United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY
C. Nivison, U.S. Magistrate Judge.
action, Plaintiff, an inmate at the Maine State Prison,
alleges that Defendants, officials with the prison,
impermissibly fined him and subjected him to excessive force.
(Complaint, ECF No. 1; Amendments to Complaint, ECF No. 12.)
The matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion for
summary judgment. (Motion, ECF No. 24.)
a review of the summary judgment record and after
consideration of the parties' arguments, I recommend the
Court grant in part and deny in part Defendants' motion.
29, 2018, Plaintiff filed a complaint against more than
twenty defendants alleging cruel and unusual punishment,
violations of procedural due process, and unlawful search and
seizure. (Complaint, ECF No. 1.) On July 19, 2018, Plaintiff
amended his complaint to add claims based on an alleged use
of excessive force and retaliation. (Amendments to Complaint,
ECF No. 12; Order, ECF No. 13.)
October 12, 2018, the Court dismissed most of the claims
against most of the named defendants. (Order, ECF No. 17.)
The Court determined, however, that Plaintiff's
allegations against Defendants Abbott, Theriault, Bueno,
Blakely, and Ross regarding the imposition of a $100 fine
following a disciplinary proceeding could proceed.
(Id.) The Court also permitted Plaintiff to
continue, at least initially, on his excessive force claim
against Defendant Horton and on his retaliation claim against
Defendants Horton and Chadwick. (Id.) The Court
ordered Plaintiff to provide information regarding his
efforts to exhaust the available administrative remedies.
November 20, 2018, Plaintiff filed records of his efforts in
connection with the prison grievance process. (Grievance
Records, ECF No. 18-1.) On November 27, 2018, the Court
concluded that Plaintiff could pursue his claims based on the
$100 fine and excessive force, but the Court dismissed the
retaliation claim because Plaintiff did not produce evidence
that he exhausted the available remedies for that claim.
(Order, ECF No. 19.)
filed their motion for summary judgment on February 12, 2019.
(Motion, ECF No. 24.)
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “After the moving party has
presented evidence in support of its motion for summary
judgment, ‘the burden shifts to the nonmoving party,
with respect to each issue on which he has the burden of
proof, to demonstrate that a trier of fact reasonably could
find in his favor.'” Woodward v. Emulex
Corp., 714 F.3d 632, 637 (1st Cir. 2013) (quoting
Hodgens v. Gen. Dynamics Corp., 144 F.3d 151, 158
(1st Cir. 1998)). A court reviews the factual record in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party, resolving
evidentiary conflicts and drawing reasonable inferences in
the non-movant's favor. Perry v. Roy, 782 F.3d
73, 77 (1st Cir. 2015). If a court's review of the record
reveals evidence sufficient to support findings in favor of
the non-moving party on one or more of his claims, a
trial-worthy controversy exists and summary judgment must be
denied as to any supported claim. Id. (“The
district court's role is limited to assessing whether
there exists evidence such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” (internal
quotation marks omitted)). Unsupported claims are properly
dismissed. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
presented with a summary judgment motion, a court ordinarily
considers only the facts included in the parties'
statements of material facts, which statements must be
supported by citations to evidence of record. Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56(c) and District of Maine Local Rule 56(b)
- (d) require the specific citation to record evidence. In
addition, Local Rule 56 establishes the manner by which
parties must present their factual statements and the
evidence on which the statements depend. A party's pro se
status does not relieve the party of the obligation to comply
with the court's procedural rules. Ruiz Rivera
v. Riley, 209 F.3d 24, 27 - 28 & n. 2 (1st Cir.
2000); Marcello v. Maine, 489 F.Supp.2d 70, 77 (D.
rule, a party seeking summary judgment must file, in addition
to its summary judgment motion, a supporting statement of
material facts setting forth each fact in a separately
numbered paragraph, with each factual statement followed by a
citation to evidence of record that supports the factual
statement. D. Me. Loc. R. 56(b). A party opposing a motion
for summary judgment must file an opposing statement in which
it admits, denies, or qualifies the moving party's
statements by reference to each numbered paragraph, with
citations to supporting evidence, and in which it may set
forth additional facts, in separately numbered paragraphs,
with citation to supporting evidence. D. Me. Loc. R. 56(c).
If an additional statement is introduced by the non-moving
party, the moving party must file a reply statement in which
it admits, denies, or qualifies the non-moving party's
additional statements by reference to each numbered
paragraph, with citations to supporting evidence. D. Me. Loc.
contained in a supporting or opposing statement of material
facts, if supported by record citations as required by this
rule, shall be deemed admitted unless properly
controverted.” D. Me. Loc. R. 56(f). Additionally,
“[t]he court may disregard any statement of fact not
supported by a specific citation to record material properly
considered on summary judgment.” Id. Finally,
“[t]he court shall have no independent duty to search
or consider any part of the record not specifically
referenced in the parties' separate statement of
the factual assertions contained in the verified pleadings
and affidavits filed by a pro se litigant generally will be
considered in the review of a summary judgment motion. That
is, where a pro se litigant has failed to comply strictly
with the summary judgment rules, this Court has considered
the sworn assertions of record. See Clarke v. Blais,
473 F.Supp.2d 124, 128 - 30 (D. Me. 2007) (“The First
Circuit has not addressed this notice debate directly, but
has said, in the summary judgment context, that unrepresented
plaintiffs' opposing affidavits and opposition papers are
to be read ‘liberally.'” (citing Posadas
de Puerto Rico, Inc. v. Radin, 856 F.2d 399,
401 (1st Cir. 1988), and Mas Marques v. Digital Equip.
Corp., 637 F.2d 24, 27 (1st Cir. 1980)); Demmons v.
Tritch, 484 F.Supp.2d 177, 182 - 83 (D. Me. 2007).