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Mowry v. Knight

United States District Court, D. Arizona

December 8, 2014

Arron Eugene Mowry, Plaintiff,
Sergeant Knight, et al., Defendants.


STEPHEN M. McNAMEE, Senior District Judge.

Plaintiff Arron Eugene Mowry brought this pro se civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Arizona Department of Corrections ("ADOC") Officers Evans and Knight and an unidentified nurse. (Doc. 1.) Before the Court is Defendants Evans and Knight's Motion for Summary Judgment on the ground that Plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies. (Doc. 45.) Plaintiff opposes the motion. (Doc. 51.)

The Court will grant the Motion and terminate the action.

I. Background

Plaintiff's claim arose during his confinement at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence ("ASPC-Florence"), Central Unit. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff asserted seven separate counts against Sergeant Knight, Lieutenant Evans and an unidentified male nurse for an incident on October 4, 2012. Plaintiff alleged that Knight used excessive force against him by kicking Plaintiff's feet out from under him while Plaintiff was handcuffed with his hands behind his back and then getting on top of Plaintiff, grabbing Plaintiff's previously injured wrist and bending and twisting it. Plaintiff further alleged that Evans was present and witnessed Knight attacking Plaintiff but did not intervene to stop the attack. Plaintiff was transported on a gurney to medical with his hands cuffed behind his back. Plaintiff alleged that the unidentified nurse jerked Plaintiff's arm around "to show off to the other officers that he is not going to treat [Plaintiff] with any respect either." ( Id. ) Plaintiff also alleged that Knight and Evans lied and falsified documentation and manipulated disciplinary proceedings related to the incident. Plaintiff alleged that, as a result of the attack, he sustained injuries to his mid-back, lower back, right elbow, right shoulder, nerve damage to his legs and feet, has a scar on the right side of his back, exacerbated injuries to his right wrist, and psychological, mental, and emotional trauma.

Plaintiff sued for compensatory and punitive damages, costs, and injunctive relief.

On screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), the Court determined that Plaintiff stated Eighth Amendment claims in Counts One and Two against Knight and Evans and directed them to answer those claims. (Doc. 7.) The Court also determined that Plaintiff stated an Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need against the unidentified nurse, but did not order service on the anonymous Defendant. The Court advised Plaintiff that if he discovered the identity of the male nurse, he should promptly file a motion to amend his Complaint to name the anonymous Defendant and submit a proposed amended complaint. The Court dismissed the remaining claims. ( Id. )

On May 16, 2014, Defendants Knight and Evans filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on Exhaustion, arguing that Plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies as required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). (Doc. 45.)[1] Plaintiff filed his "Answer" to Defendants' Motion (hereinafter, "Response") on June 19, 2014 (Doc. 51), and Defendants[2] filed their Reply on July 21, 2014 (Doc. 59).

II. Summary Judgment Standard

A court must 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); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The movant bears the initial responsibility of presenting the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the record, together with affidavits, that it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323.

If the movant fails to carry its initial burden of production, the nonmovant need not produce anything. Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Ltd. v. Fritz Co., Inc., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102-03 (9th Cir. 2000). But if the movant meets its initial responsibility, the burden shifts to the nonmovant to demonstrate the existence of a factual dispute and that the fact in contention is material, i.e., a fact that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law, and that the dispute is genuine, i.e., the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmovant. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 250 (1986); see Triton Energy Corp. v. Square D. Co., 68 F.3d 1216, 1221 (9th Cir. 1995). The nonmovant need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor, First Nat'l Bank of Ariz. v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288-89 (1968); however, it must "come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (internal citation omitted); see Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1).

At summary judgment, the judge's function is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. In its analysis, the court must believe the nonmovant's evidence and draw all inferences in the nonmovant's favor. Id. at 255. The court need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider any other materials in the record. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3).

III. Exhaustion

A. Governing ...

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