United States District Court, D. Utah
BRANDON L. MORRIS, Plaintiff,
BRUCE BURNHAM, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR
WADDOUPS, United States District Judge
Brandon Morris is a pro se prisoner proceeding
in forma pauperis. He raises claims under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 as to Defendant Dr. Bruce Burnham's
inadequate medical treatment of Plaintiff's seizures and
other issues while at Utah State Prison (USP). (See
Dkt. No. 6.)
filed a Martinez report with medical and other
records and Defendant's declaration regarding
Plaintiff's treatment. (Dkt. No. 20.) Defendant then
moved for summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims,
asserting qualified immunity. (Dkt. No. 24.) Plaintiff's
response to the Martinez report and summary-judgment
motion lacks substantive argument and evidentiary support.
& QUALIFIED-IMMUNITY STANDARDS
judgment is appropriate when “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.”
R. Civ. P. 56(a). Factual assertions may be supported by,
citing to parts of materials in the record, including
depositions, documents, electronically stored information,
affidavits or declarations, stipulations . . ., admissions,
interrogatory answers, or other materials; or . . . showing
that the materials cited do not establish the absence or
presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party
cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
Id. at 56(c)(1). A primary purpose of the
summary-judgment rule “is to isolate and dispose of
factually unsupported claims or defenses.” Celotex
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).
the party moving for summary judgment bears the initial
burden of showing “that there is an absence of evidence
to support the non-moving party's case.”
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325. This burden may be met
merely by identifying portions of the record which show an
absence of evidence to support an essential element of the
opposing party's case. Johnson v. City of
Bountiful, 996 F.Supp. 1100, 1102 (D. Utah 1998).
when a defendant asserts qualified immunity at summary
judgment, the standard Rule 56 burden shifts from the moving
defendant to the plaintiff. Plaintiff then has the heavy
burden to show that: “(1) the defendant violated a
constitutional right and (2) the constitutional right was
clearly established.” Becker v. Bateman, 709
F.3d 1019, 1022 (10th Cir. 2013). Here, Plaintiff has done
nothing to rebut qualified immunity.
on review of the record here, and in light of Plaintiff's
failure to substantively oppose Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment, the Court finds the following: •
Seizures 1. Plaintiff first complained of
seizures in April 2009. Depakote was prescribed to control
possible seizure activity. (Burnham Decl. ¶ 6, Dkt. No.
20-1; Ex. 2, Medical Records at 68, 72, Dkt. No 20-2.)
Defendant initially saw Plaintiff about seizures on January
12, 2010. Defendant was concerned whether Plaintiff was
taking his seizure medications as prescribed. (Burnham Decl.
¶ 7; Ex. 2, Medical Records at 57.)
January 19, 2010, as recommended by USP staff, Plaintiff went
to the University Medical Center (UMC) neurology department
to be tested for possible epileptic seizures. UMC did a
continuous electroencephalogram (EEG) and MRI of
Plaintiff's brain. There was no evidence of epileptic
seizures. (Burnham Decl. ¶ 8; Ex. 2, Medical Records at
Before UMC's assessment, Plaintiff was prescribed
Dilantin and Tegretol to control his seizure-like symptoms.
Defendant guessed that Plaintiff had not complied with his
prescribed medication regimen because those medications would