United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill Chief Judge
a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho Department of
Correction (IDOC), is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
in this civil rights action. Now pending before the Court is
Defendants' motion for partial summary judgment.
Defendants assert that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies with respect to many of his claims.
(Dkt. 17.) Also pending is Plaintiff's motion for summary
judgment (Dkt. 21), but that motion is not yet ripe for
fully reviewed the record, the Court finds that the facts and
legal arguments are adequately presented in the briefs and
record and that oral argument is unnecessary. See D.
Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1. Accordingly, the Court enters the
following Order, granting Defendants' Motion in part and
dismissing all of Plaintiff's claims other than (1)
Plaintiff's claim, of inadequate medical treatment for
gastrointestinal problems, against Dr. Young for the
treatment Plaintiff received through October 20, 2015, and
(2) Plaintiff's claim, of inadequate medical treatment
for gastrointestinal problems, against Corizon for the
treatment Plaintiff received through December 22, 2015.
alleges that he has been denied adequate medical care for his
gastrointestinal problems and his umbilical hernia. Pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 and 1915A, the Court
previously reviewed Plaintiff's Complaint (Dkt. 3), as
well as his supplemental pleading (Dkt. 9), and determined
that he stated a plausible claim for relief against
Defendants Gelok, Poulson, Agler, Young, and Corizon. (Dkt.
now allege that all claims against Defendants Gelok, Poulson,
and Agler, as well as Plaintiff's hernia claims against
Defendants Young and Corizon, must be dismissed because
Plaintiff failed to exhaust available administrative
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
section includes facts that are undisputed and material to
the resolution of the issues in this case. Where material
facts are in dispute, the Court has included Plaintiff's
version of facts.
IDOC Grievance Procedures
has established a grievance process, which is attached as
Exhibit A-1 to the Affidavit of Jill Whittington, IDOC's
Grievance Coordinator (“Whittington Aff.”) (Dkt.
17-3). This grievance process consists of three stages.
First, any inmate with a concern is required to seek an
informal resolution by filling out an offender concern form
“addressed to the most appropriate staff member.”
(Id. ¶ 5.) If the issue cannot be resolved
informally through the concern form, the inmate must then
file a grievance form. (Id.) A grievance form must
be submitted within 30 days of the incident giving rise to
submitting a grievance form, the inmate must attach a copy of
the concern form, showing the inmate's attempt to settle
the issue informally; the grievance must also “contain
‘specific information including [the] nature of the
complaint, dates, places, and names.'”
(Id. ¶ 6.) “Grievances are limited to one
page of the grievance form, and an inmate's description
of the issue being grieved must be written within the
appropriate area of the grievance form.” (Id.)
the Grievance Coordinator receives a grievance, the
coordinator enters the grievance information into the
Corrections Integrated System (“CIS”), an
electronic database used to log offender grievances and
grievance appeals. (Id.) If a grievance is not
completed, is filled out incorrectly, or is otherwise deemed
in violation of policy-such as if the inmate failed to attach
a copy of the concern form-the grievance is returned to the
inmate without being processed, along with a description of
the grievance's deficiencies. (See Ex. 1, Appx.
D, Dkt. 17-4 at 24.) Grievances rejected in this manner
“are not retained by the Grievance Coordinator.”
(Whittington Aff., Dkt. 17-3 at ¶ 6.)
grievance is correctly completed, the grievance coordinator
assigns the inmate grievance “to the staff member most
capable of responding to and, if appropriate, resolving the
issue.” (Id.) That staff member responds to
the grievance and returns it to the coordinator. The
coordinator then forwards the grievance to a “reviewing
authority.” In the case of a medical grievance, the
reviewing authority is the “facility Health Services
Administrator.” (Id.) The reviewing authority
reviews the staff member's response to the grievance and
issues a decision on the inmate's grievance. The
grievance decision is then returned to the inmate.
decision on an inmate's grievance is not satisfactory to
the inmate, the inmate may appeal that decision.
(Id. ¶ 8.) If the grievance involves a medical
issue, the “appellate authority” is the Health
Services Director. (Id.) The appellate authority
decides the grievance appeal and the appeal form is returned
to the inmate. Not until the completion of all three of these
steps-concern form, grievance form, and grievance appeal-is
the grievance process exhausted. (Id. at ¶ 9.)
Plaintiff's Medical Grievances
attempted to filed a medical grievance on September 10, 2015.
This grievance, which was assigned Grievance No. II150000947
(“Grievance 947”), was returned to Plaintiff
without action because Plaintiff “failed to attach a
concern form showing his attempt to resolve the issue.”
(Whittington Aff. at ¶ 12.)
resubmitted the grievance on October 4, 2015, this time
attaching the required concern form. This grievance, which
was assigned Grievance No. II150001060 (“Grievance
1060”), stated that Plaintiff should be examined by a
gastroenterologist and that he had attempted to resolve his
concerns with several individuals, including Defendant Young.
(Ex. A-3 to Whittington Aff., Dkt. 17-6 at 2-3; Ex. 1 to
Plaintiff's Aff., Dkt. 19-4 at 5-7.) This grievance did
not mention Plaintiff's hernia issue. This grievance was
granted on October 20, 2015, because Plaintiff was
“already scheduled to see a gastroenterologist.”
(Id.) On December 21, 2015, Plaintiff again
attempted to submit a medical grievance “in regard to
the very inappropriate care [Plaintiff] received from”
Defendant Agler. (Plaintiff's Aff. at 3.) This grievance,
which was assigned Grievance No. II150001358
(“Grievance 1358”), stated as follows:
On [December 11, 2015], I was admitted to the infirmary by a
provider. While in the infirmary, I was met by wannabe Dr.
Agler. I refused to allow him to convince me that it
isn't normal to have a bowel movement everyday and that
it's perfectly normal to go up to 2 weeks without one.
Now me gosh darn knowing well that not to be true, I called
him on it & he kicked me out of the infirmary and
blatantly refused me anymore treatment, even taking away my
wheelchair and forcing me to walk around in agonizing pain.
(Ex. 2 to Plaintiff's Aff., Dkt. 19-5 at 3.) Grievance
1358 was returned to Plaintiff without being processed the
same day it was submitted, because Plaintiff did not attach a
concern form to the grievance. (Id. at 2;
Plaintiff's Aff. at 3; Ex. A-2 ...