United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill, United States District Court Chief Judge.
Court has before it Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment of Christian Gelok, NP-C and William Poulson, NP-C
(Dkt. 20), Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt.
20), and Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Counsel
Cross Motions for Summary Judgment
complained of elbow pain while incarcerated at the Idaho
State Correctional Institution. He claims that defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and
unusual punishment, in the form of deliberately indifferent
medical care. Following initial review, the Court allowed
Briones's claims to proceed against Gelok and Poulson.
Each party has now moved for summary judgment.
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate where a party can show that, as to
any 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 “is to
isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims . . .
.” 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 between the parties
will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for
summary judgment.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). There must be a
genuine dispute as to any material fact - a fact
“that may affect the outcome of the case.”
Id. at 248.
evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party, and the Court must not make credibility
findings. Id. at 255. Direct testimony of the
non-movant must be believed, however implausible. Leslie
v. Grupo ICA, 198 F.3d 1152, 1159 (9th Cir. 1999). On
the other hand, the Court is not required to adopt
unreasonable inferences from circumstantial evidence.
McLaughlin v. Liu, 849 F.2d 1205, 1208 (9th Cir.
Court must be “guided by the substantive evidentiary
standards that apply to the case.” Liberty
Lobby, 477 U.S. at 255. If a claim requires clear and
convincing evidence, the question on summary judgment is
whether a reasonable jury could conclude that clear and
convincing evidence supports the claim. Id.
cross-motions for summary judgment are filed, the Court must
independently search the record for factual disputes.
Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, Inc. v.
Riverside Two, 249 F.3d 1132, 1136 (9th Cir. 2001). The
filing of cross-motions for summary judgment - where both
parties essentially assert that there are no material factual
disputes - does not vitiate the court's responsibility to
determine whether disputes as to material fact are present.
moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the
absence of a genuine dispute as to material fact.
Devereaux v. Abbey, 263 F.3d 1070, 1076 (9th Cir.
2001)(en banc). To carry this burden, the moving party need
not introduce any affirmative evidence (such as affidavits or
deposition excerpts) but may simply point out the absence of
evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.
Fairbank v. Wunderman Cato Johnson, 212 F.3d 528,
532 (9th Cir.2000).
shifts the burden to the non-moving party to produce evidence
sufficient to support a jury verdict in her favor.
Deveraux, 263 F.3d at 1076. The non-moving party
must go beyond the pleadings and show “by her [ ]
affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to
interrogatories, or admissions on file” that a genuine
dispute of material fact exists. Celotex, 477 U.S.
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) (quotation
omitted). Instead, the “party opposing summary judgment
must direct [the Court's] attention to specific triable