United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT RE: DKT.
NOS. 6, 8
HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR., United States District Judge
before the Court is Defendants' combined motion for
summary judgment and motion to dismiss. Dkt. Nos. 6, 8
(motion and amended motion). For the reasons detailed below,
the Court finds that Plaintiff has not exhausted his
administrative remedies and, therefore,
GRANTS the motion for summary judgment.
Dwain Williams, a California prisoner currently incarcerated
at the California Health Care Facility, alleges that he was
transferred to Soledad Correctional Training Facility on
December 23, 2015, because he had received death threats
while in custody at the Chowchilla Correctional Training
Facility. Dkt. No. 1-1 ¶ 11 ("Compl."). On
January 16, 2016, Plaintiff alleges that he was unprotected
by prison guards or other staff when he was thrown over a
railing. Id. He sustained "severe
injuries" as a result, including "severe head
trauma and fractured limb [sic]:'
February 15, 2017, the Monterey Superior Court appointed
Sharyn Williams as Plaintiffs Guardian ad Litem. Compl., Ex.
A at 17-18. That same day, Plaintiff, by and through his
Guardian ad Litem, filed this action in Monterey Superior
Court seeking monetary damages for his injuries. Id.
On May 2, 2017, Defendants removed the action to federal
court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction.
See Dkt. No. 1. Plaintiff alleges that the railings
on the Soledad Correctional Training Facility's
stairwells and landings are dangerously low. See
Compl. ¶ 14. On this basis, he brings a premises
liability claim against Defendants State of California,
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
("CDCR"), and Soledad Correctional Training
Facility ("CTF") (collectively, "State
Defendants"). He also brings a negligence claim and a
claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of his Eighth
Amendment rights against all Defendants, including the CTF
warden and watch commander (collectively, "Individual
10, 2017, Defendants moved for summary judgment, contending
that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies.
Dkt. Nos. 6, 8. On October 27, 2017, the Court held an
evidentiary hearing regarding Defendants' exhaustion
defense. See Dkt. No. 19, 41; see also Albino v.
Baca, 141 F.3d 1162, 1168 (9th Cir. 2014) (en banc)
(permitting limited preliminary proceedings to "decide
disputed questions of fact").
judgment is proper where the pleadings, discovery and
affidavits show there is "no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law." See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a).
Material facts are those that may affect the outcome of the
case. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 411 U.S.
242, 248 (1986). A dispute as to a material fact is genuine
if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party. Id.
Court shall grant summary judgment "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 [,
]... since a complete failure of proof concerning an
essential element of the nonmoving party's case
necessarily renders all other facts immaterial." See
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986).
The moving party bears the initial burden of identifying
those portions of the record that demonstrate the absence of
a genuine issue of material fact. Id. The burden
then shifts to the nonmoving party to "go beyond the
pleadings and by [his] own affidavits, or by the
'depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions
on file, ' designate 'specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Id.
at 324 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e) (amended 2010)).
purposes of summary judgment, the Court must view the
evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party;
if the evidence produced by the moving party conflicts with
evidence produced by the nonmoving party, the court must
assume the truth of the evidence submitted by the nonmoving
party. See Leslie v. Grupo ICA, 198 F.3d 1152, 1158
(9th Cir. 1999). The Court's function on a summary
judgment motion is not to make credibility determinations or
weigh conflicting evidence with respect to a disputed
material fact. See T. W. Elec. Serv., Inc., v. Pac. Elec.
Contractors Ass % 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).