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Juan Munoz v. M. Fredrick; A. Lagdaan

July 13, 2011

JUAN MUNOZ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
M. FREDRICK; A. LAGDAAN
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez, Chief Judge United States District Court

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO FED.R.CIV.P.56 [ECF No.73]

CDCR #D-52837,

I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Juan Munoz ("Plaintiff"), a state prisoner currently housed at Kern Valley State Prison located in Delano, California, is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a Complaint filed pursuant to the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently pending before the Court is Defendants' Fredrick and Lagdaan's Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to FED.R.CIV.P. 56 [ECF No.73].*fn1

II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Defendants Fredrick and Lagdaan, the sole remaining Defendants in this action, are moving for summary judgment on all of Plaintiff's remaining claims pursuant to FED.R.CIV.P. 56. On December 20, 2010, the Court advised Plaintiff of his rights and obligations to oppose Defendant's Motion pursuant to Klingele v. Eikenberry, 849 F.2d 409 (9th Cir. 1988) and Rand v. Rowland, 154 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc).*fn2 Plaintiff later sought, and received, an extension of time to file an Opposition to Defendants' Motion. Plaintiff was given until February 3, 2011 to file his Opposition. See Jan. 7, 2011 Order at 1. However, Plaintiff failed to file an Opposition within that time frame.

On February 28, 2011, the Court granted Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. See Feb. 28, 2011 Order. However, on March 8, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Motion seeking leave to vacate the judgment indicating that he was unable to file a timely Opposition due to difficulties arising from prison lockdowns, as well as inability to access the prison's law library. See Pl.'s Mar. 8, 2011 Mtn at 1-2. On March 9, 2011, the Court granted Plaintiff relief and vacated the judgment entered on February 28, 2011. See Mar. 9, 2011 Order at 1-2. The Court directed the Clerk of Court to file Plaintiff's proposed Opposition [ECF No. 90]. Defendants requested that the Court reopen discovery in light of Plaintiff's reliance on the affidavit of a witness not previously disclosed to Defendants. This request was granted and Defendants were permitted leave to reopen discovery for the sole purpose of taking the deposition of inmate Amos Garcia.

See April 1, 2011 Order at 1. Defendants filed their Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition on June 24, 2011 [ECF No. 107]. This motion has now been fully briefed by all parties.

Having now exercised its discretion to consider the matter as submitted on the papers without oral argument pursuant to S.D. CAL. CIVLR 7.1.d.1, the Court hereby GRANTS Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to FED.R.CIV.P. 56 for the reasons set forth in detail below.

III. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS*fn3

On July 15, 2008, Plaintiff was housed at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility ("Donovan"). (See Compl. at 3.) Plaintiff attempted to speak to Correctional Officer Fredrick to request a cell move. (Id.) Defendant Fredrick "become agitated" and told Plaintiff to return to his cell. (Id.) Plaintiff "explained to Fredrick" that he had "problems with his [cellmate] and needed a cell move." (Id.). Defendant Fredrick then "escorted Plaintiff" to his cell. (Id.) As Plaintiff began to walk toward his cell, "Fredrick took his arm around [Plaintiff's] chest area, and slammed Plaintiff to the floor." Plaintiff alleges he was then "punched and kicked" in the head by Defendant Fredrick. (Id.) Defendants Lagdaan, Rodriquez, and R. Contreras*fn4 arrived and "helped Fredrick in assaulting the Plaintiff by punching and kicking the Plaintiff." (Id.) As a result, Plaintiff claims he suffered from "head trauma, bruises on the face, ear, neck, chest, and shoulder, and lasting pain on neck and back of head." (Id.)

IV. DEFENDANTS'MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

A. Standard of Review

Summary judgment is properly granted when "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and ... the moving party is entitled to judgment as ...


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