United States District Court, D. Colorado
A. BRIMMER United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment [Docket No. 109] and
Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment [Docket No.
110] filed by defendant Ali Shoaga. The Court has jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
case arises from the June 13, 2012 murder of James Roemer by
his cellmate, Paul Farley.
Farley has an extensive history of violence and threats
against other inmates. Mr. Farley was incarcerated by the
Arizona Department of Corrections (“ADC”)
beginning on August 6, 1997. Docket No. 110-4 at 2. In July
2011, Mr. Farley was transferred to the Colorado Department
of Corrections (“CDOC”) to serve a lengthy
sentence for a robbery he committed in Pueblo, Colorado.
Docket No. 110 at 1, ¶ 1 (citing Docket No. 110-1). On
June 23, 2011, before Mr. Farley was transferred to Colorado,
Herb Haley of the ADC wrote a letter (“Haley
letter”) summarizing Mr. Farley’s history and
“current management concerns.” Docket No. 110-4
at 2. The ADC provided materials about Mr. Farley to the
CDOC, which the CDOC used to assess Mr. Farley for placement
in its various facilities. See Docket No. 109-3. The
Haley letter was included in these materials.
Plaintiff’s Statement of Undisputed Material Facts
(“PSUMF”) 23; Docket No. 109-9 at 12, 71:4-72:19.
Haley letter indicated that Mr. Farley was incarcerated in
the ADC for armed robbery, aggravated assault, manslaughter,
and theft by extortion. Docket No. 110-4 at 2. The letter
also stated that “Inmate Farley has an extensive
disciplinary history, most notable for: causing death/great
bodily harm, sexual assault, weapons possession/ manufacture,
assaults, fighting, and throwing on staff and other
inmates.” Id. at 3. The letter also listed the
following security and safety concerns regarding Mr. Farley:
While being transported to the ADC from Kansas, Mr. Farley
escaped using force. Id. at 3. In 1999, Mr. Farley
was disciplined for sexually assaulting his cellmate with a
lethal weapon. Id. In 2000, Mr. Farley sliced open
his cellmate’s back with a razorblade. Docket No. 110
at 2-3, ¶ 6(e) (citing Docket No. 110-4 at 26-43). In
2001, while in administrative segregation, Mr. Farley
assisted the inmate in an adjoining cell to commit suicide by
strangling him with a bed sheet, resulting in a manslaughter
conviction. Docket No. 110-4 at 3.
Haley letter states that Mr. Farley was targeted by the Aryan
Brotherhood, a prison gang, and was either a victim or
predator in relation to 25 other inmates. Docket No. 110-4 at
3. The letter also recounts various threats and other
statements made by Mr. Farley, including “documented
statements to investigators that he ‘had tried to enter
protective segregation [“PS”] for the purposes of
killing a PS inmate,’ . . . ‘I want to put steel
in someone,’ and ‘it would be easier to find a
victim in PS.’” Id. The letter
rejected explaining these statements away as
“‘bravado’ to ensure a single cell
setting” because “the violence this inmate has
demonstrated in the past has clearly established a threat
towards other inmates.” Id.
Mr. Farley’s Transfer to Colorado
CDOC’s intake facility, the Denver Reception and
Diagnostic Center (“DRDC”), a CDOC case manager
completed a Notice for Administrative Segregation Hearing to
set a hearing to determine if Mr. Farley would be placed in
administrative segregation. Docket No. 109 at 4, ¶ 11
(citing Docket No. 109-5); Docket No. 116 at 2-3, ¶ 11.
The notice recited some of Mr. Farley’s past
disciplinary history and stated, “Offender
Farley’s excessive violation of policy, procedures, and
disregard for authority poses a threat to the safety and
security of the facility, staff, and other offenders.”
Docket No. 109-5.
Ali Shoaga was the chairperson of the three person
administrative segregation hearing committee and, as
chairperson, he was responsible for making the recommendation
as to whether Mr. Farley should be placed in administrative
segregation. Docket No. 110 at 2, ¶ 4. On September 1,
2012, Mr. Shoaga recommended Mr. Farley not be placed in
administrative segregation, stating:
At his hearing, offender Farley admitted that he was guilty
of the infractions committed while in Arizona. The available
information indicates that all of offender Farley’s
disciplinary infractions happened nearly a decade ago. The
information available also seems to indicate that some of the
reason for his confinement in Segregation while in Arizona
was due to custody issues. There is no documented evidence of
disciplinary infractions within the last ten years.
Docket No. 110-2.
deposition, Mr. Shoaga testified that he had reviewed the
materials from the ADC, including the Haley letter, before
the administrative segregation hearing. Docket No. 109 at 6,
¶ 23 (citing 109-9 at 12, 71:21-72:19). He also
testified that he was aware that Mr. Farley posed more than a
low risk, but he thought that the CDOC’s
classification system and treatment programs would
“mitigate the level of risk.” Docket No. 109-9 at
5, 34:14-17 and at 6, 40:19-25. Defendant David Johnson, the
associate warden at DRDC, affirmed the recommendation. PSUMF
34; Docket No. 141 at 11, ¶ 51-53.
Murder of Mr. Roemer
September 22, 2011, Mr. Farley was transferred to the
Sterling Correctional Facility (“SCF”) in
Sterling, Colorado. Defendant’s Statement of Undisputed
Material Facts (“DSUMF”) 45. Because he was
placed in the general population at SCF, Mr. Farley was
required to have a cellmate. PSUMF 40. After approximately
nine months, Mr. Farley was reassigned to a cell with Mr.
Roemer. PSUMF 41; DSUMF 45.
response to a discovery request, plaintiff stated that
“Mr. Roemer’s relationship with Mr. Farley prior
to his murder was permeated with fear and malcontent.”
Docket No. 110-11 at 10, Resp. to Interrogatory 21. On May
25, 2012, Mr. Roemer met with his mental health provider,
Michelle Long, and expressed concerns about his safety,
describing Mr. Farley as a “murderer.” Docket No.
110-11 at 4, Resp. to Interrogatory No. 7.
two weeks before the murder, Mr. Farley became
“extremely agitated with Mr. Roemer and . . . pinned
[Mr. Roemer] against the wall of their cell and told him,
‘Don’t you know what I could do to
you?’” Docket No. 110-11 at 10, Resp. to
Interrogatory 21. “After that point, Mr. Roemer ...