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Ramos v. MCIJ

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division

February 13, 2019

COLBY LEE RAMOS (APLIN), Plaintiff,
v.
MCJI, NORA MAINS, MICHAEL REEVES, MARK SWANSON, MCSO, MCDC, CAPTAIN ALEXANDER, CAPTAIN WHEELER, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL W. MOSMAN, CHIEF UNITED STATED DISTRICT JUDGE

         Defendants MCJI, Nora Mains, Michael Reeves, Mark Swanson, MCSO, MCDC, Captain Alexander, and Captain Wheeler (collectively "Defendants") move for summary judgment in their favor. For the reasons discussed below, I GRANT Defendants' Motion [31] for Summary Judgment.

         BACKGROUND

         During the pendency of this lawsuit, plaintiff notified the Court that she had changed her name from Colby Lee Aplin to Colby Lee Ramos ("Ramos"). [7]. Accordingly, I refer to her in this Order and Opinion as Ramos.

         Ramos brings this pro se Amended Complaint against Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Multnomah County Jail "Officers and Facility Officials' prisoner mail policies violates her constitutional rights." [6 at pp. 7-9]. Specifically, she claims the restrictions on prisoner mail containing material encouraging or portraying sexual activity limited her ability to receive mail from her husband. [Id. at p. 6]. She asserts that Defendant Mains has rejected "90% of her mail," including mail from her husband and legal material from the trial division and the U.S. Courthouse. [Id. at pp. 6-7]. She claims that the sharing of photocopies of her confiscated mail in staff meetings constitutes an unreasonable search and seizure. [Id. at p. 7]. She also seeks "access to her true name on envelopes and inmate wrist identification band." [Mat 12].

         Defendants seek summary judgment on Ramos's claims. Ramos has filed a Response and two declarations in opposition to Defendants' Motion.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute of material fact, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A genuine dispute of a material fact is "one that could reasonably be resolved in favor of either party." Ellison v. Robertson, 357 F.3d 1072, 1075 (9th Cir. 2004). The initial burden for a motion for summary judgment is on the moving party to identify the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once that burden is satisfied, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to demonstrate, through the production of evidence, that there remains a "genuine issue for trial." Id. at 324.

         The non-moving party may not rely on the pleading allegations, Brinson v. Linda Rose Joint Venture, 53 F.3d 1044, 1049 (9th Cir. 1995) (citing Fed. R. Civ. P 56(e)), or "unsupported conjecture or conclusory statements," Hernandez v. Spacelabs Med. Inc., 343 F.3d 1107, 1112 (9th Cir. 2003). All reasonable doubts and inferences to be drawn from the facts are to be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). The district court should "construe liberally motion papers and pleadings filed by pro se inmates and should avoid applying summary judgment rules strictly." Thomas v. Ponder, 611 F.3d 1144, 1150 (9th Cir. 2010) (citation omitted). This rule exempts pro se inmates from strict compliance with the summary judgment rules, but it does not exempt them from all compliance. Blaisdell v. Frappiea, 729 F.3d 1237, 1241 (9th Cir. 2013). For instance, pro se inmates must still identify evidence supporting their claims. Marrero v. Ives, 682 F.3d 1190, 1192 (9th Cir. 2012) (even if the petitioner's filings were construed liberally, he still failed to identify evidence supporting his claim).

         DISCUSSION

         Defendants argue they are entitled to summary judgment because Ramos failed to exhaust her available prison administrative remedies on all but one of her claims as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") and that her only exhausted claim fails as a matter of law. Defendants also argue that Ramos's claims under the Oregon Constitution fail as a matter of law and that she has failed to allege personal involvement in the violation of her Constitutional rights by Defendants Reese, Alexander, and Wheeler. In the alternative, Defendants argue qualified immunity shields them from Ramos's claim for money damages.

         I. No Private Right of Action under the Oregon Constitution

         Ramos asserts the mail policy violates her rights to free speech and to be free from unreasonable search and seizure under the Oregon Constitution. Defendants correctly assert that claims for damages may not be brought directly under the Oregon Constitution. Hunter v. City of Eugene, 787 Or. 298, 304, 787 P.2d 881 (1990) ("Oregon's Bill of Rights provides no textual or historical basis for implying a right to damages for constitutional violations."). Accordingly, Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on Ramos's claims under the Oregon Constitution.

         II. Failure to Exhaust ...


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