64 F.3d 365 (8th Cir. 1995), 94-3702, Earnest v. Courtney

Docket Nº94-3702.
Citation64 F.3d 365
Party NameRicky EARNEST, Appellant, v. Nuby G. COURTNEY; Kelvin L. Murphy; Shirley McCoy, Appellees.
Case DateAugust 23, 1995
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 365

64 F.3d 365 (8th Cir. 1995)

Ricky EARNEST, Appellant,


Nuby G. COURTNEY; Kelvin L. Murphy; Shirley McCoy, Appellees.

No. 94-3702.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 23, 1995

Submitted Aug. 9, 1995.

Page 366

Ricky Earnest, pro se.

Clementine Infante, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

Before WOLLMAN, MAGILL and HANSEN, Circuit Judges.


Ricky Earnest, an Arkansas inmate, appeals the district court's 1 grant of summary judgment to defendant prison officials in his 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 action. We affirm.

Earnest had a major disciplinary written against him by Work Release Supervisor Shirley McCoy, charging him with gambling after Earnest and other inmates were caught with a football pool. The next day, Earnest filed a grievance against McCoy. Earnest alleged that the following day he was questioned about the grievance and the football pool by Assistant Warden Kelvin L. Murphy. On that same day, Murphy reduced Earnest's charge to a minor disciplinary. Earnest was subsequently found guilty on the disciplinary based on McCoy's disciplinary report and information provided by confidential informants. He was sentenced to two hours extra duty by the hearing officer, and reassigned from community service employment to the utility work squad for thirty days. Earnest alleged that Warden Nuby G. Courtney, Murphy, and McCoy violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights because his reassignment from his community service employment to the utility work squad was in retaliation for his grievance against McCoy. He also alleged that his assignment to the utility work squad violated his Eighth Amendment rights because of the conditions in which he was forced to work.

Defendants moved for summary judgment. They submitted a copy of the major disciplinary citation written by McCoy and the affidavits of each of the defendants. In her affidavit, McCoy attested that in determining Earnest ran the football pool, she questioned all the inmates named in the pool and "several" confidential informants.

The district court granted summary judgment to defendants, concluding that Earnest was precluded from arguing he had been retaliated against, because he had been convicted of a disciplinary that was supported by some evidence. The court relied on McCoy's affidavit and disciplinary report to determine that the confidential informants' information was sufficiently reliable and constituted...

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