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Hall v. Reinke

United States District Court, D. Idaho

September 25, 2014

KENT EMMETT HALL, Plaintiff,
v.
DIRECTOR REINKE, WARDEN LITTLE, R. VALLEY, APRIL DAWSON, JENNIFER BREWER, BRISTY DELAO, AND MR. TAKAGE, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

RONALD E. BUSH, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC), is proceeding pro se in this civil rights action. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants have violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment by their deliberate indifference and failure to provide adequate healthcare for his Hepatitis C condition. All parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a United States Magistrate Judge to enter final orders in this case. (Dkt. 25.) See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 73.

Having carefully reviewed the record, the Court finds that the parties have adequately presented the facts and legal arguments in the briefs and record and that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral arguments. Therefore, the Court will decide the matter on the written motions, briefs and record. D. Idaho L. Civ. R. 7.1(d).

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff first filed this action on March 13, 2013 alleging that Defendants were deliberately indifferent in responding to his medical needs. (Compl. (Dkt. 3.)) The Court reviewed the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 and 1915A and twice required Plaintiff to file amended complaints before he could proceed. (Initial Review Order (Dkt. 4.)) After review of the two Amended Complaints (Dkts. 9, 10) under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 and 1915A, Plaintiff was permitted to proceed only with his Eighth Amendment claim against Dr. April Dawson under his Amended Complaint (Dkt. 9.) ( See Order (Dkt. 12.))

Dr. Dawson has filed a Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 20) for failure to exhaust administrative remedies as required by the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act. This motion shall be construed as a motion for summary judgment, pursuant to the Court's notice of April 18, 2014. (Dkt. 30.)

STANDARD OF LAW

1. Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is appropriate where a party can show that, as to a particular claim or defense, "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment rule "is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims or defenses." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). It is not "a disfavored procedural shortcut, " but is instead the "principal tool[] by which factually insufficient claims or defenses [can] be isolated and prevented from going to trial with the attendant unwarranted consumption of public and private resources." Id . at 327.

"[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual dispute...will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment...." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc ., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). Rather, there must be no genuine dispute as to the failure of any material fact essential to the non-movant's case to warrant summary judgment. Material facts are those "that might affect the outcome of the suit." Id. at 248. "Disputes over irrelevant or unnecessary facts will not preclude a grant of summary judgment." T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. P. Elec. Contractors Ass'n , 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).

The moving party is entitled to summary judgment if that party shows that each material fact cannot be disputed. To show that the material facts are not in dispute, a party may cite to particular parts of materials in the record, or show that the adverse party is unable to produce admissible evidence to support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A) & (B). The Court must consider "the cited materials, " but it may also consider "other materials in the record." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3). The Court is "not required to comb through the record to find some reason to deny a motion for summary judgment." Carmen v. San Francisco Unified Sch. Dist. , 237 F.3d 1026, 1029 (9th Cir. 2001) (internal quotation marks omitted). Instead, the "party opposing summary judgment must direct [the Court's] attention to specific triable facts." So. Ca. Gas Co. v. City of Santa Ana , 336 F.3d 885, 889 (9th Cir. 2003).

If the moving party meets that task, then the burden shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine dispute as to any material fact actually does exist. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp. , 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). The existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the non-moving party's position is insufficient. Rather, "there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the [non-moving party]." Anderson , 477 U.S. at 252. Material used to support or dispute a fact must be "presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2).[1] Affidavits or declarations submitted in support of or in opposition to a motion "must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or declarant is competent to testify on the matters stated." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4).

If a party "fails to properly support an assertion of fact or fails to properly address another party's assertion of fact, " the Court may consider that fact to be undisputed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2). The Court may grant summary judgment for the moving party "if the motion and supporting materials-including the facts considered undisputed-show that the movant is entitled to it." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(3).

The Court does not determine the credibility of affiants or weigh the evidence set forth by the non-moving party. Although all reasonable inferences which can be drawn from the evidence must be drawn in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. , 809 F.2d at 630-31, the Court is not required to adopt unreasonable ...


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