Buckley v. Alameida, CASE NO. 1:04-cv-05688-OWW-GBC PC

Decision Date14 December 2011
Docket NumberCASE NO. 1:04-cv-05688-OWW-GBC PC
CourtUnited States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
PartiesANTONIO C. BUCKLEY, Plaintiff, v. ALAMEIDA, et al., Defendants.



I. Procedural History

Plaintiff Antonio Cortez Buckley ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1 (the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA")). At the times relevant to this complaint, Plaintiff was incarcerated at California Correctional Institution (CCI), in Tehachapi, California. Doc. 126-2 at 12 (Def.'s Undisputed Facts). On September 29, 2003, Plaintiff filed the original complaint. Doc. 1. On March 23, 2007, Plaintiff filed the third amended complaint which the Court found to have stated cognizable claims against the following defendants: Calderon; Vo; Meadors; Reed; Kordan; Traynham; Papac; Winett; Woodley; Barker; Howard; Johnson; Mack; and Chappel ("Defendants"). Doc. 42; Doc. 44. The Court issued the first discovery and scheduling order on September 19, 2007, which stated that the unenumerated 12(b) motion deadline was November 26, 2007, and the deadline for filing dispositive motions was August 7, 2008. Doc. 65. After Defendants failed to submit anymotions and the August 7, 2008, deadline has passed, the Court filed the second scheduling order setting trial dates. Doc. 77. On August 21, 2008, Defendants motioned to vacate the discovery and scheduling order and requested for the Court to reset the deadlines for dispositive motions. Doc. 80. On September 24, 2008, the Court vacated the previous scheduling order and reset the dispositive motion deadline for June 1, 2009. Doc. 84. In the order filed on September 24, 2008, the Court did not set a new deadline for unenumerated 12(b) motions. Doc. 84. On May 27, 2010, Defendants filed a motion for a seventy-four day extension to file dispositive motions and the Court granted the extension, setting the new deadline to August 9, 2010. Doc. 120; Doc. 121. On August 9, 2010, Defendants motioned for a thirty day extension to file dispositive motions which the Court granted, setting the new deadline for September 14, 2010. Doc. 122; Doc. 123. On September 13, 2010, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. Doc. 126. After the Court granted two motions for extension of time, Plaintiff filed an opposition. Doc. 131; Doc. 139; Doc. 143; Doc. 144; Doc. 145; Doc. 146. Defendants did not file a reply.

II. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate when it is demonstrated that there exists no genuine issue as to any material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Under summary judgment practice, the moving party:

[A]lways bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any," which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.

Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "[W]here the nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial on a dispositive issue, a summary judgment motion may properly be made in reliance solely on the 'pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file.'" Id. Summary judgment should be entered, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Id. at 322. "[A] complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's casenecessarily renders all other facts immaterial." Id. In such a circumstance, summary judgment should be granted, "so long as whatever is before the district court demonstrates that the standard for entry of summary judgment, as set forth in Rule 56(c), is satisfied." Id. at 323.

If the moving party meets its initial responsibility, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue as to any material fact actually does exist. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). In attempting to establish the existence of this factual dispute, the opposing party may not rely upon the denials of its pleadings, but is required to tender evidence of specific facts in the form of affidavits, and/or admissible discovery material, in support of its contention that the dispute exists. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586 n.11. The opposing party must demonstrate that the fact in contention is material, i.e., a fact that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law, Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pacific Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987), and that the dispute is genuine, i.e., the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party, Wool v. Tandem Computers, Inc., 818 F.2d 1433, 1436 (9th Cir. 1987).

The parties bear the burden of supporting their motions and oppositions with the papers they wish the Court to consider and by specifically referencing any other portions of the record they wish the Court to consider. Carmen v. San Francisco Unified School Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2001). The Court will not mine the record for triable issues of fact. Id.

A. Claim 1: Retaliation by Means of Excessive Pat-Down Searches
1. Plaintiff's Allegations in Amended Complaint

Plaintiff states that on February 27, 2002, Plaintiff fled an inmate grievance at CCI against Correctional Officer Sutherland for submitting a false affidavit and then filed complaints with the Kings County Grand Jury, the Inspector General's Office, the FBI and Federal Court. Doc. 42 (Third Amend. Compl. at 13). Plaintiff alleges that based on these complaints, the following Defendantsretaliated against him through excessive body searches: 1) Howard; 2) Johnson; 3) Barker; 4) Chappel; 5) Papac; 6) Meadors; and 7) Winett. Doc. 42 at 13; Doc. 44 at 5.

2. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment1

Defendants argue that Plaintiff cannot prevail on the retaliation claim because he fails to demonstrate that the multiple pat-down searches did not reasonably advance a legitimate correctional goal. Defendants assert that pat-down searches are a necessary security measure used by correctional staff to ensure that inmates are not bringing contraband, weapons, or other unapproved items into a particular area. Doc. 126-1 at 11 (MSJ). As evidence, Defendants cite to the declarations of Defendants Barker, Chappel, Howard, Johnson, Meadors and Papac. Doc. 126-6 (Ex. F at ¶ 5 (Barker Decl.)); Doc. 126-6 (Ex. G at ¶ 5 (Chappel Decl.)); Doc. 126-9 (Ex. I at ¶ 5 (Howard Decl.)); Doc. 126-9 (Ex. J at ¶ 5 (Johnson Decl.)); Doc. 126-9 (Ex. L at ¶ 5 (Meadors Decl.)); and Doc. 126-9 (Ex. M at ¶ 5 (Papac Decl.)). Defendants assert that with a few exceptions, every time an inmate leaves the housing area to an administrative area (which contains offices for education, medical services, dental services, laundry, kitchen, canteen dining room, law library, receiving and release, chapels and other administrative offices), the inmate must undergo a pat down search for security purposes. Doc. 126-1 at 11 (MSJ). As evidence, Defendants cite to the declarations of Defendants Barker, Chappel, Howard, Johnson, Meadors and Papac. Doc. 126-6 (Ex. F at ¶¶ 6-7 (Barker Decl.)); Doc. 126-6 (Ex. G at ¶¶ 6-7 (Chappel Decl.)); Doc. 126-9 (Ex. I at ¶¶ 6-7 (Howard Decl.)); Doc. 126-9 (Ex. J at ¶¶ 6-7 (Johnson Decl.)); Doc. 126-9 (Ex. L at ¶¶ 6-7 (Meadors Decl.)); and Doc. 126-9 (Ex. M at ¶¶ 6-7 (Papac Decl.)). Defendants point out that in his deposition, Plaintiff admitsthat he had to go to the administrative side of the prison every day for chow, work, the law library and chapel. Doc. 126-1 at 11 (MSJ); Doc. 126-7 (Ex. H-24 at 61:22-62:3 (Plaintiff's Deposition)).

Additionally, Defendants argue that some of the defendants did not hold positions that would entail conducting frequent pat-down searches or any pat-down searches at all. Doc. 126-1 at 12 (MSJ). Plaintiff states in his deposition that for a ten month period in 2002, Defendants Howard, Johnson, Papac, Meadors, and Winett conducted ten to fifteen pat-down searches on Plaintiff every day, while Defendants Barker and Chappel conducted three to five pat-down searches every day. Doc. 126-1 at 11 (MSJ); Doc. 126-7 (Ex. H-24 at 39:16-19; 64:8-65:11; 65:14-66:18; 67:20-68:24; 69:14-70:13 (Plaintiff's Deposition)). Defendants argue that since Defendants Howard, Johnson and Barker are in the position of Correctional Sergeant, pat-down searches would not normally be within the scope of their normal duties. Pat-down searches were delegated to correctional officers unless a disturbance on the yard required additional assistance. Doc. 126-1 at 12 (MSJ). As evidence, Defendants cite to the declarations of Defendants Barker, Howard and Johnson. Doc. 126-6 (Ex. F at ¶ 4 (Barker Decl.)); Doc. 126-9 (Ex. I at ¶ 4 (Howard Decl.)); Doc. 126-9, Ex. J at ¶ 4 (Johnson Decl.)). Further, Defendants state that since Defendant Winett began his career as a correctional administrator, he never conducted a pat-down search on any inmate in his entire career. Doc. 126-1 at 12 (MSJ). As evidence, Defendants cite to Defendant Winett's declaration. Doc. 126-9 (Ex. P at ¶ 4 (Winett Decl.)).

Additionally, Defendants argue that Plaintiff fails to show that retaliation for the exercise of protected conduct was the "substantial" or "motivating"...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT