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Graves v. Warner

United States District Court, E.D. Washington

November 28, 2017

THEODORE F. GRAVES, Plaintiff,
v.
BERNARD WARNER, et al., Defendants.

          GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          THOMAS O. RICE Chief United States District Judge.

         BEFORE THE COURT is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 19. This matter was submitted for consideration without oral argument. The Court has reviewed the record and files herein, and is fully informed. For the reasons discussed below, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 19) is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         On May 26, 2016, Plaintiff Theodore F. Graves, a Colorado inmate housed by the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC), filed pro se a 42 U.S.C. §1983 claim. ECF No. 7. Plaintiff alleges that Washington prison officials have violated his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment by levying statutory deductions for the Cost of Incarceration (COI) and for Crime Victim Compensation (CVC) without prior notice and a meaningful hearing. Id. at 3-4, 8. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants violated the Contract Clause and Compact Clause by impairing the Interstate Corrections Compact (ICC) and the Contract between the states of Washington and Colorado (Contract). Id. at 3-4.

         On September 12, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, including the required Rand notice.[1] ECF Nos. 19; 21. Defendants seek dismissal of all Plaintiff's claims with prejudice. ECF No. 19 at 1. Plaintiff has not timely responded to Defendants' Motion.

         DISCUSSION

         A pro se litigant must file a response 30 days after the mailing of a dispositive motion. Local Rule 7.1(b)(2)(A). Here, Plaintiff failed to respond to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendants properly filed a Rand notice stating that “if you do not file your response opposing either of these motions within the mandated timeframe, your failure to file a response may be considered by the court as an admission that the motion has merit.” ECF No. 21 at 2 (citing Local Rule 7.1(b)(2)). The Court will now consider the merits of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

         A. Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate when “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). For purposes of summary judgment, a fact is “material” if it might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A material fact is “genuine” where the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could find in favor of the non-moving party. Id. The moving party bears the initial burden of showing the absence of any genuine issues of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The burden then shifts to the non-moving party to identify specific facts showing there is a genuine issue of material fact. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256.

         In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court views the facts, as well as all rational inferences therefrom, in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 378 (2007). The court must only consider admissible evidence. Orr v. Bank of America, NT & SA, 285 F.3d 764 (9th Cir. 2002). There must be evidence on which a jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff and a “mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.

         A. 42 U.S.C. § 1983

         Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a cause of action may be maintained “against any person acting under color of law who deprives another ‘of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, ' of the United States.” S. Cal. Gas Co. v. City of Santa Ana, 336 F.3d 885, 887 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). The rights guaranteed by § 1983 are “liberally and beneficially construed.” Dennis v. Higgins, 498 U.S. 439, 443 (1991) (quoting Monell v. N.Y. City Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 684 (1978)). “A person deprives another ‘of a constitutional right, within the meaning of section 1983, if he does an affirmative act, participates in another's affirmative acts, or omits to perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes the deprivation of which the plaintiff complains.'” Leer v. Murphy, 844 F.2d 628, 633 (9th Cir. 1988) (brackets and emphasis omitted) (quoting Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978)).

         1. Due Process Violation

         Defendants assert that Plaintiff's Complaint does not demonstrate procedural or substantive due ...


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