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Slaughter v. Baca

United States District Court, D. Nevada

December 12, 2019

ISIDRO BACA, et al., Defendants.



         I. SUMMARY

         Plaintiff Rickie Slaughter, an incarcerated person, brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court is a Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb (“R&R”) regarding Defendants'[1] motion for summary judgment (“Motion”) (ECF No. 107). (ECF No. 120.) In the R&R, Judge Cobb recommends that Defendants' Motion be denied in all aspects, except to the extent Plaintiff seeks damages from Defendants in their official capacities. (E.g., id. at 1.) Defendants objected to the R&R (ECF No. 122) and Plaintiff-via counsel-responded (ECF No. 127).[2] For the reasons below, the Court accepts and adopts the R&R in full.


         Plaintiff is an inmate in the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections (“NDOC”). He was housed at Ely State Prison (“ESP”) at the time of the events giving rise to his claims here, but has since been transferred to an out-of-state facility in Arizona. (See ECF No. 49.) In his Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”), Plaintiff asserts four claims (Counts I through IV), making various contentions of retaliation and conspiracy by Defendants. (Id.) Plaintiff claims retaliation and/or conspiracy by Defendants for filing grievances (or making claims related to grievances) against them, in the form of, inter alia: withholding of his legal copy work, confiscation of his legal documents, refusing to process his copy work request, threats of disciplinary charges and loss of access to library services, denial of physical access to the library, and deprivation of his bedding and mattress for a day. (Id. at 3-14.) He also claims retaliation and conspiracy in being transferred to Arizona related to his lawsuits and grievances against ESP officers. (Id.)

         Further facts and background regarding this matter is included in the R&R (ECF No. 120), which the Court adopts.


         A. Review of Magistrate Judge's Recommendation

         This Court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Where a party timely objects to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, then the court is required to “make a de novo determination of those portions of the [report and recommendation] to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         In light of Defendants' objection, the Court engages in de novo review to determine whether to accept the R&R. Upon reviewing the R&R, related briefing and accompanying exhibits (ECF Nos. 107, 108, 108-1 through 108-7, 109, 110, 117, 119), the Court finds the R&R should be accepted in full.

         B. Summary Judgment Standard

         “The purpose of summary judgment is to avoid unnecessary trials when there is no dispute as to the facts before the court.” Nw. Motorcycle Ass'n v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 18 F.3d 1468, 1471 (9th Cir. 1994). Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits “show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). An issue is “genuine” if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable fact-finder could find for the nonmoving party and a dispute is “material” if it could affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

         The moving party bears the burden of showing that there are no genuine issues of material fact. Zoslaw v. MCA Distrib. Corp., 693 F.2d 870, 883 (9th Cir. 1982). Once the moving party satisfies Rule 56's requirements, the burden shifts to the party resisting the motion to “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256. The nonmoving party “may not rely on denials in the pleadings but must produce specific evidence, through affidavits or admissible discovery material, to show that the dispute exists, ” Bhan v. NME Hosps., Inc., 929 F.2d 1404, 1409 (9th Cir. 1991), and “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Orr v. Bank of Am., NT & SA, 285 F.3d 764, 783 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)). “The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. Moreover, a court views all facts and draws all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Kaiser Cement Corp. v. Fischbach & Moore, Inc., 793 F.2d 1100, 1103 (9th Cir. 1986).

         IV. ...

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