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Oliver v. Butler

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

February 26, 2015

KEITH BAYSEAM OLIVER, Plaintiff,
v.
DALE BUTLER, SHERIFF DONNIE HARRISON, and HEIDI STEINBECK, Defendants.

ORDER

LOUISE W. FLANAGAN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the court on defendants' motion for summary judgment (DE 84) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Also before the court is plaintiff's renewed motion to compel defendants to comply with written depositions (DE 92) and motion to enter response to defendants' supplemental memorandum (DE 99). Defendants did not respond to plaintiff's motion to enter response to their supplemental memorandum, but the remaining motions were fully briefed. In this posture, the issues raised are ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons, the court grants plaintiff's motion to supplement, grants defendants' motion for summary judgment, and denies as moot plaintiff's renewed motion to compel.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

On August 6, 2012, plaintiff, then a pretrial detainee incarcerated at the Wake County Detention Center (the "detention center"), filed this action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against defendants Wake County Sheriff, Donnie Harrison ("Harrison") and Director of Wake County Detention Center, Dale Butler ("Butler"). Plaintiff alleged that defendants Harrison and Butler violated his rights pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution because they enforced a detention center policy requiring plaintiff to be shackled while showering for a period of thirty (30) days while plaintiff was on administrative segregation status. Plaintiff states that such conditions denied him the ability to maintain his "hygienic needs" and "subject[ed] [him] to remain in a state of fifth and body odor for the duration of [his] stay in segregation." (Compl. p. 4.) Plaintiff also alleged that defendants violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, § 2 et seq., ("RLUIPA") and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution when they failed to accommodate his request for a Kosher diet in accordance with his Orthodox Jewish faith.

Plaintiff subsequently filed a motion to amend his complaint and a motion to supplement the record. On January 8, 2013, the court entered an order granting plaintiff's motions to amend and to supplement. The court, in the same order, also conducted a frivolity review of plaintiff's pleadings pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, and allowed plaintiff to proceed with his action.

On January 17, 2013, plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint to include a claim against Lieutenant Bailey-Lee and M. Wilson arising out of their alleged participation in the North Carolina Department of Public Safety's administrative remedy procedure. The court subsequently denied plaintiff's second motion to amend as futile. Pursuant to a motion filed by defendants, the court also stayed discovery until April 3, 2013.

On May 9, 2013, defendants moved to consolidate this action with an action plaintiff previously filed in this court, Oliver v. Butler, No. 12-CT-3060-FL (E.D. N.C. Mar. 12, 2012) ("Oliver I"), and for a stay of discovery pending the court's resolution of the consolidation issue. Plaintiff subsequently filed a motion to amend his complaint to include Lieutenant Heidi Steinbeck ("Steinbeck") as a defendant in this action, and to include a claim for retaliation. Plaintiff also filed a motion "to enter authoritative memorandum, " motion for leave to file the affidavit of William Charles Klinger, and a motion to compel discovery.

On August 1, 2013, the court entered an order in which it denied defendants' motion to consolidate on the grounds that each of plaintiff's actions raised different issues. The court also denied, without prejudice, plaintiff's motion to compel, denied plaintiff's motion to enter an authoritative memorandum, and denied as moot defendants' motion to stay discovery. The court, however, granted plaintiff's motion to amend and added Steinbeck as a defendant in this case. Finally, the court also granted plaintiff's motion to file the affidavit of William Charles Klinger.

On November 15, 2013, plaintiff filed a motion for a court order instructing defendants to comply with plaintiff's request to take written depositions of potential witnesses. The court subsequently entered an order denying plaintiff's motion, but urged the parties to confer and to facilitate plaintiff's ability to conduct the requested depositions. Following the court's order, plaintiff filed a renewed motion to compel defendants to comply with written depositions.

In the interim, on April 7, 2014, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, [1] arguing that plaintiff is unable to establish a constitutional violation. Alternatively, defendants argue that they are entitled to the affirmative defense of qualified immunity. The motion was fully briefed.

On April 23, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion to strike the affidavit of Wake County Medical Director Dr. Obi Umesi ("Dr. Umesi") which defendants submitted in support of their motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff contended that Dr. Umesi's statements regarding plaintiff's medical history and care at the detention center were, inter alia, unsupported by plaintiff's medical records. Plaintiff also filed a renewed motion to compel defendants to comply with written depositions.

On June 6, 2014, the court in Oliver I entered an order directing defendants to supplement the record and to provide a copy of plaintiff's medical records pertinent to Dr. Umesi's affidavit, and directing defendants to submit a new affidavit from Dr. Umesi with citation to the applicable medical records. Defendants complied with the court's order to supplement issued in Oliver I. Plaintiff, in this case, subsequently filed a motion for leave to file a response to defendants' supplemental memorandum, along with plaintiff's supplemental memorandum. Finally, on November 12, 2014, defendants responded to plaintiff's renewed motion to compel defendants to comply with the written depositions and stated that the depositions at issue had been completed.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

The following is a summary of the undisputed facts in this action. The court begins with the facts relating to plaintiff's religious diet. Plaintiff has been incarcerated at the Wake County Detention Center (the "detention center") in Raleigh, North Carolina on numerous occasions over the years. (Harrison Aff. ¶ 8.) Most recently, while incarcerated on April 5, 2012, plaintiff submitted a written request for a special diet in which he ...


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