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Hayes v. Kessler

Court of Appeals of Idaho

November 4, 2016

MICHAEL T. HAYES, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
TOM KESSLER and MELODEE ARMFIELD, Defendants-Respondents.

         2016 Opinion No. 68

         Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Daniel C. Hurlbutt, District Judge.

         Order granting summary judgment in favor of defendants, affirmed.

          Michael T. Hayes, Boise, pro se appellant.

          Naylor and Hales, P.C.; Jacob H. Naylor, Boise, for respondents.

          GUTIERREZ, Judge

         Michael T. Hayes appeals from the district court's order granting summary judgment on his 42 United States Code § 1983 claim in favor of Tom Kessler and Melodee Armfield. We affirm.

         I.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Hayes is an inmate in the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC). On October 23, 2013, Hayes brought a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging multiple violations of his constitutional rights.

         Hayes' original complaint named the following defendants: Corrections Corporation of America, Idaho Correctional Center, Tim Wengler, Dan Melody, Tom Kessler, Flemming Green, Melodee Armfield, and Shane Jepsen. However, Hayes served his complaint on only the Idaho Correctional Center, Kessler, and Armfield. Counsel for the served defendants moved to dismiss Hayes' claims against the unserved parties and filed a motion to dismiss Hayes' claims against the Idaho Correctional Center on the basis that a prison is not a "person" for purposes of a § 1983 action. Hayes responded to the motion to dismiss and also filed a motion to amend his complaint. The district court denied Hayes' motion to amend, as the served defendants had already filed a responsive pleading. The district court granted the motion to dismiss the unserved parties as well as the Idaho Correctional Center.

         The remaining defendants, Kessler and Armfield (Respondents), then filed a motion for summary judgment on the outstanding claims. In support of their motion for summary judgment, Respondents filed sworn declarations from Kessler, Armfield, and an Idaho Correctional Center dentist who treated Hayes. Hayes responded to the motion for summary judgment, but included no sworn statements or other supporting evidence with his response. The district court construed the remaining claims to include Hayes' contention that his constitutional rights were infringed upon when prison employees refused to provide him with a dental pick, made threatening and disparaging remarks toward him, and followed unconstitutional disciplinary procedures. The district court found that Hayes had failed to establish that he had suffered a constitutional violation as to those claims against Respondents. The district court granted Respondents' motion for summary judgment. Hayes timely appeals.

         II.

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