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Lovelady v. Beamer

United States District Court, D. Oregon

October 19, 2017



          Hon. Paul Papak, United States Magistrate Judge

         Incarcerated plaintiff pro se Jeremy Ray Lovelady filed this action against defendants Dr. Beamer (identified by defendants as Leland Beamer), Ms. Wettlaugher (identified by defendants as Dorothy Wettlaufer and referred to herein as "Wettlaufer")), and Ms. Garton (identified by defendants as Jaylene Garton) on August 9, 2016. By and through his complaint, Lovelady alleged all defendants' liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the violation of his Eighth Amendment right to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment in connection with defendants' provision of health care to him while he was incarcerated at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution ("EOCI"), and Beamer's liability under Oregon law for negligence in connection with Beamer's provision of health care to him while he was incarcerated at EOCI. This court has federal-question jurisdiction over Lovelady's Section 1983 claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and may properly exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Lovelady's negligence claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

         On May 17, 2017, 1 granted summary judgment in defendants' favor as to Lovelady's Section 1983 claims against Beamer and Wettlaufer due to Lovelady's failure to exhaust administrative remedies in connection with those claims as required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which failure deprived this court of jurisdiction to consider those claims as a matter of law. By and through the same Opinion and Order, I additionally denied Lovelady's motion (#4) for a preliminary injunction, on the ground that the requested injunction to require defendants Beamer and Garton to provide him with appropriate medical care would not be effective because Lovelady was not, as of May 17, 2017, housed at EOCI where Beamer and Garton were employed.[1]

         Now before the court are Lovelady's motion (#73) for reconsideration of my disposition of his motion for a preliminary injunction, Beamer's and Garton's motion (#74) for summary judgment as to Lovelady's remaining claims against them, and Lovelady's motion (#91) for imposition of sanctions against defendants and their attorneys pursuant to Federal Civil Procedure Rule 11 for purportedly knowingly submitting false evidence to the court. I have considered the motions and all of the pleadings and papers on file. For the reasons set forth below, Lovelady's (#73) motion for reconsideration is denied as moot, defendants' motion (#74) for summary judgment is granted, and Lovelady's motion (#91) for imposition of sanctions is denied.


         I. Motion for Reconsideration

         Federal Civil Procedure Rule 59(e) provides statutoiy authority for the district courts to consider a party's motion to alter or amend a judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e). Such a motion may appropriately be granted where "the district court (1) is presented with newly discovered evidence [or] (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, or (3) [where] there is an intervening change in controlling law." Id. at 1263. However, "[t]here may also be other, highly unusual, circumstances warranting reconsideration in addition to the foregoing." Id.

         II. Motion for Summary Judgment

         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). A party taking the position that a material fact either "cannot be or is genuinely disputed" must support that position either by citation to specific evidence of record "including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials, " by showing that the evidence of record does not establish either the presence or absence of such a dispute, or by showing that an opposing party is unable to produce sufficient admissible evidence to establish the presence or absence of such a dispute. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The substantive law governing a claim or defense determines whether a fact is material. See Moreland v. Las Vegas Metro. Police Dep't, 159 F.3d 365, 369 (9th Cir. 1998).

         Summary judgment is not proper if material factual issues exist for trial. See, e.g., Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 318, 322 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Warren v. City of Carlsbad, 58 F.3d 439, 441 (9th Cir. 1995), cert, denied, 116 S.Ct. 1261 (1996). In evaluating a motion for summary judgment, the district courts of the United States must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party, and may neither make credibility determinations nor perform any weighing of the evidence. See, e.g., Lytic v. Household Mfg., Inc., 494 U.S. 545, 554-55 (1990); Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000).

         III. Motion for Imposition of Sanctions Pursuant to Federal Civil Procedure Rule 11

         Federal Civil Procedure Rule 11(c)(1) provides that the federal courts may impose appropriate sanctions on any attorney or party who, "after notice and an opportunity to respond, " violates any of the provisions of Federal Civil Procedure Rule 11(b). Fed, R. Civ. P. 11(c)(1). A party moving for sanctions under Federal Civil Procedure Rule 11(c) must serve the motion on the party against whom sanctions are sought, and then may file the motion with the court any time following 21 days after service if the allegedly noncompliant filing is not withdrawn or otherwise appropriately corrected within that period. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(c)(2). Any sanction imposed pursuant to Rule 11(c) "must be limited to what suffices to deter repetition of the conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated." Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(c)(4). Attorney fees may be awarded as a sanction under Rule 11(c) "if imposed on motion and warranted for effective deterrence, " but must be limited to the fees and other expenses "directly resulting from the violation." Id. Rule 11(b) provides as follows:

By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper - whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it - an attorney or unrepresented party certifies that to the best of the person's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:
(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation;
(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law;
(3) the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiaiy support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and
(4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on belief or a lack of information.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b).

         The courts have discretion to award a party prevailing on a Rule 11 (c) motion its reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, incurred in connection with the motion, where such an award would be "warranted." Fed. R. Civ. P, 11(c)(2). The burden of establishing that sanctions are justified is borne by the party moving for imposition of ...

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