United States District Court, D. Arizona
G, CAMPBELL SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
(Doc. 81) filed by the State Defendants.
9, 2016, Plaintiffs Fabian Hernandez, Joseph Artiaga, David
J. Daniels, Jesus Garcia, Paul Harris, Nathaniel Hooks,
Vincente Longoria, Brandon Wilson, Christopher Henderson, and
Guy Snider filed, through counsel, a civil rights Complaint
in Maricopa County Superior Court. On September 29, 2016,
Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint that added the
State of Arizona as a Defendant. On October 25, 2016, the
State of Arizona removed the matter to this Court. Defendants
were served thereafter.
State Defendants have filed this Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment, seeking dismissal of Plaintiffs Harris, Henderson,
and Longoria for failure to exhaust their administrative
remedies pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA),
42 U.S.C. § 1997e et seq. (Doc. 81.) Plaintiffs
have responded in opposition. (Doc. 96.) The State Defendants
have replied (Doc. 101), conceding that the PLRA did not
apply to Plaintiffs Henderson and Longoria because they had
been released from prison at the time the Complaint was
filed, but arguing that summary judgment against Plaintiff
Harris remained appropriate.
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, if any, that it believes demonstrate the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323.
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.
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).
the PLRA, a prisoner must exhaust “available”
administrative remedies before filing an action in federal
court. See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); Vaden v.
Summerhill, 449 F.3d 1047, 1050 (9th Cir. 2006);
Brown v. Valoff, 422 F.3d 926, 934-35 (9th Cir.
2005). The prisoner must complete the administrative review
process in accordance with the applicable rules. See
Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 92 (2006). Exhaustion is
required for all suits about prison life, Porter v.
Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 523 (2002), regardless of the type
of relief offered through the administrative process,
Booth v. Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 741 (2001).
defendant bears the initial burden to show that there was an
available administrative remedy and that the prisoner did not
exhaust it. Albino v. Baca, 747 F.3d 1162, 1169,
1172 (9th Cir. 2014); see Brown, 422 F.3d at 936-37
(a defendant must demonstrate that applicable relief remained
available in the grievance process). Once that showing is
made, the burden shifts to the prisoner, who must either
demonstrate that he, in fact, exhausted administrative
remedies or “come forward with evidence showing that
there is something in his particular case that made the
existing and generally available administrative remedies
effectively unavailable to him.” Albino, 747
F.3d at 1172. The ultimate burden, however, rests with the
defendant. Id. Summary judgment is appropriate if
the undisputed evidence, viewed in the light most favorable
to the prisoner, shows a failure to exhaust. Id. at
1166, 1168; see Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a).
defendants move for summary judgment for failure to exhaust
and the evidence shows that the plaintiff did, in fact,
exhaust all available administrative remedies, it is
appropriate for the court to grant summary judgment sua
sponte for the nonmovant on the issue. See Albino,
747 F.3d at 1176 (pro se prisoner did not cross-move for
summary judgment on issue of exhaustion, but ...