United States District Court, W.D. Washington
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT DKT. #99
B. LEIGHTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment [Dkt. #99]. Plaintiff Keith Nash claims the
Defendants, employees of Clark County Jail, violated his
civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by delaying his
access to a notary and to the law library. Defendants ask the
Court to dismiss his claims, arguing (1) Nash was provided a
notary to execute a power of attorney, (2) notary service
unrelated to litigation is not a civil right, and (3) he
never filed a grievance about a lack of legal supplies, so
failed to exhaust the administrative remedies available to
him. Nash asserts, in a conclusory fashion, that the
Defendants ignored his requests for access to the law library
and to a notary, which forced him to submit unauthenticated
pleadings and led to the loss of his car. He similarly
asserts he exhausted his administrative options by filing a
grievance about his need for a notary.
Standard of Review.
judgment is appropriate when, viewing the facts in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party, there is no genuine
issue of material fact which would preclude summary judgment
as a matter of law. Once the moving party has satisfied its
burden, it is entitled to summary judgment if the non-moving
party fails to present, by affidavits, depositions, answers
to interrogatories, or admissions on file, “specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986).
“The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in
support of the non-moving party's position is not
sufficient.” Triton Energy Corp. v. Square D
Co., 68 F.3d 1216, 1221 (9th Cir. 1995). Factual
disputes whose resolution would not affect the outcome are
irrelevant to the consideration of a motion for summary
judgment. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In other words, “summary judgment
should be granted where the nonmoving party fails to offer
evidence from which a reasonable [fact finder] could return a
[decision] in its favor.” Triton Energy, 68
F.3d at 1220.
Right to a Notary is Limited.
to Nash, he requested a notary to execute a power of
attorney, and was provided one within one month. He argues
this delay violated his right to access the courts.
Defendants argue Nash cannot show he was denied access to a
notary for a non-personal matter, and the Court agrees.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege (1) a violation of his rights secured by the
Constitution and laws of the United States, and (2) that the
deprivation was committed by a person acting under the color
of state law. Parratt v. Taylor, 452 U.S. 527, 535,
101 S.Ct. 108 (1981). To be liable, the wrongdoer must
personally cause the violation. Leer v. Murphy, 844.
F.2d 628, 633 (9th Cir. 1988).
services are a secured civil right only under limited
circumstances. State prison authorities must provide indigent
inmates “with paper and pen to draft legal documents
with notarial services to authenticate them, and with stamps
to mail them.” Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817,
825, 97 S.Ct. 1491 (1977). This access to the courts does not
extend indefinitely, however. The tools prison authorities
must provide “are those that the inmates need in order
to attack their sentences, directly or collaterally, and in
order to challenge the conditions of their confinement.
Impairment of any other litigating capacity is
simply one of the incidental (and perfectly constitutional)
consequences of conviction and incarceration.”
Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 355, 116 S.Ct. 2174
(1996) (emphasis in original).
has not shown he requested a notary to challenge his sentence
or confinement, and that the Defendants denied him such
access. Therefore, under Triton Energy Corp., he
cannot sustain his § 1983 claim against them.
See 68 F.3d at 1221.
also argues the Defendants delayed his access to the
prison's law library and legal supplies. Defendants argue
Nash never submitted a grievance regarding access to the law
library related to challenging his sentence or confinement,
and so failed to exhaust his administrative remedies.
Prison Litigation Reform Act requires inmates in correctional
facilities to exhaust their administrative remedies through
the correctional facility's grievance process before
filling a lawsuit related to the conditions of their
confinement. See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a).
has failed to show he filed a grievance about an alleged
denial of access to the law library or to legal supplies. He
therefore failed to exhaust the administrative ...