Sconiers v. FNU Lockhart, No. 16-16954 (11th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit alleging that, during a purported disciplinary encounter with Defendant Lockhart, he pulled down plaintiff's pants and forcefully penetrated plaintiff's anus with his finger. The district court relied on Boxer X v. Harris, 437 F.3d 1107 (11th Cir. 2006), to dismiss plaintiff's claims.
The Eleventh Circuit held that the district court improperly resolved material issues of fact—two relating to the sexual-assault claim and two to the takedown and pepper-spray claims. The court held that, although Boxer X's holding that "severe or repetitive sexual abuse of a prisoner by a prison official can violate the Eighth Amendment," remains good law, Wilkins v. Gaddy, 559 U.S. 34, 37 (2010), clarified that courts cannot find excessive force claims not "actionable" because the prisoner did not suffer "more than de minimis injury." Therefore, Wilkins partly abrogated Boxer X. In this case, the court held that plaintiff presented sufficient evidence on summary judgment to establish both parts of a post-Wilkins Eighth Amendment claim. Accordingly, the court vacated the portion of the district court's judgment granting summary judgment to Lockhart; affirmed in part, and remanded.