James Williams v. L. Calton, No. 12-6882 (4th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on December 19, 2013.
UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 12-6882 JAMES WILLIAMS, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. L. CALTON, Defendant - Appellant, and B. CALTON; CAPTAIN LKU; TERRY O'BRIEN; LALOUDE, Staff Counselor; CRUM; SHOEMAKER; CALTON, (brother to B. Calton); CAMPBELL; DELORES; WILLIS; MR. CHAMBERS; LALONDE, Defendants. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Roanoke. Glen E. Conrad, Chief District Judge. (7:10-cv-00075-GEC-RSB) Submitted: February 28, 2013 Decided: March 8, 2013 Before WILKINSON, NIEMEYER, and SHEDD, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Rick A. Mountcastle, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Roanoke, Virginia; James J. O Keeffe, IV, GENTRY, LOCKE, RAKES & MOORE, Roanoke, Appellee Pro Se. Virginia, for Appellant. James Williams, Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. 2 PER CURIAM: James Correctional Williams Officer L. filed a Calton, Bivens charging action that against Calton used excessive force against him during an altercation that occurred while Williams was incarcerated at United States Penitentiary Lee in Jonesville, Virginia. Finding that Calton violated Williams Eighth Amendment rights, the jury awarded $1000 in compensatory damages. judgment damages to Williams but did not award punitive Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(b), Calton moved for as a matter of law arguing, as he had in earlier motions, that he was entitled to qualified immunity and that Williams failed to establish that he acted with the malicious and sadistic intent necessary to support an Eighth Amendment claim. The district court denied Calton s motion and Calton appealed, challenging the denial of his motion for judgment as a matter of law. For the reasons that follow, we affirm. Whether a prison official has violated the Eighth Amendment entails both subjective and objective considerations. Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991). must determine whether the prison Specifically, we official acted with a sufficiently culpable state of mind (subjective component) and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). 3 whether the inmate deprivation was suffered sufficiently or serious injury inflicted (objective on the component). Williams v. Benjamin, 77 F.3d 756, 761 (4th Cir. 1996). To establish an the subjective component in the context of excessive force claim, a plaintiff must show that the defendant acted maliciously causing harm. Calton argues and sadistically for the very purpose of Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 320-21 (1986). that the district court erred by denying his motion for judgment as a matter of law because Williams failed to establish this subjective component. Judgment as a matter of law is proper only if there can be but one reasonable conclusion as to the verdict. Ocheltree v Scollon Prods., Inc., 335 F.3d 325, 331 (4th Cir. 2003) (en banc) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986)). If reasonable minds could differ about the verdict, we are obliged to affirm. F.3d 301, citation 312 (4th omitted). determinations or Cir. 2010) This weigh the King v. McMillan, 594 (internal court may evidence quotation not and make must marks and credibility disregard all evidence favorable to the moving party that the jury is not required to believe. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods. Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150-51 (2000). With these standards in mind, we have reviewed the evidence presented in this case and conclude that the evidence 4 supports the jury s verdict. Moreover, we find unpersuasive Calton s entitled argument that he is to qualified immunity based on an intervening change in the standard for excessive force claims. Compare Norman v. Taylor, 25 F.3d 1259, 1263 (4th Cir. 1994), with Wilkins v. Gaddy, 559 U.S. 34, 130 S. Ct. 1175, 1178 (2010). Accordingly, we affirm. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and law are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 5