United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
W. FLANAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter now comes before the court on plaintiff's motion
for an extension of time and to appoint counsel (DE 18),
plaintiff's discovery motions (DE 19, 24, 33, 37, 43),
and defendant's motion for summary judgment (DE 26)
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. The issues
raised have been fully briefed and are ripe for adjudication.
OF THE CASE
August 17, 2016, plaintiff, a state inmate, filed this civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that
Jerry Monette, the Sheriff of Craven County, and William Hoyt
Paramore, his defense attorney, violated his constitutional
rights because they were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical need of diabetes. (Compl. (DE 1) at 5; Pl.
Ex. (DE 3-1)). Specifically, he contends they failed to abide
by a “Safekeeping Order” directing plaintiff to
be transferred for medical reasons. (Compl. (DE 1) at 5).
Plaintiff filed a motion to appoint counsel on September 12,
2016. (DE 9). The court conducted a frivolity review on March
10, 2017 and dismissed Paramore as a defendant from this
action (DE 12). Plaintiff's claims against defendant
Monette survived review. (Id.). The court also
denied plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel.
March 31, 2017, plaintiff renewed his request for the
appointment of counsel, and also requested additional time
“to prepare for [this] case.” (DE 18). The motion
did not request an extension of any specific deadline, and,
moreover, at the time it was filed plaintiff did not have any
pending response deadlines. Thereafter, plaintiff began
filing several motions requesting the production of discovery
(DE 19, 24, 33, 37, 43). These motions largely do not
indicate that plaintiff requested discovery from defendant
and his request was denied, but rather seek discovery
directly from the court. Likewise, the motions do not comply
with Rule 37(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or
Local Civil Rule 7.1(c).
filed the instant motion for summary judgment on July 10,
2017 (DE 26), arguing: 1) plaintiff did not exhaust his
administrative remedies; 2) plaintiff's claims fail on
the merits; and 3) he is entitled to qualified immunity. In
support thereof, defendant attached the following: 1)
affidavit of Lee Thomas; 2) affidavit of Bernadine T.
Johnson; 3) records relevant to plaintiff's
transportation; 4) Safekeeping Orders pertaining to
plaintiff; and 5) affidavit of defendant. (See (DE
29-3)). Thereafter, plaintiff filed a second motion to
appoint counsel (DE 32) and also requested an extension of
time to respond to defendants motion for summary judgment (DE
34). The second motion to appoint counsel was denied (DE 32),
and his request for an extension was granted (DE 35).
Plaintiff filed a timely response to the motion for summary
judgment (DE 31, 38, 39, 40), and defendant filed a
reply (DE 41).
OF THE FACTS
facts viewed in light most favorable to plaintiff may be
summarized as follows.Plaintiff's claims are centered on his
assertion that defendant was deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical need of diabetes. (Compl. (DE 1) at 5).
Specifically, he contends that defendant was aware that
plaintiff needed to be transferred to a facility better
equipped to treat plaintiff's diabetes and refused to do
so. Id. at 5-6.
was incarcerated at Craven County Detention Center
(“CCDC”) from December 8, 2011 until August 25,
2015. Id. at 5. During his incarceration at CCDC, he
required treatment for diabetes. Id. at 5-7. On
April 9, 2014, the Craven County district court issued a
Safekeeping Order, which stated, in relevant part:
The above-named defendant must be held in the North Carolina
Department of Adult Corrections. He has diabetes and it is
currently not able to be controlled and has lost vision. The
Craven County Confinement Facility does not have the
capabilities to properly care for this defendant. The
defendant's medical treatment can best be provided by the
Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public
WHEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED THAT:
the above-named defendant be housed in the North Carolina
Department of Adult Correction where he shall be held until
further order of the Court.
(Pl. Ex. (DE 3-1)).
the standard policy and practice of the Craven County
Sheriff's Office that when a Confinement Facility nurse
or other member of the medical staff indicates that an inmate
needs safekeeping due to a medical condition, the Craven
County Sheriff's Office requests a Safekeeping Order from
the competent court as soon as practicable. (Thomas Aff. (DE
29-1) ¶ 4). Once the Safekeeping Order is issued, the
Craven County Sheriff's Office arranges for transport of
the inmate in accordance with the Safekeeping Order.
(Id. at ¶ 6.).
plaintiff was transported from CCDC to Central prison at 1:00
p.m. on April 9, 2014. (Johnson Aff. (DE 29-2) ¶ 7);
(Def. Ex. A (DE 29-2) at 6). Thereafter, plaintiff was
incarcerated at Central Prison from April 9, 2014 until May
2, 2014. (Def. Ex. C (DE 29-2) at 10). Defendant is not
involved in the day to day operations at CCDC. (Monette Aff.
(DE 29-2) ¶ 4). Likewise, defendant is not personally
involved in the process of arranging for the transportation
of inmates in compliance with Safekeeping Orders.
(Id. ¶ 4). Similarly, he was not specifically
involved with nor does he have any personal knowledge of
plaintiff's transportation on April 9, 2014.
(Id. ¶¶ 5-6).
Motion for Extension of Time and to Appoint Counsel
motion states in its entirety:
To the Honorable Clerk of United States District Court,
Now comes John Marion Huff Jr., Plaintiff proceeding pro se,
and respectfully request more time to prepare for ...