United States District Court, D. Idaho
ROCKY D. STONE, Plaintiff,
LORIN NIELSEN, Bannock County Sheriff; CAPTAIN TAD BYBEE; SGT. FRENCH; SGT. MICHELSON; CAPTAIN TOPLIFF; J.T. HAPKE; J.T. FONNESBECK; RYAN WEST, United States Marshal, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: DEFENDANTS'
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOCKET NO. 20)
E. Bush Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge.
pending before the Court is Defendants' (French, Topliff,
Hapke, and Fonnesbeck) Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket
No. 20). Having carefully considered the record, participated
in oral argument, and otherwise being fully advised, the
Court enters the following Memorandum Decision and Order:
Rocky Stone is an inmate in the custody of Madison County,
currently incarcerated in the Madison County Jail in Rexburg,
Idaho. This case involves an incident that took place on
January 9, 2016 while Plaintiff was incarcerated at the
Bannock County Jail in Pocatello, Idaho. The relevant facts
are as follows:
After pleading guilty to possession of methamphetamine with
intent to deliver, Plaintiff was originally incarcerated in
the Mini-Cassia County Jail. See Defs.' SOF, p.
2 (Docket No. 20, Att. 2). While there, Plaintiff notified
officers that he had been labeled as a cooperating witness
against an inmate in the Bannock County Jail (Christopher
Keeling), and that he would have a “housing
issue” if transferred to Bannock County Jail.
See Stone Dep., 49:19-24, Attached as Ex. A to Hall
Aff. (Docket No. 20, Att. 5).
January 8, 2016, Plaintiff was transferred to Bannock County
Jail. See id. at 53:6-10. During the booking
process, Plaintiff underwent two different evaluations - (1)
an Initial Inmate Evaluation at approximately 5:58 p.m. and
(2) a Risk Assessment Evaluation at 1:16 a.m. See
Topliff Aff., ¶¶ 3-4 (Docket No. 20, Att. 3).
a. As part of the Initial Inmate Evaluation, Plaintiff was
asked whether he had any enemies at the Bannock County Jail;
Plaintiff answered “no.” See id. at
¶ 3 (citing Ex. A. to Topliff Aff. (Docket No. 20, Att.
3) (“Question: Do you have any enemies
in this facility? Answer: No”)). With
respect to his communication with Defendant Hapke (identified
by Plaintiff as a “Jail Tech”), Plaintiff
She - Hapke booked me into the jail, did my booking
questionnaire. She asked me if I had any known enemies or any
family in the facility. I told them, I said: I don't have
any known enemies that I know about. I don't know who is
here. I said: But you need to be aware that there's going
to be a housing issue wherever you guys house me in this jail
due to the fact that - the circumstances involving my case
that I'm labeled a snitch.
Stone Dep., 56:12-17, attached as Ex. A to Hall Aff. (Docket
No. 20, Att. 5). Defendant Hapke responded that she would
document Plaintiff's concerns. See id. at
b. As part of the Risk Assessment Evaluation, Plaintiff was
asked whether there was anyone in the facility that he did
not get along with; Plaintiff answered “yes, ”
that he did not get along with Christopher Keeling. See
id. at ¶ 4 (citing Ex. B to Topliff Aff. (Docket
No. 20, Att. 3) (“Question: Is there
anyone in this facility that you do not get along with?
Answer: Yes (add comments below)
Notes: keeling, christopher”));
but see Stone Dep., 56:18- 22, attached as Ex. A to
Hall Aff. (Docket No. 20, Att. 5) (Plaintiff testifying that,
when booked, he did not know whether Christopher Keeling was
housed at Bannock County Jail).
After being booked into the Bannock County Jail and while
being confined in a holding cell, Plaintiff mentioned to
Defendant Fonnesbeck (identified by Plaintiff as a
“Jail Tech”) that he may have a “housing
issue, ” testifying:
Next one was Jail Tech Fonnesbeck. He was doing a walk - in
Bannock County they have little things on the doors where
they have to walk and do security checks. He was doing his
security check. An inmate that was in the cell with me had
asked me if I had made any of the officers aware of me being
housed around Keeling.
And I told him, I said: Yeah, I made Hapke aware of it. He
said: Well, make sure you make Fonnesbeck aware of it too so
he can make sure it's documented. So I told Fonnesbeck
about it. I told him that there was going to be a housing
issue for me there. He said that he would make sure that it
Stone Dep., 57:4-18, attached as Ex. A to Hall Aff. (Docket
No. 20, Aff. 5). Defendant Fonnesbeck responded that he would
ensure that Plaintiff's concerns were documented. See
id. at 58:13-15.
Approximately an hour later, Plaintiff also notified
Defendant Topliff (identified by Plaintiff as a
“Corporal”) of his potential “housing
issue, ” testifying:
[Defendant Topliff] was walking me to visiting to go schedule
a visit and to check my messages on the kiosk. Down there
they have a kiosk. People message you. On the way down there
I made him aware of the situation. And he's always been
an officer that I've always been able to talk to there in
that county ..... He's somebody that I've been able
to - like he's light-mooded. You know, I've been able
to talk to him. I've always been on a good basis with him
..... He took me to visiting. On the way to visiting that
day, I made him aware of the situation. . . . On our way to
visiting when we were walking through - out the booking door
into the hallway, I told him - I made him aware of this
situation . . . [w]ith me and Keeling and told him that
it's a huge issue for me to be housed around any of that
- anything that has to do with that sort of politics . . .
[such as] [b]eing labeled a rat, being labeled a witness. I
informed him that there was going to be issues with me to be
housed in that jail. And he was the third person that I made
aware of it. On the way into visiting he asked me if I had
made Hapke aware of it. I told him that I had. He said that
he would speak to her.
Id. at 58:20-60:15.
Plaintiff then spoke to Defendant French (identified by
Plaintiff as a “Sergeant”) when she retrieved him
from his holding cell to watch an orientation video,
Sergeant French pulled me into - she pulled me out of the
cell and had me go into this little orientation room where
they do - they make you watch a procedural video. And while I
was sitting in that room I told her about the issue that I
would have being housed in that jail and that I had already
spoken to Hapke and Fonnesbeck and Topliff about it. And she
said that she would make sure that I wasn't housed around
any of those guys [Chris Keeling].
Id. at 60:25-61:14. Defendant French indicated to
Plaintiff that he would not be housed around Mr. Keeling.