United States District Court, E.D. California
CHRISTOPHER I. SIMMONS, Plaintiff,
GRISSOM, et al., Defendants.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DEFENDANTS
GRISSOM, KEILEY, RIENTS, AND ST. LUCIA'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 172]
Christopher I. Simmons is appearing pro se and in forma
pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
before the Court is Defendants Grissom, Keiley, Rients, and
St. Lucia's motion for summary judgment, filed April 18,
action is proceeding against Defendants Grissom, Keiley and
St. Lucia for deliberate indifference to a serious medical
need in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and against
Defendant Rients for retaliation in violation of the First
party may move for summary judgment, and 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)
(quotation marks omitted); Washington Mut. Inc. v.
U.S., 636 F.3d 1207, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). Each
party's position, whether it be that a fact is disputed
or undisputed, must be supported by (1) citing to particular
parts of materials in the record, including but not limited
to depositions, documents, declarations, or discovery; or (2)
showing that the materials cited do not establish the
presence or absence of a genuine dispute or that the opposing
party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1) (quotation marks omitted). The Court
may consider other materials in the record not cited to by
the parties, but it is not required to do so. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)(3); Carmen v. San Francisco Unified Sch.
Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2001); accord
Simmons v. Navajo Cnty., Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1017 (9th
resolving cross-motions for summary judgment, the Court must
consider each party's evidence. Johnson v. Poway
Unified Sch. Dist., 658 F.3d 954, 960 (9th Cir. 2011).
Plaintiff bears the burden of proof at trial, and to prevail
on summary judgment, he must affirmatively demonstrate that
no reasonable trier of fact could find other than for him.
Soremekun v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., 509 F.3d 978,
984 (9th Cir. 2007). Defendants do not bear the burden of
proof at trial and in moving for summary judgment, they need
only prove an absence of evidence to support Plaintiff's
case. In re Oracle Corp. Sec. Litig., 627 F.3d 376,
387 (9th Cir. 2010).
judging the evidence at the summary judgment stage, the Court
does not make credibility determinations or weigh conflicting
evidence, Soremekun, 509 F.3d at 984 (quotation
marks and citation omitted), and it must draw all inferences
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and
determine whether a genuine issue of material fact precludes
entry of judgment, Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach
v. City of Redondo Beach, 657 F.3d 936, 942 (9th Cir.
2011) (quotation marks and citation omitted).
arriving at this recommendation, the Court has carefully
reviewed and considered all arguments, points and
authorities, declarations, exhibits, statements of undisputed
facts and responses thereto, if any, objections, and other
papers filed by the parties. Omission of reference to an
argument, document, paper, or objection is not to be
construed to the effect that this Court did not consider the
argument, document, paper, or objection. This Court
thoroughly reviewed and considered the evidence it deemed
admissible, material, and appropriate.
Summary of Plaintiff's Complaint
24, 2006, Plaintiff filed a request “to provide
adequate air circulation to prevent suffering a heat
stroke.” (Compl. ¶ 29.) Plaintiff contends that he
was identified as a “heat risk” patient and
required monitoring. (Compl. ¶ 29.) Plaintiff alleges
that Defendants R. Grissom, P. Keiley, A. St. Lucia, and Doe
Nurses 1-10 denied Plaintiff's requests for adequate air
circulation, ice, cold showers and access to cold water which
were necessary for Plaintiff's “heat risk.”
(Compl. ¶ 46.) Plaintiff also contends that Defendants
Does #1-10 and Defendant St. Lucia failed to monitor the
temperature for Plaintiff on July 20, 2006. (Compl. ¶
29.) Plaintiff also contends that he was denied access to
cold water or ice and was locked in his cell without air
during a heat wave. (Compl. ¶ 29.)
28, 2006, Defendant Akanno violated Plaintiff's Eighth
Amendment rights when he “denied the benefits of hot
packs for PLAINTIFF's serious medical needs, and based
that decision on PLAINTIFF not being granted an “extra
privilege.” (First Am. Compl. ¶ 20.)
October 25, 2006, Defendant M. Rients “interfered with
PLAINTIFF's prescribed medications for his severe
debilitating pain, causing PLAINTIFF to unnecessarily suffer
severe debilitating pain the entire night without pain
medications. (Compl. 23.)
August 22, 2007, Defendant Akanno “conspired to
cover-up the illegal actions of Sauceda when Defendant Akanno
changed the medical order from every eight hours to BID or
every 12 hours ... despite PLAINTIFF's specific requested
action not to change the medical order as a reprisal,
violating PLAINTIFF's 1st Amendment right.” (Compl.
¶ 32.) Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding his
medication. (Compl. ¶ 33.)
alleges that Defendant M. Rients violated Plaintiff's
First Amendment rights by retaliating against Plaintiff by
issuing Plaintiff a rule violation report (“RVR”)
after Plaintiff indicated that he was going to file a staff
misconduct complaint. (Compl. ¶ 24.) Plaintiff also
contends that Rients “rushed in PLAINTIFF's cell to
forcibly take a paper envelop[e] PLAINTIFF had waiting for T.
Ellstrom to return and PLAINTIFF could obtain her name not
displayed as required by policy.” (Compl. ¶ 24.)
Statement of Undisputed Facts
Plaintiff is prescribed medications that make him susceptible
to heat. This susceptibility to heat has caused him to be
identified as a “heat risk” inmate. (First Am.
Compl., February 17, 2012, ECF No. 24, p. 9-10, ¶¶
45-46; Samson Decl., ¶ 3 [Simmons Dep. 23:24-25;
all times relevant to the claims in his complaint, Plaintiff
was housed in A Facility, Building 1, Section B, in Cell 113,
at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP). (Samson Decl., ¶ 3
[Simmons Dep. 20:19-25; 21:1-20]; Grissom Decl., ¶ 4;
Keiley Decl., ¶ 4; Hancock Decl., ¶ 6.)
June 24, 2006, Plaintiff filed an emergency CDCR 602
administrative grievance, alleging that his cell was 105
degrees and that he was not receiving adequate air
circulation, exposing him to the risk of heat stroke due to
his “Heat Risk” status. Plaintiff requested that
the ventilation problem be corrected and to be provided with
(ECF No. 24, p. 6, ¶ 29; Samson Decl., ¶ 3 [Simmons
Dep. 35:9-12]; Defs.' Ex. 1.)
Plaintiff's own admission, he did not have a thermometer
in his cell. (Samson Decl., ¶ 3 [Simmons Dep. 43:17-25;
Because Plaintiff's administrative grievance concerned a
request for maintenance repairs, the appeals office referred
the appeal to Defendant Keiley, the KVSP Correctional Plant
Manager II, and Defendant Grissom, the Associate of Business
Services, to provide a response at the first level of review.
(Keiley Decl., ¶¶ 3, 5; Grissom Decl., ¶¶
2-3, 5; Defs.' Ex. 1.)
response to Plaintiff's administrative grievance,
Defendant Keiley, requested that the KVSP Chief Engineer,
Defendant St. Lucia, investigate Plaintiff's allegations.