disbelieve it." Arnett, 281 F.3d at 561. Accordingly, summary judgment in favor of the party with the burden of persuasion “is inappropriate when the evidence is susceptible of different interpretations or inferences by the trier of fact." Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 553 (1999).


         I. ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.