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Chavero-Linares v. Smith

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

October 15, 2013

VANESSA CHAVERO-LINARES, Plaintiff,
v.
TIMOTHY SMITH et al., Defendants.

ORDER

LINDA R. READE, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

The matter before the court is Defendants Sheriff Timothy Smith, Sheriff David McDaniel and Sergeant Dennis Beadle's (collectively, "Defendants") "Motion for Summary Judgment" ("Motion") (docket no. 32).

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On April 27, 2012, Plaintiff Vanessa Chavero-Linares filed a Complaint (docket no. 1). Relevant to the Motion are the claims against Defendants.[1] Count I of the Complaint alleges that Sheriff Smith and Sergeant Beadle were deliberately indifferent to Chavero-Linares's health and safety in failing to protect Chavero-Linares from Tiffany Glaser, a fellow detainee, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.[2] Count III alleges that Sheriff Smith failed to adequately train and supervise correctional and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") personnel in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Count IV alleges that Sheriff McDaniel violated Chavero-Linares's substantive due process right not to be detained with criminal defendants in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Chavero-Linares requests declaratory relief with respect to Count IV. Count V alleges that Sheriff McDaniel failed to implement a custody and classification mechanism to protect detainees from threats and assaults in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Chavero-Linares asserts these claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On September 11, 2012, Sheriff Smith and Sergeant Beadle filed an Answer (docket no. 7), denying Chavero-Linares's claims and asserting affirmative defenses.

On April 3, 2013, Defendants filed the Motion. On that same date, Defendants filed a Statement of Material Facts (docket no. 32-1). On April 29, 2013, Chavero-Linares filed a Resistance (docket no. 39). On that same date, Chavero-Linares filed a Response to Defendants' Statement of Material Facts (docket no. 39-2) and a Statement of Additional Material Facts (docket no. 39-3).

In the Motion, Defendants request the opportunity to present oral argument. The court finds that oral argument is unnecessary. The Motion is fully submitted and ready for decision.

III. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION

The court has federal question jurisdiction over Chavero-Linares's claims against Defendants in Counts I, III, IV and V, which arise under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331 ("The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.").

IV. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "A dispute is genuine if the evidence is such that it could cause a reasonable jury to return a verdict for either party; a fact is material if its resolution affects the outcome of the case." Amini v. City of Minneapolis, 643 F.3d 1068, 1074 (8th Cir. 2011) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 252 (1986)), cert. denied, 132 S.Ct. 1144 (2012). "[S]elf-serving allegations and denials are insufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact." Anuforo v. Comm'r, 614 F.3d 799, 807 (8th Cir. 2010). "To survive a motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must substantiate [its] allegations with sufficient probative evidence [that] would permit a finding in [its] favor based on more than mere speculation, conjecture, or fantasy." Barber v. C1 Truck Driver Training, LLC, 656 F.3d 782, 801 (8th Cir. 2011) (second alteration in original) (quoting Putman v. Unity Health Sys., 348 F.3d 732, 733-34 (8th Cir. 2003)) (internal quotation marks omitted). The court must view the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and afford it all reasonable inferences. See Schmidt v. Des Moines Pub. Sch., 655 F.3d 811, 819 (8th Cir. 2011).

V. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Viewed in the light most favorable to Chavero-Linares, the facts are as follows:

A. Parties

Plaintiff Chavero-Linares is an individual residing in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. ICE alleges that Chavero-Linares is a citizen of Mexico. For the purpose of this Order, the court assumes, without deciding, that Chavero-Linares is a lawful resident of the United States.

Chavero-Linares seeks relief against five named and two unnamed defendants, including Defendants.[3] Sheriff Smith was the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for Hardin County while Chavero-Linares was in custody at the Hardin County Correctional Center ("Correctional Center"). Chavero-Linares is now suing Sheriff Smith in his individual capacity only. As noted above, Sheriff Smith retired from this position and on January 1, 2013, Sheriff McDaniel became the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for Hardin County. Chavero-Linares is suing Sheriff McDaniel in his official capacity only. At times material to the instant action, Sergeant Beadle was a Hardin County Sheriff's Deputy. Chavero-Linares is suing Sergeant Beadle in his individual capacity only.

B. Overview of the Dispute

On or about February 14, 2011, a law enforcement officer pulled over Chavero-Linares for speeding in Louisa County, Iowa. The officer took Chavero-Linares into custody at the direction of ICE based on suspicion that she was present in the United States without proper authorization. On February 16, 2011, Chavero-Linares was transferred to ICE custody at the Correctional Center in Eldora, Iowa, which is in Hardin County.[4]

The Correctional Center implements its detainee classification system through a three-step process. First, when a detainee arrives at the Correctional Center, a booking officer conducts an intake interview and makes an "initial determination of whether the detainee should be assigned to the general population jail areas, ... classified as needing close monitoring or... assigned housing based on needed special supervision." Defendants' Statement of Material Facts at 2. Second, a Behavioral Health Services employee interviews the detainee "to develop a broader behavior history for determining the appropriate housing assignment." Id. Finally, a nurse meets with the detainee and factors in any medical concerns to the detainee's housing assignment. Id.

When Chavero-Linares was detained, Glaser was also a detainee at the Correctional Center for two criminal burglary charges. Chavero-Linares and Glaser were both detained in the general Correctional Center population and were housed in the A Cellblock with four other women: Christian Hernandez Castanon, Rosa Gonzalez Martinez, Maximina Hernandez Luis and Ferdos Latif Al Yassiri. On or about March 8, 2011, Chavero-Linares was playing basketball with other detainees when Glaser told Chavero-Linares and other detainees "that they should shut up and that they were fucking bitches, and... should go back to their country and make tortillas. If you don't shutup [sic], I am going to get you bitches while you're sleeping.'" Chavero-Linares Affidavit, Chavero-Linares Appendix ("Chavero-Linares App'x") (docket no. 39-4) at 4. In addition, on or about March 10, 2011, Glaser made additional racist and derogatory statements to Chavero-Linares and other detainees, calling them "fucking wetbacks" and stating "I feel like I am in a fucking jungle." Complaint ¶ 30.

Chavero-Linares reported the statements to Sergeant Beadle, a Hardin County Sheriff's Deputy, and requested to no longer be housed with Glaser.[5] Chavero-Linares also reported the incident to Agent Donnelly, who told her that the deputies at the Correctional Center should address the matter. Neither Sergeant Beadle nor Agent Donnelly took any action to address Chavero-Linares's complaint. On March 12, 2011, Chavero-Linares and other detainees were watching Spanish-language television. Glaser picked up a chair "and threw it into [the] face of'" Chavero-Linares. Complaint ¶ 37 (quoting Sergeant Beadle's incident report). On March 12, 2011, Sergeant Beadle, Officer Mark Mannetter, Officer Summer Lawrence, Officer Jason Fults and Nurse Jennifer Lynne Raska were on duty in the Correctional Center.

VI. ANALYSIS

A. Chavero-Linares's Demand for Additional Time to Prepare Resistance

At the outset, the court shall address Chavero-Linares's demand for additional time to respond to the Motion. In her Resistance, Chavero-Linares states that she "strenuously objects to having to respond to summary judgment without having had an opportunity to develop [her] claims in discovery." Brief in Support of Resistance (docket no. 39-1) at 13. Specifically, Chavero-Linares requests additional time to respond to Defendants' arguments provided in grounds III, IV, V and VI of the Motion, which request that the court grant summary judgment in Defendants' favor on Counts III, IV and V of the Complaint. As Chavero-Linares correctly points out, the discovery deadline is not until November 1, 2013. See March 14, 2013 Order (docket no. 24).

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d)[6] allows a court to grant additional time for discovery to a nonmoving party in a motion for summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(d). Pursuant to Rule 56(d), the nonmoving party must "show[] by affidavit or declaration that, for specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition" before a court may "defer considering the motion [for summary judgment]" or "allow time to obtain affidavits or declarations or to take discovery." Id.; see also Iverson v. Johnson Gas Appliance Co., 172 F.3d 524, 530 (8th Cir. 1999) ("Nonmovants may request a continuance under Rule 56[d] until adequate discovery has been completed if they otherwise cannot present facts sufficient to justify their opposition."). "A Rule 56[d] affidavit must set forth specific facts further discovery might uncover or what information further discovery might reveal.'" Hamilton v. Bangs, McCullen, Butler, Foye & Simmons, LLP, 687 F.3d 1045, 1050 (8th Cir. 2012) (quoting Anuforo v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, 614 F.3d 799, 808 (8th Cir. 2010)) (internal quotation marks omitted). However, "Rule 56[d] is not a shield that can be ...


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