United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
GASKINS E. THOMAS, JR., Plaintiff,
STATE OF WASHINGTON, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
A. TSUCHIDA, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
State of Washington moves to dismiss this 42 U.S.C. §
1983 civil rights action pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 on the
grounds that Plaintiff Gaskins E. Thomas, Jr. has presented
no admissible evidence to support a civil rights complaint
against it and because the State of Washington is not subject
to liability under § 1983. Dkt. 21. Mr. Thomas, who is
proceeding pro se, asked to orally respond to the
motion. Dkt. 23. That request was denied. The Court advised
Mr. Thomas that the motion would be decided on the
parties' written submissions. The Court also advised Mr.
Thomas what he must do to oppose a motion for summary
judgment. Dkt. 24. Mr. Thomas was advised to set out specific
facts in declarations, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, or authenticated documents, as provided in
Rule 56(e), that contradict the facts shown in the
defendant's declarations and documents and show that
there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial.
Id. at 2. He was further advised that if he did not
submit his own evidence in opposition, summary judgment, if
appropriate, would be entered against him, his case would be
dismissed, and there would be no trial. Id.
December 20, 2017, Mr. Thomas filed a response, stating only:
“I shall accept the summary judgment from the
court.” Dkt. 25. Because the State of Washington is
immune from suit under the Eleventh Amendment and is not a
“person” for purposes of § 1983 and further,
because Mr. Thomas has provided no probative evidence to
support the allegations of his complaint or to contradict
Defendant's factual assertions, the Court finds that the
State of Washington is entitled to summary judgment.
April 2017, Mr. Thomas filed his civil rights lawsuit
alleging a “premeditated civil right violation”
by the State of Washington. Dkt. 1 at 2. He alleges that in
the “Summer or Spring of 2014 at a state funded medical
event at the Key Arena I was implanted with a bio chip on the
32 tooth as I had it removed agents [sic] my will.”
Id. Mr. Thomas seeks $50 million and “51% copy
rights of the bio chip” and removal of the chip.
Id. at 4.
to counsel for the State of Washington, the Office of the
Attorney General conducted a thorough investigation and found
no evidence that the State of Washington was involved in the
events that took place at Key Arena during the timeframe
alleged in Mr. Thomas' complaint. Dkt. 22, Declaration of
Alexander Foster Brown. Based on an October 23, 2014 Seattle
Times Newspaper article, the only event held during the
timeframe alleged in Mr. Thomas' complaint was a four day
event held by the City of Seattle and King County.
Id., Exhibit 2. According to the newspaper account,
over 500 volunteer doctors, dentists, nurses, optometrists,
and other health-care professionals worked at the event.
Id. There is no evidence that any state agencies or
state actors were present at the event.
September 8, 2017, the State of Washington served discovery
requests on Mr. Thomas. Dkt. 22, Foster Brown Decl., Exhibit
1. Mr. Thomas did not answer the discovery requests.
judgment should be granted where “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); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986). Courts apply a burden-shifting
analysis in determining whether to grant or deny a motion for
summary judgment. Where the non-moving party―Mr.
Thomas― bears the burden of proving the claim at trial,
the moving party―the State of Washington―can meet
its initial burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to
negate an essential element of the non-moving party's
case; or (1) by demonstrating that the non-moving party
failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element
essential to that party's case on which that party will
bear the burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp.,
477 U.S. at 323-24; Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1).
moving party meets its initial burden, the burden then shifts
to the opposing party to produce sufficient evidence to
establish that a genuine dispute as to a material fact
actually exists. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). The non-moving
party may not rely upon mere allegations or denials in the
pleadings but must set forth specific facts showing that
there exists a genuine issue for trial. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986).
plaintiff must “produce at least some significant
probative evidence tending to support” the allegations
in the complaint. Smolen v. Deloitte, Haskins &
Sells, 921 F.2d 959, 963 (9th Cir. 1990).
sustain a civil rights action under § 1983, a plaintiff
must show (1) that he suffered a violation of rights
protected by the Constitution or created by federal statute,
and (2) that the violation was proximately caused by a person
acting under color of state or federal law. See Crumpton
v. Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1420 (9th Cir. 1991). Thus, a
plaintiff may only maintain an action under section 1983 for
violations of constitutional rights performed by
“person[s] acting under color of state law.”
See 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Thomas' cause of action for monetary and injunctive
relief for violation of his constitutional rights can only be
brought via 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See
Azul-Pacifico, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, 973 F.2d
704, 705 (9th Cir.1992); see also Bank of Lake Tahoe v.
Bank of America, 318 F.3d 914, 917 (9th Cir.2003)
(claims for declaratory and injunctive relief against
application of state law on ...