Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730, 20 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 730 (2002)

Thomas, J., dissenting

immunity the Court does not even bother to mention the nature of petitioner's specific allegations against McClaran, Pelzer, and Gates. The omission is both glaring and telling. When one examines the alleged conduct of the prison guards who are parties to this action, as opposed to the alleged conduct of other guards, who are not parties to this action, petitioner's case becomes far less compelling.

The Court's imprecise account of the facts requires that the specific nature of petitioner's allegations against the three respondents be recounted. Petitioner claims that: (1) on May 11, 1995, Officer McClaran ordered that petitioner be affixed to the restraining bar; 3 (2) Sergeant Pelzer, on that same date, affixed him to the restraining bar; 4 and (3) Lieutenant Gates, on May 11 and June 7, 1995, affixed petitioner to the bar.5 That is the sum and substance of petitioner's allegations against respondents.6

With respect to McClaran and Pelzer, petitioner has never alleged that they participated in the June 7 incident that so

3 See Second Affidavit of Larry Hope (ND Ala.), at 2-3, Record, Doc. No. 32.

4 Id., at 3.

5 Id., at 3-4.

6 There is some confusion as to who actually affixed petitioner to the restraining bar on May 11. While petitioner "believe[s]" that Sergeant Pelzer did so, id., at 3, the "Institutional Incident Report" produced by respondents and written by Officer McClaran indicates that Officers Keith Gates and Mark Dempsey placed petitioner on the bar, see id., Exh. 2. Petitioner acknowledged that fact and attached the report to his second affidavit. See id., at 3. Consequently, interpreting petitioner's pleadings in the light most favorable to him, I will assume that petitioner has alleged that Pelzer, Gates, and Dempsey cuffed him to the bar on May 11. Additionally, I will assume that the "Officer Keith Gates" mentioned in Officer McClaran's report is the same person as the Lieutenant Jim Gates who is a respondent in this case. It is worth noting, however, that respondents vigorously dispute petitioner's assertion that Lieutenant Jim Gates and Officer Keith Gates are one and the same, see Brief for Respondents i, and petitioner has yet to produce any evidence to support this somewhat incredible claim.


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