United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
Robert S. Ballard, Plaintiff,
Dennis Daniels, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & RECOMMENDATION
T. NUMBERS, II UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Robert S. Ballard filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.
§ 12101, et seq. (“ADA”). This
matter is currently before the court on defendants'
motion for summary judgment (D.E. 38). After reviewing the
parties' submissions, the undersigned recommends that the
district court allow the motion in part and deny the motion
filed his complaint in June 2016, describing actions that
took place at Maury Correctional Institution
(“Maury”) (D.E. 1). In March 2017 United States
District Judge James C. Dever III dismissed Ballard's ADA
claims and requests for injunctive relief (D.E. 11). Judge
Dever also directed Ballard to particularize the allegations
relating to his § 1983 claims. Id. at 6.
filed an amended complaint in May 2017 (D.E. 16). Except for
Defendants Dennis Daniels and R. Watson, Ballard says he is
suing defendants in both their individual and official
capacities. Id. at 3-6. Judge Dever reviewed the
amended complaint, reiterating the frivolity of Ballard's
ADA claims and requests for injunctive relief (D.E. 17).
Judge Dever allowed Ballard to proceed with “his
section 1983 cell-condition claims against defendants
Daniels, Watson, Moore, Shields, Mullins, and Goodman, and
with his section 1983 claim that he was left to lay on the
floor for several days against defendants Officer Taylor and
Nurse Magana.” Id. at 3.
filed this motion for summary judgment in May 2018 (D.E. 38).
The motion seeks dismissal of ADA claims already dismissed by
Judge Dever. See Def. Mem. at 1, D.E. 39. The Defendants
spend little time on Ballard's Eighth Amendment claims.
To the extent they do address the Eighth Amendment claims,
they argue that they entitled to a judgment in their favor
under the doctrines of qualified, sovereign, and Eleventh
Amendment immunities. Ballard filed many responses to the
motion (D.E. 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50), defendants replied
(D.E. 51), and Ballard sur-replied (D.E. 52).
who is confined to a wheelchair, alleges that he correctional
officials placed him in a non-handicapped cell for 45 days as
part of a disciplinary infraction. Am. Compl. at 7, D.E. 16.
Ballard alleges that he fell out of his wheelchair onto the
concrete floor and laid there for several days after no one
assisted him back into his wheelchair. Id. at 7.
Ballard injured his left hip during this fall. Id.
Ballard also alleges that he was exposed to unconstitutional
conditions of confinement because the bathrooms and showers
were not wheelchair-accessible. Id. at 7-8. Finally,
Ballard alleges that the cell was “not . . . cleaned in
45 days, ” and he was “forced to lay on . . . the
same dirty sheets for 45 days.” Id. at 8.
Standard of Review
judgment is appropriate when an examination of the pleadings,
affidavits, and other proper discovery materials before the
court shows that “there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact, ” thus entitling the moving party to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see
Tolan v. Cotton, 572 U.S. 650, 656-57 (2014). In making
this determination, “the nonmoving party's evidence
is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be
drawn in that party's favor.” News &
Observer Publ'g Co. v. Raleigh-Durham Airport Auth.,
597 F.3d 570, 576 (4th Cir. 2010) (quoting Hunt v.
Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 552 (1999)); accord
Tolan, 134 S.Ct. at 1866.
movant carries the initial burden of showing that no genuine
issue of material fact exists. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986). A fact is
“material” if proof of its existence or
non-existence might affect the outcome of the litigation.
See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
248 (1986). And a factual dispute is “genuine” if
“the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id.
The movant discharges this burden by identifying “an
absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's
case.” Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 325. In
response, the non-movant must identify specific facts showing
there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 323. In
so doing, the non-movant may rely on a verified complaint
when allegations in the document are based on personal
knowledge. Williams v. Griffin, 952 F.2d 820, 823
(4th Cir. 1991). Conclusory allegations and speculation do
not suffice. Thompson v. Potomac Elec. Power Co.,
312 F.3d 645, 649 (4th Cir. 2002). If the non-movant fails to
introduce evidence contradicting a fact supported by the
movant's evidence, the court may “consider the fact
undisputed for summary judgment purposes.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(e)(2). If the non-movant fails to meet his burden, summary
judgment must be granted. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322.
noted, defendants seek summary judgment on Ballard's ADA
claims. Judge Dever has already dismissed these claims. (D.E.
11, 16). Thus, the district court should deny ...