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Handleson v. Corizon Regional Medical Director

United States District Court, D. Idaho

February 5, 2019

MICHAEL HANDLESON, Plaintiff,
v.
CORIZON REGIONAL MEDICAL DIRECTOR “DOE”; CORIZON MEDICAL DIRECTOR “DOE”; CORIZON NURSING DIRECTOR “DOE”; Dr. M. Young; P.A. Paulson, R.N. McCall; and Mr. Gelok, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Michael Handleson, a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) and currently incarcerated at Idaho State Correctional Institution (ISCI), is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Mr. Handleson also asserts unidentified state law claims.

         Now pending before the Court is Defendants Young, Paulson, McCall and Gelok's Motion for Summary Judgment. Having fully reviewed Mr. Handleson's Response and the record, the Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented in the briefs and record such that oral argument is unnecessary. See D. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1. Accordingly, the Court enters the following Order granting Defendants' Motion and dismissing this case without prejudice for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

         INTRODUCTION

         Mr. Handleson filed the Complaint in this action on May 19, 2017 against various employees or former employees of Corizon, Inc., the private entity providing medical treatment to Idaho inmates under contract with the IDOC. He alleged (1) civil rights claims for violation of his Eighth Amendment rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, (2) claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq., and (3) generic claims under Idaho state law, characterized in the Court's Initial Review Order as “related state-law negligence or medical malpractice claims.” Dkt. 1, at 1, Dkt. 3-1 at 9. The Court reviewed the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915, 1915A, allowing Plaintiff to proceed on his § 1983 and state law claims against Defendants Dr. Murray Young, P.A. William Paulson, R.N. Tammy McCall, and N.P. Christian Gelok. Dkt. 7 at 18.

         The four remaining defendants filed their Answer on February 26, 2018. Dkt. 14. The Court then issued a scheduling Order on June 29, 2018, outlining deadlines for amendment of the complaint, discovery, subpoena requests, depositions, and dispositive motions. Dkt. 20. Shortly thereafter, the Parties proceeded to file several motions, which are now pending before this Court. On July 24, 2018, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on the basis that Mr. Handleson had failed to exhaust administrative remedies and that certain of his claims were time-barred. Dkt. 24. Mr. Handleson filed an untimely Response to the Motion for Summary Judgment on September 12, 2018 along with a Motion to Reconsider Corizon Medical Service LLC as a Defendant. Dkts. 27, 28. Defendants then filed a Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Response as untimely. Dkt. 31. Finally, on October 22, 2018, Plaintiff filed his second Motion for Appointment of Counsel in this case. Dkt. 32. The Court previously denied Plaintiff's Request for Appointment of Counsel on December 22, 2017. See Dkt. 7.

         For the reasons that follow the Court will grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and deny the remaining motions as moot.

         DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

         1. Standard of Law Governing Summary Judgment

          Summary 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 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 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). Rather, there must be no genuine dispute as to any material fact in order for a case to survive 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. Pac. 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 is beyond dispute. To do so, a party may cite to material 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). Instead, the “party opposing summary judgment must direct [the Court's] attention to specific triable facts.” S. California Gas Co. v. City of Santa Ana, 336 F.3d 885, 889 (9th Cir. 2003).

         If the moving party meets its initial responsibility, 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 [a] 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). 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 ...


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