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Law v. Blandon

United States District Court, N.D. California, Eureka Division

May 1, 2015

CARLOS GILBERT LAW, Plaintiff,
v.
BLANDON; STAR # 1430; STAR #1342; STAR #1634; STAR #1991; JOHN and JANE DOE 1-10 respectively, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND CLOSING CASE

NANDOR J. VADAS, Magistrate Judge.

This is a civil rights case brought pro se by a former detainee at San Francisco County Jail. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Deputy Blandon and other persons identified only by "Star" numbers failed to protect him from sexual assault by other inmates, and thereby violated Plaintiff's rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment on January 15, 2015. (Doc. 56.) Defendant Blandon filed a motion for summary judgment on February 23, 2015. (Doc. 68.) Plaintiff has not filed an opposition to Defendant Blandon's motion, despite Defendant Blandon filing a notice of Plaintiff's failure to oppose his motion on March 27, 2015, and providing a certificate of service of that notice on Plaintiff. (Doc. 72.) The court has reviewed Defendant Blandon's motion and for the reasons set forth below, Defendant Blandon's motion for summary judgment is granted and Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is denied.

DISCUSSION

Complaint

Plaintiff states that his jail records indicated and he also told all defendants that he had a history of being a victim of inmate violence due to accusations of being a snitch, a sex offender, and gay. Plaintiff alleges that defendants had seen Plaintiff's classification records. Plaintiff alleges that he was placed in general population and was sexually assaulted by other inmates between March 19, 2014, and March 24, 2014. Amended Complaint at 1. (Doc. 22.)

Motion for Summary Judgment

A. Standard of Review

Summary judgment is proper where the pleadings, discovery and affidavits show 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). Material facts are those which may affect the outcome of the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute as to a material fact is genuine if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Id.

The moving party for summary judgment bears the initial burden of identifying those portions of the pleadings, discovery and affidavits which demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986); Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Fritz Cos., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102 (9th Cir. 2000). When the moving party has met this burden of production, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and, by its own affidavits or discovery, set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. If the nonmoving party fails to produce enough evidence to show a genuine issue of material fact, the moving party wins. Id.

Deliberate Indifference to Safety

A pretrial detainee is not protected by the Eighth Amendment's proscription against cruel and unusual punishment because he has not been convicted of a crime. See Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 & n.16 (1979). Pretrial detainees are protected from punishment without due process, however, under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. See United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 746-47 (1987); Bell, 441 U.S. at 535-36. The protections of the Due Process Clause are at least as great as those of the Eighth Amendment. See Revere v. Mass. Gen. Hosp., 463 U.S. 239, 244 (1983). In the Ninth Circuit, "deliberate indifference is the level of culpability that pretrial detainees must establish for a violation of their personal security interests under the [F]ourteenth [A]mendment." Redman v. County of San Diego, 942 F.2d 1435, 1443 (9th Cir. 1991) (abrogated on other grounds).

B. Facts

The court has reviewed Defendant Blandon's motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, and Plaintiff's amended complaint. The following facts are undisputed, unless otherwise noted.

Deputy Blandon is a classification deputy with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department. Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (" Defendant's MSJ") at 4. (Doc. 68.) Deputies in the Classifications Department are responsible for interviewing new prisoners and conducting background checks to determine appropriate housing accommodations. Id. Classifications deputies must assign housing that balances the safety concerns of staff, the new prisoners, and the other prisoners. Id. Classifications deputies must be aware that many prisoners fabricate ...


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