865 F.2d 198 (9th Cir. 1989), 87-2661, Hunt v. Dental Dept.

Docket Nº:87-2661.
Citation:865 F.2d 198
Party Name:Cleolis HUNT, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. DENTAL DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:January 06, 1989
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 198

865 F.2d 198 (9th Cir. 1989)

Cleolis HUNT, Plaintiff-Appellant,


DENTAL DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 87-2661.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

January 6, 1989

Submitted Oct. 27, 1988.[*]

Page 199

Cleolis Hunt, Douglas, Ariz., for plaintiff-appellant.

Thomas Prose, Asst. Atty. Gen., State of Ariz., Phoenix, Ariz., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

Before BRUNETTI, KOZINSKI and THOMPSON, Circuit Judges.


THOMPSON, Circuit Judge:

Cleolis Hunt, appearing pro se, appeals from the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants in Hunt's action filed under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. Hunt sued Samuel Lewis, Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, the Dental Department of the Arizona State Prison at Florence (the "prison"), and three prison employees: Ted Jolly, medical administrator at the prison; Dr. A. Schaffer, a prison dentist; and an unnamed certified medical assistant (CMA). Hunt claimed that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious dental needs in violation of the eighth amendment. We affirm in part, reverse in part and remand.


Hunt has worn top and bottom partial dentures since 1984 to compensate for thirteen missing teeth. Hunt lost his dentures during a prison riot. 1 In October 1986, he made requests to the CMA for dental treatment and replacement of his dentures. He was not given treatment and his dentures were not replaced. On November 18, 1986, Hunt completed and filed an inmate grievance form which was routed to and reviewed by Jolly. In this grievance (which Hunt filed as part of his complaint), Hunt claimed that without his dentures, his teeth were breaking off and his gums were bleeding and had become infected. He also complained that he suffered pain and weight loss due to his inability to eat properly, and that his request to be placed on a soft food diet had been denied. Jolly noted on Hunt's grievance form: "You have been referred to Dental [sic] care. (A. Schaffer)."

On February 3, 1987, Hunt sent Jolly a follow-up to his grievance, stating that he had not yet received any treatment for the loss of his dentures and that his condition had worsened. On February 11, 1987, nearly three months after Hunt had filed his grievance, the dental staff at Florence examined Hunt for the first time. The next day Hunt was transferred to the Arizona State Prison at Douglas where Hunt admits his dental care needs were met.

Hunt filed his section 1983 complaint May 11, 1987. On May 18, 1987 the district court ordered that "[t]he [d]efendants ... undertake a review ... of the complaint ... [and] file a written report of the review with [the] court." In this order, the district court stated that the report should include "some explanation of the actions complained of in the complaint." In response to this order, the defendants filed an affidavit by Dr. Joseph Scalzo, medical...

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