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Aplin v. Oregon Department of Corrections

United States District Court, D. Oregon

March 5, 2019

COLBY LEE APLIN, Plaintiff,
v.
OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL W. MOSMAN, Chief United States District Judge.

         Defendants Oregon Department of Corrections ("ODOC"), Brooks, Grendahl, Kile, King, Mordhorst, Serrano, Wagner, and Peters (collectively "State Defendants") move for summary judgment on multiple grounds. Plaintiff, Colby Lee Aplin ("Aplin"), also moves for summary judgment in her favor. For the reasons discussed below, I DENY Aplin9;s Motion [156] and GRANT the State Defendants9; Motion [12');">2');">2');">26].

         BACKGROUND

         When she filed her Complaint, Aplin was a prisoner in the custody of the ODOC. [1 at p. 5]. She brings her pro se Complaint against State Defendants under 42');">2');">2');">2 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that she was sexually assaulted at the Snake River Correctional Institution ("SRCI") "around 2');">2');">2');">2014-2');">2');">2');">2015." [1 at p. 2');">2');">2');">2-3]. Aplin claims the State Defendants failed to investigate a sexual assault that occurred in 2');">2');">2');">2014 or 2');">2');">2');">2015. [Id. at p. 3]. She alleges they acted with deliberate indifference to her claims when, instead of investigating, they moved her to a different unit, told her to never speak of the sexual assault again, and assigned one of the officers who sexually assaulted her to monitor her unit. [Id]. Aplin also alleges State Defendants threatened retaliation against her if she reported the assault and treated her differently because she is, or identifies as, intersex. [Id. at p. 7].

         I dismissed Aplin9;s claims arising out of the sexual assault itself with prejudice on May 8, 2');">2');">2');">2018, on the grounds the applicable two-year statute of limitations barred these claims. [65]. I declined to dismiss Aplin9;s other claims arising from the post-assault acts and omissions she alleges-failure to investigate, deliberate indifference, retaliation, and disparate treatment based on being, or identifying as, intersex-because State Defendants did not address these claims in their summary judgment motion. On October 2');">2');">2');">25, 2');">2');">2');">2018, 1 dismissed the Golem brothers from this lawsuit without prejudice for failure to serve. [139].

         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, 2');">2');">2');">2');">357 F.3d 1072');">2');">2');">2, 1075 (9th Cir. 2');">2');">2');">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, 32');">2');">2');">23 (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 32');">2');">2');">24.

         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');">2');">2');">2 (9th Cir. 2');">2');">2');">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. 2');">2');">2');">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, 2');">2');">2');">29 F.3d 12');">2');">2');">237');">72');">2');">2');">29 F.3d 12');">2');">2');">237, 12');">2');">2');">241 (9th Cir. 2');">2');">2');">2013). For instance, pro se inmates must still identify evidence supporting their claims. Marrero v. Ives, 682');">2');">2');">2 F.3d 1190, 1192');">2');">2');">2 (9th Cir. 2');">2');">2');">2012');">2');">2');">2) (even if the petitioner9;s filings were construed liberally, he still failed to identify evidence supporting his claim).

         DISCUSSION

         Aplin9;s Complaint alleges that State Defendants9; post-assault conduct violates her rights under the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. State Defendants seek summary judgment on Aplin9;s claims on several grounds. Aplin captioned one of her filings in opposition to State Defendants9; Motion "Plaintiffs [sic] Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to 9;Defendants9; Summary Judgment." Accordingly, I construe Aplin9;s filing as a response and a summary judgment motion.

         I. Aplin9;s Summary Judgment Motion

         Aplin9;s Motion for Summary Judgment [156] does not set forth the grounds on which she is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Even construing Aplin9;s filing liberally, she failed to meet her burden to identify the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 32');">2');">2');">23 (noting the party moving for summary judgment bears the initial burden for a motion of identifying the absence of a genuine issue of material fact). Accordingly, I deny Aplin9;s Motion.

         II. State Defendants9; Summary Judgment Motion

         A. ODOC Cannot be Sued ...


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