United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Yim You United States Magistrate Judge
Dennis Waters (“Waters”), proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis, has filed a civil
rights complaint stemming from his placement in
administrative segregation at the Oregon State Penitentiary
(“OSP”). He brings this action against Jeff
Premo, Superintendent of the Oregon Department of Corrections
(“ODOC”), B. Laney, Assistant Superintendent, and
Lieutenant Yancey, collectively “defendants.”
Waters alleges: (1) racial discrimination under 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1981 and 1982, (2) civil rights conspiracy under
42 U.S.C. §§ 1985 and 1986, and (3) violations of
the Fourteenth and Eighth Amendments pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Compl. 4, ECF #1. Waters seeks: (1) to be
removed from administrative segregation, (2) to have his wife
placed back on his visiting list, (3) to be placed back on
all of his programs, and (4) to have defendants held liable
for the death of another inmate. Id. at 6.
Additionally, in his response, Waters contends that he is
entitled to monetary damages of $2, 000 for each day he spent
in administrative segregation. Resp. 2, 4, ECF #46.
have moved for summary judgment. For the reasons discussed
below, defendants' motion is granted.
was admitted to the custody of ODOC on February 10, 1997, to
begin serving a life sentence. Booher Decl. ¶ 3, ECF
#44; Miles Decl. ¶ 3, ECF #41. He is currently housed at
Eastern Oregon Correction Institution (“EOCI”).
Miles Decl. ¶ 3, ECF #41.
18, 2016, Waters was housed at OSP. Booher Decl. ¶ 5,
ECF #44. He became the subject of an investigation by the
State Police and Special Investigations Unit
(“SIU”) involving the introduction of controlled
substances into OSP. ECF #48, at 3. The controlled substances
were linked to numerous unscheduled inmate trips to the
emergency room and possibly an inmate death. Id.
Lieutenant Yancey requested that Waters be housed in
administrative segregation for 180 days to prevent his
interference with the ongoing investigation. Id.
Superintendent Premo approved Lieutenant Yancey's request
on August 5, 2016. Id. In approving the request,
Superintendent Premo wrote “60” days on the line
designating the length of placement. Id. at 5.
However, two days later, Superintendent Premo corrected this
“oversight” by email, noting that the 60 days
should be changed to 180 days. Id. at 6.
claims that, because he had let “people know [he] was
going to sue OSP, ” ODOC employees “decided to
use their power and punish [him] by” placing him in
administrative segregation. Compl. 5, ECF #1. He claims that
Lieutenant Yancey and Jerry Plante (“Plante”)
“lied to” Superintendent Premo and Assistant
Superintendent Laney “to get them to place [him]
in” administrative segregation “and remove [his]
wife from [his] visiting list.” Id. According
to Waters, ODOC employees “snatched all black inmates
over a white inmate's death.” Id.
August 8, 2016, Waters received a Notice of Hearing with an
attached copy of the pertinent administrative rules, OAR
291-046-005, et. seq. ECF #48, at 11. Waters'
hearing took place on August 11, 2016. Id. Hearings
Officer Nofziger conducted the hearing, and recommended that
Waters be assigned to administrative segregation for a period
of up to 180 days or until placement was no longer necessary.
Id. at 3-4.
November 6, 2016, while in administrative segregation, Waters
was charged with additional misconduct, specifically
racketeering for conspiring to pay to have another inmate
assaulted. Galemore Decl. ¶ 4, ECF #43. This extended
his time in administrative segregation and resulted in his
transfer to the Intensive Management Unit (“IMU”)
at Snake River Correctional Institution (“SRCI”),
where he was housed between January 25, 2017, and July 18,
2017. Booher Decl. ¶ 5, ECF #44.
18, 2017, Waters was housed in general population at SRCI
until April 4, 2018, when he was returned to EOCI. Galemore
Decl. ¶ 5, ECF #43; Miles Decl. ¶ 5, ECF #41. At
the time the motion for summary judgment was filed, Waters
was no longer housed in administrative segregation. Miles
Decl. ¶ 5, ECF #41.
wife, Kelly Waters (“Kelly”), had her visiting
privileges suspended in August 2016 while the SIU
investigation was pending. Lenex Decl. ¶ 3, ECF #42; ECF
#42, at 4. Kelly's visiting privileges were reinstated on
June 5, 2017. ECF #42, at 3. After her privileges
were restored, Kelly resumed visitation with Waters. Galemore
Decl. ¶ 6, ECF #43. She last visited Waters just several
days before the motion for summary judgment was filed, and
remains on Waters' visiting list at EOCI. Miles Decl.,
Ex. 2, ECF #41.
is entitled to summary judgment 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.”
FRCP 56(a). Summary judgment is not proper if material
factual issues exist for trial. Warren v. City of
Carlsbad, 58 F.3d 439, 441 (9th Cir. 1995).
moving party bears the burden of establishing the absence of
a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). “When judging
the evidence at the summary judgment stage, the district
court is not to make credibility determinations or weigh
conflicting evidence, and is required to draw all inferences
in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party.”
Musick v. Burke, 913 F.2d 1390, 1394 (9th Cir.
1990). Where different ultimate inferences may be drawn,
summary judgment is inappropriate. Sankovich v. Life Ins.
Co. of North America, 638 F.2d 136, 140 (9th Cir. 1981).
deference to the nonmoving party has limits; a party
asserting that a fact cannot be true or is genuinely disputed
must support the assertion with admissible evidence. FRCP
56(c). “[A] party opposing a properly supported motion
for summary judgment may not rest upon the mere allegations
or denials of his pleading, but . . . must set forth specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986) (quotation marks omitted). Rule 56(c) provides that
“sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual
dispute be shown” to require a fact finder to resolve
the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.
Id. at 249 (quoting First National Bank of
Arizona v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288-89
(1968)). The moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law when the nonmoving party fails to make a sufficient
showing on an essential element of a claim on which the
nonmoving party has the burden of proof. Celotex,
477 U.S. at 323. Thus, where “the record taken as
a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for
the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for
trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
Civil Rights Act
Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 “is not itself
a source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method
for vindicating federal rights elsewhere conferred.”
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989)
(internal citation omitted). Section 1983 liability
“arises only upon a showing of personal participation
by the defendant, ” acting under color of state law,
that deprived the plaintiff of a constitutional or federal
statutory right. Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045
(9th Cir. 1989). “A person ‘subjects' another
to the deprivation of a constitutional right, within the
meaning of section 1983, if he does an affirmative act,
participates in another's affirmative acts, or omits to
perform an act which he is legally required to do that causes
the deprivation of which complaint is made.”
Johnson v. Duffy, 588 F.2d 740, 743 (9th Cir. 1978).
state a civil rights claim, a plaintiff must set forth the
specific factual basis upon which he claims each defendant is
liable. Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th
Cir. 1980). There is no respondeat superior
liability under § 1983. Monell v. Dept. of Soc.
Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691-95 (1978) (concluding that the
supervisor of someone who allegedly violated a plaintiffs
constitutional rights is not made liable for the violation by
virtue of that role). A supervisor is liable in his or her
individual capacity for constitutional violations of a
subordinate only “if the supervisor participated in or
directed the violations, or knew of the violations and failed
to act to prevent them.” Taylor, 880 F.2d at
courts hold a pro se litigant's pleadings to
“less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted
by lawyers.” Eldridge v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132,
1137 (9th Cir. 1987); see Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007) (per curiam) (a document filed
pro se “is to be liberally construed”; a
plaintiff need only give the defendant fair notice of the
claim and the grounds on which it rests) (citation omitted).
“However, a liberal interpretation of a civil rights
compliant may not supply essential elements of the claim that
were not initially pled.” Ivey v. Board of
Regents, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982). This does
not entitle pro se pleadings to receive the benefit
of every conceivable doubt, but only to reasonable factual
inferences in the plaintiff's favor. McKinney v. De
Bord, 507 F.2d 501, 504 (9th Cir. 1974).