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' Motion for Summary Judgment
(“Motion”). Dkt. 18.
reviewing the relevant record, the Court finds Plaintiff
Jerome Ceasar Alverto failed to overcome Defendants'
summary judgment showing that there is no genuine issue of
material fact regarding his Eighth Amendment failure to
protect claims against Defendants Margaret Gilbert, Melida
Ferrell, and Don Blumberg. Plaintiff has also failed to
overcome Defendant Ferrell's summary judgment showing
that there is no genuine issue of material fact on
Plaintiff's First Amendment retaliation claim against
her. Moreover, Plaintiff has failed to state any claim of
violation of the Washington State Constitution. Therefore,
the Court recommends Defendants' Motion (Dkt. 18) be
granted and this case be closed.
an inmate currently housed at Monroe Correctional Complex,
alleges Defendants violated his Eighth and First Amendment
rights while he was housed at Stafford Creek Corrections
Center (“SCCC”). Dkt. 6. Plaintiff contends
Defendants Gilbert, Ferrell, and Blumberg failed to protect
Plaintiff from a physical altercation with another inmate
after he notified them that he received threats. Id.
Plaintiff further maintains Defendant Ferrell retaliated
against him for seeking medical documents related to the
altercation. Id. In addition, Plaintiff makes brief
statements that he is suing Defendants for violating his
rights under the Washington State Constitution. Id.
filed the Motion on March 18, 2019. Dkt. 18. Plaintiff filed
a Response to the Motion on April 2, 2019. Dkt. 24. With the
Response, Plaintiff filed a Motion to File Excess Pages.
See Dkt. 24, p. 72. As Plaintiff's Response is
within the page limits for briefs in opposition to motions
for summary judgment, the Motion to File Excess Pages (Dkt.
24, p. 72) is denied as moot. See Local Civil Rule
April 12, 2019, Defendants filed a Reply. Dkt. 27. After the
Court granted-in-part Plaintiff's motions to supplement
the record, the Motion came ready for consideration on May
10, 2019. See Dkt. 35.
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.
alleges Defendants' actions violated his Eighth and First
Amendment rights. Dkt. 6. Defendants assert there is no
genuine issue of material fact regarding Plaintiff's
claims and, accordingly, summary judgment is appropriate.
Dkt. 18. The Court agrees. In addition, the Court finds
Plaintiff has failed to state any claim under the Washington
Failure to Protect
argue there is no genuine issue of material fact regarding
whether they were deliberately indifferent to a substantial
risk of harm to Plaintiff. Dkt. 18, pp. 7-10.
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
4, 2016, Plaintiff was involved in a physical altercation
with another inmate in Plaintiff's living unit, the
“H5 Unit, ” at SCCC. See Dkt. 6,
15-19, 37-38. Plaintiff maintains that prior to the
altercation, he informed Defendants that other inmates were
threatening to assault him if he sat at tables they had
“saved.” The act of “saving” a table
occurs when an inmate reserves a table for certain inmates
and excludes others from sitting at it. See Dkt. 19,
Gilbert Dec., ¶ 6; Dkt. 20, Blumberg Dec., ¶ 7;
Dkt. 21, Ferrell Dec., ¶ 7; Dkt. 22-1, p. 26. Saving
tables is common practice at Washington Department of
Correction (“DOC”) facilities and is considered
threatening, as it can lead to physical fights. See
Dkt. 19, Gilbert Dec., ¶ 6; Dkt. 20, Blumberg Dec.,