United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Kent, United States Magistrate Judge
a pro se civil rights action brought by a state
prisoner at a Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC)
facility pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's
complaint alleged that he was attacked by other prisoners at
two different correctional facilities. The first incident
occurred at Ionia Correctional Facility (ICF) on January 16,
2014. Compl. (ECF No. 1, PageID.4- 9). Plaintiff alleged that
MDOC employees failed to protect him from the attack.
Plaintiff sued MDOC Director Heidi Washington and the
following employees at ICF: Warden Willie O. Smith; Inspector
Khris Nevins; Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor (ARUS) Lloyd
Thurlby; Sgt. John Kelley; Sgt. Shawn Ryske; Security Threat
Group (STG) Coordinator Jill [Kerr] Salik; Assistant Deputy
Warden (ADW) Huss; and Corrections Officers (CO's) Ben
Guiles, Amy Scott, and Theresa [Sanders] Green.
MDOC transferred plaintiff to Marquette Branch Prison (MBP)
in April 2014. Id. at PageID.9. The second incident
occurred several months later on December 14, 2014, when
plaintiff alleged that ADW Huss, who was working at MBP,
failed to protect him from an attack by a prisoner at that
facility. Id. at PageID.9. ADW Huss was aware of
plaintiff's situation, because she had interviewed
plaintiff after the assault at ICF. Id. at PageID.8.
Washington, Smith, Kelley, Ryske, Scott, and Thurlby have
been dismissed from this action. See Orders (ECF
Nos. 8, 119, and 219). Five defendants remain: ADW Huss;
Inspector Nevins; STG Coordinator Salik; CO Guiles; and CO
Green (collectively referred to as the “MDOC
defendants”). This matter is now before the Court on
plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment against
defendants Sanders [Green] and Guiles (ECF No. 184), MDOC
defendants' motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 196),
and plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment
against defendants Huss and Nevins (ECF No. 202).
Motions for summary judgment
Legal standard for summary judgment
court shall 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.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Rule 56 further provides that a party
asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must
support the assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or
(B) showing that the materials cited do not establish the
absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse
party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1).
Copeland v. Machulis, 57 F.3d 476 (6th Cir. 1995),
the court set forth the parties= burden of proof in a motion
for summary judgment:
The moving party bears the initial burden of establishing an
absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's
case. Once the moving party has met its burden of production,
the nonmoving party cannot rest on its pleadings, but must
present significant probative evidence in support of the
complaint to defeat the motion for summary judgment. The mere
existence of a scintilla of evidence to support
plaintiff's position will be insufficient; there must be
evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the
Copeland, 57 F.3d at 478-79 (citations omitted).
“In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court
views the factual evidence and draws all reasonable
inferences in favor of the nonmoving party.” McLean
v. 988011 Ontario Ltd., 224 F.3d 797, 800 (6th Cir.
2000). However, the Court is not bound to blindly adopt a
non-moving party's version of the facts. “When
opposing parties tell two different stories, one of which is
blatantly contradicted by the record, so that no reasonable
jury could believe it, a court should not adopt that version
of the facts for purposes of ruling on a motion for summary
judgment.” Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380
Plaintiff's allegations are summarized as follows. In
November and December 2013, plaintiff alerted ARUS Thurlby
that he had received threats from gang members and wanted
protection. Compl. at PageID.4. Thurlby denied plaintiff
protection unless he “snitched” on prisoners with
weapons or produced weapons. Id. On December 17,
2013, plaintiff sent a kite to Inspector Nevins stating that
he feared an attack by gang members, but Nevins did not place
him in protection or respond to the kite. Id. at
January 16, 2014, plaintiff was in the prison library when he
was approached by two known gang members and “told to
lock up or I would be stabbed.” Id. at Page
ID.5. The librarian told the gang members to leave the
library. Id. Plaintiff went back to his cell and
told an unidentified corrections officer that he needed
protection “now.” Id. At about 4:30
p.m., while in his cell, plaintiff wrote a kite to Inspector
Nevins about the incident. Id. Plaintiff was told to
report to work at the gym at 6:10 p.m. Id. Plaintiff
placed the kite in the kite box and proceeded to the gym.
passed through the metal detector at the gym and was patted
down by CO Guiles. Id. at PageID.6. As plaintiff
began his work in the gym, he noticed CO Green in the office
with the lights turned off, leaning in the chair with her
feet on the desk. Id. at PageID.6. CO Guiles was in
the hallway, leaving CO Green “to supervise the level 5
maximum security prisoners alone.” Id. CO
Green was in the office snoring. Id. Plaintiff woke
her up and was told to leave the office because she was
working a double shift. Id. Sometime around 7:00
p.m., when plaintiff went to wipe down some benches, he was
attacked from behind by an unknown prisoner who cut his face
with a razor blade. Id. Plaintiff began to fight for
his life. Id. CO's Green and Guiles entered the
room and ordered the two prisoners to the floor. Id.
Plaintiff was taken to segregation and received medical
attention. Id. Plaintiff received a disciplinary
misconduct from CO Green based on the video surveillance.
Id. at PageID.7. Plaintiff claimed that there was no
staff in the gym at the time of the attack. Id.
after the attack, on January 26th or 27th, STG Coordinator
Salik told plaintiff that she spoke to the assailant (later
identified as prisoner Winston), who told her that he
attacked plaintiff under the direction of gang members.
Id. at PagerID.7. Salik told plaintiff that if he
would corroborate the story, she would pull his misconduct
and give him protection. Id. Plaintiff stated that
he did not know the inmates but wanted protection.
Id. Plaintiff had a major misconduct hearing on
January 28th, and was called out by the Michigan State Police
to give a recorded statement on February 28th. Id.
On April 1st, ADW Huss held a Security Classification
Committee (SCC) hearing. Id. Plaintiff's request
for protective custody was denied and he was placed in the
general population where he received new threats.
was transferred to MBP on April 23, 2014. Id. at
PageID.9. Several months later, on December 13, 2014,
plaintiff was attacked by an unknown prisoner at MBP.
Id. Plaintiff later learned that prisoners riding
into MBP had copies of the Michigan State Police Report
containing plaintiff's statements regarding the attack at
ICF. Plaintiff appears to contend ...