United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
MAURICE J. BRYANT, Plaintiff,
R. MCMANUS and FNU WARNOCK, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER 
POLSTER CHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
This matter comes before the Court on Defendants Lt. R.
McManus', and Sgt. Warnock's Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 45), filed on December 15, 2017. Defendants
filed an Amended Statement of Undisputed Facts (Doc. 49), on
January 9, 2018. Bryant filed his Response in Opposition
(Doc. 52), and Affidavit of Disputed Facts (Doc.
53), on February 21, 2018. Defendants filed a Reply
Brief (Doc. 53), on June 13, 2018. The Motions are briefed
and ripe for the Court's review.
time of the incident which gives rise to this case, Bryant
was an inmate housed at the Charlotte Correctional Institute
(CCI) in Charlotte County, Florida. On Wednesday, September
30, 2015, at sometime between 10:00 pm and 11:45 pm just
after the master count of the inmates in the cell block,
Bryant was attacked by another inmate, Ronnie Walker. During
the master count, cell doors are locked by the officer in the
control booth. Bryant says Walker came to his locked cell
door Walker was beating on his door saying he was going to
kill Bryant. After the count is completed the doors are
unlocked so the inmates may walk around the cell block.
McManus and Sgt. Warnoch were not assigned to Bryant's
cell block but were checking on the count because the cell
block was short staffed. One officer assigned to Bryant's
cell block was out sick on September 30, 2015. There was only
one officer in the control booth overlooking the cell block
during the assault. Bryant observed Lt. McManus and Sgt.
Warnoch out of his window while they were walking towards his
cell block, presumably to help with the count.
yelled for their assistance stating that another inmate was
threatening to kill him. (Doc. 1-1 at 5). Upon arrival in the
cell block, Sgt. Warnoch asked Bryant the problem. Bryant
informed Sgt. Warnoch that an inmate, later determined to be
Ronnie Walker, was threatening to kill him. Lt. McManus and
Sgt. Warnoch asked Bryant who had threatened him and Bryant
responded by pointing to a guy watching TV saying there was
an argument over the television show “Empire.”
However, Bryant did not know Walker's name nor could he
describe Walker to the officers, and the inmate Bryant
pointed to was not Walker. Lt. McManus stated that
Bryant's complaint was nothing and both officers then
left, leaving Bryant's cell door open.
Lt. McManus and Sgt. Warnoch left, Walker approached Bryant
who was standing on the catwalk in front of his cell. Bryant
initially turned to square off and fight Walker. However, he
saw Walker reach into his waistband and pull out something
retreated into his cell and attempted to shut the door as he
believed Walker had a knife. But, Walker pushed his body in
the path of the door and blocked it from being closed. Walker
then stabbed Bryant four times in the left shoulder.
According to Bryant, Lt. McManus and Sgt. Warnoch returned to
his cell within a minute of the attack and broke up the
avers that Lt. McManus and Sgt. Warnoch endangered his safety
by leaving his cell door open after he informed them that an
inmate had threatened to kill him. Bryant filed an informal
grievance on October 14, 2015, and a formal grievance on
November 3, 2015, stating Lt. McManus and Sgt. Warnoch
endangered him and called for the camera video to support his
claims. Bryant filed this suit.
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. The moving party bears the burden of showing
that no genuine issues of material fact remain. Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). A genuine
dispute of material fact exists if “the evidence is
such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). To defeat summary
judgment, the non-movant must “go beyond the pleadings,
and present affirmative evidence to show that a genuine issue
of material fact exists.” Porter v. Ray, 461
F.3d 1315, 1320 (11th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted).
reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the court views the
evidence and all reasonable inferences drawn from the
evidence in the light most favorable to the non-movant.
See Battle v. Bd. of Regents, 468 F.3d 755,
759 (11th Cir. 2006). But “[a] court need not permit a
case to go to a jury . . . when the inferences that are drawn
from the evidence, and upon which the non-movant relies, are
‘implausible.'” Mize v. Jefferson City
Bd. of Educ., 93 F.3d 739, 743 (11th Cir. 1996)
alleges that Lt. McManus and Sgt. Warnoch violated his Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendment rights because they were
deliberately indifferent to his safety before the assault
occurred on September 30, 2015. Although Plaintiff brought
his claim under the Eighth Amendment and the Fourteenth
Amendment, Plaintiff's claim falls under the Eighth
Amendment as the Fourteenth Amendment is applied to pretrial
detainees. Evans v. St. Lucie Cnty Jail, 448
Fed.Appx. 971, 973 (11th Cir. 2011). But the analysis for
deliberate indifference under both the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments is the same. Marsh v Butler Cnty. Ala.,
268 F.3d 1014, 1024 n. 5 (11th Cir. 2001). And Bryant moves
for an injunction against Defendants.
Official Capacity Claims
sues Defendants in their individual and official capacities.
As an initial matter, Defendants are entitled to summary
judgment in their official capacities. A suit against a state
officer in their official capacity is a suit against the
state itself. Will v. Michigan Dep't of State
Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). The Eleventh Amendment
prohibits federal suits for damages against state officials
in their official capacity unless Congress has abrogated the
state's immunity or the state has expressly waived it.
Id. at 66. Bryant agrees that his official capacity
claims are barred by the Eleventh Amendment and therefore,
summary judgment is granted for Defendants on Bryant's
official capacity claims.
Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
avers that he has no plain or adequate relief at law and
therefore moves for declaratory and injunctive relief.
Defendants counter that declaratory relief is not available
because Bryant requests it solely for a past injury which
fails to satisfy the Court's case-or-controversy
the plaintiff seeks declaratory or injunctive relief, the
injury-in-fact requirement insists that a plaintiff
“allege facts from which it appears there is a
substantial likelihood that he will suffer injury in the
future.” Strickland v. Alexander, 772 F.3d
876, 883 (11th Cir. 2014) (quoting Malowney v. Fed.
CollectionDeposit Grp., 193 F.3d 1342, 1346
(11th Cir.1999) (citations omitted)). This is because
injunctions regulate future conduct only; they do not provide
relief for past injuries already incurred and over with. See
Church v. City of Huntsville,30 F.3d 1332, 1337
(11th Cir.1994). So a plaintiff seeking declaratory or