Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Newton v. Eatmon

United States District Court, S.D. California

November 6, 2019

S. EATON, Defendant



         Plaintiff Theodore J. Newton is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis (IFP) in this civil rights action pursuant to Title 42, United State Code, Section 1983, alleging that his rights under the Eighth Amendment were violated when defendant S. Eaton assaulted and used excessive force against him on multiple occasions. [Doc. No. 1.]

         Before the Court is defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. [Doc. No. 13.] Defendant argues judgment should be entered in his favor, because plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing his Complaint in this action. [Doc. No. 13, at pp. 13-14.] Plaintiff has filed three submissions in opposition to defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.[1] [Doc. Nos. 17, 20 & 21.] For the reasons outlined more fully below, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment be GRANTED.


         Plaintiff, who has one eye and several medical issues, was housed at R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility when the events that are the basis for his Complaint occurred. [Doc. No. 1, at pp. 1 & 3.] In his Complaint, plaintiff alleges that on or about August 27, 2018, defendant, who is a correctional officer, escorted him to a medical appointment. [Id. at p. 3.] Plaintiff alleges that while he was at the medical facility defendant pushed him with enough force to nearly knock him out of his chair. [Id.] Defendant is then alleged to have leaned on plaintiff with his full weight, pulled out a handful of plaintiff's beard, and dared plaintiff to say anything about defendant's use of force. [Id.] Plaintiff alleges medical staff were present at the time and witnessed the entire incident. [Id.] Plaintiff further alleges that he was also assaulted by defendant on September 27, 2018, October 3, 2018 and October 4, 2018, in retaliation for plaintiff filing an administrative grievance, and that defendant threatened to “knock out” plaintiff's only eye. [Id.]

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint against defendant on March 15, 2019.[2] [Id.]


         I. Summary Judgment Standards Under Rule 56.

         The purpose of summary judgment is to “‘pierce the pleadings and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a genuine need for trial.”” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (citation omitted). “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). The moving party “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. [Citation omitted.]” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). To meet the burden of proof, a moving defendant must either produce evidence negating an essential element of the plaintiff's claim or show that the plaintiff does not have enough evidence of an essential element to carry its ultimate burden of persuasion at trial. Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Ltd. v. Fritz Companies, Inc., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102 (9th Cir. 2000).

         The party opposing summary judgment “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. Ltd., 475 U.S. at 586. “[T]he nonmoving party must come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id. at 587 (emphasis in original, internal quotation marks omitted). “The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252 (1986). Rule 56 requires 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 on all matters as to which he has the burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324 (internal quotation marks omitted).

         In considering a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the defendant, the Court “must determine whether the record, when viewed in the light most favorable to [the plaintiff as the non-moving party], shows that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the [defendants] are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Brown v. City of Los Angeles, 521 F.3d 1238, 1240 (9th Cir. 2008). An issue of material fact is genuine “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. However, it is not the role of the District Court to make credibility determinations, weigh the evidence, or draw legitimate inferences from the facts. Id. at 255.

         II. Administrative Exhaustion Requirements.

         Section 1983 “provides a cause of action for the ‘deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States.” Wilder v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990), quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983. However, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) includes a mandatory requirement that a prisoner exhaust available administrative remedies before filing suit under Section 1983. Booth v. Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 733-734 (2001). This mandatory requirement states as follows: “No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). “[F]ailure to exhaust is an affirmative defense under the PLRA, and . . . inmates are not required to specially plead or demonstrate exhaustion in their complaints.” Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 216 (2007).

         In California, “[a]ny inmate . . . may appeal any policy, decision, action, condition, or omission . . . that the inmate . . . can demonstrate as having a material adverse effect upon his or her health, safety, or welfare.” Cal. Code Regs. tit. 15, § 3084.1. “The California prison grievance system has three levels of review; an inmate exhausts administrative remedies by obtaining a decision at each level.” Reyes v. Smith, 810 F.3d 654, 657 (9th Cir. 2016), citing Cal. Code Regs. tit. 15, § 3084.1(b). Generally, “[a]t least one face-to-face interview” must be conducted with the inmate “at the first level of review, or the second level if the first level of review is bypassed.” Cal. Code Regs. tit. ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.