Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Thompson v. Klimek

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

September 28, 2017

JOSH KLIMEK, Unit Manager; DIANE ROMKEMA, Manager; JERRAME LARSEN, D-H-O Hearing Officer; and LEE KAUFENBERG, Correctional Officer, Defendants.



         Plaintiff, Terry L. Thompson, filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The case was referred to Magistrate Judge Veronica Duffy under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) for a report and recommendation on several motions, including defendants' motion for summary judgment (Docket 52), Thompson's motion for relief from order (Docket 68), Thompson's motion supporting factual positions (Docket 77), and Thompson's motions for preliminary injunction (Docket 79, 81, 85).

         On August 18, 2017, the magistrate judge submitted her report and recommended that defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted and Thompson's pending motions be denied as moot. Docket 95. Thompson filed his objection (Docket 97) to the report and recommendation (Docket 95) on September 25, 2017. Thompson also filed a motion requesting updated documents. (Docket 98). For the reasons below, Magistrate Judge Duffy's report and recommendation is adopted as supplemented by this order and Thompson's remaining motions are denied as moot.


         Thompson is currently an inmate at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A factual background was compiled by Magistrate Judge Duffy in her report and recommendation. Docket 95. The court will utilize those facts as relevant in the discussion section below.

         In addition to the facts in the report and recommendation, Thompson alleges that during the months of December 2015 and January 2016, D-H-O Officer Jerrame Larsen was “doing coordinated drops” of synthetic marijuana in the Mike Durfee State Prison. Docket 97. Thompson alleges that he went to case manager Diane Romkema to tell her about the drugs going around the prison and offer his assistance. Id. Thompson alleges that he offered to ask individuals using marijuana where they were getting drugs. Id. Thompson alleges that he, along with other Native American inmates, asked individuals who they got their drugs from and D-H-O Jerrame Larsen's name came up as the person doing “coordinated drops.” Id. As a result, Thompson alleges that he got in trouble and was placed in the SHU in retaliation. Id. Defendant Jerrame Larsen presided over the disciplinary hearing that gave Thompson sixty days in the SHU. Docket 55 at pp. 4-5.

         Thompson also objects to the facts in the report and recommendation because it excluded the reason for several of his actions. First, Thompson claims he approached Registered Nurse Rachel Pravecek, because he claims he was in fear for his life due to his heart condition. Thompson claims that he only smiled and tried to be nice to R.N. Pravecek. Second, Thompson claims he asked for Correctional Officer Beach because she treats everyone as equal and has respect for inmates. Furthermore, Thompson claims that during this time he was still under the influence of anesthesia and morphine following his pacemaker surgery.


         The court's review of a magistrate judge's report and recommendation is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Rule 72 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The court reviews de novo any objections to the magistrate judge's recommendations with respect to dispositive matters that are timely made and specific. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). In conducting its de novo review, this court may then “accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); United States v. Craft, 30 F.3d 1044, 1045 (8th Cir. 1994).


         Summary judgment is appropriate 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(a). The moving party can meet its burden by presenting evidence that there is no dispute of material fact or that the nonmoving party has not presented evidence to support an element of its case on which it bears the ultimate burden of proof. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). To avoid summary judgment, “[t]he nonmoving party may not ‘rest on mere allegations or denials, but must demonstrate on the record the existence of specific facts which create a genuine issue for trial.' ” Mosley v. City of Northwoods, 415 F.3d 908, 910 (8th Cir. 2005) (quoting Krenik v. Cty. of Le Sueur, 47 F.3d 953, 957 (8th Cir. 1995)). Summary judgment is precluded if there is a genuine dispute of fact that could affect the outcome of the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). When considering a summary judgment motion, the court views the facts and the inferences drawn from such facts “in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

         Prisoners who proceed pro se are entitled to the benefit of liberal construction at the pleading stage. Quam v. Minnehaha Cty. Jail, 821 F.2d 522, 522 (8th Cir. 1987). Nonetheless, the summary judgment standard set forth in Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure remains applicable to prisoners proceeding pro se. Id. The district court is not required to “plumb the record in order to find a genuine issue of material fact.” Barge v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 87 F.3d 256, 260 (8th Cir. 1996). Courts must remain sensitive, however, “to the special problems faced by prisoners attempting to proceed pro se in vindicating their constitutional rights, and [the Eighth Circuit does] not approve summary dismissal of such pro se claims without regard for these special problems.” Nickens v. White, 622 F.2d 967, 971 (8th Cir. 1980). “[W]hen dealing with summary judgment procedures technical rigor is inappropriate where . . . uninformed prisoners are involved.” Ross v. Franzen, 777 F.2d 1216, 1219 (7th Cir. 1985).


         I. Thompson's Objections

         Thompson raises thirty-seven objections to Magistrate Judge Duffy's Report and Recommendation. Docket 97. Many of Thompson's objections raise similar facts and legal claims. Thompson's relevant objections will be addressed when the court analyzes the applicable legal claims.

         Thompson raises new claims in his objections. See Docket 97 at pp. 21-23, 27. This court denied Thompson's three motions to amend (Dockets 20, 21, and 22) after defendants filed their answer (Docket 14) and after Thompson had previously amended his complaint (Docket 3). Docket 37. This court did not grant Thompson leave to amend his complaint. If Thompson wishes to litigate these claims, he needs to file a new complaint.

         II. Qualified Immunity

         Defendants contend that they are entitled to summary judgment on grounds of qualified immunity. Docket 53 at p. 3. Section 1983 provides a cause of action against any “person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State” causes the deprivation of a right protected by federal law or the United States Constitution. 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         The doctrine of qualified immunity, however, generally shields “ ‘[g]overnment officials performing discretionary functions . . . from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.' ” Smith v. City of Minneapolis, 754 F.3d 541, 545 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982)). Qualified immunity protects ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.