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Hoyle v. Deschutes County

United States District Court, D. Oregon

February 12, 2014

CASEY MICHAEL HOYLE, Plaintiff,
v.
DESCHUTES COUNTY, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

THOMAS M. COFFIN, District Judge.

Plaintiff filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that defendants violated his constitutional rights while he was an inmate in the Deschutes County Jail.

Defendants now move for summary judgment (#31). Plaintiff has been advised the federal summary judgment standards (#36). However, plaintiff has not filed a response to defendants' motion for summary judgment.

Therefore, the facts set forth in defendants' Memorandum (#32) and supporting declarations (#33), (#34) and (#35), are undisputed.

Plaintiff alleges in Claim I that defendants violated his rights under the 14th and 8th Amendments by failing to provide him with proper medical treatment. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that defendants failed to properly manage or treat his diabetes related medical needs and failed to provide him with appropriate medical care. In Claim II 2 plaintiff alleges that defendants retaliated against him for attempting to exercise his First Amendment rights to seek redress of grievances and his right to receive medical care.

Defendants argue that plaintiff did not exhaust administrative remedies with respect to his claims ars required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act.

The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires that prisoners exhaust available administrative remedies before bringing a federal action concerning prison conditions. Griffin v. Arpaio , 557 F.3d 1117, 1119 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 1997e (a)). Inmates are required to exhaust all grievance remedies before filing a Section 1983 action, including appealing the grievance decision to the highest level within the grievance system. Wyatt v. Terhune , 315 F.3d 1108 (9th Cir. 2003); Bennett v. King , 293 F.3d 1096, 1098 (9th Cir. 2002); McKinney v. Carey , 311 F.3d 1198 (9th Cir. 2002). Moreover, "the PLRA exhaustion requirement requires proper exhaustion." Woodford v. Ngo , 548 U.S. 81, 93 (2006). This means that a prisoner must "complete the administrative review process in accordance with the applicable procedural rules, including deadlines, as a precondition to bringing suit in federal court." Marella v. Terhune , 568 F.3d 1024, 1027 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Woodford, 548 U.S. at 88).

It is uncontradicted in the record before the court that although plaintiff filed grievances alleging that jail medical staff treated him with disrespect and would not work with him to address his medical needs related to his blood sugar, he did not appeal the response to that grievance. It is also uncontradicted that plaintiff did not file any grievance concerning his dental needs and did not file any grievance concerning retaliation for the exercise of his rights.

Thus, although plaintiff filed a grievance concerning one of his claims in this case, he did not complete the appeal process as to that grievance, and did not file a grievance as to his remaining claims. Therefore, plaintiff did not properly exhaust available administrative remedies as to any of his claims.

"If the District Court concludes that the prisoner has not exhausted non-judicial remedies, the proper remedy is dismissal of the claim without prejudice." Wyatt v. Terhune , 315 F.3d at 1120. However, the time for filing grievances concerning plaintiff's claims or to file any appeals from the denials of the grievances is long past. Therefore, it would be impossible for plaintiff to properly exhaust administrative remedies regarding the claims in this action.[1] See, Woodford , 548 U.S. at 93-95 (holding that "proper exhaustion" under § 1997e(a) cannot be satisfied by filing an untimely or otherwise procedurally defective administrative grievance or appeal).

Therefore, I find that defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law as to plaintiff's claims on the ground that plaintiff did not exhaust administrative remedies with respect to his claims.

Even if plaintiff did exhaust his administrative remedies, I find that defendants are entitled to judgment as a matte of law on the merits of plaintiff's claims.

In Claim I plaintiff alleges that defendants' alleged conduct violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment. However, at all times relevant to plaintiff's complaint, he was a pre-trial detainee. Therefore, his claim of denial of medical care is properly analyzed under the Fourteenth Amendment. See, Carnell v. Grimm , 74 F.3d 977, 979 (9th Cir. 1996). However, the applicable standards are essentially the same under either the Eighth or Fourteenth Amendments. Id.

In order to prevail on a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim that medical treatment has been denied or inadequately rendered, a prisoner must establish that there has been a "deliberate indifference to [his] serious medical needs." Estell v. Gamble , 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Lopez v. Smith , 203 F.3d 1122, 1131 ...


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