United States District Court, D. Oregon
OPINION AND ORDER
Michael McShane, United States District Judge
an inmate at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI),
filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
deliberate indifference to his health and serious medical
needs while he was a pretrial detainee at the Klamath County
jail. Defendants moved for summary judgment on all claims
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, and plaintiff did
not respond to the motion after receiving the requisite
summary judgment notice from the court. For the reasons set
forth below, defendants' motion is granted.
was confined at the Klamath County jail from January 4 to
April 14, 2016. Davidson Decl. at 2. During that time,
plaintiff alleges that defendants denied him medical
treatment for an extremely painful inguinal hernia. Compl. at
5. Plaintiff also claims that on February 18, 2016, he was
“placed in a cell that had fecal matter clogging the
vent and all over the walls.” Compl. at
Plaintiff alleges that defendants did not clean his cell and
denied him cleaning supplies for several days. Construing his
complaint liberally, plaintiff alleges claims of deliberate
indifference under the Fourteenth Amendment. Anderson v.
Cnty. of Kern, 45 F.3d 1310, 1312, as amended on
denial of reh'g, 75 F.3d 448 (9th Cir. 1995)
(“the convicted inmates' challenge is evaluated
under the Eighth Amendment, and the pretrial detainees'
challenge is evaluated under the Fourteenth
Amendment”); id. at 1314 (“subjection of
a prisoner to lack of sanitation that is severe or prolonged
can constitute an infliction of pain” supporting a
claim of deliberate indifference); see also Johnson v.
Lewis, 217 F.3d 726, 731 (9th Cir. 2000) (“Prison
officials have a duty to ensure that prisoners are provided
adequate shelter, food, clothing, sanitation, medical care,
and personal safety.”).
now move for summary judgment. To prevail on their motion,
defendants must show that there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and they are entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The court must
construe the evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in
the light most favorable to plaintiff. See Torres v. City
of Madera, 648 F.3d 1119, 1123 (9th Cir. 2011).
Unsanitary Cell Conditions
move for summary judgment on grounds that plaintiff was
“housed in a reasonably clean cell.” Defs.'
Mot. at 8. Defendants further argue that even if a question
of fact existed as to the cell's cleanliness, it is
undisputed that plaintiff suffered no harm rising to the
level of a constitutional deprivation. I agree.
standard of deliberate indifference applies to Fourteenth
Amendment claims alleging unconstitutional conditions of
confinement. Helling, 509 U.S. at 30 (“where
the claim alleges inhumane conditions of confinement or
failure to attend to a prisoner's medical needs, the
standard for that state of mind is the ‘deliberate
indifference' standard”); Anderson, 45
F.3d at 1313. Deliberate indifference is shown when a prison
official knew or should have known a detainee faced a
“substantial risk of serious harm” and failed to
take reasonable measures to abate the risk. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 847 (1994); Castro v. Cnty.
of Los Angeles, 833 F.3d 1060, 1071-72 (9th Cir. 2016)
(en banc), cert denied, Los Angeles Cnty. v.
Castro, 137 S.Ct. 831 (2017); Toguchi v. Chung,
391 F.3d 1051, 1057-58 (9th Cir. 2004) (negligence is
insufficient to state a claim for deliberate
to the evidence presented by defendants, plaintiff was
transferred to cell AP-4 on February 18, 2016 after an
altercation with another inmate. Warren Decl. Ex. 1 at 6-7
(Yeley Dep. at 14-15). Although plaintiff asserts that the
cell had brown smudges on the walls and an unpleasant odor,
he did not inform deputies that his cell smelled of fecal
matter or was otherwise unsanitary. Id. Ex. 1 at
8-9, 11 (Yeley Dep. at 16-17, 20). Further, plaintiff
complained of no significantly adverse effects caused by the
odor and experienced no medical issues related to the
cleanliness of his cell. Id. Ex. 1 at 17 (Yeley Dep.
at 30). On February 22 and February 28, 2016, plaintiff
requested and received cleaning supplies and used them to
clean his cell. Id. Ex. 1 at 14-16 (Yeley Dep. at
the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff, he was
housed in cell with several fecal smudges and an unpleasant
odor for a total of four days until he obtained cleaning
supplies. While the Ninth Circuit has held that unsanitary
conditions and nonworking toilets can rise to the level of
deliberate indifference, the conditions in this case, as a
matter of law, did not present a substantial risk of serious
harm to plaintiff's health. See, e.g., Hearns v.
Terhune, 413 F.3d 1036, 1042-43 (9th Cir. 2005) (serious
health hazards in a prison yard lasting nine months -
including non-working toilets, rusted sinks, insect-infested
pools of water, and no cold water during 100-degree
temperatures - stated a claim for deliberate indifference);
Johnson, 217 F.3d at 732 (“substantial”
deprivation of food, drinking water, sunscreen, and toilet
access stated viable constitutional violations). Plaintiff
did not endure substantially unsanitary conditions for a
prolonged period of time, and he presents no evidence that
jail officials knew or should have known of any serious
from the merits, plaintiff's claim is barred because he
did not file a grievance with jail officials regarding the
conditions of his cell. Under the Prison Litigation Reform
Act, an inmate must exhaust all available administrative
remedies before filing a federal claim to redress prison
conditions or incidents. 42 U.S.C § 1997e(a); Ross
v. Blake, 136 S.Ct. 1850, 1855-56 (2016); Woodford
v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 85, 89-91 (2006) (PLRA exhaustion
requirement is mandatory and requires compliance with both
procedural and substantive elements of the prison grievance
processes). Accordingly, defendants' motion is granted as
to this claim.
Serious Medical Needs
move for summary judgment on grounds that the evidence does
not demonstrate deliberate indifference to plaintiff's
serious medical needs. Again, I agree.
maintain an Eighth Amendment claim based on prison medical
treatment, an inmate must show ‘deliberate indifference
to serious medical needs.'” Jett v.
Penner, 439 F.3d 1091, 1096 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976)).
Specifically, plaintiff must show: 1) the existence of
“a serious medical need”; and 2) “the
defendant's response to the need was deliberately
indifferent.” Id. “A ‘serious'
medical need exists if the failure to treat a prisoner's
condition could result in further significant injury or the
‘unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain.'”
Doty v. Cnty. of Lassen, 37 F.3d 540, 546 (9th Cir.
1994) (citation omitted). Prison officials may demonstrate
deliberate indifference by denying, delaying, or
intentionally interfering with medical treatment, or by the
manner in which they provide medical ...