United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER AND FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS
CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Introduction and Procedural History
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. This matter proceeds on a retaliation claim against
defendant L. Sanchez.
initiated this action on January 26, 2010, in the Solano
County Superior Court. (See Notice of Removal, ECF
No. 1.) The case was removed to the Northern District of
California under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b) on April 23, 2010,
and transferred to this court on May 6, 2010. (ECF Nos. 1,
7.) On November 9, 2010, the then-assigned magistrate judge
dismissed plaintiff's complaint with leave to amend for
failure to state a claim. (ECF No. 11.) Plaintiff then filed
a first amended complaint (ECF No. 14), which was dismissed
without leave to amend on November 22, 2011, for failure to
state a claim. (ECF Nos. 20, 22.) Judgment was entered
plaintiff's timely appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals, the decision of this court was reversed in part on
July 28, 2014, and the matter was remanded for further
proceedings. Heilman v. Sanchez, 583 Fed.Appx.
837 (9th Cir. June 13, 2014) (ECF No. 36). Specifically, the
Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of all claims but for
plaintiff's retaliation claim against defendant Sanchez
based on the latter's threats of disciplinary action if
plaintiff accessed the prison's grievance system and his
carrying out of these threats by removing plaintiff from the
library and placing false allegations in his file.
remand, and following denial of plaintiff's motion to
file a supplemental pleading (ECF Nos. 40, 50), defendant was
ordered to file a responsive pleading. On December 11, 2015,
defendant filed a motion for extension of time to file a
responsive pleading (ECF No. 59), and then on February 17,
2016, he filed a motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 64).
Less than one month later, defendant filed an answer (ECF No.
74), and a motion to stay discovery (ECF No. 75). These
motions are considered herein, as is plaintiff's motion
to stay the summary judgment motion or, in the alternative,
an extension of time to file an opposition. (ECF No. 73.)
December 22, 2010, first amended complaint ("FAC"),
plaintiff alleges as follows:
times relevant to this action, plaintiff was an inmate housed
at California Medical Facility ("CMF") in
Vacaville, California. Defendant Sanchez was a Junior
November 11, 2007, defendant became angry with plaintiff for
seeking copies of legal documents. Defendant made
"implied" verbal threats against plaintiff should
the latter file a grievance against defendant concerning this
incident. From November 11, 2007, to July 6, 2008, defendant
continued to make "implied" threats. At some time
during this period, plaintiff filed an inmate grievance
regarding defendant's conduct.
6, 2008, defendant denied plaintiff copies of plaintiff's
inmate trust account statements and in forma pauperis forms.
FAC ¶ 18. In retaliation for plaintiff's earlier
grievance, defendant filed two identical 128-A counseling
chronos in plaintiff's central file concerning this July
2008 incident. FAC ¶ 20. Plaintiff became aware of the
chronos in late-November 2008 and subsequently filed another
grievance against defendant. In October 2009, plaintiff filed
a complaint against defendant in the Solano County Superior
4, 2009, defendant ordered plaintiff removed from the law
library in handcuffs. FAC ¶ 31. Defendant accused
plaintiff of accessing the library without authorization, but
plaintiff claims that he had a ducat pass to enter. This
incident was in retaliation for plaintiff's earlier
April 27, 2010, defendant excluded plaintiff from the law
library. FAC ¶ 33. Defendant falsely activated his
emergency staff alarm, telling plaintiff, "I got you
now!" This incident was in retaliation for
plaintiff's earlier grievances.
seeks damages and the removal of the aforementioned chronos
from plaintiff's central file.
judgment is appropriate when the moving party "shows
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
summary judgment practice, "[t]he moving party initially
bears the burden of proving the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact." In re Oracle Corp. Sec. Litig.,
627 F.3d 376, 387 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)). The moving party
may accomplish this by "citing to particular parts of
materials in the record, including depositions, documents,
electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes
of the motion only), admission, interrogatory answers, or
other materials" or by showing that such materials
"do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine
dispute, or that the adverse party cannot produce admissible
evidence to support the fact." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1).
"Where the non-moving 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." Oracle Corp., 627 F.3d at 387 (citing
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325); see also
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). 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, 477
U.S. at 322. "[A] complete failure of proof ...