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Urenda-Bustos v. Williams

United States District Court, D. Nevada

February 28, 2018

BRIAN WILLIAMS, SR., et al., Defendants.


         Presently before the court is defendants Ira Hollingsworth and Bryan Wilson's (collectively, “defendants”) motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 17). Plaintiff Luis Urenda-Bustos filed a response. (ECF No. 23). Defendants have not replied, and the time for doing so has since passed.

         Also before the court is defendants' motion to strike. (ECF No. 24). Plaintiff has not responded, and the time for doing so has since passed.

         I. Facts

         Plaintiff alleges that on September 18, 2013, defendant Foley, [1] a senior correctional officer at Southern Desert Correctional Center (“SDCC”), forcibly put hand restraints on plaintiff that cut off the circulation to plaintiff's hands. (ECF No. 4). Plaintiff alleges that the restraints left indentations and subdermal hematoma bruising on plaintiff's wrist. Id.

         Plaintiff brought the injuries to the attention of defendant Hollingsworth, a caseworker at SDCC. (ECF No. 4). Defendant Hollingsworth sent plaintiff to see a nurse for medical attention. Id. Plaintiff asserts that defendant Hollingsworth did not report plaintiff's injury, as required by administrative regulations, in an attempt to cover up Foley's actions. Id.

         Plaintiff began the informal grievance process. (ECF No. 4). Plaintiff submitted numerous informal grievances, the last of which was rejected on March 17, 2015. (ECF No. 17).

         Foley issued plaintiff a notice of charges of a disciplinary violation due to the nurse's statement that plaintiff's injuries were “self-inflicted.” (ECF No. 4). On October 1, 2013, a disciplinary hearing was held regarding the charges Officer Foley brought against plaintiff. (ECF No. 17). Defendant Wilson, a Sergeant at SDCC, adjudicated the disciplinary hearing. (ECF No. 4). Wilson found plaintiff guilty of the charges and reduced plaintiff's custody level. Id.

         Pursuant to a screening order (ECF No. 4), in relevant part, plaintiff was permitted to proceed on one count of retaliation against defendants Foley, Hollingsworth, Wilson, and unidentified medical staff. (ECF No. 17).

         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 nonmoving party. Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed., 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990). However, to withstand 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. “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 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. 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). The opposing party need not establish a dispute of material fact conclusively in its favor. See T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 631 (9th Cir. 1987). 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.” Id.

         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 a genuine dispute exists 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 party is merely colorable or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted. See Id. at 249-50.

         III. ...

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