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Hendon v. Ramsey

September 29, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Napoleon A. Jones, Jr. United States District Judge


Before this Court is Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes's Report and Recommendation ("R&R") recommending that Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment be granted in part and denied in part. This Court has considered Plaintiff Carlos Hendon's ("Plaintiff" or "Hendon") First Amended Complaint ("FAC"), Defendants' Answer, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and all supporting documentation submitted by the parties. Having considered these documents, this Court ADOPTS the R&R and GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.


A. Summary of Claims and Procedural History

Plaintiff Carlos Hendon ("Plaintiff") is an inmate of the California Department of Corrections ("CDC") and is currently incarcerated at the California State Prison - Sacramento in Represa, California. On April 26, 2007, Plaintiff filed a FAC alleging that several defendants had forcibly drugged him and violated his constitutional rights while he was housed at R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility ("RJDCF") in San Diego, California. [Doc. No. 50.]

Plaintiff named several defendants in his FAC, including RJDCF psychiatrist Dr. Ramsey; RJDCF psychologist Dr. Parker; RJDCF correctional officers Woods, Hernandez, Millspaugh, Carroll, Lizarraga, Zieber, Clifford, Pascuzzi, Lang, and Lozano; and RJDCF clinicians Petersen, Yumiko, Ridley, Marquez, Thompson, and Iberra. Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Ramsey and Dr. Parker diagnosed him as psychotic and a potential danger to others. He asserts that Dr. Ramsey and Dr. Parker prescribed several powerful psychotropic drugs and ordered him forcibly drugged. (Id.) Plaintiff states that various other defendants aided in forcibly medicating Plaintiff by extracting him from his cell and/or administering the medications to Plaintiff. (Id.) As a result of the medications, Plaintiff suffered side effects, including stiffness, a shuffling gait, extreme weight gain in excess of fifty pounds, high blood pressure and cholesterol, dry mouth, hallucinations, and symptoms akin to having Parkinson's disease. (Id. ¶ 17.) Additionally, Plaintiff states that the side effects continued after the drugging ceased. (Id. ¶ 18.)

Plaintiff states in his FAC that Dr. Ramsey and Dr. Parker failed to follow the CDC policy of notice and a hearing before forcibly drugging him. (Id. ¶ 16,citing Keyhea v. Rushen, 178 Cal.App.3d 526 (1986).)

In support of his claim, Plaintiff attached records of a particular treatment that began May 7, 2004, and lasted through July 13, 2004 at RJDCF. (See FAC, Appendix A.) Plaintiff also attached certain medical and prison records as exhibits to his declaration filed in opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendants have also submitted various medical and prison records attached as exhibits to the Mejia and Hunnicut declarations.

On June 13, 2007, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss [Doc. No. 51.] They asserted that (1) Plaintiff had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and (2) Plaintiff's claims were barred because he had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. (Id.) On December 28, 2007, this Court granted in part and denied in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. [Doc. No. 60.] This Court denied Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim, finding that Plaintiff had not alleged sufficient facts to indicate a culpable state of mind on the part of prison officials. However, this Court found that the prison officials had disregarded their duty to comply with established Keyhea pre-deprivation procedures. Accordingly, the Court allowed Plaintiff the opportunity to pursue his Fourteenth Amendment due process claim. (Id.) Defendants answered Plaintiff's FAC on February 8, 2008. [Doc. No. 66.] On November 11, 2008, Defendants filed the current Motion for Summary Judgment before this Court. [Doc. No. 77.] On February 4, 2009, Plaintiff filed an Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. [Doc. No. 88.] Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes filed a Report and Recommendation ("R&R") on August 14, 2009. [Doc. No. 91.] On September 18, 2009, Defendants filed an Objection to the Magistrate Judge's R&R. [Doc. No. 94.]

B. Plaintiff's Admissions to RJDCF Mental Health Crisis Bed Program

Defendants have attached all of Plaintiff's medical records from the RJDCF. (Mejia Decl., Ex. A-C.) Plaintiff has attached various notices and medical records as exhibits to the Opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment. The medical records show three admissions to RJDCF's Mental Health Crisis Bed program. The Mental Health Crisis Bed program provides medical care to inmates for conditions that require an inpatient setting to ameliorate acute mental health symptoms. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 3.) Plaintiff's first admission occurred on November 19, 2003, and he was released on November 25, 2003. [Doc. No. 76, Ex. A.] Plaintiff was next admitted on March 25, 2004, and released on April 6, 2004. [Doc. No. 76, Ex. B.] Plaintiff's third admission was for 68 days from May 7, 2004, through July 13, 2004. [Doc. No. 76, Ex. C.]

1. The First Admission November 19, 2003 - November 25, 2003

Plaintiff's first stay reflects no evidence of involuntary medication. (Mejia Decl., Ex. A-4; Ramsey Decl. ¶ 5.) Plaintiff does not assert any involuntary medication during his first stay at RJDCF. Plaintiff was discharged from the Mental Health Crisis Bed program on November 25, 2003, and transferred back to the California Correctional Institution ("CCI"). (Ramsey Decl. ¶¶ 9, 20; Parker Decl. ¶¶ 6, 7; Mejia Decl., Ex. A-3.) At the time of his discharge, he was diagnosed with depressive disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) with a history of malingering and polysubstance abuse. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 9; Parker Decl. ¶ 6; Mejia Decl., Ex. A-4.)

2. The Second Admission March 25, 2004 - April 6, 2004

Plaintiff was transferred back to the RJDCF'S psychiatric unit for admission to the Mental Health Crisis Bed program on March 25, 2004. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 11; Parker Decl. ¶ 8; Majia Decl., Ex. B-11.) At the time of his admission, Dr. Ramsey, Plaintiff's treating psychiatrist, noted that Plaintiff was suicidal and had recently been admitted into at least three other prison treatment centers for mental health issues in the last four months since his discharge from the RJDCF in November 2003. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 11; Parker Decl. ¶ 8.) Plaintiff was considered to be extremely dangerous at the time of his admittance, and he had a classification score of at least 391 points as a result of multiple assaults against staff, including several assaults against staff with feces and urine, also known as "gassing." (Id.)

On March 25, 2004, Dr. Ramsey attempted to examine Plaintiff, but he was unable to do more than assess Plaintiff's vital signs and make physical observations. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 14; Mejia Decl., Ex. B-3.) Plaintiff was extremely agitated and angry, and he refused to allow the exam to take place. (Id.) Because of Plaintiff's mental disorder, lengthy history of assaultive behavior, and dangerousness to others, Dr. Ramsey determined that it was in Plaintiff's best medical interests to administer medication to him involuntarily if Plaintiff refused to take his medication. (Ramsey Decl. ¶¶ 15, 16; Mejia Decl., B-4.) Dr. Ramsey informed Plaintiff that he would order Plaintiff's medication to be administered to him involuntarily if he refused to take it. (Id.) Dr. Ramsey prescribed Olanzapine, Lithium Citrate, Prozac, and Depakote Liquid to Plaintiff. (Mejia Decl., Ex. B-4.) In the event Plaintiff refused to take his medication, Dr. Ramsey prescribed Haldol, Ativan, and Benadryl intramuscular injections. (Id.; Ramsey Decl. ¶ 16.)

Defendants claim that the involuntary medication began only after Plaintiff refused to take his medication voluntarily on March 26, 2009. (See Defendants' Mem. of P. & A. in Support of Motion for Summ. J. ("P&A") at 4-5.) Plaintiff claims that the medication was involuntarily administered on March 25, 2004. (Hendon Decl. ¶ 3.) The 72 Hour Certification Notice (CDC Form 7363) supports Plaintiff's claim and states that "involuntary medication was begun on 03/25/04 at 14:55 [2:55 PM]." (Hendon Decl., Ex. A-1.)

On March 26, 2004, the day after Plaintiff's initial examination, Plaintiff refused to take his prescribed medication. (Hunnicutt Decl., Ex. A.) While Officer Boyd, a correctional officer, counseled him in an effort to get him to take his medication, Plaintiff violently assaulted Officer Boyd by kicking him in the groin. (Id.; Ramsey Decl. ¶ 17; Parker Decl. ¶ 11.) Officers Zieber and Pascuzzi responded to Plaintiff's assault on Officer Boyd, gained control of Plaintiff, and restrained him on the floor. (Hunnicutt Decl., Ex. A.) Based on his attack of Officer Boyd, medical staff administered an involuntary injection of Haldol, Ativan, and Benadryl. (Id.; Ramsey Decl. ¶ 17.)

Despite his medication regimen, Dr. Ramsey assessed Plaintiff as agitated and angry enough to require placing him in restraints with one-to-one staffing for his safety and the safety of staff on March 29, 2009. (Mejia Decl., Ex. A-13.) The restraints were discontinued the next day. On April 1, 2004, Plaintiff again threatened the staff. Consequently, he was restrained again for an additional day. (Id.)

On March 29, 2009, Dr. Ramsey and Dr. Parker, a staff psychologist at the RJDCF, certified Plaintiff for continued involuntary medication for up to 21 additional days. (Parker Decl. ¶ 14.) On April 2, 2004, in accordance with the requirements of the Keyhea injunction, Dr. Torrey, an independent practicing psychologist, held an independent certification review hearing. (Torrey Decl. ¶ 10, Ex. A.) Plaintiff claims that he did not receive any notice of this hearing. (Hendon Decl. ¶ 9.) Defendants claim that on April 2, 2004, Patricia Shields delivered a CDC 7363 "72 Hour Certification Notice" and a 7366 "Inmate Rights/Authorization for Involuntary Medication" form to Plaintiff. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 19; Mejia Decl., Exs. B-16, B-17.) Dr. Torrey found that as a result of Plaintiff's psychiatric disorder, he was a danger to others. (Torrey Decl., Ex. A.) Dr. Torrey advised Plaintiff that the criteria for involuntary medication were met and that the medication should be continued for up to 21 additional days. (Id.)

Plaintiff was discharged from RJDCF's Mental Health Crisis Bed program and transferred to California State Prison - Los Angeles (Lancaster) on April 9, 2004. (Mejia Decl., Ex. B-15.) In Plaintiff's discharge summary, Dr. Ramsey recommended that Plaintiff be kept on involuntary medication. (Id.) Defendants assert that Plaintiff's involuntary medication order was dropped upon his transfer to Lancaster. (P&A at 6; Ramsey Decl. ¶ 23.) However, Defendants do not provide any medical records or declarations from medical personnel at Lancaster to document the alleged discontinuance of the involuntary medication at Lancaster. Plaintiff claims that he continued to be involuntarily medicated at Lancaster from April 9, 2004 through April 26, 2004. (Hendon Decl. ¶ 5.) The physician's orders contained in the Lancaster new arrival paperwork state that Plaintiff was "Keyhea!!" and listed the medications to be administered. (Hendon Decl., Ex. C-5.) The physician's orders also state that Plaintiff was "extremely dangerous" and to "use caution." (Id.)

On April 21, 2004, Plaintiff was transferred from Lancaster back to CCI, where he once again became suicidal. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 23.) Plaintiff claims that the involuntary medication continued at CCI. The "Chronological Interdisciplinary Progress Notes" state that Dr. M. Price, a CCI doctor, spoke with Dr. Power from Lancaster on April 21, 2004. During the conversation, Dr. Power told Dr. Price that he believed Plaintiff was "probably still on Keyhea." (Hendon Decl., Ex. C-9.)

3. The Third Admission - May 7, 2004 - July 13, 2004

Defendants assert that Plaintiff was transferred back to the RJDCF on May 7, 2004. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 23; Parker Decl. ¶ 16.) The documentation is ambiguous. The "Conditions of Admission/Placement" and "Chronological Interdisciplinary Progress Notes" state that Plaintiff was admitted on May 7, 2004. (Mejia Decl., Exs. C-36, C-37.) The "Patient Discharge Summary" states that Plaintiff's admission date was May 7, 2004, but it is dated May 6, 2004. (Id. Ex. C-47.)*fn1 The "Informational Chrono" lists Plaintiff's admission date as May 6, 2004. (Id. Ex. C-52.)

Defendants claim that during the admission process on May 7, 2004, Plaintiff was uncuffed. They assert that Plaintiff rushed at the custody officers, resulting in a physical altercation in which he scratched one of the officers. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 24.) Dr. Ramsey states that because of Plaintiff's assault on the officer, he deemed it necessary to involuntarily medicate Plaintiff to prevent him from hurting the staff. (Id.) Plaintiff claims that there was no altercation during the admission process and that he was administered an initial dose of involuntary medication upon admission while still handcuffed. (Hendon Decl. ¶ 7.) Plaintiff states that the only altercation that took place was when officers entered his cell to administer the second dose of involuntary medication. (Id.) There is no CDC 837 Crime/Incident report in the record documenting the alleged assault during Plaintiff's admission. (Lozano Decl. ¶ 8.) The May 7, 2004 "Certification Hearing Notice" states that Plaintiff had met the criteria for involuntary medication because the Plaintiff reported that he was suicidal and that he had assaulted a correctional officer in "March 200. [sic]"*fn2 (Hendon Decl., Ex. B-4.) There is no mention of an assault in May 2004 in the Certification Hearing Notice or in the declaration of Dr. Torrey, the presiding officer. (See Torrey Decl. ¶ 11, which mentions only the March 2004 assault.)

Defendants claim that Plaintiff appeared on May 7, 2004 for a certification review hearing regarding Dr. Ramsey's order to involuntarily medicate him. (P&A at 7, citing Ramsey Decl. ¶ 25, Parker Decl. ¶ 16.) Although the Ramsey declaration states that Plaintiff "appeared for a Certification Hearing before Dr. Torrey Ph.D.," it does not state that Dr. Ramsey was present at the hearing or any other basis for Dr. Ramsey's knowledge that Plaintiff appeared at the hearing. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 25.) Plaintiff states that he does not remember being present at a certification hearing on May 7, 2004. (Hendon Decl. ¶ 11.) Additionally, Plaintiff states that the Institution Classification Committee ("ICC") and the Certification Review Hearings are generally combined when scheduled for the same day. (Id.) The Clinical Summary Outline for the ICC hearing states that Plaintiff was "in absentia," meaning that he was not present at the hearing. (Hendon Decl., Ex. C-10.) The Certification Hearing Notice does not state whether Plaintiff was present. (Hendon Decl., Ex. B-4.)

On May 10, 2004, Dr. Ramsey dictated a chronological interdisciplinary progress report as support for a request to file a petition in front of an administrative law judge, seeking an order to continue Plaintiff's involuntary medication treatment plan. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 26, Mejia Decl., Exs. C 37-45.) Defendants claim to have submitted a packet to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") personnel in Sacramento, requesting that a petition be filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings to continue Plaintiff's involuntary medication order. (P&A at 7, citing Ramsey Decl. ¶ 28; Lukasik Decl. ¶ 4.) The Ramsey declaration states that "[b]ased on information and belief, personnel at the RJDCF submitted a 'Keyhea packet' seeking an order to continue Mr. Hendon's involuntary-medication order. Based on this 'Keyhea packet,' it was believed that Mr. Hendon's Keyhea hearing before an administrative law judge was scheduled for June 14, 2004." (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 28.) The Lukasik declaration states that "[a]ccording to records maintained by the CDCR . . . a Keyhea packet requesting a petition to be filed regarding Inmate Carlos Hendon was sent from the RJDCF and received by the CDCR Office of Legal Affairs on May 14, 2004." (Lukasik Decl. ¶ 4.) Defendants do not, however, submit a copy of these records. In any event, there is no dispute that no petition was ever filed. (Ramsey Decl. ¶ 31.) Plaintiff claims that he continued to be involuntarily medicated through July 13, 2004. (Hendon Decl. ¶ 8.) The Mental Health Interdisciplinary Progress Notes, however, state that involuntary medications were discontinued on June 14, 2004. (Hendon Decl., Ex. H-19.)

Based on these facts, Plaintiff alleges that he was denied due process of law in violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights. (FAC ¶¶ 12-18.) Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages for the physical and emotional injuries sustained as a result of the unwanted administration of anti-psychotic drugs and requests punitive damages be awarded against all named defendants except the medical contractor. (Id.)

Defendants move for summary judgment, arguing that: 1) certain Defendants were not the cause of any alleged constitutional violation; 2) all Defendants provided Plaintiff with all due process necessary; and 3) ...

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