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Lindsay v. Glick

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

March 16, 2017

WILLIAM GLICK, III, et al., Defendants.


          Loretta C. Biggs United States District Judge.

         This matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiff Theodus Lindsay, Jr.'s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (ECF No. 89), Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 98), and Defendants Donna Barringer, Monica Bond, Jeffrey Brafford, [1] Dr. William Brandhorst, Wendy Brewton, [2] Macre Crider, William Glick, III, Hargrave, Tony Hildreth, Huneycutt, Victor Locklear, John Lookabill, Cordelia McBride, Parsons, Ebony Ratliff, and Jeanette Robinson's (collectively referred herein as “Defendants”), Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 117). All matters are ripe for disposition. For the following reasons, the Court will grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, deny Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, and deny Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.


         On July 22, 2015, Plaintiff, a pro se prisoner, filed a Complaint asserting that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's medical needs and safety by denying him access to mental health treatment and protective custody. (See generally Compl., ECF No. 2.) Plaintiff also asserts that Defendants denied him due process during his disciplinary hearing. (Id. at 12.) On November 20, 2015, Defendants filed an answer. (Answer, ECF No. 24.) Plaintiff thereafter filed a motion to amend the Complaint which the court granted. (ECF No. 29.) Discovery commenced in this matter. (Id.) Plaintiff subsequently filed several additional motions, including motions to amend his Complaint and discovery motions. (See ECF Nos. 32, 33, 45, 46, 48, 75, 78.) Plaintiff also filed several dispositive motions, which the Court recommended be denied without prejudice to filing said motions at the close of discovery. (See ECF No. 76.) Plaintiff later refiled his partial summary judgment motion now pending before the Court. (ECF No. 89.) Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. (ECF No. 98.) On October 25, 2016, the Court ruled upon several of Plaintiff's motions, and allowed Plaintiff the opportunity to supplement his brief on the pending partial summary judgment motion. (See ECF No. 104.) Plaintiff then filed a supplement and an affidavit in support of his motion. (ECF Nos. 110, 111.) On January 9, 2017, Defendants filed their motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 117.) Plaintiff filed an opposition brief (and supplement) to Defendants' motion. (See ECF Nos. 122-24.)


         In his Complaint, Plaintiff asserts that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's medical needs and safety by denying Plaintiff access to mental health treatment and protective custody. (See generally Compl., ECF No. 2.)[3] Plaintiff arrived at Albemarle Correctional Institution (“Albemarle”) in June 2014. (Id. at 5.) In August 2014, Plaintiff alleges that he requested to participate in a mental health psychological rehabilitative treatment program for his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) resulting from his experience in the military. (Id.) Plaintiff further alleges that he was denied access to the program and was assigned to the “road squad” for a work assignment. (Id.) Plaintiff states that on several occasions, he requested to be removed from road squad duty and to be admitted to the mental health psychological rehabilitative treatment program. (Id. at 5-7.) On October 21, 2014, Plaintiff states that he was assaulted on the road squad bus. (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Brafford failed to do anything about the altercation. (Id.) Plaintiff asserts that he continually complained to several Defendants about being assaulted on the road squad bus. (Id. at 6-8.) Subsequently, Plaintiff was assaulted again on road squad duty on November 13, 2014. (Id. at 9.) As a result of this second altercation, Plaintiff was moved to restrictive housing. (Id.)

         In his first amended complaint, Plaintiff asserts claims against two additional defendants, Bond, Chief Disciplinary Officer, and Locklear, a Disciplinary Hearing Officer. (Am. Compl., ECF No. 30.) Plaintiff asserts that both violated his due process rights during his disciplinary hearing. (Id.) Subsequently, Plaintiff filed a supplement and an amended complaint alleging that Defendants violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Suppl., ECF No. 32.) Plaintiff also alleges that Mr. Spruill, a unit manager, “provided assistance on January 21, 2015 at [Plaintiffs disciplinary rehearing].” (Id. at 5) Plaintiff contends that Mr. Spruill told Plaintiff that his disciplinary hearing was “jacked-up.” (Id. at 5-6.)

         Defendants' summary judgment material include a supporting brief and several affidavits with attached exhibits. Defendants' material first show that Plaintiff has been incarcerated in several correctional institutions, and he is currently located at Maury Correctional Institution (“Maury”). (Inmate Transfer Sheet, ECF No. 118-2.) Immediately prior to his transfer to Maury, Plaintiff was incarcerated at Bertie. (Id.) During each transfer to another prison, a health screening form was completed for Plaintiff. (Health Screening Form, Barringer Aff. Ex. 1, ECF No. 118-4.) During each screening, Plaintiff was asked questions such as “do you have any allergies” and “do you have a current mental health complaint?” (Id.) With the exception of having seasonal/grass allergies, Plaintiff repeatedly answered “no.” (Id.) While at Albemarle, Plaintiff was assigned to case manager Defendant Ebony Ratliff, who was responsible for providing correctional counseling, completing inmate assessments, formulating case plans, and facilitating inmate access to programs and services. (Ebony Ratliff Aff. ¶ 5, ECF No. 118-21.) According to Ratliff, Plaintiff requested several classes, some of which were unavailable at Albemarle, and Plaintiff declined to attend others. (Id. ¶ 7.) Ratliff asserts that Plaintiff made no complaints regarding his mental health during the time he was assigned on her caseload. (Id. ¶ 6.)

         Defendant McBride was the Correctional Program Supervisor whom assigned Plaintiff to labor service, road squad duty. (Cordelia McBride Aff. ¶¶ 2, 5, ECF No. 118-18.) According to McBride, Plaintiff had no restrictions indicated in his file that his assignment to labor service was improper. (Id. ¶ 5.) Plaintiff's acuity level and his activity grade level confirmed that no restrictions were necessary. (Id.) Plaintiff began complaining that he was a disabled veteran with previously diagnosed PTSD and that he should not be on road squad, however his requests to be removed from road squad were repeatedly denied because nothing in Plaintiff's medical or prison file indicated that he was not suitable to work the assignment. (See Id. ¶ 7; Inmate Request, McBride Aff. Ex. 1, ECF No. 118-19; Inmate Request, ECF No. 2 at 21.) After the request was denied, Plaintiff wrote a letter to McBride asking to be left on road squad duty until the medical issues were resolved. (Pl. Letter to McBride, ECF No. 118-20.) Defendant Glick thereafter informed Plaintiff that there were no restrictions in Plaintiff's file that prohibited him from being on road squad duty. (Inmate Correspondence, William Glick Aff. Ex. 1, ECF No. 118-14.) Plaintiff was also informed that he needed to submit sick call requests for medical issues or concerns. (Id.)

         Adhering to the letter, Plaintiff thereafter submitted several sick call requests indicating his desire to receive mental health treatment. (See Sick Call Requests, ECF No. 2 at 26-32.) One request was made through unit manager Defendant Hildreth, on October 28, 2014. (Tony Hildreth Aff. ¶ 5, ECF No. 118-15.) Hildreth asked Plaintiff if he needed to be removed from general population until he was evaluated by mental health officials and Plaintiff's response was that “he would be okay.” (Id.) On October 31, 2014, Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Dr. Brandhorst, a staff psychologist, for a mental health evaluation. (William Brandhorst Aff. ¶ 6, ECF No. 118-8.) At that time, Plaintiff informed Dr. Brandhorst that Plaintiff had been diagnosed with PTSD and considered a 60% disabled veteran, which made him unable to work road squad duty. (Id. ¶ 8; Mental Health Referral, Brandhorst Aff. Ex. 1, ECF No. 118-9.) Dr. Brandhorst asked Plaintiff to sign a release form to obtain his disability records and Plaintiff refused. (Brandhorst Aff. ¶ 8; Brandhorst Aff. Ex. 1, ECF No. 118-9 at 2.) As a result of Plaintiff's refusal, Dr. Brandhorst had no information to confirm that Plaintiff should be removed from road squad duty. (Brandhorst Aff. ¶ 9.) Plaintiff thus remained on road squad duty.

         Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff was involved in an incident on the road squad bus on November 13, 2014. (Jeffrey Brafford Aff. ¶¶ 8-10, ECF No. 118-7.) According to Defendant Brafford, a correctional officer, he heard a disturbance on the road squad bus, opened the rear door, and witnessed Plaintiff assaulting another inmate. (Id. ¶ 8.) Brafford asserts that Plaintiff was standing over another inmate, striking the inmate in the head and neck with Plaintiff's fist. (Id.) Brafford told both Plaintiff and the inmate to cease fighting; however, Plaintiff ignored Brafford and continued to strike the other inmate. (Id.) Brafford subsequently sprayed Plaintiff with pepper spray, and both inmates were removed from the bus. (Id.) Brafford attests that he did not witness any act by the other inmate to cause Plaintiff to strike the victim. (Id. ¶ 9.) Plaintiff asserts that he was attacked first, and that he has been kicked several times on the bus, which he reported to Brafford. (Witness Statement, Monica Bond Aff. Ex. 1, ECF No. 118-6 at 21-22.) Brafford asserts that Plaintiff never previously complained to him about being assaulted on the bus. (Brafford Aff. ¶ 11.) Defendant Hildreth also indicated that Plaintiff never complained to him about prior assaults. (See Hildreth Aff. ¶ 6.)

         A hearing was conducted on December 12, 2014 regarding the incident. (Macre Crider Aff. ¶ 6.) According to Defendant Crider, although Plaintiff claimed to be have been first assaulted during the incident and assaulted on many occasions, the records didn't reflect such. (Id. ¶ 9.) Based upon the evidence, Crider found Plaintiff guilty of assaulting the other inmate on November 13, 2014. (Id.) Crider indicates that she did not make any statements to Plaintiff about the care of his mental health, nor did she consider Plaintiff's mental health status during the hearing. (Id. ¶¶ 8, 10.) Plaintiff was thereafter transferred to Bertie after the initial disciplinary hearing. (Crider Aff. ¶ 11.) After the transfer, a reinvestigation of Plaintiff's disciplinary hearing was ordered to obtain a witness statement from an inmate named “Flex.” (Bond Aff. ¶ 5.) Prison officials were unable to locate an inmate named “Flex” during the investigation. (Id.) After reviewing the evidence, Bond subsequently determined that Plaintiff's finding of guilty related to the November 13, 2014 incident was supported by the evidence. (Id.; see also Hearing Record, Bond Aff. Ex. 1, ECF No. 118-6 at 4-9.) Plaintiff requested several inmate statements and the presence of inmates at the initial hearing, however the record reflects that they were denied on grounds of relevancy. (See Hearing Record, Bond Aff. Ex. 1, ECF No. 118-6 at 9.) As in the initial hearing, Plaintiff indicated his mental health issues, however, there was no documentation in the record to confirm his concerns regarding PTSD. (Bond Aff. ¶ 6; Victor Locklear Aff. ¶ 6, ECF No. 118-16.)

         Evidence submitted in favor of Defendants' summary judgment motion also indicates that Plaintiff, while housed at Bertie, signed a release authorization form so that prison officials could obtain Plaintiff's past medical records. (Release Form, Ex. 1, ECF No. 118-1.) This occurred on August 23, 2016. (Id.) After records were obtained, Plaintiff was transferred to Maury Correctional Institution (“Maury”) to receive mental health treatment. (Transfer, Ex. 2, ECF No. 118-2; see also Pl. Decl. ¶¶ 10-12, ECF No. 108.)

         In support of his motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff has also filed several declarations and affidavits. (See ECF Nos. 71, 91, 92, 108, 111.) Plaintiff reasserts his argument that prison officials were aware of Plaintiff's mental health conditions, thus he should not have been on road squad duty. (See e.g., Pl. Aff. ¶ 3, ECF No. 111.) Plaintiff also asserts that his subsequent transfer to Maury is the “proof” that he was improperly cared for by prison officials. (Id. ¶¶ 1-5.) Plaintiff further affirms to an improper disciplinary hearing whereby Defendants failed to allow Plaintiff's witnesses to testify, and their failure to explain their reasoning for finding him guilty of the assault against another inmate. (Pl. Aff. ¶¶ 34-35, ECF No. 91.) Plaintiff also relies upon several exhibits attached to ...

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