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Young v. Smith

United States District Court, D. Idaho

February 7, 2014

KEVIN YOUNG, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHANNA K. SMITH; KEITH YORDY (HOWARD YORDY); SHELL WAMBLE-FISHER; JILL WHITTINGTON; SERGEANT RICHARD WINTER; CORPORAL CYNTHIA RICHMOND; CORRECTIONAL OFFICER DUNN; JOHN AND JANE DOES 1-10; BRIAN FERRIS; SCOTT ELIASON; and CHRISTOPHER BENNETT, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

B. LYNN WINMILL, Chief District Judge.

Plaintiff, a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) and currently incarcerated at Idaho State Correctional Institution (ISCI), is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action. Currently pending before the Court are the following motions: (1) Plaintiff's Motion for Extension of Time to receive complete discovery (Dkt. 25); (2) Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 28); (3) Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 29); (4) Plaintiff's Motion for a Martinez Investigation (Dkt. 33); (5) Plaintiff's Motion for Extension of Time to file a response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 35); (6) Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment Against Defendant Scott Eliason (Dkt. 41); (7) Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery and Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 42); (8) Defendants' Motion to Strike (Dkt. 46); (9) Plaintiff's Request to Begin Proceedings for Default Judgment Against Defendant Scott Eliason (Dkt. 47); and (10) Plaintiff's Motion to Withdraw his Motion for Summary Judgment Against Scott Eliason (Dkt. 48).

The Court finds that the parties have adequately stated the facts and legal arguments in their briefs and that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument. Accordingly, the Court will decide this matter on the written motions, briefs, and record without oral argument. D. Idaho L. Civ. R. 7.1.

Because Plaintiff failed to exhaust available administrative remedies with respect to his claims, the Court will grant Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Therefore, the Court need not address the other pending dispositive motions.

BACKGROUND

At all relevant times, Plaintiff was a prisoner in the Mental Health Unit at ISCI. (Complaint, Dkt. 3, at 2-7.) Plaintiff alleges that a prisoner named Brent High was moved into his cell in October of 2009. ( Id. at 7.) According to Plaintiff, High mentioned that he had been convicted of first-degree murder for "hack[ing]" to death his brother and his brother's male lover. ( Id. ) Upon hearing this, Plaintiff became concerned for his safety, but he believed that High initially seemed stable and calm. ( Id. ) Plaintiff contends that High eventually quit taking his medication, however, and thereafter became increasingly erratic. ( Id. )

Around bedtime on May 27, 2010, High pressed the emergency call button in the cell that he shared with Plaintiff and told correctional officers that "creatures" were waiting outside of the cell door but that High would be safe if he "hid" in his bed. ( Id. at 7-8.) High also told Plaintiff that Plaintiff would be fine if he went to sleep. ( Id. at 8.) Plaintiff fell asleep but later awoke to High sitting on him and beating him on the face and head while yelling religious questions at him. ( Id. ) When officers arrived some 15 to 20 minutes later, High stood up and said, "rise my son you have just been baptized by the second coming of Christ." ( Id. )

As a result of this attack, Plaintiff suffered a concussion, a black and swollen eye, a ruptured eardrum, blurred vision, and a chipped tooth. ( Id. at 24.) He alleges that "it was apparent that the Mental Health staff in unit 16 knew that offender B. High had serious mental delusions that had resulted in very violent behavior, but failed to take any action to prevent him from becoming a danger to other prisoners." ( Id. at 9.) Plaintiff does not allege that he and High had any other problems prior to the incident in question.

On May 15, 2012, Plaintiff filed this action asserting claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court reviewed the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and 1915A and determined that Plaintiff had stated a colorable Eighth Amendment failure to protect claim. (Dkt. 7 at 5.) Plaintiff was not allowed to proceed on his other claim, that the prison lacks a "viable and adequate grievance process, " because there is no free-standing constitutional right to a prison grievance process. ( Id. )

PRELIMINARY MOTIONS

1. Extension of Time to Respond to Motion to Dismiss

The Court will grant Plaintiff's Motion for Extension of Time to file a response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff's response (Dkt. 37) is deemed timely.

2. Motion for Martinez Investigation

Plaintiff has also filed a Motion for a Martinez Investigation. Plaintiff asks the Court to order Defendants to prepare a Martinez report, which takes its name from the Tenth Circuit's decision in Martinez v. Aaron, 570 F.2d 317, 318-19 (10th Cir. 1978) (per curiam). A Martinez order requires the defendants to investigate the substance of a prisoner's claims so that the court can determine whether the prisoner's claims are supported by an adequate factual basis. Such an order may require the defendants to (1) "ascertain the facts and circumstances underlying the complaint, " and (2) "consider whether any action can and should be taken by the institution or other appropriate officials to resolve the subject matter of the complaint." In re Arizona, 528 F.3d 652, 655-56 (9th Cir. 2008) (per curiam) (upholding the district court's order that defendants submit a Martinez report).

Plaintiff does not offer any colorable basis for requiring that Defendants prepare a Martinez report. Though Plaintiff indicates in his response to the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss that "a Martinez Investigation... [would allow the Court to] look to the record allowing investigation of the grievance record and remedies, " the current record is sufficient for the Court to decide ...


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