United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
W. FLANAGAN United States District Judge
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.
OF THE CASE
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)).
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.
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.
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.
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.
¶¶ 7, 8). On June 24, 2014, plaintiff was ...