United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
ANTAUN K. SPENCER, Plaintiff,
LAWRENCE PARSONS, Superintendent, Lanesboro Correctional Institution, et al., Defendants.
FRANK D. WHITNEY, Chief District Judge.
THIS MATTER comes before the Court on a Motion for Summary Judgment by Defendants Jesse Williams, Kyle Allred, Calvin Young, Lawrence Anderson, and Tara Rogers. (Doc. No. 41).
A. Procedural Background
Pro se Plaintiff Antaun Spencer is a former inmate of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety ("NCDPS"). Plaintiff was serving a seven-year sentence for robbery with a dangerous weapon. On June 4, 2013, while still incarcerated at Lanesboro Correctional Institution in Polkton, North Carolina, Plaintiff filed this action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in which he alleged that Defendants, Lanesboro correctional officers at all relevant times, subjected him to excessive force and inhumane prison conditions. On June 6, 2013, the Court conducted a frivolity review and dismissed Defendant Lawrence Parsons while allowing Plaintiff's claims to proceed against the remaining Defendants. (Doc. No. 7).
On October 17, 2014, the remaining Defendants filed the pending motion for summary judgment. (Doc. No. 41). On October 29, 2014, this Court entered an order in accordance with Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), advising Plaintiff of the requirements for filing a response to the motion for summary judgment and of the manner in which evidence could be submitted to the Court. (Doc. No. 43). Plaintiff did not file a response to the summary judgment motion. Additionally, Plaintiff failed to notify this Court of his new address following his release from prison.
B. Factual Background
1. The Alleged Excessive Force Incident and the Summary Judgment Evidence
a. Plaintiff's Allegations
As noted, Plaintiff did not respond to the summary judgment motion, and the time to do so has passed. Therefore, the only materials presented by Plaintiff as to his claim are the allegations in his Complaint. Plaintiff alleged in the Complaint that on December 18, 2012, he was "forced" into full restraints for 48 hours and compelled to sleep, sit, and stand, on cold steel and concrete for over three days, with no bedding and no clothing but his boxers, t-shirt, and socks. (Doc. No. 1 at 4). He alleged that he was allowed "few to no" breaks to use the restroom and had no relief except when the officers loosened the restraints at mealtimes so he could eat. (Id.). He alleged that the cell and cell surfaces were freezing because it was December, and the light was left off at all times. (Id.). He also alleged that the restraints were "radically tight" and the "weight of the chains became a hardship." (Id.).
Plaintiff alleged that because "the full restraints became such a torment, " he beat them against the wall until they came off. (Doc. No. 1 at 5). He alleged that Defendants Williams, Allred, Young, Anderson, and Rogers, accompanied by Officer Smith (not a defendant), came to Plaintiff's cell, pulled him out from under his bunk where he was hiding, and dragged him out. (Id.). He alleged that they did not bring a camera or "anticipated use of force" gear. (Id.). He alleged that Defendant Williams then punched him in the testicles and officers Williams, Allred, and Anderson
heaved Plaintiff in the air and slammed Plaintiff face-first into the concrete floor. [Defendant] Allred then began viciously stomping Plaintiff on his back, then he seized Plaintiff['s] left arm and pulled it backwards. While [Defendant] Allred pulled Plaintiff's left arm, [Defendant] Williams captured Plaintiff's right arm and yanked it backwards. Their brutality caused [Plaintiff] to scream out in pain, then Officer Rogers stepped in Plaintiff['s] cell and starting kicking Plaintiff in his ribs.
(Id.). Plaintiff alleged that, at that point, one of Defendants, whom he cannot identify, pulled his boxers down to his ankles. (Id.). He alleged that Defendants "took the waist chains and dangled them over, on and around [his] butt [and] let the end of the chain touch [his] anus and started twirling the chain on or around [his] butt cheeks laughing." (Id.). Plaintiff alleged that the restraints were then reapplied behind his back and he was left with his boxers down to his ankles ...