United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. Nye, Chief U.S. District Court Judge.
before the Court is Defendants Sue Wessels
(“Wessels”) and Joe Eilers'
(“Eilers”) Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 27),
and Plaintiff Byron Dray Crofts' (“Crofts”)
Motion to Amend his Complaint (Dkt. 33). Having reviewed the
record and briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal
arguments are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the
interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court
finds that the decisional process would not be significantly
aided by oral argument, the Court will decide the Motions
without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R.
7.1(d)(2)(ii). For the reasons set forth below, the Court
finds good cause to GRANT Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment (Dkt. 27) and DENY Crofts' Motion to Amend his
Complaint (Dkt. 33).
is an inmate in the custody of the Idaho Department of
Correction (IDOC). He resides in the maximum-security
facility (IMSI). He asserts that, on May 4, 2016, he was
placed in a cell with Joe Lloyd (“Lloyd”), a
former member of the Severely Violent Criminals
to his placement with Lloyd, Crofts had expressed
dissatisfaction and concern over being housed in general
population on tier J-3 of the prison facility, because SVC
and Aryan Knights (“AK”) gang members were housed
there as well. Crofts was upset about this placement because
he was stabbed by SVC and AK members in 2002 and assaulted by
AK members in 2006.
to Crofts, he made several efforts to inform Defendants that
he felt his life was in danger when he was placed on J-3, but
his requests to be moved were refused. Following his
placement with Lloyd, he told Eilers that he and Lloyd were
not getting along, and Eilers told him he would “move
[him] . . . in the morning.” Dkt. 15, at 3. Crofts
asserts that, because he was fearful for his safety, he had
to “act out” so that he would be taken to
administrative segregation, away from the gang members he
feared. Dkt. 3-1, at 15.
claims that in March of 2016, after he requested protective
custody (“PC”) placement, the Restrictive Housing
Placement Committee (“RHPC”) recommended that he
be placed in PC, and Defendants did not comply with this
recommendation. However, since Crofts filed his Complaint, it
has become clear that the RHPC did not recommend that he be
placed in protective custody. Instead, it recommended that he
remain in close custody general population. Dkt. 27-25.
confusion on this point is understandable because, on a form
memorializing his decision to not place Crofts in PC, the
prison warden mistakenly stated that the RHPC recommended PC.
This was simply an error. At the conclusion of the March 2016
hearing, RHPC actually recommended that Crofts remain in
close custody general population, which is precisely what
occurred. Id.; see also Dkt. 27-1, at 6-7.
prison staff member subsequently explained that Crofts did
not provide enough specific, current information that would
warrant PC placement-“stating in broad terms” his
fear of the AK and SVC gangs was not enough. Dkt. 3-1, at 15.
Prison staff also cited Crofts' own history of violence
as a reason for the PC denial. Id.
RHPC held another hearing in June of 2016. At this hearing,
Crofts revealed for the first time that Lloyd threatened him.
Dkt. 27-29, at 4-6. However, Crofts refused to elaborate on
the nature of this threat. Nonetheless, following this
hearing, the RHPC recommended that Crofts be removed from
general population. This recommendation was followed.
filed this lawsuit on February 3, 2017. He states that he is
seeking injunctive relief. Dkt. 15, at 2. Specifically, he
asks the Court to order Defendants to stop housing him
“with and around . . . AK Aryan Knights and SVC and
give Crofts proper safe housing and programs to better
Court conducted an Initial Review of Crofts' Complaint on
May 26, 2017 and found that he had pleaded a plausible
“failure-to-protect” claim arising under the
Eighth Amendment. Dkt. 13, at 5. Defendants' moved for
summary judgment on April 30, 2018. Dkt. 27. After the Motion
for Summary Judgment was fully briefed, Crofts filed his
Motion to Amend his Complaint. Dkt. 33.
judgment 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 judgment 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,
441 (9th Cir. 2017) (citation omitted). Importantly, the
Court does not make credibility determinations at this stage
of the litigation. Such determinations are reserved for the
trier of fact. Hanon v. Dataproducts Corp., 976 F.2d
497, 507 (9th Cir. 1992).
considering a motion for summary judgment, the Court must
“view the facts in the non-moving party's
favor.” Zetwick, 850 F.3d at 441. To 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 judgment
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 ...