Miller v. King, No. 02-13348.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtHull
Citation384 F.3d 1248
PartiesTracy MILLER, Plaintiff-Appellant, United States of America, Intervenor, v. Ronald KING, Defendant-Appellee, Wayne Garner, The State of Georgia, The Georgia Department of Corrections, Johnny Sikes, Defendants.
Decision Date14 September 2004
Docket NumberNo. 02-13348.
384 F.3d 1248
Tracy MILLER, Plaintiff-Appellant,
United States of America, Intervenor,
v.
Ronald KING, Defendant-Appellee,
Wayne Garner, The State of Georgia, The Georgia Department of Corrections, Johnny Sikes, Defendants.
No. 02-13348.
United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.
September 14, 2004.

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Gordon L. Hamrick, IV (Court-Appointed), Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore, LLP, Atlanta, GA, for Miller.

David Victor Weber, Martinez, GA, David E. Lansford, Atlanta, GA, for King.

Sarah E. Harrington, Kevin Russell, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC, for Intervenor.

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

Before CARNES, HULL and HILL, Circuit Judges.

HULL, Circuit Judge:


Plaintiff Tracy Miller ("Miller"), a paraplegic state prisoner, appeals the grant of summary judgment on his Eighth-Amendment claims brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and his disability-discrimination claims brought under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12165 ("ADA").

After review and oral argument, we reverse as to Miller's: (1) Eighth-Amendment claims under § 1983 for monetary damages against defendant Sikes in his individual capacity; (2) Eighth-Amendment claims under § 1983 for injunctive relief against defendant Sikes in his official capacity; and (3) ADA claims for injunctive relief against defendant Sikes in his official capacity. We affirm as to Miller's ADA claims for monetary damages as to

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all defendants and as to all other claims against all defendants.

I. BACKGROUND

Miller is a paraplegic, wheelchair-bound inmate at Georgia State Prison ("GSP") in Reidsville, Georgia. Miller suffers from complete paralysis in his right leg, partial paralysis in his left leg, and a neurogenic bladder condition that causes urinary incontinence. At GSP, Miller is housed in disciplinary isolation in the "K-Building," which is designated a "high maximum" security section of the prison. As a result of more than 180 disciplinary reports, Miller has been held in isolation in the K-Building since at least 1998, and is due to remain in isolation for a total of more than eight years. Able-bodied inmates in disciplinary isolation are housed in less stringent units than the "high maximum" security K-Building. Because K-Building cells are so small and not accommodated for the wheelchair-bound, prison policy calls for beds to be removed daily so that the wheelchair-bound inmates have some minimal area within which to move around their cells.1

A. Complaint

Miller originally filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Ronald King, the Hearing Officer for the Office of Inmate Discipline at GSP, and Wayne Garner, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections ("GDOC"), in their official and individual capacities. The original complaint alleged that the defendants had deprived Miller of various due-process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, including the right to present witnesses in his disciplinary hearings. Miller also alleged that the defendants had placed him in isolation because he is disabled and in retaliation for his filing suits.

Miller subsequently amended his complaint to add as defendants the State of Georgia, the GDOC, and GSP Warden Johnny Sikes, in his official and individual capacities. Miller also added disability-discrimination claims under Title II of the ADA, retaliation claims under the First Amendment, and cruel-and-unusual-punishment claims under the Eighth Amendment. Miller's complaint (as amended, the "Complaint") sought monetary and injunctive relief.

Regarding his Eighth-Amendment and ADA claims, Miller's Complaint essentially makes the following claims against the defendants: (1) that there is no room in his small cell for him to maneuver his wheelchair, making him immobile and restrained for extended periods of time and that this problem is exacerbated by GSP staff's failure to remove his bed from his cell daily, as prison policy requires for wheelchair-bound inmates; (2) that the showers and toilets in the K-Building are not wheelchair-accessible, that he has been denied the opportunity to bathe regularly and to obtain basic hygiene, and that GSP staff have not provided him necessary urine catheters or assistance in using portable toilets, resulting in Miller's urination and defecation on himself; and (3) that GSP officials and staff have ignored his medical complaints, failed to provide him with rudimentary medical devices required for his paraplegic condition, including leg braces, orthopedic shoes, a wheelchair-accessible van, and wheelchair repairs, and failed to provide him with required medical care,

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including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medical evaluation for his spinal condition, resulting in bed sores, serious atrophy, and deterioration of his spinal condition. As additional ADA claims, Miller asserts that he has been denied basic privileges provided to able-bodied inmates in isolation, including removal from isolation for one day after each thirty-day isolation period, and participation in "yard call" and "gym call" during each such removal day.2

Miller alleges that GSP officials and staff, including Warden Sikes personally, were aware of his paraplegic condition, the inhumane conditions of his confinement and his serious medical needs, and were deliberately indifferent to those conditions and needs. On these bases, Miller seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief under § 1983 and Title II of the ADA.

B. Preliminary Injunction Hearing

Miller filed numerous motions for emergency preliminary injunctions. The magistrate judge conducted a hearing at which Miller, several inmates, and prison officials testified. We review that evidence because Miller relies on it in this appeal.

During the hearing, Clarence Downs, a GSP prisoner housed in the K-Building with Miller, testified that he had observed correctional officers using excessive force against Miller, that officers at times shut off the water to Miller's cell for days at a time, that Miller's cell was not large enough to maneuver a wheelchair, and that prison staff did not remove beds from cells during the day to make the cells wheelchair-accessible. The magistrate judge admitted into evidence a letter from J. Philip Ferraro, GDOC Assistant Director of Legal Services, a copy of which was provided to Warden Sikes, stating that "the beds for disabled prisoners in restricted quarters are removed during the day to ensure they have enough room to maneuver their wheelchairs in their cells." During the hearing, Miller emphasized that his bed was not removed from his cell daily as required by GDOC policies.

Dr. Carolyn Mailloux, the GSP medical director, testified that Miller was able to stand on his own and maneuver for short periods of time, and that while Miller would not necessarily require a "wheelchair with legs," it would be beneficial to him. Although Dr. Mailloux requested various medical consultations and treatments for Miller, Miller never received the prescribed consultations or treatments because each time either Miller refused or GSP Utilization Management did not approve the visits. Dr. Mailloux acknowledged that Miller had experienced some muscle atrophy. However, Dr. Mailloux testified that medical staff examined Miller shortly before or after he was placed in disciplinary isolation, that Miller's cell was wheelchair-accessible, that she was not aware that the prison staff had ever refused Miller medical treatment, and that Miller's life was not in imminent danger due to lack of medical treatment at the prison. She further testified that Miller had not received physical therapy because he refused to go to a prerequisite consultation, and that Miller could travel in a regular van without any special accommodations.

While able-bodied inmates in isolation are housed elsewhere, Warden Sikes testified that Miller was housed in the K-Building because of its wheelchair accessibility to the shower and the yard. Sikes testified that Miller was moved to the K-Building from the infirmary because he proved a continual distraction to both staff and inmates in the infirmary, and that the K-Building's accommodations were reasonable

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under those circumstances. According to Warden Sikes, there was no other place where other isolation inmates were housed that would be wheelchair-accessible for Miller. With regard to Miller's isolation time, Warden Sikes acknowledged that Miller on one occasion had not been removed after thirty days of isolation, but testified that the failure to remove Miller was due to an oversight on that single occasion.

Reginald Ford, a correctional officer at GSP, testified that on one occasion he responded to Miller's complaint of a back injury, but the medical staff did not respond immediately. GSP staff physician Dr. Thomas Lowry testified that he had on one occasion attempted to treat Miller for back pain, but Miller refused. Dr. Lowry testified that Miller met the criteria for an assisted-living facility at Augusta State Medical Prison, but that, to his knowledge, Miller had received reasonable medical care at GSP.

Next, Visol Smith, a correctional unit manager at GSP, testified that the medical staff had evaluated Miller after he complained about his back injury. According to Smith, prison staff cleaned Miller's cell and brought food trays to his bed, and because the staff was able to accommodate Miller's disability, the K-Building was appropriate housing for Miller. Smith did testify, however, that the bed was not removed from Miller's cell on a daily basis to allow Miller more room for his wheelchair, although there were plans to begin doing so.

Finally, defendant King, the GSP hearing officer, testified that most inmates are...

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  • Campbell v. Thomas, CASE NO. 2:10-CV-694-WC [WO]
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • September 25, 2013
    ...957 F.2d 548, 849 (11th Cir. 1992). See also Cook v. Sheriff of Monroe Cnty, Fla., 402 F.3d 1092, 1116 (11th Cir. 2005); Miller v. King, 384 F.3d 1248, 1261 (11th Cir. 2004); Gonzalez v. Reno, 325 F.3d 1228, 1234 (11th Cir. 2003); Hartley v. Parnell, 193 F.3d 1263, 1269 (11th Cir. 1999); Ad......
  • Lyttle v. United States, CASE NO. 4:11-CV-152 (CDL)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Georgia
    • March 31, 2012
    ...§ 504 of the Rehabilitation Act does not provide for individual capacity suits against government officials. E.g., Miller v. King, 384 F.3d 1248, 1277 (11th Cir. 2004), vacated on other grounds in 449 F.3d 1149 (2006). For the same reasons the Court dismisses this claim as to the official c......
  • McReynolds ex rel. D.M. v. Ala. Dept. Youth Serv., 2:04-CV-850-MEF.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • March 28, 2006
    ...are the equivalent of the state and are consequently protected from damages actions brought under Title I of the ADA. See Miller v. King, 384 F.3d 1248, 1264 n. 16 (11th Cir.2004). Lastly, the Plaintiff cannot sustain her claims against the officer Defendants in their individual capacities ......
  • Cochran v. Pinchak, No. 02-1047.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • March 15, 2005
    ...Five months after Lane was handed down, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit refused to extend its teachings in Miller v. King, 384 F.3d 1248 (11th Cir.2004). Like the case at bar, this was a prison case that involved an inmate with The court held that Congress did not properly abr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
165 cases
  • Campbell v. Thomas, CASE NO. 2:10-CV-694-WC [WO]
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • September 25, 2013
    ...957 F.2d 548, 849 (11th Cir. 1992). See also Cook v. Sheriff of Monroe Cnty, Fla., 402 F.3d 1092, 1116 (11th Cir. 2005); Miller v. King, 384 F.3d 1248, 1261 (11th Cir. 2004); Gonzalez v. Reno, 325 F.3d 1228, 1234 (11th Cir. 2003); Hartley v. Parnell, 193 F.3d 1263, 1269 (11th Cir. 1999); Ad......
  • Lyttle v. United States, CASE NO. 4:11-CV-152 (CDL)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Georgia
    • March 31, 2012
    ...§ 504 of the Rehabilitation Act does not provide for individual capacity suits against government officials. E.g., Miller v. King, 384 F.3d 1248, 1277 (11th Cir. 2004), vacated on other grounds in 449 F.3d 1149 (2006). For the same reasons the Court dismisses this claim as to the official c......
  • McReynolds ex rel. D.M. v. Ala. Dept. Youth Serv., 2:04-CV-850-MEF.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Middle District of Alabama
    • March 28, 2006
    ...are the equivalent of the state and are consequently protected from damages actions brought under Title I of the ADA. See Miller v. King, 384 F.3d 1248, 1264 n. 16 (11th Cir.2004). Lastly, the Plaintiff cannot sustain her claims against the officer Defendants in their individual capacities ......
  • Cochran v. Pinchak, No. 02-1047.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • March 15, 2005
    ...Five months after Lane was handed down, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit refused to extend its teachings in Miller v. King, 384 F.3d 1248 (11th Cir.2004). Like the case at bar, this was a prison case that involved an inmate with The court held that Congress did not properly abr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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