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 Christopher Nichols and Darren
Daves. (Doc. 24).
November 8, 2017, pro se Plaintiff Timothy Uzell, an inmate
in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Public
Safety (“NCDPS”), currently incarcerated at
Alexander Correctional Institution (“Alexander”)
in Taylorsville, North Carolina, filed this action, pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming as Defendants Kyle Murray,
Christopher Nichols, Darren Daves, and Owen Blanton, all of
whom are alleged to have been working as correctional
officers at Alexander at all relevant times. Plaintiff
alleges that Defendants used excessive force against him on
March 27, 2015. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages.
September 10, 2018, Defendants Nichols and Daves filed the
pending summary judgment motion. (Doc. 24). On September 13,
2018, 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 motion for summary judgment and of the manner in which
evidence could be submitted to the Court. Plaintiff did not
respond to the summary judgment motion, and the time to do so
has passed. Thus, this matter is ripe for disposition.
unedited allegations of Plaintiff's Complaint are as
On the date of 3/27/2015 at approximately 2 p.m. I was
escorted out of my cell by Lt. Nichols, Officer Daves,
Officer Murray, and Officer Blanton to the upstairs shower.
After Officer Daves secured the shower door by locking it
with me inside he opened the trap door to take the handcuffs
off of me. A brief struggle happened and Officer Blanton
along with Officer Murray and Lt. Nichols helped subdue my
arms while Officer Blanton and Officer Daves held my left
arm. Lt. Nichols and Officer Murray began to bend my fingers
trying to break them. As I began to tell for him to stop Lt.
Nichols said to Officer Murray to not break all of my fingers
just 1 and maybe one more. At that time Officer Murray took
my index finger and began pulling it towards my thumb while
pulling my other 3 fingers in the opposite direction,
splitting the webbing in between my fingers. I had to get
stitches as well as now physical therapy caused by damaged
nerves in my hand from the excessive force that was used. A
violation of my Eighth Amendment.
(Doc. 1 at 3-4).
Defendants' Summary Judgment Materials
support of the summary judgment motion, Defendants rely on
the pleadings and all the attachments to the pleadings,
including but not limited to the following (1) the
Declaration of Lauren Carcioppolo (“Carci
Decl.”); (2) the Declaration of Raymond Hamilton
(“Hamilton Decl.”), a non-party who was employed
as a correctional captain at Alexander and was the
investigating officer with respect to the incident; (3) the
Declaration of Christopher Nichols (“Nichols
Decl.”), a named defendant who was employed as a
correctional lieutenant at Alexander; and (4) the Declaration
of Darren Daves (“Daves Decl.”), a named
defendant who was employed as a correctional officer at
summary judgment materials show that on March 27, 2015, at
approximately 14:00 hours, Lt. Nichols and Officers Daves,
Murray, and Blanton were called to restrictive housing after
Plaintiff smeared feces on his cell wall and the cell window
of his door and refused orders to submit to handcuffs. (Doc.
24-7: Ex. F (p. 1 of Incident Report)). Upon Lt.
Nichols's arrival, he observed what looked and smell like
feces smeared all over Plaintiff's cell window. (Doc.
24-8 at ¶ 12: Nichols Decl.). Lt. Nichols ordered
Plaintiff to clean an area of his window so he could observe