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Edwards v. Gower

United States District Court, D. Oregon

June 24, 2015

PRINCE E. EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL GOWER, Asst. Director, Operations, ODOC; STEVEN BROWN, Superintendent, Warner Creek Correctional Facility (WCCF); MR. HAMMONDS, General Services Manager, WCCF; and MR. MURPHY, OCE Manager, WCCF, Defendants.

PRINCE E. EDWARDS, Warner Creek Correctional Facility, Lakeview, OR, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

ELLEN F. ROSENBLUM, Attorney General, MICHAEL R. WASHINGTON, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Salem, OR, Attorneys for Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

ANNA J. BROWN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion (#43) for Summary Judgment. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion.

BACKGROUND

On November 14, 2013, Plaintiff Prince E. Edwards, an inmate at the Warner Creek Correctional Facility (WCCF), filed a pro se Complaint in this Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 in which he alleged Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment due to overcrowding in WCCF housing units resulting in "waits of 20-25 minutes" to use toilets and showers; "port-a-potties" provided for inmates working at the Oregon Correctional Enterprises (OCE) call center at WCCF were not cleaned adequately, and, as a result, exposed Plaintiff to "unsanitary conditions"; and other generally unacceptable conditions such as overcrowding, including fire safety, physical security, psychological distress, and physical health. Plaintiff also alleged Defendants violated the First Amendment when they verbally harassed him for submitting grievances about the condition of the toilets at the call center.

On June 13, 2014, the Court issued an Order in which it dismissed Plaintiff's Complaint sua sponte for failure to state a claim. In the Order the Court held, among other things, that "the allegations concerning the conditions of the port-a-potties at the call center do not rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation." Order to Dismiss (#9) at 6. The Court granted Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint.

On July 21, 2014, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint.

On November 24, 2014, with permission of the Court, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint in which he alleges Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his health and safety in violation of the Eighth Amendment when they failed to provide safe and sanitary working conditions at the OCE. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges between June and September 2013 the port-a-potties at the OCE were not cleaned or exchanged more than every seven to ten days, which was insufficient for the number of workers at OCE and resulted in unsanitary conditions in the port-a-potties.

On February 27, 2015, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment as to all of Plaintiff's claims.

On March 4, 2015, the Court issued a Summary Judgment Advice Notice to Plaintiff advising him that if he did not submit evidence in opposition to Defendants' Motion, summary judgment would be entered against him if appropriate.

On April 6, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court took this matter under advisement on April 30, 2015.

STANDARDS

Summary judgment is appropriate when "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Washington Mut. Ins. v. United States, 636 F.3d 1207, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). See also Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party must show the absence of a dispute as to a material fact. Rivera v. Philip Morris, Inc., 395 F.3d 1142, 1146 (9th Cir. 2005). In response to a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and show there is a genuine dispute as to a material fact for trial. Id. "This burden is not a light one.... The non-moving party must do more ...


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