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Ruiz v. Arakaki

United States District Court, E.D. California

January 7, 2020

ROGELIO MAY RUIZ, Plaintiff,
v.
L. ARAKAKI, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION REGARDING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF NO. 47]

         Plaintiff Rogelio May Ruiz is appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         Currently before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment, filed September 4, 2019.

         I.

         RELEVANT BACKGROUND

         This action is proceeding against Defendants L. Arakaki and F. Hanna for deliberate indifference to a serious dental need in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

         On November 1, 2018, Defendants filed an answer to the complaint.

         As previously stated, on September 4, 2019, Defendants filed the instant motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff filed an opposition on November 22, 2019, and Defendants filed a reply on December 2, 2019. Accordingly, Defendants' motion is deemed submitted for review without oral argument. Local Rule 230(1).

         II.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Any 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 Cir. 2010).

         In 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 at 942 (quotation marks and citation omitted).

         III.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Summary of Plaintiff's Complaint

         Plaintiff went to his dental appointment with Dr. Arakaki for a root canal. According to Plaintiff, in July 2017, Dr. Arakaki was going to kill the nerves in some of Plaintiff's teeth to save them from extraction. However, Dr. Arakaki did not complete the treatment for Plaintiff's teeth because he requested that Plaintiff sign a form consenting to extraction because they were worn down. Plaintiff refused to sign the consent form and was therefore not provided any further dental treatment. Dr. Arakaki advised Plaintiff that supervising Dr. Hanna did not want to continue Plaintiff's treatment. Plaintiff was left with a temporary root canal but the treatment was never completed.

         B. Statement of Undisputed Facts

         1. In early 2017, Plaintiff's tooth #27 and #28 had severe attrition, apical abscess (inflammation of the tooth's root), and occlusal bruxism (damage from grinding teeth) with severe occlusal wearing. (Declaration of L. Arakaki (“Arakaki Decl.”) ¶ 5, Ex. A; ECF No. 47-4; ...


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