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Moore v. Davis

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

June 21, 2018

ANTHONY LAMONT MOORE #255379, Plaintiff,
v.
CARLA DAVIS, Defendant.

          FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

          GORDON J. QUIST UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Jurisdiction

         Plaintiff, Anthony Lamont Moore, a prisoner currently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), sued Defendant, Carla Davis-a Corrections Officer with the MDOC-alleging that she violated his rights under the First and Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution. In particular, Moore alleged that Davis was deliberately indifferent to Moore's safety by ignoring his request for protection from another inmate and that Davis ignored Moore's request for protection in retaliation for Moore's prior grievance activity.

         Moore brings his claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and the Court has jurisdiction over Moore's claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Moore's claims were tried to the Court on June 18, 2018. The Court heard testimony from Moore, Davis, and Alan Thompson and received exhibits.

         The Court now issues its findings of fact and conclusions of law.

         Findings of fact

         On August 26, 2013, Moore was confined at the Chippewa Correctional Facility. That afternoon, prior to count time, Moore, and Moore's friend, inmate Alan Thompson, were playing dominoes. During the game, Thompson and Moore exchanged words after Thompson got Moore out of the game. Thompson, believing that Moore had an attitude toward Thompson, became agitated and threatened Moore.

         Shortly thereafter and immediately prior to count time, Moore told Davis that he was having problems with Thompson and that he, Moore, feared for his safety. Davis told Moore that it could not be serious because Moore did not look hurt and that Moore should let her know when he was hurt. Moore responded that he would file a grievance on Davis. Davis told Moore to go back to his cell.[1]

         Davis went back to his cell for count. Thompson, who “bunked” right across from Moore, was in his cell. About an hour later, Thompson called Moore into the bathroom to speak about their problem. Moore went into the bathroom where Thompson and Moore engaged in a fight. At that point Davis responded to the commotion in the bathroom and found Thompson and Moore flailing at each other. Davis instructed both prisoners to stop fighting, and they did so. Moore showed no injuries or bleeding from the altercation. Davis wrote misconduct reports on both Moore and Thompson.

         Following an investigation and a hearing on the misconduct, Moore and Thompson both pled guilty to fighting. The hearing officer upheld Moore's misconduct charge.

         Conclusions of law

         As noted, Moore alleges a First Amendment retaliation claim and a claim of deliberate indifference under the Eighth Amendment.

         Retaliation

         Retaliation based upon a prisoner's exercise of his constitutional rights violates the Constitution. See Thaddeus-X v. Blatter, 175 F.3d 378, 394 (6th Cir. 1999) (en banc). In order to establish a First Amendment retaliation claim, a plaintiff must prove that: (1) he engaged in protected conduct; (2) an adverse action was taken against him that would deter a person of ordinary firmness from engaging in that conduct; and (3) the adverse action was motivated, at least in part, by the protected conduct. Id. Moreover, a plaintiff must be able to prove that the exercise of the protected right was a substantial or motivating factor in the defendant's alleged ...


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