The opinion of the court was delivered by: SUSAN ILLSTON, District Judge
Defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on their
defense of qualified immunity against plaintiff's complaint.
Judgment is entered in favor of defendants and against plaintiff.
IT IS SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Darryl Wakefield, an inmate at the California State Prison in
Corcoran, filed this pro se civil rights action under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaining that doctors at Pelican Bay State
Prison improperly medicated him while he was in custody there.
Defendants now move for summary judgment on the ground that the
undisputed facts show that they are entitled to qualified
immunity against Wakefield's claims. For the reasons discussed
below, the motion for summary judgment will be granted.
This action concerns the administration of psychotropic
medications to Wakefield for an eight-day period in July 2000.
Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are undisputed.
At the relevant time, Wakefield was an inmate at Pelican Bay
State Prison and defendants Ronald Bortman and John Douglas were
staff psychiatrists at Pelican Bay. The duties for Dr. Bortman and Dr. Douglas included treatment of inmates at the
Pelican Bay infirmary, management of all the acute care patients,
and administration of involuntary medications.
Under California law, state prisoners cannot be involuntarily
medicated unless Keyhea provisions are followed.*fn1 The
Keyhea procedures are set out in the October 31, 1986 Order
Granting Plaintiffs' Motion For Clarification And Modification of
Injunction And Permanent Injunction filed in Keyhea v. Rushen,
Solano County Superior Court Case No. 67432. See Defendants'
Exh. A. The Keyhea injunction provides procedural requirements
and substantive standards for medication of different durations.
An individual may not be involuntarily medicated in excess of
three days unless the individual is provided with one set of
procedural protections, an individual may not be involuntarily
medicated in excess of ten days unless the individual is provided
with another set of procedural protections, and an individual may
not be involuntarily medicated in excess of 24 days unless the
individual is provided with another set of procedural
protections; all the procedural protections are described in the
injunction. See Keyhea injunction, p. 2.
The Keyhea injunction does not prohibit the emergency
administration of antipsychotic medication. Keyhea injunction,
p. 22. "An emergency exists when there is a sudden marked change
in the prisoner's condition so that action is immediately
necessary for the preservation of life or the prevention of
serious bodily harm to the patient or others, and it is
impracticable to first obtain consent. If antipsychotic
medication is administered during an emergency, such medication
shall be only that which is required to treat the emergency
condition and shall be provided in ways that are least
restrictive of the personal liberty of the patient." Id.
Plaintiff does not dispute defendants' recitation of the
requirements of the Keyhea injunction for the procedures to
certify an inmate for involuntary medication longer than for 72
hours, which the court repeats here. First, a certification
hearing must be held within ten days of the initial involuntary
medication. Second, a notice of certification must be signed by
two people: a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist and the physician
or psychologist who participated in the evaluation. This notice
must be given to the inmate within five days of the initial
involuntary medication. Third, the inmate must be informed that
he is entitled to a certification review hearing, must be given
assistance in preparation for the hearing and must be given an
opportunity to present evidence at the hearing. If the
certification hearing officer finds that the inmate is a danger
to himself or others as a result of his mental condition and the
inmate still refuses medication, he may be involuntarily
medicated for up to 21 days. The inmate must receive written
notification of the decision which includes a statement of the
evidence relied on in the decision. (There are additional
procedures for longer medication terms, but they are not relevant
to this action.)
Wakefield was involuntarily medicated from July 23, 2000
through July 31, 2000 with the antipsychotics olanzapine and
haloperidol. The notice of certification for involuntary
medication was signed by Dr. Bortman on July 23, 2000, as the
evaluating physician, and was signed by Dr. Douglas on July 24,
2000, as the chief psychiatrist or his designee. On the notice of
certification, Dr. Bortman checked the boxes that Wakefield was a
"danger to others" and "[g]ravely disabled in that the inmate is
unable to use the elements of life that are essential to health
safety including food, clothing and shelter, even though provided
to the inmate by others." Watkins Decl., Exh. A. In the portion
of the form that was for the facts that formed the basis of the
allegation, Dr. Bortman wrote, "inmate defecated on floor,
threatened to gas staff, loud threatening to fight COs and M.D.
Smeared cell window. He is mentally ill and he refuses
medication." Id.. The form stated that the inmate had been
notified of the evaluation and had been advised of but unable or
unwilling to accept mediation on a voluntary basis. Dr. Bortman
and Dr. Douglas signed off on the form that they "certify this
inmate to receive involuntary medication related to the mental
disorder for no more than twenty-one (21) days beginning the 23
day of July 2000 at 1515." Id. On the form a third party wrote
that she delivered the notice of certification to Wakefield on
July 24, 2000. Dr. Bortman wrote the following in his treatment notes for
Wakefield on July 25, 2000:
The patient was admitted out of the SHU unit after he
apparently told custody that he was "suicidal." A
review of his record and interview of the patient
revealed repeated history of outbursts and apparent
loss of control that recently have seemed to be
escalating. A review of his record and assessment by
SHU Staff felt that there may be some more
significant underlying psychiatric problem than
adjustment difficulties and the patient was referred
to the infirmary because of his suicide statement and
for further evaluation. On arrival at the Infirmary
the patient varied in presentation from calm to
agitated. He at times would be very loud and
demanding and at other times would be quiet and
complaint. Initially, the patient seemed to present
no difficulties regarding his behavior other than the
aforementioned occasional loud verbal exchanges.
However he became increasingly agitated and angry and
began threatening staff. At one point he threatened
to strangle a female custody officer; at another
point he defecated on the floor and threatened to
throw feces at staff. At that point it was felt that
his behavior had reached uncontrolled levels and that
he required intervention including restraints and
medication. The patient refused to cooperate. He
required extraction and he was placed in restraints.
He was placed on a KEYHEA for danger to others and
grave disability and was started on medications.
Bortman Decl., Exh. A.
Wakefield claims that the factual basis for Dr. Bortman's
evaluation in the notice of certification was false. Wakefield
stated: "I `never' threatened to gas and fight any officer on
July 23, 2000. I `never' defecated on the floor, `never' smeared
feces on the cell window." Wakefield Decl., ¶ 3. He also states
that defendant ...