United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 110)
P. GORDON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Brandyn Gayler sues James Dzurenda, Brian E. Williams, Jerry
Howell, and Jennifer Nash for violating his equal protection
rights while incarcerated at High Desert State Prison (HDSP).
He alleges that, as a protective segregation (P-Seg) inmate
at HDSP, he is not given the same educational, vocational,
and employment opportunities as similarly-situated inmates at
Lovelock Correctional Center (LCC), another Nevada Department
of Corrections (NDOC) prison.
defendants move for summary judgment on all of Gayler's
claims. I grant the motion on the claims against them in
their individual capacities and on Gayler's demand for
monetary damages. I order supplemental briefing on whether
Gayler's request for injunctive relief is moot.
INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY CLAIMS
is the Director of NDOC. Williams is the Warden of HDSP.
Howell and Nash are associate wardens at HDSP. Gayler's
amended complaint does not clearly specify whether these
defendants are named in their official capacities, individual
capacities, or both. However, the complaint seeks monetary
damages, as well as injunctive relief. The defendants argue
that they can be sued only in their official capacities, and
therefore monetary damages cannot be awarded against them.
They also contend that Gayler has not shown that they were
personally involved in the constitutional violations he
alleges, and they are therefore entitled to relief in their
individual capacities. Alternatively, the defendants argue
they are entitled to qualified immunity.
official sued in his or her official capacity for monetary
damages is not a person subject to suit under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Therefore, a plaintiff may sue state
actors in their official capacities only for injunctive
relief. To bring an individual capacity suit against a state
official (and seek monetary damages), a plaintiff must allege
personal involvement in the alleged constitutional
violation. “A supervisor is only liable for
constitutional violations of his subordinates if the
supervisor participated in or directed the violations, or
knew of the violations and failed to act to prevent
concedes that he cannot attain monetary damages against
Dzurenda and Williams in their official capacities pursuant
to my previous order. He does not argue that I should treat
Howell and Nash any differently, and I see no basis to-all of
the allegations against the four defendants are the same.
Further, Gayler does not refute the defendants' argument
that they were not personally involved in denying him
educational, vocational, and employment opportunities, and
there is no evidence in the record that any of them was. So I
grant the defendants' motion for summary judgment on both
Gayler's claims against them in their individual
capacities and his request for monetary damages against them
in their official capacities.
OFFICIAL CAPACITY CLAIMS
seeks injunctive relief from the unequal treatment he alleges
he is receiving at HDSP as a P-Seg inmate. The record
reflects that Gayler was approved to transfer to LCC as a
“close custody protective segregation” inmate in
2015. In October 2016, Plaintiff was accepted to the
“Structured Living Program” at LCC and
“signed a PSU waiver requesting to be released from PSU
& housed in [general population] at
LCC.” Gayler's transfer to LCC had not yet
occurred when the defendants filed their reply in support of
their motion. However, it has come to the court's
attention that Gayler may, in fact, have been transferred to
LCC while the renewed summary judgment motion was pending. It
therefore appears that (1) Gayler's voluntary withdrawal
from P-Seg, and (2) his transfer to LCC may have mooted his
claims for injunctive relief
therefore order the parties to submit supplemental briefs of
no more than five pages addressing whether Gayler's case
is moot either as a result of his removal from P-Seg or his
transfer to LCC.
THEREFORE ORDERED that the defendants' motion for summary
judgment (ECF No. 110) is GRANTED IN PART.
The plaintiff may not seek monetary damages against the named
defendants in their individual or official capacities.
FURTHER ORDERED that the parties must file supplemental
briefing consistent with this ...