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Home / Opinions / Courts / 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals / Civil Rights: 1983-Prison Inmate-Failure to Protect from Attack

Civil Rights: 1983-Prison Inmate-Failure to Protect from Attack

Plaintiff appealed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for defendants. Plaintiff was incarcerated in a municipal correctional facility when he was attacked twice by a fellow inmate who attempted to collect a debt owed by plaintiff’s cellmate. Plaintiff filed suit, alleging that defendants violated his constitutional rights by failing to protect him from the attacks. The district court dismissed the case on summary judgment, finding that plaintiff had failed to present sufficient evidence of deliberate indifference.

Where defendants considered information from the first attack and concluded that the situation did not rise to the level of a serious risk of bodily injury, there was no deliberate indifference simply because defendants inaccurately predicted that there would not be further incidents of violence.

Kelly, J., concurring: “And while the Eighth Amendment may not require recordkeeping by prison officials or impose liability for lack of recollection, the absence of documentation regarding prison decisions or prison officials’ inability to remember events central to their decisionmaking process may be relevant to determining the knowledge and subjective understanding of these officials.”

Judgment is affirmed.

Hodges v. State of Minnesota Department of Corrections (MLW No. 79537/Case No. 21-3891 – 9 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Colloton, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, Wright, J. (Jordan S. Kushner, of Minneapolis, MN, for appellant) (Jeffrey A. Timmerman, AAG, of St. Paul, MN, for appellees; Joseph David Weiner, AAG, of St. Paul, MN, on the brief)


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