United States District Court, M.D. Alabama
JARED M. VILLERY, Plaintiff,
JEFFREY BEARD, et al., Defendants.
ORDER REGARDING PARTIES' MOTIONS TO MODIFY
DISCOVERY AND SCHEDULING ORDER (DOC. NOS. 68, 85) FINDINGS
AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. NO. 51)
BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Jared M. Villery is a state prisoner proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This case proceeds
on Plaintiff's claim against Defendants Kendall, Acosta,
Naficy, Jones, Guerrero, Aithal, Seymour, Carrizales,
Woodard, Pallares, Hernandez, Fisher, Grimmig, and Miranda
for deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth
Amendment, and against Defendant Diaz based on a policy to
deny single cell housing for inmates with serious mental
disorders, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The case
arises out of Plaintiff's allegations concerning
allegedly improper housing decisions at various institutions
for Plaintiff, who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress
before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary
judgment for the failure to exhaust administrative remedies
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, filed on
January 1, 2018. (Doc. No. 51.) Plaintiff filed an
opposition, on extension, on April 3, 2018. (Doc. No. 74.)
Defendants filed a reply on April 9, 2018. (Doc. No. 81.)
parties have also filed motions to modify the discovery and
scheduling order based in part on this pending motion. (Doc.
Nos. 68, 85.) Defendants filed an opposition to
Plaintiff's motion on June 1, 2018, (Doc. No. 87), and
Plaintiff filed a reply to that opposition on June 20, 2018,
(Doc. No. 92).
motions are now deemed submitted. Local Rule 230(1).
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment for the Failure
noted above, Plaintiff brings his claim against multiple
defendants for events that occurred at several different
institutions where he was previously housed-the California
State Prison-Los Angeles County “(LAC”), in
Lancaster, California; the California Correctional
Institution (“CCI”) in Tehachapi, California; and
the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility
(“SATF”) in Corcoran, California. This motion is
a partial summary judgment motion, concerning the claim
brought against Defendants Naficy, Aithal, Seymour, and
Carrizales, employed at CCI, and Defendants Pallares,
Hernandez, Fisher, and Miranda, employed at SATF.
summary, Plaintiff alleges that he was diagnosed with PTSD
after an incident on August 3, 2007, in which he was stabbed
by two white inmates while he was incarcerated at Kern Valley
State Prison. (First Am. Compl., Doc. No. 22.) Plaintiff
further alleges that he was later transferred to CCI on
January 14 or 15, 2014, and notified Defendant Carrizales, a
social worker, about his condition for the first time on
January 16, 2014. Plaintiff alleges that he followed up with
Defendant Carrizales several times about his severe PTSD
symptoms and inability to be housed with other inmates, but
Defendant Carrizales refused to make any housing
recommendations for Plaintiff, stating that custody staff had
instructed mental health staff to refrain from doing so based
on overcrowding. Plaintiff also alleges that he discussed his
condition with Defendant Naficy, a psychiatrist; Defendant
Aithal, a psychologist; and Defendant Seymour, a
psychologist, but all of them refused to make any single cell
housing recommendations based on instructions from custody
further alleges that he was transferred from CCI to SATF on
or around January 9, 2015. He allegedly met with Defendant
Fisher, a correctional counselor, and explained his need for
single cell status due to his severe PTSD symptoms. His
request was denied. He also explained his condition at
classification committee hearings. Defendant Hernandez, a
correctional counselor; Defendant Pallares, a facility
captain; Defendant Miranda, a correctional counselor; and
Defendant Fisher were on the panels at these hearings.
Plaintiff's request was again denied.
Defendants move for summary judgment with respect to the
claims against them, arguing that Plaintiff failed to exhaust
his available administrative remedies prior to suing.
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); Albino v. Baca, 747 F.3d
1162, 1166 (9th Cir. 2014); Washington Mut. Inc. v.
United States, 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).
failure to exhaust is an affirmative defense, and Defendant
bears the burden of raising and proving the absence of
exhaustion. Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 216 (2007);
Albino, 747 F.3d at 1166. Defendant must
“prove that there was an available administrative
remedy, and that the prisoner did not exhaust that available
remedy.” Albino, 747 F.3d at 1172. If the
Defendant carries this burden, the burden of production
shifts to Plaintiff “to 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.” Id.
“If undisputed evidence viewed in the light most
favorable to the prisoner shows a failure to exhaust, a
defendant is entitled to summary judgment under Rule
56.” Id. at 1166. “If material facts are
disputed, summary judgment should be denied, and the district
judge rather than a jury should determine the facts.”
Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
1997e(a) of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995
(“PLRA”) provides that “[n]o action shall
be brought with respect to prison conditions under [42 U.S.C.
§ 1983], 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). Exhaustion is
required regardless of the relief sought by the prisoner and
regardless of the relief offered by the process, Booth v.
Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 741 (2001), and the exhaustion
requirement applies to all prisoner suits relating to prison
life, Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 532 (2002).
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(“CDCR”) has an administrative grievance system
for prisoner complaints. Cal. Code Regs., tit. 15 §
3084.1. The process is initiated by submitting a CDCR Form
602 describing the issue and the relief requested.
Id. at § 3084.2(a). Three levels of review are
involved-a first level review, a second level review and a
third level review. Id. at § 3084.7. Bypassing
a level of review may result in rejection of the appeal.
Id. at § 3084.6(b)(15). Under § 1997e, a
prisoner has exhausted his administrative remedies when he
receives a decision at the third level. See Barry v.
Ratelle, 985 F.Supp. 1235, 1237-38 (S.D. Cal. 1997).
PLRA requires that a prisoner exhaust available
administrative remedies before bringing a federal action
concerning prison conditions. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a)
(2008); see Porter, 534 U.S. at 524 (“Even
when the prisoner seeks relief not available in grievance
proceedings, notably money damages, exhaustion is a
prerequisite to suit.”). Exhaustion must be
“proper.” Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81,
93 (2006). This means that a grievant must use all steps the
prison holds out, enabling the prison to reach the merits of
the issue. Id. at 90.
assert that the material facts in regarding this summary
judgment motion are undisputed, and argue that the appeals
that Plaintiff asserts exhausted the claims at issue here-
appeal nos. LAC HC 13047307, SATF HC 16062846, SATF E
15-00572, and SATF E 16-00105- did not properly exhaust
Plaintiff's claims. Specifically, they argue that appeal
nos. LAC HC 13047307 and SATF HC 16062846 were filed at
different institutions during different time periods, and do
not appeal the individual Defendants' decisions to deny
Plaintiff single cell status. Defendants further argue that
appeal SATF-E-15-00572 was cancelled at the second level, and
although Plaintiff appealed the cancellation, he did not wait
until receiving a decision to file suit, and the appeal was
never exhausted through the third level. Finally, they argue
that appeal no. SATF-E-16-00105 was also cancelled at the
second level of screening, and Plaintiff did not appeal that
cancellation. Therefore, that appeal was also not fully
exhausted prior to filing suit.
opposition, Plaintiff does not dispute that he never filed
any administrative grievances which specifically challenged
the actions of Defendants Naficy, Aithal, Carrizales, or
Seymour. However, he argues that because appeal nos. LAC HC
13047307 and SATF HC 16062846 addressed his ongoing PTSD
condition and the continuing denial of single cell status,
and those matters were fully addressed by CDCR officials,
then those appeals were sufficient to exhaust his available
administrative remedies against Defendants Naficy, Aithal,
Carrizales, and Seymour.
further argues that his appeal no. SATF-E-15-00572 against
Defendants Fisher, Pallares, and Hernandez was improperly
screened, rendering administrative remedies unavailable.
Finally, Plaintiff argues that his appeal no. SATF-E-16-00105
regarding the conduct of Defendants Fisher and Miranda was
properly cancelled as duplicative of appeal no.
SATF-E-15-00572. However, when appeal no. SATF-E-15-00572 was
improperly screened, his deadline to challenge the
cancellation of appeal no. SATF-E-16-00105 had already
passed, leaving him without the ability to complete the
appeal, and making administrative remedies unavailable for
that appeal as well.
reply, Defendants argue that Plaintiff has not presented
sufficient evidence showing that appeal nos. LAC HC 13047307
and SATF HC 16062846 sufficiently exhausted his
administrative remedies for his claim against Defendants
Naficy, Aithal, Carrizales, and Seymour. Further, Defendants
argue that Plaintiff has also not shown that the narrow
exception for unavailable remedies applies in this case.
Appeal Nos. LAC HC 13047307 and SATF HC 16062846
filed his first amended complaint, the operative complaint in
this action, on June 16, 2016, while he was housed at SATF,
in Corcoran, California, within the custody of the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (First Am.
Compl., Doc. No. 22.) At all times relevant to the
allegations against Defendants Naficy, Aithal, Seymour, and
Carrizales, Plaintiff was a state prisoner incarcerated at
CCI. (FAC ¶¶ 49-63.) Plaintiff was housed at CCI
from approximately January 15, 2014, through January 9, 2015.
there is no dispute that there was an administrative appeal
process available at Plaintiff's institutions, or that he
availed himself of that process. (See, generally, Decl. of M.
Voong, Doc. No. 51-2.) Further, as noted above, it is
undisputed that Plaintiff never filed or exhausted an appeal
which challenged a decision to deny him single cell status by
Defendants Nanficy, Aithal, Seymour, or Carrizales. Plaintiff
instead asserts that appeal nos. LAC HC 13047307 and SATF HC
16062846 sufficiently exhausted his claims, ...