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Edwards v. Peirce

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

September 3, 2014

JEFFREY EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
v.
SHERIFF LARRY M. PEIRCE, MAJOR GREENFIELD, LIEUTENANT SCOTT, DR. CLEMENT L. MCCASKILL, OFFICER CARCIRIERI, MIKE COX, CHRIS WORTH, and CHUCK ARNOLD, Defendants.

ORDER

LOUISE W. FLANAGAN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the court on defendants' motions to dismiss (DE 29, 31, 34, 37) pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), (2), (4), (5) and (6). The issues raised were fully briefed, and are ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons, the court grants defendant Dr. Clement L. McCaskill's ("McCaskill") motion to dismiss (DE 29, 31), denies Officer Carcirieri's ("Carcirieri") motion to dismiss (DE 37), and grants in part and denies in part the remaining defendants' motion to dismiss (DE 34).

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

On August 5, 2013, plaintiff, a pretrial detainee, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 against defendants Chuck Arnold ("Arnold"), Officer Carcirieri ("Carcirieri"), Mike Cox ("Cox"), Major Greenfield ("Greenfield"), Dr. McCaskill ("McCaskill"), Lieutenant Scott ("Scott"), previously-named defendant Sheriff Carey Winders ("Winders"), [1] and Chris Worth ("Worth"). Plaintiff alleged that defendants violated his rights pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by acting with deliberate indifference to plaintiff's serious medical needs. Plaintiff also alleged that defendants Arnold, Carcirieri, Cox, Greenfield, Scott, Winders, and Worth violated his rights pursuant to the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution in relation to the performance of a visual body cavity search. Finally, plaintiff complained that his prison conditions violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Plaintiff subsequently filed a motion for a jury demand, and counsel for defendant Winders filed a suggestion of death on January 28, 2014.

On January 28, 2014, McCaskill filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that plaintiff failed to state a Fourteenth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to plaintiff's serious medical needs. McCaskill subsequently filed a second motion to dismiss seeking dismissal on the alternative ground of insufficient service of process. The motions were fully briefed.

Defendants Arnold, Cox, Greenfield, Scott, and Worth subsequently filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing his complaint. These defendants, alternatively, argue that dismissal of plaintiff's claims against them is appropriate because plaintiff failed to obtain proper service of process and failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The motion was fully briefed.

On February 6, 2014, defendant Carcirieri filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The motion was fully briefed.

On February 11, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion to compel defendants to provide him with a copy of the videotape recording of the incident at issue. Defendants Arnold, Cox, Greenfield, Scott, and Worth then filed a motion to stay discovery, which was fully briefed. Finally, plaintiff filed a motion to consolidate this action with another action he filed in Edwards v. Cox, 5:13-CT-3241 (E.D. N.C. 2013).

On August 15, 2014, the court entered an order granting plaintiff's motion for a jury demand and defendants' motion to stay discovery pending the resolution of defendants' motions to dismiss. Because the court stayed discovery in this case, it denied as moot plaintiff's motion to compel the videotape. Finally, the court dismissed without prejudice plaintiff's individual capacity claims against Winders and substituted Wayne County Sheriff Larry M. Pierce for defendant Winders as the proper party for plaintiff's official capacity claims.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

The facts as alleged by plaintiff in his complaint can be summarized as follows. After a traffic stop on March 18, 2013, plaintiff was taken to Wayne County Detention Center (the "detention center") for questioning. (Compl. p. 3.) At the detention center, an officer applied handcuffs and a waist chain to plaintiff. (Id.) Defendants Worth and Arnold then grabbed plaintiff on each side of his body applying force and pressure to plaintiff's arms and shoulders, causing pain to plaintiff's wrist, arms, shoulder, and neck. (Id.) Cox then removed plaintiff's sweat pants and boxers and "pulled [his] butt cheeks apart violently, " causing plaintiff's rectum to stretch and split. (Id. p. 4.) Worth and Arnold continued to apply force to plaintiff's arms and shoulders during this time. (Id.) At some point, Worth asked Cox if Cox saw anything and then the encounter ceased, and the officers returned plaintiff to a standing position. (Id.) After the encounter, plaintiff felt as if he had been "beat up and rape[d]." (Id.)

Plaintiff subsequently requested medical attention, but a sheriff's deputy told plaintiff that the deputy had ordered him to transport plaintiff to the jail. (Id. p. 5.) When plaintiff arrived at the jail, he discovered that a code had been entered indicating that he was a problem. (Id.) The officers at the jail and the jail nurse refused to acknowledge plaintiff. (Id.) Plaintiff told defendant Scott that he was sexually assaulted, and Scott told plaintiff that plaintiff should have handled the issue before arriving at the jail. (Id.) Plaintiff attempted to show the staff that he had blood on his fingers, but no one would listen. (Id.)

Jail officers then took plaintiff to "booking." (Id.) Plaintiff saw defendant McCaskill and told McCaskill that he wanted to go the Wayne County Hospital because his rectum was burning and bleeding. (Id.) McCaskill instructed plaintiff to fill out a sick call request and stated that "they don't send inmates out unless life or death and [plaintiff's] claim against deputies wasn't life or death." (Id.) A few minutes later McCaskill went to plaintiff's cell with Captain Hines and "other jailers." "Dr. McCaskill had glove over right hand ointment on left told me [plaintiff] was going to do rape kit that [plaintiff] would be handcuffed and had to be very still because if not [plaintiff] would be tazed, so [plaintiff] refused." (Compl. p. 6.) There additionally was activity by the detention center staff in the hallway and a female guard monitoring surveillance video of plaintiff's cell in the control booth. (DE 39, p. 2.) Plaintiff then asked for tissue and Captain Hines provided plaintiff with tissue. (Compl. p. 6.)

In accordance with an order issued by Cox, plaintiff was placed in a "dry" cell with nothing in his cell. (Id.) Plaintiff was "freezing for 3-4 days no water to wash [his] hands. (Id.) Plaintiff additionally was not permitted to flush the toilet. (Id.)

At plaintiff's initial appearance, plaintiff informed the district attorney and judge that he was sexually assaulted. (Id.) Plaintiff requested that the video surveillance equipment capturing the alleged assault not be destroyed or tampered with. (Id.) The judge and district attorney assured plaintiff that the video would be preserved. (Id.)

On March 19, 2013, Greenfield and Winders visited plaintiff. (Id.) Plaintiff states that both defendants intimidated him "saying [plaintiff was lying] and if [plaintiff] wanted normalcy [he] wouldn't keep [lying]." (Id.) Greenfield then told plaintiff that he had reviewed the video and did not see the conduct described by plaintiff. (Id.)

Plaintiff subsequently was taken to Wayne Radiology for stomach x-rays, and officers told plaintiff that a warrant would be waiting at the clinic. (Id.) Plaintiff told the doctors and nurses at Wayne Radiology that he had been sexually violated by Cox, Worth, and Arnold. (Id. p.7.) Plaintiff told the medical staff at the clinic that he "wanted to be checked out a sexual assault kit done they-Doctors and nurses-told me to hold it down that they do not do that there that's when [plaintiff] realized there was no warrant so [he] said NO." (Id.) Plaintiff was returned to the jail. Plaintiff states that he agreed to go ...


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