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Hayes v. Corrections Corporation of America (Cca)

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 27, 2013

MICHAEL T. HAYES, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA (CCA), a Maryland Corporation; JOHN FERGUSON, CEO, CCA; PHILLIP VALDEZ, WARDEN (ICC); IDAHO CORRECTIONAL CENTER; DAN PRADO; NANCY BAERLOCHER, R.N.; WAYNE PETERSON D.M.D.; KLINT STANDER, M.D.; JOSEPH CORDONA; RORY O'CONNER; NORMA RODRIGUEZ; CHRIS ROSE; A. HUNTLEY; DANIEL HUDON; JOEL TAYLOR; JAMES QUINN; JEFF KIRKMAN; MARTI MOORE; BRIAN JOHNSON; PATRICIA D. WILLIS; BRANDON DELANEY; DAROLD BREUER; CHESTER PENN; C/O LIVI; JENNIFER GARDNER; JOANN ADAMS; MALCOLM BEACH; C/O ANDERSON; VALDEZ; SERGEANT SHARP; Defendants.

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

EDWARD J. LODGE, District Judge.

Pending before the Court are the following motions: (1) Defendant Bruce Cooper's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 120); (2) Plaintiff Michael T. Hayes' Motion for Leave of Court to File Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 123); (3) Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 124); and (4) Plaintiff's Motion in Opposition of Defendant Bruce Cooper's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 125.) The Court finds that the decisional process would not be aided by oral argument. After reviewing the record, case law, and the arguments of the parties, the Court enters the following Order addressing all pending motions.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) and is currently housed at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution (IMSI). (Dkt. 120-4, p.2.) He initiated this civil rights lawsuit by filing the original Complaint on January 11, 2010 (Dkt. 1), which he subsequently amended twice. (Dkts. 34, 61.) In Part C of the Second Amended Complaint (Dkt. 64), Plaintiff alleges that on November 4, 2011, Defendant Cooper was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical needs when he refused to give Plaintiff any pain medication for the severe tooth pain he was experiencing at that time. ( Id. pp.1-6.) This is the only incident upon which Plaintiff asserts his claim of deliberate indifference against Defendant Cooper.

On December 30, 2011, the Court permitted Plaintiff to proceed on this "potential Eighth Amendment claim, " though the Court noted "it is unclear whether Cooper's failure to give Plaintiff an alternative medication arose because Cooper and a correctional officer perceived Plaintiff as threatening." (Dkt. 65, p.6.) The Court later set the pretrial deadlines in this case, including the deadline of March 11, 2013 for filing dispositive motions. (Dkts. 78, 116.)

On March 8, 2013, Defendant Cooper timely filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment. (Dkt. 120.) Then on April 12, 2013, Plaintiff filed: (1) a Motion for Leave of Court to File Motion for Summary Judgment; (2) a Motion for Summary Judgment; and (3) a Motion in Opposition of Defendant Bruce Cooper's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Dkts. 123, 124, 125.) Defendant Cooper filed a Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of Court to File Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 127); Plaintiff did not file a reply.

REVIEW OF PENDING MOTIONS

The Court will first address Plaintiff's multiple motions, and then address Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.

1. Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of Court to File Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 123)

On April 12, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave of Court to File Motion for Summary Judgment so that the Court could consider his Motion for Summary Judgment (which he filed on the same day). (Dkt. 123.) Although Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of Court to File Motion for Summary Judgment does not specifically request a modification to the pretrial scheduling order, that would be the result were the Court to grant this Motion, so the Court will treat it as such.

Federal Rule 16(b)(4) provides that a scheduling order "may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent." Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). This good cause standard "primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking the amendment." Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992). A court may modify the pretrial schedule if the deadline cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party seeking the extension. Id.

Here, Plaintiff's sole argument in support of the good cause requirement for his Motion for Leave to File Motion for Summary Judgment is that "Plaintiff's access to the courts has been so hindered, impeded, and delayed as a denial of this request would result in a misscarrage [sic] of justice." (Dkt. 123, p.2.) Plaintiff has not provided the Court with any specific facts or evidence to support this allegation, nor has he demonstrated his diligence in otherwise trying to comply with the dispositive motion deadline. Defendant Cooper argues that Plaintiff's request is both untimely and devoid of a showing of good cause. (Dkt. 127.) The Court agrees.

Plaintiff has known since July 5, 2012 of the March 11, 2013 deadline for filing dispositive motions. (Dkt. 78, p.7.) In the two months preceding the dispositive motion deadline, instead of preparing his dispositive motion, Plaintiff filed an extension of time to complete discovery, three motions for bench warrants, a motion requesting an extension of time to file a third amended complaint, and a motion to stay the entire case. ( See Dkts. 108, 109, 110, 111, 114, 117.) In each of these motions, Plaintiff either argued that the prison paralegal was impeding and hindering Plaintiff's access to the courts, or that Plaintiff needed additional time to comply with Court-ordered deadlines because he was so busy litigating multiple cases before this Court. Although the Court initially granted Plaintiff additional time to complete discovery and to file his third amended complaint ( see Dkt. 113), the Court denied the frivolous Motions for Bench Warrants and subsequently entered two more Orders denying any further extensions of time or to stay the case altogether because "Plaintiff is hard-pressed to show that he has acted with diligence in this matter" (Dkt. 116, p.5) and his argument regarding the paralegal's interference with his access to the courts "is a bald statement with no factual support whatsoever." (Dkt. 119, p.3.) Moreover, Plaintiff did not file the instant Motion for Leave of Court to File Motion for Summary Judgment until one month after the dispositive motion deadline.

Based on the substantial evidence in the record herein - and Plaintiff's failure to provide any evidence whatsoever to support his oft-repeated but wholly unsupported claim that he is being denied access to the courts - the Court concludes that Plaintiff has failed to establish good cause for the Court to modify the existing pretrial scheduling order. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of Court to File Motion for Summary Judgment will be denied. See, e.g., Ransom v. Johnson, 2010 WL 2219398 at *2 (E.D. Cal. 2010) (prisoner's ...


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