The opinion of the court was delivered by: U. S. District Judge Honorable Edward J. Lodge
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Currently before the Court in this prisoner civil rights matter is Defendants' Motion To Dismiss. (Dkt. 9.) Plaintiff has responded to the Motion (Dkt. 15), Defendants have submitted a Reply (Dkt. 16), and the matter is now ripe.
The Court finds that decisional process would not be aided by oral argument, and it will resolve this matter after consideration of the parties' written briefing. D. Idaho L. Civ. R. 7.1(d). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant Defendants' Motion, and Plaintiff's Complaint will be dismissed.
At all relevant times, Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Idaho Correctional Center (ICC), which is a prison that is operated by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) under a contract with the state of Idaho. (Dkt. 1.)
Plaintiff alleges that ICC staff and officials failed to protect him from two serious assaults by rival gang members in 2010. Plaintiff was first assaulted on March 10, 2010, while he was exercising in a recreation room. (Id. at ¶ 13.) He claims that during this surprise attack he was punched and kicked repeatedly in the face and body. (Id.) After the assault, prison staff moved Plaintiff to a segregation unit on a different pod, where other gang members also resided. (Id. at ¶ 14.) Plaintiff contends that staff transferred him despite knowing that he would be in substantial danger if he were placed in the same area as members of the rival gang. (Id. at ¶¶ 15-16.)
On August 10, 2010, an ICC correctional officer in the central control room unlocked the door to Plaintiff's cell. (Id. at 14.) Believing that the door was unlocked because officers were delivering a mattress to his cell, Plaintiff stepped outside, where he was rushed and attacked by two prisoners. (Id.) Plaintiff contends that ICC staff contributed to or failed to prevent this assault and that he suffered serious and permanent injuries. (Id.) He claims that both assaults were part of a larger pattern or practice of deliberate indifference to inmate safety at ICC. (Id. at ¶ 11, a-g.)
In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges five causes of action: two counts of negligence under state law (for the failure to protect him from harm and the failure to provide adequate medical care); two counts of gross negligence/recklessness under state law, based on willful, wanton, or reckless conduct (for the failure to protect him from harm and the failure to provide adequate medical care); and one count arising under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in which he alleges that prison officials "have enacted, pursued, acquiesced in, and/or implemented policies and practices" that violated his Eighth Amendment rights. (Dkt. 1, pp. 7-12.)
Defendants have filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that Plaintiff failed to exhaust the prison's administrative review process as to any current claim before filing his Complaint. (Dkt. 9.) The matter is fully briefed, and the Court is prepared to issue its ruling.
1. The Exhaustion Requirement
Because Plaintiff has raised one federal claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and four related state law causes of action, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss implicates the exhaustion requirements of both state and federal law.
Specifically, the federal Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) requires pre-complaint exhaustion of administrative remedies for allfederal claims brought by state prisoners who challenge the conditions of their confinement: "[n]o action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other federal law, until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted." 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). "There is no question that exhaustion is mandatory under the PLRA and that unexhausted claims cannot be brought in court." Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 211 (2007). This requirement is intended to give "prison officials an opportunity to resolve disputes concerning the exercise of their responsibilities before being haled into court." Id. at 204.
Under the PLRA, proper exhaustion is also required, meaning that "a prisoner must complete the administrative review process in accordance with the applicable procedural rules, including deadlines, as a precondition to bringing suit in federal court." Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 88 (2006). "The level of detail necessary in a grievance to comply with the grievance procedures will vary from system to system and claim to claim, but it is the ...