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Miller v. Williamson

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

June 12, 2017

JOHN FRANK MILLER, Plaintiff,
v.
MS. WILLIAMSON, MS. LYNCH, MR. MEADOWS, MR. MOBLEY, and MR. FEMPERSON, Defendants.

          ORDER

          LOUISE W. FLANAGAN United States District Judge

         The matter comes before the court on defendants' motion for summary judgment (DE 64). The issues raised have been fully briefed and are ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons, the court grants defendants' motion.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         For ease of reference the statement of the case as set forth in the court's May 13, 2016, order is as follows:

On November 20, 2014, plaintiff, a state inmate incarcerated at Warren Correctional Institution (“Warren”), filed this action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleged that defendants Ms. Williamson (“Williamson”), Ms. Lynch (“Lynch”), Mr. Meadows (“Meadows”), and Mr. Mobley (“Mobley”) discriminated against him on the basis of his mental health status in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Plaintiff also alleged his rights pursuant to the Due Process Clause were violated in connection with his grievance proceeding and his attempts to obtain employment with the Janitorial Production Plant (“JPP”). Plaintiff then filed a motion to appoint counsel, which the court denied.
On December 11, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion to amend his complaint to provide an address for defendant Lynch and to add as a defendant an individual he identified as Mr. Fesperman. Plaintiff then filed a motion to have North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services provide him assistance with litigating this action, which the court construed as a second motion to appoint counsel. Plaintiff also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a second motion to amend his complaint. In his second motion to amend, plaintiff clarified that the defendant he previously identified as Mr. Fesperman was actually Mr. Femperson.
On May 11, 2015, the court granted plaintiff's motions to amend and directed the clerk of court to add Mr. Femperson as a defendant in this action. The court also allowed plaintiff to proceed with this action, but denied his motions to appoint counsel and for injunctive relief. On June 16, 2015, plaintiff filed a motion requesting a transfer to another facility, which the court denied.
On September 11, 2015, defendants filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) arguing that plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The motion was fully briefed.

(See (DE 37)).

         On May 13, 2016, the court entered an order granting in part and denying in part defendants' motion to dismiss. The court denied defendants' motion as to plaintiff's equal protection claim, but granted the motion as to plaintiff's remaining claims. In June and July of 2016, plaintiff submitted several letters to which plaintiff attached administrative remedy documentation, inmate requests, and a blank JPP application. On August 18, 2016, plaintiff filed a motion to compel defendants to provide him a list of mental health level three inmates employed at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) from July 2014, through the date plaintiff filed the motion. The court granted plaintiff's motion and directed defendants to provide plaintiff with the requested materials. In the interim, plaintiff filed a motion to appoint counsel, which the court denied.

         On September 27, 2016, plaintiff filed a motion requesting a copy of his mental health records from January 2012, through the date he filed the motion. On September 30, 2016, defendants filed a motion for an extension of time to comply with the court's August 18, 2016, discovery order. The court granted defendants' motion, and defendants filed the pertinent discovery materials on October 21, 2016. Then, on October 27, 2016, the court entered an order directing defendants to respond to plaintiff's September 27, 2016, motion requesting a copy of his mental health records. Defendants provided plaintiff with the requested copy of plaintiff's mental health records on November 9, 2016. Because defendants provided plaintiff a copy of his mental health records, the court thereafter denied as moot plaintiff's September 27, 2016, motion.

         On December 20, 2016, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that plaintiff is unable to establish a constitutional violation. Alternatively, defendants assert the affirmative defense of qualified immunity. As part of their motion, defendants filed a Statement of No Material Facts and an Appendix which included the following: affidavits from defendants Williamson and Lynch; an affidavit from nonparty Charles Meadows (“Meadows”), a Correctional Programs Supervisor at Warren Correctional Institution (“Warren”); plaintiff's inmate activity history; excerpts from plaintiff's case management notes; plaintiff's March 16, 2015 Janitorial Products Plant (“JPP”) application; the JPP waiting list; and a grievance. Plaintiff responded to defendants' motion and attached an inmate request to staff dated July 3, 2014. Defendants replied, and attached a supplemental affidavit from defendant Williamson. Plaintiff then filed a sur-reply and attached a grievance response.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS

         Plaintiff's action involves his efforts to obtain a job in the JPP at Warren, where he was transferred on March 20, 2014. (Meadows Aff. ¶ 6). At that time, defendants Williamson and Lynch were Warren's Inmate Assignment Coordinators (“IAC”), and had the responsibility of assigning inmates to facility and enterprise jobs. (Id. ΒΆΒΆ 7, 8). On June 24, 2014, plaintiff was ...


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