United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING & DENYING
IN PART DEFENDANT COOK'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE
HONORABLE ROBERT J. SHELBY United States District Court
Complaint, (Docket No. 5), and Amended Complaint, (Docket No.
9)--the latter of which the Court construes as an addendum to
the Complaint--Plaintiff brings claims of inadequate medical
treatment and an unconstitutional disciplinary process. The
medical claims are not addressed in this Order. The claim
about the disciplinary process is against Defendant Cook, the
disciplinary officer at Utah State Prison. Specifically,
Plaintiff requests that this Court overturn two civil
disciplinary decisions finding him guilty of possessing
contraband in his cell. Defendant Cook moves for judgment on
arguments attacking the disciplinary process are (1)
Defendant Cook should have adopted Plaintiff's
interpretation of the facts; (2) Plaintiff lacked
representation; (3) due process was not observed; and (4) the
two fines assessed, totaling $600, were excessive.
Defendant Cook's rejection of Plaintiff's
interpretation of the facts is not a federal constitutional
violation. Second, Plaintiff has no constitutional right to
an attorney in a prison disciplinary process. See Wolff
v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 570 (1974). Third, in this
situation, federal due process required that Plaintiff have
notice, an opportunity to be heard, and a decision based on
the evidence. See Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, 476
(1983). The copies of the disciplinary reports filed with the
Complaint confirm that due process was adequately observed.
(See Docket No. 6, at 5-9).
argument that Defendant Cook did not fully address is whether
the fines assessed here were constitutionally excessive. The
Court thus denies dismissal of this claim.
THEREFORE ORDERED that Defendant Cook's Motion to Dismiss
is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. (Docket No. 44.) The
only constitutional claim remaining against Defendant Cook in
this case is that the fines he assessed were excessive.
FURTHER ORDERED that within sixty days Defendant Cook must
file a motion for summary judgment on the excessive-fine
claim. Plaintiff will then have thirty days to respond. For
Plaintiffs information and convenience, the Court has
attached the procedural rules governing summary-judgment
Rules of Civil Procedure (Current through changes
received January 18, 2018)
56. Summary Judgment
Motion for Summary Judgment or Partial Summary Judgment. A
party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim
or defense - or the part of each claim or defense-on which
summary judgment is sought. 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. The court should state on the
record the reasons for granting or denying the motion.
Time to File a Motion. Unless a different time is set by
local rule or the court orders otherwise, a party may file a
motion for summary judgment at any time until 30 days after
the close of all discovery.
Supporting Factual Positions. A party asserting that a fact
cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion
(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or
(B) 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.
Objection That a Fact Is Not Supported by Admissible
Evidence. A party may object that the material cited to
support or dispute a fact cannot be presented in a form that
would be admissible in evidence.
Materials Not Cited. The court need consider only the cited
materials, but it may consider other materials in the record.
Affidavits or Declarations. An affidavit or declaration used
to support or oppose a motion must be made on personal
knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in
evidence, and show that the ...