United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
W. Christel, United States Magistrate Judge.
District Court referred this action, filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, to United States Magistrate Judge David
W. Christel. Presently pending before the Court is Defendants
Department of Corrections, Christina Brule, Mark Stigall,
John Campbell, Z. Fiscuss, Ryan Pfaff, Ron Haynes, Katherine
Jenson, Christian Dieker, Brandon Heimbigner, and John
Hamon's Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt.
reviewing the relevant record, the Court finds Plaintiff
Kevin A. Brown has failed to overcome Defendants' summary
judgment showing that there is no genuine issue of material
fact in regarding his Eighth Amendment failure to protect and
cruel and unusual punishment claims. Further, Plaintiff has
failed to state a supervisory liability claim. Therefore, the
Court recommends Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment
(Dkt. 58) be granted and this case be closed.
an inmate currently housed at Stafford Creek Corrections
Center, alleges Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment
rights when they failed to protect him. Dkt. 8. Plaintiff,
first, alleges Defendants Brule, Stigall, Campbell, and Pfaff
failed to protect Plaintiff when they transferred Plaintiff
to Clallam Bay Corrections Center (“CBCC”) after
Plaintiff's fiancée notified Defendant Brule that
Plaintiff would be harmed at CBCC. Id. Second,
Plaintiff contends Defendants Jenson, Dieker, Heimbigner,
Harmon, and Fiscuss failed to protect Plaintiff from being
assaulted by seven inmates when he was housed at CBCC.
Id. Plaintiff also alleges Defendants Campbell and
Haynes are liable under § 1983 because they supervise
Defendants Brule, Stigall, Pfaff, Jenson, Dieker, Heimbigner,
Harmon, and Fiscuss. Id.
filed the Motion on April 10, 2018. Dkt. 58. Plaintiff filed
a Response to the Motion on April 24, 2018. Dkt. 75.
Defendants filed their Reply on May 11, 2018. Dkt. 76.
Standard of Review
judgment is proper only if the pleadings, discovery, and
disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits, show that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law when the nonmoving party fails to make a
sufficient showing on an essential element of a claim in the
case on which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
There is no genuine issue of fact for trial where the record,
taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier of fact to
find for the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co.
v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)
(nonmoving party must present specific, significant probative
evidence, not simply “some metaphysical doubt”);
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). Conversely, a
genuine dispute over a material fact exists if there is
sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute,
requiring a judge or jury to resolve the differing versions
of the truth. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 253 (1986); T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac.
Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir.
contend they are entitled to summary judgment regarding
Plaintiff's claims that Defendants failed to protect him.
Dkt. 58. Defendants also assert Plaintiff's allegations
against Defendants Campbell and Haynes fail to state a claim
under § 1983. Id. The Court agrees. The Court
also finds Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted as to Defendant Department of
Corrections and Plaintiff's allegations that he was
subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.
Failure to Protect
allege there is no genuine issue of material fact regarding
whether Defendants failed to protect Plaintiff when Plaintiff
was (1) transferred to CBCC and (2) assaulted at CBCC. Dkt.
Eighth Amendment requires prison officials to take reasonable
measures to guarantee the safety of prisoners. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). Prison officials have
a duty to protect prisoners from violence suffered at the
hands of other prisoners. Id. at 833. However, not
every injury suffered by a prisoner at the hands of another
is a violation of a prisoner's constitutional rights.
Id. at 834.
cases alleging an Eighth Amendment violation based on a
failure to prevent harm, the plaintiff must first meet an
objective component by showing “he is incarcerated
under conditions posing a substantial risk of serious
harm.” Id.; see Clouthier v. County of
Contra Costa, 591 F.3d 1232, 1242 (9th Cir. 2010). The
plaintiff must also meet a subjective component by showing
the prison official acted with deliberate indifference to
inmate health or safety. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834;
Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 33 (1993)
(“[A] claim that a prisoner's confinement
violate[s] the Eighth Amendment requires an inquiry into the
prison officials' state of mind.”). “[A]
prison official cannot be found liable under the Eighth
Amendment . . . unless the official knows of and disregards
an excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official
must both be aware of facts from which the inference could be
drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he
must also draw the inference.” Farmer, 511
U.S. at 832; see Wallis v. Baldwin, 70 F.3d 1074,
1077 (9th Cir. 1995). A prison “official's failure
to alleviate a significant risk he should have perceived but
did not, ” therefore, cannot “be condemned as the
infliction of punishment.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at
Transfer to CBCC
alleges Defendants Brule, Stigall, and Pfaff failed to
protect Plaintiff when they transferred him to CBCC after
Plaintiff's fiancée called Defendant Brule and
expressed concern over Plaintiff's safety at CBCC. Dkt.
evidence shows Defendant was housed at Washington
State Penitentiary (“WSP”) in January of 2017.
Dkt. 75-1, p. 12, Brown Dec. Plaintiff was placed in a unit
consisting of “whites and Sur[e]ños, ”
with whom Plaintiff has issues. Id. Plaintiff
informed non-party correctional officers of his
“issues, ” but he was still placed in the unit.
Id. After three days, he was removed from the unit
and placed in involuntary protective custody because a threat
was made on his life. Id. Plaintiff informed his
fiancée, Jessyca Swatman, he was going to be
transferred to CBCC and that if he was sent to CBCC something
would happen to him because the “whites and
Sur[e]ños” had put “a green lite
(sic)” on him. Id.
Swatman spoke with Defendant Brule at least five times
between February 2017 and March 2017. Dkt. 75-1, p. 7,
Swatman Dec. Ms. Swatman informed Defendant Brule that CBCC
was not a safe placement for Plaintiff because he previously
had confrontations with groups of Caucasian and Mexican
inmates at WSP who had been transferred to CBCC. Id.
Ms. Swatman requested Plaintiff be transferred to Airway
Heights Corrections Center (“AHCC”) Safe Harbor
Unit. Id. Defendant Brule told Ms. Swatman she would
override the points Plaintiff needed to be classified as
“medium custody” and send him to AHCC.
Brule disregarded Ms. Swatman's warning and sent
Plaintiff to CBCC. Dkt. 75-1, p. 13, Brown Dec. Plaintiff
states Defendant Brule made the final decision to send
Plaintiff to CBCC. Id. Plaintiff arrived at CBCC on
March 15, 2017. Id. On April 29, 2017, Plaintiff was
assaulted by five “white boys” and two
evidence shows there are two close custody facilities within
the Washington State Department of Corrections
(“DOC”), WSP and CBCC. Dkt. 67, Haynes Dec.,
¶ 9. Plaintiff was classified as a close custody inmate
during the period in question; and therefore could be housed
only at WSP or CBCC. See id.; Dkt. 60, Campbell
Dec., ¶ 5. “According to DOC records, Plaintiff
was placed in protective custody at [WSP] due to a report
that his life might be in danger due to other offenders
acting strangely around him at that facility.” Dkt. 59,
Brule Dec., ¶ 4. In 2017, Plaintiff “had no
separatees (other listed ...