United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. NYE CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
Kent Williams,  a prisoner in the custody of the Idaho
Department of Correction, is proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis in this civil rights action. At the time of the
events giving rise to his claims, Williams was a pretrial
detainee incarcerated at the Ada County Jail.
Court allowed Williams to proceed, under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, on two types of First Amendment claims: (1) the right
to petition the government for redress and (2) the right to
be free from retaliation for the exercise of his
constitutional rights. See Dkt. 56.
pending before the Court are (1) Fox's Motion for Summary
Judgment (Dkt. 107), (2) Williams' Request for Assistance
with Preparing for Trial (Dkt. 116), Request for Status (Dkt.
117), and Motion to Reconsider (Dkt. 119). Having fully
reviewed the record, the Court finds that the facts and legal
arguments are adequately presented in the briefs and record
and that oral arguments is unnecessary. See Dist.
Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(2)(ii). Accordingly, upon review,
the Court GRANTS Fox's Motion for Summary Judgment and
DENIES as MOOT Williams' Request for Assistance Preparing
material facts are in dispute, the Court has included the
version of facts presented by Williams-the non-moving
party-for purposes of considering Fox's Motion for
Summary Judgment. T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pacific Elec.
Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir.
1987). The Court also notes that Williams failed to address
Fox's assertions of undisputed facts by not filing
“a separate statement…of all [disputed] material
facts.” Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(c)(2). Thus,
“the Court may consider the uncontested material facts
as undisputed for purposes of consideration of the motion
[for summary judgement].” Id. at (e)(2).
However, the Court may also examine factual allegations in
“the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits.” Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 56(c). Taken in the
light most favorable to Williams, the evidence is as follows:
While Plaintiff Kent Williams was confined at the Ada County
Jail (“ACJ”), Defendant Guard Fox, an Ada County
Sheriff's deputy, was assigned to Plaintiff's housing
January 11, 2016, Williams slid a prisoner grievance form
under his cell door for pickup in accordance with ACJ
policies and procedures. The form contained a complaint
against a guard who had refused to accept a form Williams had
slid under his cell door earlier that day. The unnamed guard
did not process the form because it contained disrespectful
language. At approximately 7:00 p.m. on January 11, 2016, Fox
retrieved Williams' form. After reading the form, Fox
told Williams that he would not process it because he
believed it contained disrespectful language. Fox alleges-and
Williams disputes-that the form also did not grieve an actual
issue. Fox told Williams, “You will not address an Ada
County Deputy disrespectfully.” Dkt. 107-2 ¶ 7.
Fox slid the form back to Williams and threatened to issue a
disciplinary report should Williams continue using
disrespectful language in grievance forms.
asked Fox to accept the form a second time and slid it back
under the door. Fox did not retrieve the form and the form
remained on the floor. The form was presumably discarded as
immediately slid a second grievance form under his door,
grieving Fox's refusal to process the first form. Fox
retrieved and read the second form and tossed it into the air
where it landed on the floor next to the first form. Fox
alleges-and again, Williams disputes-that this second form
likewise did not grieve an actual issue.
January 12, 2016, Williams submitted grievance form 8843. Fox
processed form 8843, which grieved the decision:
[O]f guard fox to throw away my outgoing mail. On 1/11/16 I
put a grievance out my cell door for 7PM mail pick up. Fox
took it, read it and refused to take it. It was left on the
tier. At 7:15, 1/11/16, I then put out the cell door a
grievance grieving fox refusing to take and process my mail
(courts consider grievance legal mail). He took it, read it
and said, “first chance I get at your
neck…” and then tossed it in the air onto the
tier where it was presumably thrown away.
Dkt 43-1, at 2.
responded to grievance form 8843, stating:
The grievances you [Williams] have been submitting are not
acceptable. You are not grieving any issues, you are making
statements and calling deputies names and being
disrespectful. You have already been written up for this
issue. Do not continue to abuse the grievance system.
You say that I said, “First chance I get at your
neck”. I never said any such thing. Please stop making
Id. Williams appealed Fox's response, and
Fox's response was upheld.
to his January 11 grievances, Williams submitted grievance
form 8821 on January 8, 2016. Grievance form 8821 grieved
Williams' placement in segregation for an ACJ infraction
for using disrespectful language in a prior grievance form.
ACJ staff reviewed and upheld the discipline because it was
already “addressed in grievance 8822.” ACJ staff
instructed Williams “not [to] submit multiple
grievances on the same issue, ” otherwise he might
“receive formal discipline.” Dkt. 43-1.
judgement is proper “if the movant shows that 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). The Court's role at summary judgement is not
“to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the
matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Zetwick v. Cty. of Yolo, 850 F.3d 436,
411 (9th Cir. 2017) (citation omitted). In considering a
motion for summary judgment, the Court must “view the
facts in the non-moving party's favor.”
defeat a motion for summary judgment, the respondent need
only present evidence upon which “a reasonable juror
drawing all inferences in favor of the respondent could
return a verdict in [his or her] favor.” Id.
(citation omitted). Accordingly, the Court must enter summary
judgement if a party “fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential
to that party's case, and on which that party will bear
the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The respondent cannot
simply rely on an unsworn affidavit or the pleadings to
defeat a motion for summary judgment; rather the respondent
must set forth the ...