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Fordley v. Lizarraga

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 3, 2018

JOHN FREDERICK FORDLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
JOE LIZARRAGA, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          EDMUND F. BRENNAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel this action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants move for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies before filing suit. ECF No. 42. For the reasons that follow, the motion must be granted.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff, who is incarcerated at R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility, filed this action on June 21, 2016, alleging Eighth Amendment claims against defendant correctional officers at Mule Creek State Prison (“MCSP”). ECF No. 1. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that defendants Ruggiero and Lagge slammed him into a wall and the ground while escorting him to a prison yard on March 9, 2016. Id. at 8; ECF No. 11 at 3.[1] He seeks money damages and an order that he be transferred out of MCSP, among other injunctive relief. Id. at 15-16.

         Defendants have submitted undisputed evidence of the following facts in support of their argument that plaintiff did not exhaust his available administrative remedies:

1. On March 27, 2016, plaintiff submitted an inmate grievance (aka “602”), log no. MCSP-B-16-01015, alleging that defendants Ruggiero and Lagge had assaulted him on March 9, 2016. ECF No. 42-3, Defs.' Statement of Undisputed Facts (hereinafter “DUF”) No. 2; ECF No. 42-4, Decl. of M. Voong, ¶ 4; ECF No. 42-4.
2. On April 26, 2016, a prison official forwarded the appeal directly to the second level of review, bypassing the first level of review, after classifying the appeal as a staff complaint. DUF No. 3; Voong Decl., ¶ 3; ECF No. 42-4 at 6.
3. As part of the second level review, plaintiff was interviewed concerning his allegations on May 16, 2016. DUF No. 4; ECF No. 42-4 at 10.
4. On May 17, 2016, plaintiff composed the complaint for this action, which was filed by the court on June 21, 2016. ECF No. 1 at 1, 15.
5. On June 24, 2016, plaintiff's grievance was denied at the second level of review. DUF No. 6; ECF No. 42-4 at 10-11.
6. Plaintiff submitted the grievance to the third level of review on June 27, 2016. DUF No. 7; ECF No. 42-4 at 7.
7. Plaintiff's grievance was denied at the third level of review on September 8, 2016. DUF No. 8; ECF No. 42-4 at 4-5.

         II. The Motion for Summary Judgment

         A. Summary Judgment Standards

         Summary judgment is appropriate when 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). Summary judgment avoids unnecessary trials in cases in which the parties do not dispute the facts relevant to the determination of the issues in the case, or in which there is insufficient evidence for a jury to determine those facts in favor of the nonmovant. Crawford-El v. Britton, 523 U.S. 574, 600 (1998); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-50 (1986); Nw. Motorcycle Ass'n v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 18 ...


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