United States District Court, E.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
H. Payne United States District Judge
is a pro se prisoner in the custody of the Oklahoma
Department of Corrections (DOC) who is incarcerated at Lawton
Correctional Facility in Lawton, Oklahoma. He brings this
action under the authority of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking
relief for alleged constitutional violations during his
incarceration at Davis Correctional Facility (DCF), a private
prison in Holdenville, Oklahoma. The defendants are James
Yates, DCF Warden; Ray Larimer, DCF Health Service
Administrator; and Dr. Sanders, DCF Physician. The Court has
before it for consideration Plaintiff's complaint (Dkt.
1), a special report prepared by DCF officials at the
direction of the Court, in accordance with Martinez v.
Aaron, 570 F.2d 317 (10th Cir. 1978) (Dkt. 17),
Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 43), and
Plaintiff's response to the motion (Dkt. 47).
alleges his life has been placed in jeopardy “by the
unconscionable /unjustifiable maleficent treatment; refusal
to acknowledge documented medical issues; refusal to seek
specialized [treatment] or follow recommended treatment
ordered by a specialist when obtained.” (Dkt. 1 at 2).
He claims that since his arrival at DCF, he has been
subjected to long-term damage to his heart, brain function,
and nervous system. In addition, he allegedly has been
disfigured by scarring, and his nose has been broken,
impairing his ability to breathe, rest, and smell. He also
asserts his spine was subjected to increased damage because
of uncontrolled falls associated with seizures. In addition,
he allegedly has been subjected to years of emotional
distress in his efforts to receive proper evaluations and
treatment. Finally, he claims he has endured abuses from
medical administrators, facility physicians, nurses, and
security staff as the result of the deliberate indifference
perpetrated upon him.
alleges he arrived at DCF in July 2005. Prior to his
incarceration at DCF, he had extensive evaluation, screening,
and testing by a neurologist to determine the source of his
severe neurological seizures and to determine how to best
manage his seizures and the migraine headaches associated
with them without causing an allergic reaction. He claims he
was supposed to be monitored by a neurologist on a regular
basis, with adjustments in his medication as needed. He
complains that since arriving at DCF, his medication has been
changed to his detriment and without consultation with a
specialist, resulting in increased and more intense seizures.
judgment is appropriate when “there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A
dispute is genuine if the evidence is such that “a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is material if it “might
affect the outcome of the suit under the governing
law.” Id. In making this determination,
“[t]he evidence of the non-movant is to be believed,
and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his
favor.” Id. at 255. A party opposing a motion
for summary judgment, however, may not simply allege there
are disputed issues of fact; rather, the party must support
its assertions by citing to the record or by showing the
moving party cannot produce admissible evidence to support
the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). Thus, the inquiry for this
Court is “whether the evidence presents a sufficient
disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is
so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of
law.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251-52.
Plaintiff's lengthy complaint consists of pages of mostly
undated allegations concerning Defendants' alleged
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The
statute of limitations for a civil rights cause of action in
Oklahoma is two years. Meade v. Grubbs, 841 F.2d
1512, 1522 (10th Cir. 1988). Defendants have moved for
summary judgment on any claims arising more than two years
prior to the filing of this complaint.
has not addressed this issue, with the exception of stating
in his response to the motion that the two-year limitation
“allows only a limited look at the problems endured and
suffered through by Plaintiff at the hands of his
providers.” (Dkt. 47 at 10-11). He has provided no
additional dates to clarify his allegations.
the Court finds there is no genuine dispute as to the fact
that all claims occurring more than two years prior to filing
the complaining are barred, or that Defendants are entitled
to a judgment as a matter of law on this issue. Therefore,
summary judgment is granted on the issue of the statute of
limitations. Under the prisoner “mailbox rule” of
Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266, 270, 276 (1988), the
complaint is considered to have been filed on September 29,
2017. (Dkt. 1 at 17). Therefore, all claims arising before
September 29, 2015, are time barred and will not be
of Administrative Remedies
Plaintiff alleges Defendants were deliberately indifferent to
his serious medical needs. Defendants assert Plaintiff failed
to exhaust the administrative remedies for any of his claims.
“No action shall be brought with respect to prison
conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other
Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or
other correctional facility until such administrative
remedies as are available are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(a). Inmates are required to exhaust available
administrative remedies, and suits filed before the
exhaustion requirement is met must be dismissed. Booth v.
Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 740-41 (2001); Yousef v.
Reno, 254 F.3d 1214, 1216 n.1 (10th Cir. 2001).
inmate who begins the grievance process but does not complete
it is barred from pursuing a § 1983 claim under PLRA for
failure to exhaust his administrative remedies.”
Jernigan v. Stuchell, 304 F.3d 1030, 1032 (10th Cir.
2002) (citation omitted). In deciding a motion to dismiss
based on nonexhaustion, the Court can consider the
administrative materials submitted by the parties. See
Steele v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 355 F.3d 1204, 1212
(10th Cir. 2003), abrogated in part on other
grounds, Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007).
to the DOC Offender Grievance Process, OP-090124, an inmate
first must attempt to resolve his complaint informally by
communicating with staff within three days of the incident.
If that is unsuccessful, he may submit a Request to Staff
(RTS) within seven calendar days of the incident, alleging
only one issue per form. If the offender does not receive a
response to his RTS within 30 calendar days of submission, he
may submit a grievance to the Review Authority (warden's
office), asserting only the issue of the lack of response to
the RTS. If the complaint is not resolved after the response
to the RTS, the offender then may file a grievance. If the
grievance also does not resolve the issue, the inmate may
appeal to the Administrative Review Authority (ARA) or the
Medical Administrative Review Authority. The administrative
process is exhausted only after all of these steps have been
taken. (Dkt. 43-3).
record shows Plaintiff filed three grievances during the two
years prior to his filing this complaint. The use of the
administrative remedies process, however, did not exhaust his