Guillen v. Thompson et al, No. 2:2008cv01279 - Document 201 (D. Ariz. 2010)

Court Description: ORDER denying 199 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Judge Mary H Murguia on 8/10/10.(DMT)
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Guillen v. Thompson et al 1 Doc. 201 WO JDN 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Karl Louis Guillen, Plaintiff, 10 11 vs. 12 Gerald Thompson, et al., Defendants. 13 14 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. CV 08-1279-PHX-MHM ORDER 15 On June 24, 2010, the Court granted summary judgment in this action and entered 16 Judgment for Defendants (Docs. 196-197). Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion for 17 Reconsideration of the Court’s Summary Judgment Order (Doc. 199). The Court did not 18 direct Defendants to file a response.1 19 20 The Court will deny Plaintiff’s motion. I. Background 21 Plaintiff’s claims stem from his confinement in the Arizona State Prison Complex- 22 Lewis, Rast Unit in Buckeye, Arizona (Doc. 11 at 1). In his First Amended Complaint, 23 Plaintiff named as Defendants Dora Schriro, former Arizona Department of Corrections 24 (ADC) Director, and Ronolfo Macabuhay, Lewis Complex physician (id.).2 25 26 27 28 1 Under Local Rule of Civil Procedure 7.2(g)(2), no response to a motion for reconsideration shall be filed unless ordered by the Court. 2 Upon screening, the Court dismissed 22 other individuals as Defendants (Doc. 13). Dockets.Justia.com 1 Plaintiff alleged that in April 2008, he began to suffer pain, allodynia, and 2 hyperalgesia (id. at 3).3 He alleged that he repeatedly requested treatment for his extreme 3 pain from postherpetic neuralgia, but when he was finally seen on May 18, 2008, Macabuhay 4 informed him that treatment could only be provided for up to 7 days because there was no 5 long-term treatment available (id. at 3-3(A)).4 Plaintiff alleged that Defendants were 6 deliberately indifferent to his serious medical condition (id.).5 7 Defendants moved for summary judgment on the grounds that they were not 8 deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff’s serious medical needs and they were entitled to qualified 9 immunity (Doc. 135). The Court found that as to Macabuhay, Plaintiff failed to establish 10 individual fault, and, at most, demonstrated a disagreement with some of Macabuhay’s 11 treatment decisions, which was insufficient to preclude summary judgment (Doc. 196 at 16). 12 With respect to Schriro, the Court found that there was no evidence of personal participation 13 to support an individual-capacity claim, nor was there evidence to support that Schriro 14 implemented or failed to remedy an unlawful policy governing medical care or the operation 15 of prison pharmacies (id. at 16-20). Thus, the Court found no material factual disputes that 16 Defendants were deliberately indifferent and granted the Motion for Summary Judgment 17 (id.). 18 II. Motion for Reconsideration 19 Plaintiff seeks reconsideration on the basis that the Court violated Supreme Court Law 20 and the Rules of Civil Procedure when it took as true Defendants’ evidence and failed to take 21 as true Plaintiff’s evidence, which directly disputed all of Defendants’ alleged facts (Doc. 22 199 at 1). Plaintiff asserts that the Court improperly weighed the evidence and relied on 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 Allodynia is a condition in which ordinarily nonpainful stimuli evoke pain, and hyperalgesia is extreme sensitivity to painful stimuli. Stedman’s Medical Dictionary allodynia and hyperalgesia (27th ed. 2000). 4 Neuralgia is defined as “pain of a severe, throbbing, or stabbing character in the course of distribution of a nerve.” Stedman’s Medical Dictionary neuralgia (27th ed. 2000). 5 This claim was set forth in Count I of Plaintiff’s Complaint (Doc. 11 at 3-3(A)). Plaintiff’s nine other counts were dismissed for failure to state a claim (Doc. 13). -2- 1 Defendants’ subjective declarations (id. at 2). He further asserts that although the Court 2 stated that Macabuhay saw Plaintiff over 14 times from May 2008 to July 2009, it ignored 3 the “undeniable fact” that Plaintiff did not receive adequate medical care until February 2010 4 (id.). Plaintiff argues that given the evidence of his declining health and the “de facto 5 torture” and illegal transfers he endured, as well as financial records showing the decreases 6 in funding for healthcare, the Court should have been shocked (id. at 2-3). He notes that his 7 affidavit—which relied upon medical evidence, reports, and studies—countered each and 8 every one of Defendants’ Statements of Facts, thereby precluding summary judgment (id. at 9 3-4). 10 Plaintiff also maintains that the Court’s conclusion that certain aspects of the health 11 care system were “beyond Macabuhay’s control” does not support summary judgment 12 because Macabuhay saw Plaintiff numerous times and could have provided adequate medical 13 treatment (id. at 3). Plaintiff states that the Court failed to note the “truck loads” of evidence 14 against the movants, and suggests that the Court’s Order was anti-inmate and was the 15 “politically safe” ruling (id. at 4). He concludes by requesting that the Court reconsider and 16 reverse its ruling, set the matter for trial, and appoint counsel to represent Plaintiff (id. at 17 4-5). 18 III. 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Legal Standard A motion to alter or amend a judgment must be made within 28 days of entry of judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) (2010). Here, judgment was entered on June 24, 2010, and the present motion was signed and thus filed on July 4, 2010 (Doc. 199 at 5). The motion is therefore timely under Rule 59(e) and should be considered under that rule as opposed to Rule 60(b). Am. Ironworks & Erectors, Inc. v. N. Am. Constr. Corp., 248 F.3d 892, 898-99 (9th Cir. 2001) (“a motion for reconsideration is treated as a motion to alter or amend judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 59(e) if it is filed within” the time provided under the rule).6 27 28 6 On December 1, 2009, the time to file a Rule 59(e) motion was extended from 10 days to 28 days. Compare Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) (2009) with Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) (2010). -3- 1 A Rule 59(e) motion is appropriate “if the district court: (1) is presented with newly 2 discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, 3 or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law.” Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. 4 Mantor, 417 F.3d 1060, 1064 n. 1 (9th Cir. 2005) (quoting Sch. Dist. No 1J, Multnomah 5 County v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993)). 6 Motions for reconsideration should be granted only in rare circumstances. Defenders 7 of Wildlife v. Browner, 909 F. Supp. 1342, 1351 (D. Ariz. 1995). Mere disagreement with 8 a previous order is an insufficient basis for reconsideration. See Leong v. Hilton Hotels 9 Corp., 689 F. Supp. 1572, 1573 (D. Haw. 1988). A motion for reconsideration “may not be 10 used to raise arguments or present evidence for the first time when they could reasonably 11 have been raised earlier in the litigation.” Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 12 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000). Nor may a motion for reconsideration repeat any argument 13 previously made in support of or in opposition to a motion. Motorola, Inc. v. J.B. Rodgers 14 Mech. Contractors, Inc., 215 F.R.D. 581, 586 (D. Ariz. 2003). 15 IV. Analysis 16 Plaintiff does not present any newly discovered evidence or cite to an intervening 17 change in controlling law. Rather, his motion rests on the claim that the Court committed 18 clear error by failing to take all of Plaintiff’s alleged facts as true. 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Plaintiff is correct that in the summary judgment analysis, the Court may not engage in credibility determinations or weigh the evidence, and it must believe the nonmovant’s evidence. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). However, the evidence presented by the parties must be admissible. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). Conclusory, speculative testimony in affidavits and moving papers is insufficient to raise genuine issues of fact. Thornhill Publ’n Co., Inc. v. GTE Corp., 594 F.2d 730, 738 (9th Cir. 1979). Nor is disagreement or the bald assertion that a genuine issue of material fact exists enough to preclude summary judgment. Harper v. Wallingford, 877 F.2d 728, 731 (9th Cir. 1989). In its Summary Judgment Order, the Court specifically noted that Plaintiff’s conclusory allegations in his affidavit were insufficient to prevent summary judgment (Doc. -4- 1 196 at 16, citing Hutchinsonv. United States, 838 F.2d 390, 393 (9th Cir. 1988) (granting 2 summary judgment against a plaintiff who relied only on her own allegations and conclusory 3 statements that defendants had been negligent and who failed to provide affidavits or 4 depositions of experts)). The Court further found that specific evidence proffered to support 5 Plaintiff’s affidavit statements was not competent evidence (id.). And it noted that the 6 declarations from other inmates, which Plaintiff submitted to show that inmates had to wait 7 for months for medical care, were not supported by documentary evidence and that the 8 evidence Plaintiff did submit failed to support his claims (id. at 18). 9 Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration fails to present any arguments to show that 10 these findings regarding Plaintiff’s affidavit statements and proffered evidence were 11 incorrect. His contention that the Court should have accepted every one of his statements of 12 facts regardless of whether they were supported by competent evidence is untenable. See 13 Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Harper, 877 F.2d at 731. 14 Plaintiff’s motion cites just one specific portion of the Summary Judgment Order that 15 he apparently found incorrect (Doc. 199 at 3). He cites to a line in the Order indicating that 16 Macabuhay “wrote prescriptions” (id., citing Doc. 196 at 15). But Plaintiff does not explain 17 why it was error for the Court to construe from the record that Macabuhay wrote 18 prescriptions. Indeed, the Court noted that “Plaintiff does not dispute that he saw Macabuhay 19 regularly from 2007-2009, or that Macabuhay provided the treatment described in his 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 declaration”; treatment that included prescriptions (Doc. 196 at 15-16, citing Doc. 160, Ex. 1, Pl. Aff. ¶¶ 9, 11; see Doc. 136, Ex. B, Macabuhay Decl. ¶¶ 30, 32-36, 39, 42). And in his affidavit, Plaintiff averred that Macabuhay wrote prescriptions for various medications, but that some of those prescriptions were not filled by the ADC pharmacy (Doc. 160, Ex. 1, Pl. Aff. ¶ 11). The remainder of Plaintiff’s motion expresses general disagreement with the Court’s Order and repeats arguments made in opposition to summary judgment. These are insufficient grounds for reconsideration. See Motorola, 215 F.R.D. at 586; Leong, 689 F. Supp. at 1573. -5- 1 2 In sum, Plaintiff presents nothing to warrant reconsideration of the Summary Judgment Order. The Court will therefore deny his motion. 3 IT IS ORDERED denying Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration. (Doc. 199) 4 DATED this 10th day of August, 2010. 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -6-