United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
ADRIAN A. MILES, TDCJ-CID #292396 Plaintiff,
TDCJ-CID, et al, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND OPINION
VANESSA D. GILMORE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
A. Miles, an inmate of the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice-Correctional Institutions Division
("TDCJ-CID"), filed this civil rights lawsuit in
February 2015, against prison officials, alleging that the
defendants used excessive force, denied him the Ramadan meal,
and fabricated disciplinary charges. Proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis, Miles sues Eleazar J.
Galvez, sergeant; Robert M. LeBlanc, correctional officer
III; Andrew L. Allen, lieutenant; Dennis B. Mitchell,
sergeant; Jimmie L. Bailey, counsel substitute; and Michael
Britt, disciplinary captain.
Galvez, LeBlanc, Allen, Mitchell, Bailey, and Britt have
moved for summary judgment. (Docket Entry No. 36). Miles
responded. (Docket Entry No. 41). Based on the pleadings, the
motion, the summary judgment record, and the applicable law,
this court grants the motion for summary judgment filed by
the defendants. The reasons for this ruling are stated below.
The Allegations in the Complaint
10, 2014, at 11:00 pm., Miles asked Officer LeBlanc to call a
sergeant. Miles wished to inform the sergeant that his name
had been removed from the list of Muslim inmates who were
authorized to receive the Ramadan meal. Miles asserts that
when Sergeant Galvez arrived at Miles's cell, Sergeant
Galvez began using various racial slurs against Miles. Miles
then asked Sergeant Galvez to speak with Lieutenant Allen.
Sergeant Galvez responded that, "Your black ass not
seeing no one else." Miles responded that if he were to
set a fire, Lieutenant Allen would come and investigate.
Sergeant Galvez replied, "How about if I was to just gas
your black punk ass."
Galvez then ordered Officer LeBlanc to open the food slot,
and Sergeant Galvez began spraying Miles with a chemical
agent. Miles backed away from the cell doors as the chemical
agent began to burn his eyes. Miles tried to wash the
chemical agent. Sergeant Galvez sprayed Miles for a second
time. This time the chemical spray covered Miles's back,
head, and other personal property. Sergeant Galvez called for
assistance, and other officers arrived with a video camera.
asserts that Sergeant Mitchell was in charge of conducting
the major use of force investigation. Miles was escorted to
the infirmary. The nurse informed Miles that Sergeant Galvez
claimed that Miles had tried to cut himself. Sergeant Galvez
also told the nurse that Miles had reported feeling suicidal.
When the nurse asked to see the cut, Miles explained that
Sergeant Galvez had falsely claimed that Miles had tried to
cut himself in order to justify using the chemical agent.
Miles told the nurse that he was not feeling suicidal.
states that he was returned to his cell. Miles told Sergeant
Mitchell that the sink was not working and he was unable to
rinse off. Sergeant Mitchell said he would talk to Lieutenant
Allen. Miles asserts that water to his shower was not
restored until the following day. Miles was forced to wash
himself with the water from the toilet. Miles asked to be
moved to a cell with running water. Miles states that he
remained in the same cell and inhaled the fumes from the
chemical agent. He further states that the water from the
shower was very hot, and it burned his skin.
states that on July 18, 2014, counsel substitute Bailey
served him with a copy of the disciplinary charges. After
hearing Miles's statement, counsel substitute Bailey
realized that the disciplinary charge did not match with
Sergeant Galvez's report. As a result, counsel substitute
Bailey rewrote the disciplinary charge to reflect that Miles
had only tried to cut himself, instead of actually cutting
himself. Miles claims that counsel substitute Bailey and
Captain Britt conspired to change the disciplinary charge.
Based on Sergeant Galvez's testimony, Miles was found
guilty and punished with cell restriction for 30 days;
commissary restriction for 45 days; loss of 30 days good time
credit; and an order to remain at good time earning class
status Line 3.
alleges that Sergeant Galvez charged him with a disciplinary
violation in retaliation for the grievances Miles filed
against other officers. Miles complains that Captain Britt
refused to allow Miles to call witnesses. Miles states that
he is legally blind and in the blind program at the Estelle
Unit. Miles alleges that he was placed in a cell without
water because he is blind.
seeks compensatory damages and punitive damages.
The Motion for Summary Judgment
The Legal Standard
judgment is appropriate if no genuine issue of material fact
exists and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). "The movant bears the
burden of identifying those portions of the record it
believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact." Triple Tee Golf, Inc. v. Nike,
Inc., 485 F.3d 253, 261 (5th Cir. 2007) (citing
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-25
(1986)). If the burden of proof at trial lies with the
nonmoving party, the movant may satisfy its initial burden by
"'showing'- that is, pointing out to the
district court - that there is an absence of evidence to
support the nonmoving party's case." See
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325. While the party moving for
summary judgment must demonstrate the absence of a genuine
issue of material fact, it does not need to negate the
elements of the nonmovant's case. Boudreaux v. Swift
Transp. Co., 402 F.3d 536, 540 (5th Cir. 2005) (citation
omitted). "A fact is 'material' if its
resolution in favor of one party might affect the outcome of
the lawsuit under governing law." Sossamon v. Lone
Star State of Tex., 560 F.3d 316, 326 (5th Cir. 2009)
(quotation omitted). "If the moving party fails to meet
[its] initial burden, the motion [for summary judgment] must
be denied, regardless of the nonmovant's response."
United States v. $92, 203.00 in U.S. Currency, 537
F.3d 504, 507 (5th Cir. 2008) (quoting Little v. Liquid
Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994) (en
the moving party has met its Rule 56(c) burden, the nonmoving
party cannot survive a summary judgment motion by resting on
the mere allegations of its pleadings. The nonmovant must
identify specific evidence in the record and articulate how
that evidence supports that party's claim. Baranowski
v. Hart, 486 F.3d 112, 119 (5th Cir. 2007). "This
burden will not be satisfied by 'some metaphysical doubt
as to the material facts, by conclusory allegations, by
unsubstantiated assertions, or by only a scintilla of
evidence.'" Boudreaux, 402 F.3d at 540
(quoting Little, 37 F.3d at 1075). In deciding a
summary judgment motion, the court draws all reasonable
inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party. Connors v. Graves, 538 F.3d 373, 376 (5th
The Summary Judgment Evidence
provide the following summary judgment evidence:
1. Relevant portions of Miles's TDCJ grievance records
(App. at 3-43).
2. Relevant portions of Miles's TDCJ Classification and