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Wright v. Peters

United States District Court, S.D. California

February 9, 2015

MUSTAFA ABDULLAH WRIGHT, CDCR #H-76467, Plaintiff,
v.
S. PETERS; T. RUCKER; J. WINN; H. ASBURY; E. GARZA, Defendants.

ORDER: 1) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR FAILURE TO EXHAUST ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES (ECF Doc. No. 15); (2) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS PORTIONS OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT (ECF Doc. No. 14); and (3) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL (ECF Doc. No. 25)

BARRY TED MOSKOWITZ, District Judge.

I.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Mustafa Abdullah Wright ("Plaintiff"), a state inmate currently incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, has filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. Defendants have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment for failure to exhaust administrative remedies pursuant to FED.R.CIV.P. 56 and a Motion to Dismiss parts of Plaintiff's Complaint ("Compl"). (ECF Doc. Nos. 14, 15.) In addition, Plaintiff has filed a Motion to Appoint Counsel. (ECF Doc. No. 25.)

The Court notified Plaintiff of the requirements for opposing summary judgment, including opposing a summary judgment brought on exhaustion grounds, 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). (ECF Doc. No. 16.) Plaintiff filed his oppositions to both motions, to which Defendants filed their replies. (ECF Doc. Nos. 14, 15, 20-23.)

The Court has determined that Defendants' motions and Plaintiff's motion are suitable for disposition upon the papers without oral argument and that no Report and Recommendation from Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes is necessary. See S.D. CAL. CIVLR 7.1(d)(1), 72.3(e).

II.

PLAINTIFF'S FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS[1]

In 2011, Plaintiff was housed at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility ("RJD") which is located in San Diego, California. See Compl. at 1. On February 12, 2011, Plaintiff alleges that he was placed in a holding cage because he had requested to speak to a correctional sergeant regarding the sink in his cell. Id. at 2. Sometime after, Defendants Winn, Peters and Rucker came to the holding cage and told Plaintiff they were going to take him back to his cell. Id. Plaintiff "refused and sat down on the ground in the cage." Id. Plaintiff claims Defendant Winn opened the door to the cell, Peters grabbed his ankle and Rucker held his wrist and arms to drag him out of the cage. Id. Plaintiff then alleges that these Defendants "started punching me in the head and face as well as ribs." Id. Plaintiff claims he attempted to protect himself but he was "put in handcuffs, choked, kicked and thrown back in the cage." Id. As this was happening, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants were shouting "this is what you get for trying to sue someone." Id.

Following this incident, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Garza and Asbury later wrote false reports regarding this incident to "back up Winn, Peters and Rucker's story of how I attacked them for no reason." Id. Plaintiff was placed in Administrative Segregation ("Ad-Seg") until September 9, 2012. Id.

While Plaintiff was housed in Ad-Seg, he claims that he did not have "access to a phone or the ability to have physical contact with my family on visits." Id. at 4. In addition, Plaintiff was "forced to wear shackles" which caused him to have "distinct scarring from having to walk back and forth across the prison yard." Id.

III.

DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS 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 a matter of law." FED.R.CIV.P. 56(c). Entry of summary judgment is appropriate "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. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The court shall consider all admissible affidavits and supplemental documents submitted on a motion for summary judgment. See Connick v. Teachers Ins. & Annuity Ass'n, 784 F.2d 1018, 1020 (9th Cir. 1986).

The moving party has the initial burden of demonstrating that summary judgment is proper. Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 152 (1970). However, to avoid summary judgment, the nonmovant cannot rest solely on conclusory allegations. Berg v. Kincheloe, 794 F.2d 457, 459 (9th Cir. 1986). Rather, he must present "specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986). The Court may not weigh evidence or make credibility determinations on a motion for summary judgment. Quite the opposite, the inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Id. at 255; United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655 (1962). The nonmovant's evidence need only be such that a "fair minded jury could return a verdict for [him] on the ...


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