352 F.3d 1346 (11th Cir. 2003), 02-16635, Carter v. Galloway

Docket Nº:02-16635
Citation:352 F.3d 1346
Party Name:Carter v. Galloway
Case Date:December 15, 2003
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Page 1346

352 F.3d 1346 (11th Cir. 2003)

John CARTER, Plaintiff-Appellant,


James GALLOWAY, in his individual capacity, Steve Upton, in his individual capacity, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 02-16635.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

December 15, 2003

Page 1347

Brian Spears, Atlanta, GA, Johnny Roger Dennis, Palmour Law Firm, Summerville, GA, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Bruce M. Edenfield, Gray, Hedrick & Edenfield, LLP, Atlanta, GA, for Defendants-Appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Before EDMONDSON, Chief Judge, COX, Circuit Judge, and PAUL [*], District Judge.


While serving a life sentence in Hays State Prison ("Hays"), Plaintiff John Carter was assaulted and stabbed by his cellmate, Termayne Barnes. Plaintiff brought suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants James Galloway, the Deputy Warden of Security at Hays, and Steve Upton, the Special Management Unit Manager of Hays, for their alleged deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm to Plaintiff in violation of the Eighth Amendment. 1

The district court granted summary judgment for both Defendants. We affirm the judgment of the district court.

I. Background

Plaintiff had been incarcerated at Hays since 1991, serving a life sentence. Hays classified Plaintiff as a medium-security, Level 1 inmate, with no history of violence while in the prison. 2

Plaintiff had been assigned to work in the prison library, having had access to the library's computer. Prison officers learned of potential inappropriate use of the library's computer and initiated investigations, involving several inmates and the prison librarians. Defendant Galloway interviewed Plaintiff about involvement in the computer's misuse; Plaintiff did not fully cooperate with Defendant Galloway's investigations. 3 Thereafter, Defendant Galloway placed Plaintiff on involuntary administrative segregation ("admin seg") pending investigation; Plaintiff was taken to the prison's Special Management Unit. 4

Page 1348

Officer Steve Debord assigned Plaintiff to dorm 2 of Building G in a double-bunked cell that was currently being occupied by Inmate Barnes. 5 Inmate Barnes was assigned to isolation, classified as a close-security, Level 5 inmate. Officer Giles escorted Plaintiff to the cell; and before entering, Plaintiff noticed that Inmate Barnes was pending reclassification to maximum-security status. At that time, Plaintiff asked not to be placed in a room with Inmate Barnes, but Officer Giles denied this request.

After Plaintiff's placement with Inmate Barnes, Inmate Barnes notified Plaintiff of an intention to fake a hanging, part of Inmate Barnes's plan for being transferred to the medical prison. 6 Plaintiff refused to assist Inmate Barnes's plans, and Inmate Barnes informed Plaintiff that Plaintiff would help "one way or another." Plaintiff interprets this statement as having been a verbal threat, and this statement is the only evidence Plaintiff references as such a threat. Inmate Barnes also paced the cell like "a caged animal," threatening correctional officers and orderlies--generally acting in a disorderly manner.

Sometime between 6 May 1999 and 10 May 1999, Plaintiff notified Defendant Galloway that Barnes was acting crazy and planned on faking a hanging. Plaintiff also told of Inmate Barnes's comment that Plaintiff would help in the faked hanging "one way or another." 7

On 10 May 1999, Plaintiff appeared before Defendant Upton for an administrative segregation hearing, where Plaintiff, for the most part, told Upton the same information about Barnes given to Defendant Galloway. Defendant Upton told Plaintiff that no removal would be in order until the library computer investigation came to an end. 8

On 16 May 1999, Inmate Barnes assaulted Plaintiff, stabbing Plaintiff in the stomach with a "shank" (an inmate-made weapon).

Plaintiff filed this lawsuit on 10 May 2001...

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