United States District Court, D. Nevada
KELVIN L. SPANN, Plaintiff,
ROBERT BRYANT, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 37]
P. GORDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Kevin Spann filed a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. I screened Spann's complaint and allowed the
Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claim to proceed
against Officer Bryant, the Eighth Amendment excessive force
claim to proceed against Officer Bauman, and the Fourteenth
Amendment due process claim to proceed against Officer
McCormack and Warden Williams. ECF No. 8. Those defendants
now move for summary judgment on all of Spann's claims.
ECF No. 37. Spann did not file an opposition to the motion.
November 25, 2017, Spann was being transferred from Ely State
Prison (ESP) to the Southern Desert Correctional Center
(SDCC) with seven other inmates. An argument ensued when
Spann said to Officer Bauman, “you need to get me some
shoes punk ass bitch.” Officer Bauman told Spann to be
quiet as Officer Bauman was trying to verify the number of
inmates on the transportation van. Spann continued his
hostilities toward Officer Bauman, so Officer Bauman pushed
Spann's face down towards the floor, grabbed him by his
right arm, and placed him on the ground. Officer Bauman
radioed then-Lieutenant Ronald Bryant about the situation and
held Spann on the ground until other officers arrived.
Officer Bryant arrived, Officer Bauman informed him that
Spann acted hostile towards him while Office Bauman was
verifying the inmates on the transportation van. Other
officers also confirmed to Officer Bryant that Spann was
combative. Spann remained hostile towards the staff
throughout the incident. Officer Bryant offered Spann to be
seen by the medical provider but Spann refused medical
attention, stating that he was not injured.
received disciplinary charges as a result of the incident.
Officer McCormack was the hearing officer who conducted the
disciplinary hearing. According to the Summary of
Disciplinary Hearing, Officer McCormack provided Spann with a
description of the evidence against him (including witness
statements and photographic evidence), explained the
disciplinary action to be taken, and afforded Spann an
opportunity to present evidence and call witnesses. Officer
McCormack interviewed the inmates that Spann designated as
witnesses, but the inmates declined to testify on the record
regarding the incident. Spann was found guilty of two
disciplinary charges. The hearing was recorded.
Williams denied Spann's first level appeal of the finding
of guilt. Warden Williams found that Spann disobeyed a direct
order to be quiet while the officer was conducting a vehicle
check and caused an unnecessary work stoppage. Warden
Williams noted that Spann neither offered nor submitted any
other proof to support his claims.
judgment is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. I
first look to the pleadings, discovery responses, and
affidavits to determine if there is a genuine issue of
material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322 (1986). Summary judgment is appropriate when,
“taking the evidence and all reasonable inferences
drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party, there are no genuine issues of material fact and the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Furnace v. Sullivan, 705 F.3d 1021, 1026
(9th Cir. 2013) (quotation omitted). An issue is genuine if
“the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
moving party bears the burden of showing the basis for its
motion and the portions of the record that demonstrate the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex
Corp., 477 U.S. at 323. A court may not grant summary
judgment solely on the basis that no response was filed.
Henry v. Gill Indus. Inc., 983 F.2d 943, 950 (9th
Cir. 1993). I must still consider whether the moving party
has met its initial burdens of establishing there is no issue
for trial and it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Eighth Amendment Conditions of Confinement Claim
“treatment a prisoner receives in prison and the
conditions under which he is confined are subject to scrutiny
under the Eighth Amendment.” Helling v.
McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 31 (1993). Conditions of
confinement may, consistent with the Constitution, be
restrictive and harsh. Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S.
337, 347 (1981). However, “[p]rison officials have a
duty to ensure that prisoners are provided adequate shelter,
food, clothing, sanitation, medical care, and personal
safety.” Johnson v. Lewis, 217 F.3d 726, 731
(9th Cir. 2000).
challenge the conditions of confinement under the Eighth
Amendment, a plaintiff must meet both objective and
subjective tests. Id. The objective test requires a
showing that the deprivation was sufficiently serious to form
the basis for an Eighth Amendment violation. Johnson v.
Lewis, 217 F.3d 726, 731 (9th Cir. 2000). When
determining whether the conditions of confinement meet the
objective test, the court must analyze each condition to
determine whether that specific condition violates the Eighth
Amendment. Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080,
1107 (9th Cir. 1986). However, some “conditions of
confinement may establish an Eighth Amendment violation
‘in combination' when each would not do so alone,
but only when they have a mutually enforcing effect that
produces the deprivation of a single, identifiable human need
such as food, warmth, or exercise-for example, a low cell
temperature at night combined with a failure to issue