United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill Chief U.S. District Court Judge.
before the Court are the following motions: (1)
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 29); (2)
Plaintiff's Motion to Demand Trial (Dkt. 34); and (3)
Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel (Dkt. 33). Also
pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Seal
(Dkt. 30). Having reviewed the filings, the Court finds the
matter appropriate for resolution without a hearing. For the
reasons described below, the Court will grant Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment and dismiss Plaintiff's
Complaint with prejudice. The Court will also deny
Plaintiff's Motions for Trial and to Appoint Counsel.
Finally, the Court will grant Defendant's Motion to Seal.
is a prisoner in federal custody at the United States
Penitentiary in Victorville, California, who is proceeding
pro se in this civil rights action. On December 20, 2015,
Plaintiff filed a Complaint pursuant to 42, U.S.C. §
1983, alleging that Defendants Ada County Medical and Dr.
Stuart Clive (Defendant) violated his rights under the Eighth
Amendment. Compl. at 2, Dkt. 3. Plaintiff alleged
inter alia that defendants prescribed him an
incorrect medication dosage, failed to properly diagnose him,
and failed to address his medical needs. Id.
April 18, 2016, the U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of
Idaho ordered Plaintiff to file an amended complaint.
Initial Review Order at 2, Dkt. 7. On July 22, 2016,
Plaintiff filed a motion for relief in order to file an
amended complaint, a motion for appointment of counsel, and a
proposed amended complaint. Motion for Relief, Dkt.
13. On March 27, 2017, the Magistrate granted his motion to
file an amended complaint and denied his motion for
appointment of counsel without prejudice, on the grounds that
his request for counsel was premature. Order Requiring
Am. Compl. at 4, Dkt. 15. Plaintiff was ordered to file
a second amended complaint. Id.
April 10, 2017, Plaintiff filed his second amended complaint,
alleging that defendants: (1) prescribed him thyroid
medication without performing a TSH test required to
determine an appropriate dosage, causing him to experience
severe medical side effects as a result; and (2) failed to
treat his diagnosed sleep apnea and chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD), causing numerous health problems
and physical and mental anguish. Am. Compl. at 1-4,
Dkt. 16. After reviewing the second amended complaint, the
Magistrate found that Plaintiff failed to state a claim
against Ada County, but allowed him to proceed against Dr.
Clive. Successive Review Order at 1, Dkt. 17. On
November 16, 2017, the Magistrate reassigned the case to this
Court. Order of Reassignment, Dkt. 24; See
Williams v. King, 875 F.3d 500, 503 (9th Cir. 2017).
April 6, 2018, Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment.
Mot. Summ. J., Dkt. 29. The Court provided notice to
Plaintiff of his rights and obligations regarding the
Defendant's motion for summary judgment on April 10,
2018. See Notice to Pro Se Litigants, Dkt. 32. In
response to Defendant's Motion, Plaintiff filed a single
document containing his motion demanding a jury trial and his
response to Defendant's motion pursuant to Rules 12 and
56. See Mot. Demand Jury Trial, Dkt. 34;
Pl.'s Resp., Dkt. 35. Plaintiff also filed a
renewed motion for the appointment of counsel. Mot.
Appoint Counsel, Dkt. 33. Defendant did not file any
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.
party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely
disputed must support the assertion by citing to particular
parts of materials in the record . . .; or showing that
materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a
genuine dispute.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). Where a party
fails to rebut another party's assertion of fact, the
court may “consider the fact undisputed for purposes of
the motion” and may “grant summary judgment if
the motion and supporting materials - including the facts
considered undisputed - show that the movant is entitled to
it.” Id. 56(e).
doctrine of qualified immunity “protects government
officials from liability for civil damages insofar as their
conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or
constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have
known.” Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 231
(2009) (citations and quotations omitted). Qualified immunity
gives government officials “breathing room to make
reasonable but mistaken judgments about open legal questions.
When properly applied, it protects all but the plainly
incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.”
Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 563 U.S. 731, 743 (2011)
(citations and quotations omitted).
determine whether an officer is entitled to qualified
immunity, the Court must ask whether the facts alleged, taken
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, show “(1)
... the [official's] conduct violated a constitutional
right, and (2) the right at issue was clearly established at
the time of the incident such that a reasonable [official]
would have understood [his or] her conduct to be unlawful in
that situation.” Torres v. City of Madera, 648
F.3d 1119, 1123 (9th Cir. ...