The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 17). Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion (Doc. 21), and Defendant filed a reply (Doc. 22).
A. Plaintiff's Allegations
Plaintiff claims Defendant interfered with his right of access to the courts. He alleges he requested Defendant's assistance in retrieving his legal documents from another inmate after that other inmate had been moved to another housing unit. He claims Defendant agreed to assist him, but failed to do so in a timely fashion. The other inmate then died prior to Defendant retrieving his documents, which were then never returned as they could not be found in the inmate's belongings. Due to Defendant's failure to retrieve the legal documents, Plaintiff argues he missed the deadline to file his state habeas petition in the California Supreme Court.
On March 19, 2007, Plaintiff gave inmate Hackett the transcripts and other legal documents related to Plaintiff's criminal proceedings. Inmate Hackett was going to assist Plaintiff in filing a habeas petition in the California Supreme Court. On March 22, 2007, inmate Hackett was moved to a different housing unit. On that same day, Plaintiff informed Defendant that inmate Hackett had his legal documents, and requested assistance in retrieving them. Plaintiff also requested assistance from another Correctional Officer, Sims. At some point, Defendant left a note in the housing log for Officer Coleman, a second watch officer, to help Plaintiff retrieve his documents. Plaintiff was never told he could not ask any of the other officers for assistance. Inmate Hackett died about a week after March 22, 2007. When Plaintiff informed Defendant about Hackett's death, Defendant called the Investigative Services Unit (ISU to inquire about Hackett and his property. Hackett's property was inaccessible to correctional staff during the ISU's investigation into Hackett's death. Plaintiff did not inform inmate Hackett or Defendant of any pending deadline relating to his legal documents in Hackett's possession. When Hackett's property was cleared, on May 15, 2007, Plaintiff's documents could not be located among Hackett's property.
Plaintiff filed a petition for habeas corpus with the California Supreme Court on June 4, 2007. He filed the petition without the transcripts from his criminal proceedings. Plaintiff did not request an extension of time from the California Supreme Court in order to obtain the transcripts, nor did he explain why the transcripts were not included. Plaintiff's petition was summarily denied by the California Supreme Court on October 10, 2007, with no case citation or other indication as to why it was denied. Plaintiff filed his federal petition for habeas corpus on October 22, 2007 in this court. That petition was dismissed as filed beyond the statute of limitations on April 2, 2009, and is currently on appeal.
II. STANDARDS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Summary judgment is appropriate when it is demonstrated that there exists "no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Under summary judgment practice, the moving party always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any," which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)). "[W]here the nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial on a dispositive issue, a summary judgment motion may properly be made in reliance solely on the 'pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file.'" Id. Indeed, summary judgment should be entered, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Id. at 322. "[A] complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial." Id. In such a circumstance, summary judgment should be granted, "so long as whatever is before the district court demonstrates that the standard for entry of summary judgment, as set forth in Rule 56(c), is satisfied." Id. at 323.
If the moving party meets its initial responsibility, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue as to any material fact actually does exist. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). In attempting to establish the existence of this factual dispute, the opposing party may not rely upon the allegations or denials of its pleadings but is required to tender evidence of specific facts in the form of affidavits, and/or admissible discovery material, in support of its contention that the dispute exists. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586 n.11. The opposing party must demonstrate that the fact in contention is material, i.e., a fact that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law, Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pacific Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987), and that the dispute is genuine, i.e., the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party, Wool v. Tandem Computers, Inc., 818 F.2d 1433, 1436 (9th Cir. 1987).
In the endeavor to establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that "the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial." T.W. Elec. Serv., 809 F.2d at 631. Thus, the "purpose of summary judgment is to 'pierce the pleadings and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a genuine need for trial.'" Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) advisory committee's note on 1963 amendments).
In resolving the summary judgment motion, the court examines the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The evidence of the opposing party is to be believed. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. All reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the facts placed before the court must be drawn in favor of the opposing party. See Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587. Nevertheless, inferences are not drawn out of the air, and it is the opposing party's obligation to produce a factual predicate from which the inference may be drawn. See Richards v. Nielsen Freight Lines, 602 F. Supp. 1224, 1244-45 (E.D. Cal. 1985), aff'd, 810 F.2d 898, 902 (9th Cir. 1987). Finally, to demonstrate a genuine issue, the opposing party "must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to ...