Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Heck v. Klemke

United States District Court, E.D. Washington

December 6, 2019

CLINTON HECK, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL KLEMKE, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          STANLEY A. BASTIAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motions for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 25, and Defendant's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 27. The motions were heard without oral argument. Plaintiff is proceeding pro se. Defendant is represented by Assistant Attorney General Katherine J. Faber.

         Plaintiff Clinton Heck, a prisoner in the custody of the Washington State Department of Corrections, is bringing a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendant Michael Klemke intentionally withheld his decision reversing Plaintiff's disciplinary appeal so that Plaintiff would be transferred to a harsher living condition at the Washington State Penitentiary. Plaintiff alleges that this was done to chill his efforts to pursue his grievances.

         Motion Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate “if 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). The moving party has the initial burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of fact for trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). An issue of material fact is genuine if there is sufficient evidence of a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the non-moving party. Thomas v. Ponder, 611 F.3d 1144, 1150 (9th Cir. 2010). The non-moving party cannot rely on conclusory allegations alone to create an issue of material fact. Hansen v. United States, 7 F.3d 137, 138 (9th Cir. 1993). If the moving party meets its initial burden, the non-moving party must then go beyond the pleadings and “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The parties must support assertions by citing to particular parts of the record or show that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute of material fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). However, a court may neither weigh the evidence nor assess credibility; instead, “the evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; see also Cortez v. Skol, 776 F.3d 1046, 1050 (9th Cir. 2015).

         In addition to showing there are no questions of material fact, the moving party must also show it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Smith v. Univ. of Wash. Law Sch., 233 F.3d 1188, 1193 (9th Cir. 2000). The moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law when the non-moving party fails to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of a claim on which the non-moving party has the burden of proof. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323.

         When considering a motion for summary judgment, a court may neither weigh the evidence nor assess credibility; instead, “the evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. When parties file simultaneous cross-motions for summary judgment, the court reviews each motion and the appropriate evidentiary material identified in support of the motion separately, giving the nonmoving party for each motion the benefit of all reasonable inferences. Brunozzi v. Cable Commc'ns, Inc., 851 F.3d 990, 995 (9th Cir. 2017).

         Plaintiff's Claim

         Prisoners have a First Amendment right to file prison grievances and to pursue civil rights litigation to the courts. Rhodes v. Robinson, 408 F.3d 559, 567 (9th Cir. 2005). Within the prison context, in order to successfully bring a claim of First Amendment retaliation, a prisoner must establish five elements: (1) a state actor took some adverse action against an inmate (2) because of (3) that prisoner's protected conduct, and that such action (4) chilled the inmate's exercise of his First Amendment rights, and (5) the action did not reasonably advance a legitimate correctional goal. Id.

         Facts

         Plaintiff was previously housed at Airway Heights Corrections Center (AHCC), a DOC facility in Airway Heights, Washington. Defendant is a Correctional Program Manager at AHCC.

         On December 12, 2018, Plaintiff was told that he would be moving to a different wing. He refused the cell assignment. As a result, he was placed in administrative segregation and he received a serious infraction. At the disciplinary hearing held on December 18, 2018, he was found guilty of the infraction.

         Plaintiff appealed the guilty finding on the same day. He stated there was a verified keep separate order between him and someone on the B-side of the T-Unit, which is where he was to move. A separation was entered in the OMNI (Offender Management Network Information) on December 27, 2018, although the separation should have been entered prior to when Plaintiff was infracted for refusing the move.

         Defendant Klemke reviewed Plaintiff's appeal on December 31, 2018. After reviewing the separation in OMNI, Defendant concluded that Plaintiff's infraction should be reversed. In his decision, Defendant wrote, “[i]n reviewing OMNI I see there is a separation entered by IIU Greene for a unit separation from another individual housed in T-Unit. I contacted IIU Greene and verified that this should have been in place prior to the incident for which you were infracted. Therefore the infraction is being dismissed.” ECF NO. 30, at 7. Once he completed the appeal, he used interoffice ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.