United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER GRANTING
BENSON JUDGE United States District Court
inmate Deon Clopten, brings civil-rights claims against past
Utah State Prison (USP) wardens Alfred Bigelow and Scott
Crowther. See 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 (2019). He
argues Defendants violated his federal due-process and
equal-protection rights by keeping him classified in housing
more restrictive than the general population, from December
2002 through 2015. (Doc. No. 5.)
filed a Martinez report, (Doc. No. 37), including
these documents: (1) declarations of Defendants and other
relevant Utah Department of Corrections (UDOC) personnel; (2)
medical records; and (3) jail records, including grievances,
assessments, physical-location history, housing logs, and
procedures. (Doc. Nos. 37-45.) Based on the Martinez
report and invoking qualified immunity, Defendants move for
summary judgment. (Doc. No. 46.) Plaintiff opposes summary
judgment; his evidence consists of UDOC memorandums, inmate
affidavits, grievances and responses, medical records, and
his own declaration. (Doc. Nos. 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-5 &
67-1.) The Court rules for Defendants.
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)(A). 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 duty, “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).
MATERIAL FACTS 
2002, Plaintiff was convicted of first-degree murder, (Powell
Decl. ¶ 13, Doc. No. 45), and sentenced to life in
prison. (Crowther Decl. ¶ 8, Doc. No. 44.). He was
initially assessed C-2-K classification code and assigned to
Unita 2, USP. (Compl., at 5, Doc. No. 5.)
Defendant Bigelow was USP warden from July 2010-April 2014.
(Bigelow Decl. ¶ 4, Doc. No. 40.)
Defendant Crowther was USP warden from April 2014-2016.
(Crowther Decl. ¶ 4.) “He had no authority over
Plaintiff Clopten’s housing assignments.”
(Pl.’s Opp’n to Defs.’ Summ. J. Mot., at 3,
Doc. No. 67.)
reassessed Plaintiff’s security classification annually
and other times when he requested such review. (Powell Decl.
¶¶ 15-19; Ex. H, Doc Nos. 39, 41, 41-1.) His
security classification was consistently Level 2, with a
“notoriety override” that kept him in Uinta
facilities. (Powell Decl. ¶ 13; Crowther Decl. ¶
Inmates housed in Uinta participated in Offender Management
Review (OMR) upon arrival. (Ex. M, Doc. 39.) After that, an
inmate could request OMR as desired, but OMR was held at
least yearly. (Id.; Crowther Decl. ¶ 10; Powell
Decl. ¶ 10-13.) OMR is a meeting with the inmate,
caseworker, housing-unit officers, and other relevant staff.
(Bigelow Decl. ¶¶ 24-27.) OMR’s purpose is to
discuss the inmate’s classification, housing, and
privileges, like education, training, and employment.
(Id.) OMR team members may recommend the
inmate’s housing score, or placement or removal of
overrides. (Id.) Recommendations are reviewed by
deputy wardens and other administrators in deciding whether
to continue an override. (Crowther Decl. ¶¶ 15-18;
Ex. L, Doc. No. 39.)
Plaintiff frequently used the OMR system. From 2010-2016, he
met with his OMR team at least fifteen times. (Powell Decl.
¶¶ 18-19.) Each time, Plaintiff was told of his
classification score, override, and housing assignment. He
was allowed to appeal his classification score and override.
(Id.) His notoriety override was left in place,
despite his challenges and opinions of some UDOC
administrators who recommended its removal. (Powell Decl.
¶¶ 12, 14, 16; Ex. H.)
“Neither Warden Crowther nor Bigelow had a role in
assessing, reviewing, approving, or removing Clopten’s
notoriety override.” ...