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Pearson v. Golubyatnikou

United States District Court, Eastern District of California

November 10, 2014

KAWAUNE GREGORY PEARSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. GOLUBYATNIKOV, Defendant.

ORDER

KENDALL J. NEWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

Introduction

Plaintiff is a state prisoner, proceeding without counsel, with a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The parties consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned. (ECF No. 82.)

Plaintiff alleges that defendant Golubyatnikov provided him with inadequate dental care in violation of the Eighth Amendment.[1] Pending before the court is defendant’s summary judgment motion. (ECF No. 84.) For the following reasons, defendant’s motion is granted.

Preliminary Matters

In his April 3, 2014 reply to plaintiff’s opposition, defendant observes that plaintiff failed to submit any evidence in support of his opposition. (ECF No. 87 at 1.) Apparently in response to this statement in the reply, on April 10, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion for an extension of time to re-submit exhibits. (ECF No. 88.) Plaintiff requests an extension of time to submit or “regain” exhibits that were damaged or destroyed by officials at the California Medical Facility (“CMF”) prior to his transfer from that prison. (Id. at 1.) Plaintiff also alleges that he has submitted these documents in the past. (Id.) Plaintiff requests that defendant be ordered to clarify his statement in the reply that plaintiff submitted “no evidence” in support of his opposition. (Id.) For the following reasons, this motion is denied.

To the extent plaintiff requests an extension of time to file evidence in support of his opposition, this request is denied. The court has previously advised plaintiff of the requirements for opposing summary judgment motions. (ECF No. 11.) Plaintiff had notice that his opposition was required to contain evidence supporting his claims or cite evidence in the record supporting his claims. Plaintiff may not supplement his opposition in response to defendant’s reply.

Moreover, plaintiff is requesting an extension of time to “regain” exhibits that were allegedly damaged or destroyed by officials at CMF. On November 4, 2013, plaintiff filed a notice of change of address reflecting his transfer from CMF to the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility (“RJDCF”). (ECF No. 74.) Plaintiff has not demonstrated why he waited until defendant’s summary judgment motion was fully briefed, i.e. approximately four months after his transfer away from CMF, to request an extension of time to obtain documents allegedly damaged or destroyed by CMF officials.

Following the filing of his motion for extension of time, plaintiff filed several pleadings suggesting that he submitted evidence in support of his claims prior to the filing of defendant’s summary judgment motion. The undersigned describes these pleadings, which are difficult to understand, herein.

On April 16, 2014, plaintiff filed a pleading titled “motion of verification and exhibit ‘A.’” (ECF No. 90.) Attached to this pleading are pages of plaintiff’s deposition transcript. (Id.) Plaintiff’s deposition was taken on August 23, 2013. (Id.) In this portion of the transcript, plaintiff discusses his exhibits. (Id.) Plaintiff appears to allege that his deposition transcript reflects that he previously submitted evidence in support of his claims.

On April 21, 2014, plaintiff filed a “motion/notice of exhibits (A) executed April 11, 2014 and mailed April 13, 2014 with proof of service.” (ECF No. 91.) In this pleading, plaintiff appears to allege that he submitted evidence in support of his claims prior to the filing of defendant’s summary judgment motion. (Id.)

On June 12, 2014, plaintiff filed a pleading requesting information regarding whether his exhibit packet was received. (ECF No. 92.) On July 14, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion for review. (ECF No. 93.) Although largely unintelligible, this pleading appears to claim that plaintiff previously submitted evidence in support of his claims.

It is not the undersigned’s duty to review the entire record in order to determine whether plaintiff has previously submitted evidence in support of his claims. See Carmen v. San Francisco Unified School District, 237 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2001) (principle that the court need not comb through scores of documents to determine if the suit may proceed, used in the context of a summary judgment motion).

Nevertheless, in an abundance of caution, the undersigned has reviewed the court record to determine whether plaintiff submitted any evidence in support of his claims. The undersigned located one pleading containing exhibits going to the merits of plaintiff’s claims, i.e., plaintiff’s May 7, 2013 “Request for Second Review by Court...” (ECF No. 54.) It appears that this pleading was further briefing in support of plaintiff’s opposition to defendant’s motion to dismiss his state law claim. Attached to this pleading are administrative appeals and medical records regarding plaintiff’s claim that defendant provided inadequate dental care. (Id. at 23-25, 33-42.) The undersigned has reviewed these records and finds that they are, largely, in conformity with defendant’s statement of undisputed facts. In evaluating defendant’s summary judgment motion, the undersigned has considered these records to the extent that they are relevant.

Finally, in an unrelated matter, the undersigned observes that on March 17, 2014 plaintiff filed a motion to vacate the order granting defendant an extension of time to file a dispositive motion. (ECF No. 83.) This motion is denied as without merit.

Legal Standard for Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is appropriate when it is demonstrated that the standard set forth in Federal Rule of Civil procedure 56 is met. “The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).

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 then-numbered Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).) “Where the nonmoving party bears the burden of proof at trial, the moving party need only prove that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party’s case.” Nursing Home Pension Fund, Local 144 v. Oracle Corp. (In re Oracle Corp. Sec. Litig.), 627 F.3d 376, 387 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 325); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 Advisory Committee Notes to 2010 Amendments (recognizing that “a party who does not have the trial burden of production may rely on a showing that a party who does have the trial burden cannot produce admissible evidence to carry its burden as to the fact”). 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. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322. “[A] complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party’s case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial.” Id. at 323.

Consequently, 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 exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). In attempting to establish the existence of such a 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 such a dispute exists. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); 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, see Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pacific Elec. Contractors Ass’n, ...


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