United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER DISMISSING DEFENDANTS
AND GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
J. SHELBY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
Maximino Arriaga, brings civil-rights claims against Utah
State Prison (USP) defendants, Tony Washington, Bruce
Burnham, and Sidney Roberts. See 42 U.S.C.S. §
1983 (2019). He argues these defendants violated his federal
Eighth Amendment rights by providing inadequate medical care
because of Plaintiff's immigration status.
filed a Martinez report, (Doc. No. 29), including
this documentation: (1) declarations of Defendants and other
relevant USP staff; (2) medical records; and (3) USP
grievance policy. Based on their Martinez report,
Defendants move for summary judgment, asserting qualified
immunity. (Doc. No. 34.) Plaintiff replies, adding his sworn
affidavit to the evidence. (Doc. No. 38.) The Court rules for
judgment is proper 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). A party may support factual assertions by
“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.”
Id. at 56(c)(1). Summary judgment's purpose
“is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported
claims or defenses.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).
movant has the “initial burden to demonstrate an
absence of evidence to support an essential element of the
non-movant's case.” Johnson v. City of
Bountiful, 996 F.Supp. 1100, 1102 (D. Utah 1998). Once
movant meets this burden, “the burden then shifts to
the non-movant to make a showing sufficient to establish that
there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding the
existence of that element.” Id. To do so, the
non-movant must “go beyond the pleadings and ‘set
forth specific facts' that would be admissible in
evidence in the event of a trial from which a rational trier
of fact could find for the nonmovant.” Adler v.
Wal-Mart Stores, 144 F.3d 664, 671 (10th Cir. 1999)
(citation omitted). In ruling on a summary-judgment motion,
this Court must “examine the factual record and
reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most favorable
to the party opposing the motion.” Sealock v.
Colorado, 218 F.3d1205, 1209 (10th Cir. 2000).
Court notified Plaintiff that, in response to a
summary-judgment motion, “Plaintiff cannot rest upon
the mere allegations in the complaint. Instead . . .
Plaintiff must allege specific facts, admissible in evidence,
showing that there is a genuine issue remaining for
trial.” (Doc. No. 17, at 3.) In Plaintiff's
response, he did not identify material facts in dispute.
assertion of qualified immunity modifies the summary-judgment
review. Asserting qualified immunity, a state employee
creates a rebuttable presumption that she is immune from the
plaintiff's § 1983 claims. See Medina v.
Cram, 252 F.3d 1124, 1129 (10th Cir. 2001). And rather
than “focus[ing] on the existence of genuine disputes
of material fact, ” the court must
“'determine whether plaintiff's factual
allegations are sufficiently grounded in the record such that
they may permissibly comprise the universe of facts that will
serve as the foundation for answering the legal
questions before the court.'” Spencer v.
Abbott, No. 16-4009, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24668, at *10
n.6 (10th Cir. Dec. 5, 2017) (unpublished) (emphasis in
original) (quoting Cox v. Glanz, 800 F.3d 1231, 1243
(10th Cir. 2015)).
qualified immunity analysis has two parts: first, whether,
under the facts alleged by the plaintiff, the government
officials violated a constitutional right; and second,
“whether the right at issue was ‘clearly
established' at the time of the defendant's alleged
misconduct.” Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S.
223, 232 (citing Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 201
(2001)). If the plaintiff fails to satisfy either element of
his burden, the court must grant the defendant qualified
immunity. See Medina, 252 F.3d at 1128. When the
material facts are not disputed, the question of immunity
“is a legal one for the court to decide.”
Gomes v. Wood, 451 F.3d 1122, 1136 (10th Cir. 2006).
Such is the case here.
• The Amended Complaint was filed on July 30,
2017. (Doc. No. 16.)
• During the relevant time period, Plaintiff was a USP
inmate. (Doc. No. xx)
• During the relevant time, Defendant Washington was
Clinical Services Bureau Administrator at USP. (Doc. No.
29-3, at 3.) He is the administrator of the medical
department and staff, but does not give medical treatment or
input regarding clinical decisions for patients.