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Black v. Williams

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 12, 2014

KEVIN DUVALLE BLACK, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

ANDREW P. GORDON, District Judge.

Defendants Canute Brown and Francisco Sanchez request that I grant summary judgment in their favor on Plaintiff Kevin Duvalle Black's Eighth Amendment claims for excessive force against Brown and deliberate indifference to medical needs against Sanchez. Black did not respond to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

Because no evidence before me raises a genuine issue of material fact as to these claims, and Defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law, I will grant Defendants' motion. However, Black's First Amendment claim against Brown remains pending, as the Screening Order allowed Black to proceed with a First Amendment claim against Brown, and Brown has not moved for summary judgment on that claim. The parties shall appear at a hearing on Thursday, September 25, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the status of this claim.

I. BACKGROUND

Black was incarcerated from December 23, 2008 to September 23, 2011, and housed at Southern Desert Correctional Center ("SDCC"). (Dkt. #12 at 1; Dkt. #52-1, Ex. A.) Brown is a correctional officer and Sanchez is a physician at SDCC. (Dkt. #12 at 1-2.) Black filed a Complaint (Dkt. #7) in this Court alleging, among other things, that on September 30, 2010, Brown denied Black's previously approved request to go to religious services, and then used excessive force against Black when Black requested a grievance form. Black also alleges Sanchez was deliberately indifferent to Black's medical needs arising from the incident with Brown. Judge Dawson screened the Complaint and dismissed all claims except Black's First and Eighth Amendment claims against Brown, and Black's Eighth Amendment claim against Sanchez. (Dkt. #6.)

During discovery, Defendants sent Black Requests for Admissions, to which Black did not respond. (Dkt. #52-2, Ex. D.) Defendants requested Black respond to the Requests for Admissions a second time, but Black did not reply. (Dkt. #52-2, Ex. F.) Pursuant to Federal Rule of Procedure 36(a)(3) and (b), Black's failure to timely respond to the Requests for Admissions results in the following facts being conclusively established:

• Brown did not sweep Black's feet out from under Black, slam Black against a door, or throw Black on the ground during the September 30, 2010 incident;

• Black did not suffer injuries as a result of the September 30, 2010 incident; and

• Sanchez provided Black with adequate medical care.

(Dkt. #52-2, Ex. D.)

II. DISCUSSION

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for summary adjudication when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."[1] Material facts are those that may affect the outcome of the case.[2] A dispute as to a material fact is genuine if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party.[3] A principal purpose of summary judgment is "to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims."[4]

In determining summary judgment, courts apply a burden-shifting analysis. Where, as here, the nonmoving party bears the burden of proving the claim, the moving party can meet its initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to negate an essential element of the nonmoving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that the nonmoving party failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that party's case on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.[5] If the moving party fails to meet its initial burden, summary judgment must be denied and the court need not consider the nonmoving party's evidence.[6]

If the moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue of material fact exists.[7] The nonmoving party cannot avoid summary judgment by relying solely on conclusory allegations that are unsupported by factual data.[8] Instead, the opposition must go beyond the assertions and allegations of the pleadings ...


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