Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Buford v. Wasco State Prison

November 2, 2010

TIMOTHY BUFORD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WASCO STATE PRISON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT and GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

(Docs. 244 & 254)

Order on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment

I. Procedural History

Plaintiff Timothy Buford (hereinafter "Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on February 16, 2001. (Doc. 1.) After multiple screenings, dismissals, and amendments, the Court screened Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 46) to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and found that it stated cognizable claims against Defendants Carbajal,*fn1 Bindle,*fn2 Huertas, Dobbs, Cheatham, Leong and Songer (hereinafter "Defendants") on Plaintiff's claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (hereinafter "the ADA"). Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007); Alvarez v. Hill, 518 F.3d 1152, 1157-58 (9th Cir. 2008).

Both parties have filed motions for summary judgment in this case. Plaintiff filed his motion for summary judgment on June 14, 2010. (Doc. 244.) Defendants filed an opposition to Plaintiff's motion on July 22, 2010. (Doc. 252.) On that same day, Defendants filed their "reply" to Plaintiff's undisputed statement of facts (Doc. 253), their own motion for summary judgment (Doc. 254), and their statement of undisputed facts in support of the defense motion (Doc. 255). Plaintiff filed an opposition to Defendants' motion for summary judgment on August 5, 2010 (Doc. 256), but did not file a reply to Defendants' opposition to his own motion for summary judgment.*fn3 Defendants filed a reply to Plaintiff's opposition to the defense motion on August 16, 2010. (Doc. 257.) The parties refer to the exhibits submitted by Plaintiff in support of his motion and to the exhibits Defendants submitted in support of their motion in both motions. Further, both sides only submitted evidence in support of their respective motions, rather than submitting evidence to oppose each other's motion, choosing instead to merely refer in their oppositions to the evidence they submitted in support of their own motion. The evidence and arguments presented in these motions are so intertwined as to necessitate addressing both motions in one order. Both motions raise the issue of whether Plaintiff's rights under the ADA were violated, though Defendants' motion also raises the issues of individual capacity suits and entitlement to qualified immunity. Accordingly, the issues raised in both motions and the evidence submitted by the parties will be addressed jointly herein. Both motions are deemed submitted.*fn4

II. Summary Judgment Standard

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 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). It is the moving party's burden to establish that there exists no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. British Airways Board v. Boeing Co., 585 F.2d 946, 951 (9th Cir. 1978).

"When the moving party does not have the burden of proof on the issue, he need show only that the opponent cannot sustain his burden at trial." Calderone v. United States, 799 F.2d 254, 259 (6th Cir. 1986) ( quoting W. Schwarzer, Summary Judgment Under the Federal Rules: Defining Issues of Material Fact 99 F.R.D. 465, 487 (1984)). "But where the moving party has the burden - the plaintiff on a claim for relief or the defendant on an affirmative defense - his showing must be sufficient for the court to hold that no reasonable trier of fact could find other than for the moving party." Id. Thus, as to Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff must demonstrate there is no triable issue as to the matters alleged in his complaint. Id. This requires Plaintiff to establish beyond controversy every essential element of his Eighth Amendment claim. Houghton v. South, 965 F.2d 1532, 1536 (9th Cir. 1992); Fontenot v. Upjohn Co., 780 F.2d 1190, 1194 (5th Cir. 1986). Plaintiff's evidence is judged by the same standard of proof applicable at trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986).

As to Defendant's motion for summary judgment, "where 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.'" Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. 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. 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 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. 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. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The evidence of the opposing party is to be believed, Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255, and all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the facts placed before the Court must be drawn in favor of the opposing party, Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587 ( citing United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655 (1962) (per curiam). 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. 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 the material facts. Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no 'genuine issue for trial.'" Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587 (citation omitted).

"[W]hen parties submit cross-motions for summary judgment, [e]ach motion must be considered on its own merits." Fair Hous. Council of Riverside County, Inc. v. Riverside Two, 249 F.3d 1132, 1136 (9th Cir. 2001) (internal quotations and citation omitted). The parties bear the burden of supporting their motions and oppositions with the papers they wish the Court to consider and/or by specifically referencing any other portions of the record they wish the Court to consider. Carmen v. San Francisco Unified ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.