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Putzer v. Attal

United States District Court, District of Nevada

January 26, 2014

DAVID SAUL PUTZER, Plaintiff,
v.
SHMUEL ATTAL, et al., Defendants.

ORDER (DKT. #44, #45, #70)

ANDREW P. GORDON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Plaintiff David Saul Putzer is an inmate at Southern Desert Correctional Center who alleges Defendants violated his constitutional rights while he was a detainee at the Clark County Detention Center (“CCDC”). Putzer’s claims revolve around four allegations: (1) Defendants failed to provide kosher meals at Passover; (2) Defendants denied kosher meals to Putzer from May 15, 2012 through June 1, 2012; (3) Defendants placed Putzer in a super max cell in retaliation for filing a grievance; and (4) Defendants have a grievance procedure which may require a detainee to hand a grievance to the person about whom the detainee is complaining.

Defendants Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (“LVMPD”), Randal Brown, Officer Camp, Officer Curry, Gary L. Driscoll, Sgt. Fucile, Lt. Getler, Sheriff Doug C. Gillespie, Bonnie Polly, Officer Reynosa, Officer Taitano, Officer Taylor, and Officer Thomas (collectively, the “LVMPD Defendants”) move for summary judgment. The LVMPD Defendants argue Putzer failed to respond to requests for admissions, and Putzer therefore has admitted he has no basis to assert policy or practice claims against LVMPD. The LVMPD Defendants also contend Putzer’s claims against the individual Defendants in their official capacities are the same as claims against LVMPD, and thus the LVMPD Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on Putzer’s official capacity claims as well. By separate motion, Defendant Gillespie moves for judgment on the pleadings arguing Putzer failed to allege that Gillespie personally participated in the violations. Putzer responds to both of these motions by arguing the proceedings are unfair because he is not an attorney, he cannot afford counsel, and the Magistrate Judge denied his prior request for appointment of counsel.

The LVMPD Defendants also separately move for summary judgment on the merits, asserting that no genuine issue of material fact remains that they did not violate any of Putzer’s constitutional rights. The LVMPD Defendants contend Putzer failed to respond to their requests for admissions, and he therefore admitted he has no viable claims. Putzer did not respond to this motion.

I. Background

I previously screened Putzer’s Amended Complaint (Dkt. #16) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The following claims remain pending against the LVMPD Defendants:

1. First Amendment and Religious Land Use and Institutional Persons Act of 2000 (“RLUIPA”) violations for failure to implement a policy to provide kosher meals for Passover against Polley, Randal Brown, Camp, Curry, Gillespie, Getler, Driscoll and LVMPD;

2. First Amendment and RLUIPA violations for failure to provide Putzer kosher meals for two weeks in May to June 2012 against Getler, Polley, Thomas, Driscoll, Taylor, Taitano, and Randal Brown;

3. First Amendment retaliation for denying Putzer kosher meals in May to June 2012 in retaliation for filing grievances against Polley, Getler, Driscoll, Randal Brown, and Thomas;

4. Equal Protection violation for failing to provide kosher meals for Passover when persons practicing other religions were provided greater accommodations than Jewish prisoners against Gillespie, Driscoll, Getler, Camp, Curry, Polley, Randal Brown, and LVMPD;

5. Equal Protection violation for retaliating against Putzer by not providing him kosher meals for two weeks in May to June 2012 against Getler, Randal Brown, Polley, Thomas, and Driscoll;

6. First Amendment retaliation and denial of access to the courts for placing Putzer in a super max cell in retaliation for filing grievances against Taylor and Taitano; and

7. Denial of access to the courts for failure to implement an effective grievance procedure against Taylor, Taitano, Gillespie, Getler, Camp, Reynosa, Fucile, and LVMPD. (Dkt. #15 at 4-11.)

Putzer brings these claims under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 against the LVMPD Defendants in their official and individual ...


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