United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS THAT DEFENDANT'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BE GRANTED ECF NO. 52
BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
David Flynn (“Plaintiff”) is a former state
prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff was a prisoner at the time this
action was initiated. This action proceeds against Defendant
Maddox for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs
in violation of the Eighth Amendment and for falsification of
medical appeals responses.
September 14, 2018, Defendants Maddox filed a motion for
summary judgment on the grounds that Defendant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law because there are no genuine
issues of material fact, and Defendant is entitled to
qualified immunity. On October 9, 2018, Plaintiff filed his
opposition to Defendant's motion for summary judgment.
(ECF No. 54.) Defendant filed a reply on October 15, 2018.
(ECF No. 55.) Defendant also filed objections to
Plaintiff's evidence in opposition to the motion for
summary judgment. (ECF No. 56.) The motion is deemed
submitted. Local Rule 230(1).
judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, disclosure
materials, discovery, and any affidavits provided establish
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). A material fact is one that
may affect the outcome of the case under the applicable law.
See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
248 (1986). A dispute is genuine “if the evidence is
such that a reasonable [trier of fact] could return a verdict
for the nonmoving party.” Id.
party seeking summary judgment “always bears the
initial responsibility of informing the district court of the
basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue
of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The exact nature of this
responsibility, however, varies depending on whether the
issue on which summary judgment is sought is one in which the
movant or the nonmoving party carries the ultimate burden of
proof. See Soremekun v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., 509
F.3d 978, 984 (9th Cir. 2007). If the movant will have the
burden of proof at trial, it must “affirmatively
demonstrate that no reasonable trier of fact could find other
than for the moving party.” Id. (citing
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323). In contrast, if the
nonmoving party will have the burden of proof at trial,
“the movant can prevail merely by pointing out that
there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving
party's case.” Id.
movant satisfies its initial burden, the nonmoving party must
go beyond the allegations in its pleadings to “show a
genuine issue of material fact by presenting affirmative
evidence from which a jury could find in [its] favor.”
F.T.C. v. Stefanchik, 559 F.3d 924, 929 (9th Cir.
2009) (emphasis omitted). “[B]ald assertions or a mere
scintilla of evidence” will not suffice in this regard.
Id. at 929; see also Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co.
v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)
(“When the moving party has carried its burden under
Rule 56, its opponent must do more than simply show that
there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts.”) (citation omitted). “Where the record
taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to
find for the non-moving party, there is no ‘genuine
issue for trial.'” Matsushita, 475 U.S. at
587 (quoting First Nat'l Bank of Ariz. v. Cities
Serv. Co., 391 U.S. 253, 289 (1968)).
resolving a summary judgment motion, “the court does
not make credibility determinations or weigh conflicting
evidence.” Soremekun, 509 F.3d at 984.
Instead, “[t]he evidence of the [nonmoving party] is to
be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn
in [its] favor.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
Inferences, however, are not drawn out of the air; the
nonmoving party must produce a factual predicate from which
the inference may reasonably be drawn. See Richards v.
Nielsen Freight Lines, 602 F.Supp. 1224, 1244-45 (E.D.
Cal. 1985), aff'd, 810 F.2d 898 (9th Cir. 1987).
Further, the Court may consider other materials in the record
not cited to by the parties, although it is not required to
do so. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3); Carmen v. S.F. Unified Sch.
Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2001); accord
Simmons v. Navajo Cty., Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1017 (9th
arriving at these findings and recommendations, the Court
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.
claim against Defendant Maddox alleges that Defendant Maddox
failed to adequately or timely address Plaintiff's
dermatological needs on December 9, 2013, and that she
falsified documents related to Plaintiff's inmate
appeal. (ECF No. 1 at 4-7.)
Undisputed Material Facts
1. Nurse Maddox has been a Registered Nurse for 35 years.
(ECF No. 52-2; Defendants' Separate Statement of
Undisputed (SSUF) 1.)
2. Nurse Maddox worked as a Registered Nurse at Valley State
Prison from 2006 to 2017. (SSUF 2.)
3. At all relevant times, Plaintiff was an inmate at Valley
State Prison. (SSUF 3.)
4. On December 9, 2013, Nurse Maddox saw plaintiff due to his
complaints of vision issues and a history of actinic
keratosis. (SSUF 4.)
5. Plaintiff had red areas around the side of Plaintiff's
left eye, which were not bleeding.
6. Nurse Maddox believed the spots were sun damage to
7. Nurse Maddox intended to refer Plaintiff to a
dermatologist, but believed Plaintiff would be paroling
8. Nurse Maddox told Plaintiff to come back in January or
9. The typical delay in obtaining a consultation with a
specialist was ...