United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Statesville Division
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER comes before the Court on a Motion for
Summary Judgment by Defendants Stephanie Miller, John Z.
Causby, Kyle Murray, and Phillip Carswell, (Doc. No. 106).
Plaintiff Devin Hyman, a North Carolina inmate incarcerated
at Maury Correctional Institution in Maury, North Carolina,
filed this action on April 15, 2016, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. In the Complaint, filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, Plaintiff alleged that moving Defendants
Stephanie Miller, John Z. Causby, Kyle Murray, and Phillip
Carswell, correctional officers at Alexander Correctional
Institution at all relevant times, used excessive force
against him on February 4, 2016, while Plaintiff was
incarcerated at Alexander.
March 16, 2018, Defendants filed the pending summary judgment
motion. (Doc. No. 106). On March 21, 2018, this Court entered
an order in accordance with Roseboro v. Garrison,
528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975). (Doc. No. 109). Plaintiff filed
a response to the summary judgment motion on April 2, 2018,
and Defendants filed a Reply on April 9, 2018. (Doc. Nos.
to Plaintiff's Complaint, on February 4, 2016, while
Plaintiff was housed at Alexander Correctional Institution,
he got into a verbal altercation with Defendant Miller. (Doc.
No. 1 at 3-4). Defendant Miller then discharged a single
burst of pepper spray. (Id.). Plaintiff struck
Defendant Miller with a closed fist before additional
correctional staff secured him. (Id.). Plaintiff
alleges that after he was fully secured, Defendants Miller,
Murray, and Causby continued to punch, kick, and knee
Plaintiff in the face and upper body. (Id.).
Plaintiff alleges that, after being escorted to the shower
for decontamination of the pepper spray, Defendant Murray
stomped his face into the shower floor. (Id.).
Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Carswell kicked
Plaintiff's side while he was in full restraints in the
shower, and that Defendant Causby repeatedly kneed Plaintiff
in his side and upper body. (Id.).
claims to continue to suffer from head injuries, major
headaches, light-headedness, and vision loss as a result of
the excessive force incident. (Id. at 4). Plaintiff
also claims emotional injury and “emotional tremor,
” which require medications. (Id.). Plaintiff
purports to bring claims against Defendants for excessive
force in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights.
(Id. at 2-3). Plaintiff seeks $75, 000 in damages.
(Id. at 4).
Defendants' Summary Judgment Materials
support of the summary judgment motion, Defendants rely on
the sworn affidavits of Defendant Miller, Defendant Causby,
non-party R. Preston Townsend, and non-party Jeffrey Duncan,
along with exhibits, including videotaped surveillance
footage of the alleged excessive force incident that occurred
outside of the DHO. Defendants' summary judgment evidence
shows the following:
February 4, 2016, Alexander officers attempted to bring
Plaintiff to the Disciplinary Hearing Office
(“DHO”). (Doc. No. 107-1 at ¶ 5: Miller
Aff.; Doc. No. 107-3 at ¶ 5: Causby Aff.; Doc. No. 107-2
at ¶¶ 5-6: Townsend Aff.). Plaintiff refused to
enter the DHO. (Doc. No. 107-1 at ¶ 6; Doc. No. 107-2 at
¶ 7). Defendant Miller stepped out of the DHO into the
hallway to see if the officers needed assistance. Alexander
Unit Manager Townsend instructed Defendant Miller to cuff
Plaintiff and take him to Restrictive Housing. (Doc. No.
107-1 at ¶ 7; Doc. No. 107-2 at ¶ 8). Plaintiff had
indicated that he wanted to go on Self-Injurious Behavior
(“SIB”) precautions because he had thoughts of
hurting himself. (Doc. No. 107-1 at ¶ 8; Doc. No. 107-2
at ¶ 9; Doc. No. 107-3 at ¶ 5). Defendant Miller
informed Plaintiff that if he wanted to go on SIB
precautions, he would have to be placed in hand restraints.
(Doc. No. 107-1 at ¶ 9).
Miller told Plaintiff to submit to restraints, and Plaintiff
refused. (Doc. No. 107-1 at ¶ 10; Doc. No. 107-2 at
¶ 9; Doc. No. 107-3 at ¶ 5). Defendant Miller then
pulled over a plastic chair and ordered Plaintiff to sit in
the chair and submit to handcuffs. Plaintiff continued to
refuse to submit to hand restraints. (Doc. No. 107-1 at
¶¶ 11-13; Doc. No. 107-2 at ¶ 10). At that
time, Defendant Miller administered a short burst of pepper
spray to Plaintiff's face. (Doc. No. 107-1 at ¶ 14;
Doc. No. 107-3 at ¶ 7). Plaintiff lunged at Defendant
Miller and swung at her with a closed fist, striking her in
the forehead. (Doc. No. 107-1 at ¶ 15; Doc. No. 107-3 at
¶ 9). Defendant Causby drew his baton, but was unable to
strike Plaintiff, who was surrounded by other staff members.
(Doc. No. 107-3 at ...