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.

Garges v. Premo

Supreme Court of Oregon

April 26, 2018

DANIEL BRET GARGES, Petitioner on Review,
v.
Jeff PREMO, Superintendent, Oregon State Penitentiary, Respondent on Review.

          Argued and submitted January 18, 2018

          On review from the Court of Appeals.CC 15CV26965; CA A161918 [*]

          Ryan O'Connor, O'Connor Weber LLC, Portland, argued the cause and fled the briefs for petitioner on review.

          Robert M. Wilsey, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause for respondent on review. Susan Yorke, Assistant Attorney General, fled the brief. Also on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Before Balmer, Chief Justice, and Kistler, Walters, Nakamoto, Flynn, and Nelson, Justices, and Hadlock, Judge of the Court of Appeals, Justice pro tempore. [**]

         The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The judgment of the circuit court is reversed, and the case is remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.

         [362 Or. 798] Case Summary: Plaintiff fled a petition for a writ of habeas corpus based on an allegation of serious indifference to his medical needs. He named Premo, the superintendent of Oregon State Penitentiary, as defendant. After the writ had been issued, plaintiff was transferred to a facility in a different county. It was uncontested that plaintiff's grievances regarding his medical care were unaffected by the transfer, and that the decision to deny plaintiff the procedures he sought was controlled by a centralized Department of Corrections committee, rather than by a particular superintendent. The trial court dismissed plaintiff's case as moot, on the grounds that defendant Premo lacked physical custody of plaintiff or control over his medical care. Held: The transfer of a habeas plaintiff to a different correctional facility does not necessarily render the case moot. Mootness is a case-by-case determination that the court must make, based on facts regarding the requested relief. The habeas court erred as a matter of law in dismissing plaintiff's case on mootness grounds.

         The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The judgment of the circuit court is reversed, and the case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

          [362 Or. 799] NELSON, J.

         This case concerns whether the trial court properly dismissed as moot plaintiff's habeas corpus claim alleging serious indifference to his medical needs. The court dismissed the case because plaintiff had been transferred to a different prison. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Garges v. Premo, 284 Or.App. 313, 390 P.3d 1124 (2017). It was uncontested that plaintiffs grievances regarding his medical care were unaffected by the transfer, and that the decision to deny plaintiff the procedures he sought was controlled by a centralized Department of Corrections committee, rather than by the superintendent of a particular prison. We allowed review, and now hold that transfers of inmates in circumstances such as these do not render moot an inmate's claim of constitutionally deficient medical care. The trial court's primary concern was that the currently named defendant no longer has custody of plaintiff; that fact, however, does not render the case moot. Accordingly, we remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings.

         In September 2015, while incarcerated at Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP), plaintiff filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Marion County, naming as defendant OSP superintendent Jeff Premo. Plaintiff alleged that he was being denied necessary medical treatment for an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear to one of his knees. He asserted that defendant's conduct amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, section 16, of the Oregon Constitution. Plaintiff alleged that he had severe pain and mobility problems, and that the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) had denied him both an MRI and surgery. The trial court issued the writ, requiring defendant to file a return. In his return, filed in November 2015, defendant asserted that the conditions of plaintiffs confinement were constitutional.

         By the time plaintiff filed his replication in December 2015, DOC had transferred him to Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) in Malheur County. In his replication, plaintiff asserted that the alleged deficit in medical care had continued after his transfer, and he reiterated [362 Or. 800] the ongoing problems with his knee. Plaintiff submitted various exhibits, including a letter from his physician who had recommended knee surgery, medical progress notes from DOC documenting his pain and incapacitation, and communications with DOC personnel. Plaintiff also submitted a note from DOC physician Dr. Becker, which recommended an MRI of both knees. Further documentation revealed that Becker's recommendation went to DOC's Therapeutic Level of Care committee (TLC) for review, and that the TLC had denied the MRI for unknown reasons.

         After plaintiff filed his replication, defendant moved to dismiss on the ground that plaintiffs claim was moot because of his transfer to SRCI. Defendant argued that the proper defendant in a habeas corpus proceeding is the person having physical custody of the prisoner, and that defendant Premo, the OSP superintendent, no longer had physical custody of plaintiff. Defendant did not challenge the factual assertions in plaintiff's replication, but argued that an Oregon Court of Appeals case, Keenan v. Hall, 202 Or.App. 571, 123 P.3d 812 (2005), rev den, 342 Or. 253 (2006), established that a claim for deliberate indifference to medical needs is mooted by the transfer of a plaintiff to a different correctional facility.

         In response, plaintiff argued that his transfer to SRCI did not render his claim moot. He submitted a declaration in which he asserted that DOC had transferred him five times since September 2014, [1] and that his medical care at each new institution was based on information contained in records transferred from the institutions where he previously had been incarcerated. At the hearing on defendant's motion to dismiss, defendant admitted that plaintiff's medical care is controlled by "DOC, generally" rather than by a particular superintendent. Nevertheless, the trial court granted defendant's motion, agreeing with defendant that plaintiffs claim was moot because defendant Premo no longer had physical custody of ...


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.