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Bailey v. Suey

United States District Court, D. Nevada

January 11, 2018

ANTHONY BAILEY, Plaintiff(s),
RICH SUEY, et al., Defendant(s).


         Presently before the court is defendants captain Suey, lieutenant Filippo, lieutenant Kelso, and sergeant Aspiazu's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 197). Plaintiff Anthony Baily filed a response (ECF No. 198), to which defendants replied (ECF No. 199).

         I. Facts

         On January 18, 2012, plaintiff filed a complaint in the Eighth Judicial District Court, Las Vegas, Nevada, against the four officers in both their individual and official capacities under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the suit on behalf of himself and three other prisoners: John Scott, Norman Belcher, and Gabriel Yates.[1] Plaintiff alleges that defendants' denied plaintiff access to “outdoor daily fresh air [and] proper ventilation” beginning on or around February 12, 2012, and lasting an unspecified period of time. (ECF No. 1).

         Defendants removed this action on November 13, 2012. Id. On November 26, 2012, defendants filed their answer to plaintiff's complaint. (ECF No. 6). In its screening order the magistrate judge determined that plaintiff had adequately alleged claims under the Eighth or Fourteenth Amendment for the alleged deprivation of outdoor exercise and proper ventilation within the jail facility. See (ECF No. 14). The court dismissed all other claims. Shortly thereafter, plaintiff Anthony Bailey filed a motion for class certification. (ECF No. 25). The court denied Bailey's motion for class certification. (ECF No. 40). The court noted that plaintiff Anthony Bailey (1) had no authority to represent anyone other than himself, (2) was not an adequate class representative, and (3) had been previously warned by the Ninth Circuit about his vexatious litigation tactics. See id.

         On February 5, 2015, the court granted summary judgment in favor of defendants as to plaintiff's claim alleging a denial of outdoor exercise. (ECF No. 141). The court held that plaintiff failed to raise a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether defendants denied him outdoor exercise for a period of time longer than that permitted under the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. The court's order did not address plaintiff's inadequate ventilation claim. Id.

         On appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. (ECF No. 178). The Ninth Circuit affirmed the court's holding as to plaintiff's outdoor exercise claim. Id. As to defendant's inadequate ventilation claim, the court held that plaintiff's declarations that his health suffered because the air filters in the detention center were unclean raised a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the ventilation system harmed his health. Id.

         The court declined to affirm summary judgment on the alternative ground of failure to exhaust available administrative remedies. Id. The court stated “[o]n remand, the district court may consider whether summary judgment on the inadequate ventilation claim for failure to exhaust is appropriate. If necessary, the district court may receive additional evidence on this issue.” Id.

         II. Legal Standard

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow summary judgment 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 a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A principal purpose of summary judgment is “to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

         For purposes of summary judgment, disputed factual issues should be construed in favor of the non-moving party. Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed., 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990). However, to be entitled to a denial of summary judgment, the nonmoving party must “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id.

         In determining summary judgment, a court applies a burden-shifting analysis. The moving party must first satisfy its initial burden. “When the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial. In such a case, the moving party has the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact on each issue material to its case.” C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted).

         By contrast, when the nonmoving party bears the burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to negate an essential element of the non-moving 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. See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323-24. 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. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 159- 60 (1970).

         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. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that “the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.” T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 631 (9th Cir. 1987).

         In other words, the nonmoving party cannot avoid summary judgment by relying solely on conclusory allegations that are unsupported by factual data. See Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Instead, the opposition must go beyond the assertions and allegations of the pleadings and set forth specific facts by producing competent evidence that shows a genuine issue for trial. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324.

         At summary judgment, a court's function is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). The evidence of the nonmovant is “to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.” Id. at 255. But if the evidence of the nonmoving ...

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