United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
D. WHITNEY, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on a Motion for
Summary Judgment by Defendant Antonio Henderson, (Doc. No.
31), and on Plaintiff's two separate Motions to Strike
Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc. Nos. 34, 36).
Plaintiff Brandon Gerald Steele, a North Carolina state court
inmate currently incarcerated at Central Prison in Raleigh,
North Carolina, filed this action on June 8, 2015, pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on an incident occurring on
February 25, 2015, while Plaintiff was incarcerated at
Lanesboro Correctional Institution in Polkton, North
Carolina. Plaintiff named as Defendants Antonio Henderson,
Renesha Robinson, and Lori Diamond, all alleged to be
correctional officers at Lanesboro at all relevant times.
Plaintiff alleges that officers Henderson and Robinson used
excessive force against him and that officer Diamond was
deliberately indifferent to the use of force, all in
violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. (Doc. No. 1). As
relief, Plaintiff seeks a “preliminary and permanent
injunction ordering the Defendants to cease their physical
violence and torture towards Plaintiff, ” as well as
$40, 000 in compensatory damages against each Defendant
jointly and severally, and $30, 000 in punitive damages.
(Id. at 6).
initial screening, this Court allowed Plaintiff's claims
to go forward against Defendants Henderson and Robinson, but
the Court dismissed Diamond as a party. (Doc. No. 6).
Defendant Robinson, who is no longer employed with the North
Carolina Department of Public Safety (“NCDPS”),
was served but did not answer or otherwise respond. On August
24, 2017, this Court entered a default judgment against
Robinson as to Plaintiff's excessive force claim against
her. (Doc. No. 47).
March 24, 2017, Defendant Henderson filed the pending summary
judgment motion. On April 6, 2017, and then again on May 1,
2017, Plaintiff filed two separate motions to strike various
paragraphs in Defendant's summary judgment motion.
Specifically, Plaintiff seeks to have the Court strike the
portions of the summary judgment motion that refer to
Plaintiff's underlying conviction and disciplinary
infractions that he has incurred while in prison. Plaintiff
contends that his criminal history and infractions are
irrelevant to this excessive force action and are
inadmissible under North Carolina Rule of Evidence 802.
See (Doc. Nos. 34, 36).
April 10, 2017, 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 summary judgment motion and of the manner in
which evidence could be submitted to the Court. (Doc. No.
35). Plaintiff filed a response to the summary judgment
motion on May 1, 2017, along with one of his motions to
strike. (Doc. No. 36). Therefore, this matter is ripe for
The Alleged Excessive Force Incident and the Summary
Complaint and his summary judgment materials, Plaintiff
claims that Defendants Robinson and Henderson used excessive
force against him on February 25, 2015, at approximately 8:15
p.m., while he was an inmate at Lanesboro. He alleges the
following facts in his Complaint and in his sworn affidavit
in response to the summary judgment motion:
night of 2-25-15 I was being escorted to the shower by
Defendant Robinson when a verbal altercation occurred between
the two of us. She threaten[ed] to return and assault me when
she pulled me from the shower. She returned with Defendant
Henderson a short time later to pull me out of the shower.
Defendant Henderson placed the handcuffs on me and opened the
shower door. The second I stepped out of the shower Officer
Robinson began assaulting me and Defendant Henderson placed
me in a choke hold and slammed me onto the concrete floor.
While being held on the floor by Defendant Henderson,
Defendant Robinson stomped and kicked me until other officers
forcefully pulled her off me and restrained and carried her
out of the block. I did not make any lunging move or assault
anyone. I suffer[ed] injury to my lower back and I suffer[ed]
mentally and emotionally from the incident.
(Doc. No. 36 at 16; see also Doc. No. 1 at 6-7).
Plaintiff alleges that a nurse came to assess his injuries
that evening, but he refused medical treatment because he was
afraid to leave his cell. Plaintiff received medical
treatment the following day. (Doc. No. 1 at 7). Plaintiff
alleges that he suffered injuries to his lower back as a
result of Defendant Henderson placing him in a chokehold and
slamming him to the concrete floor. (Doc. No. 33-1 at 6).
Defendant's Summary ...