United States District Court, D. Colorado
A. BRIMMER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendants Johnson, Algien,
Felzein, and Boyer's Motion for Summary Judgment [Docket
No. 145] and Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider Order
Granting Defendant Shoaga's Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. 155) [Docket No. 160]. 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.
background of this case, and the various procedural twists
and turns that have brought it to this point, are laid out
more fully in the Court's September 27, 2017 order.
Docket No. 155 (the “September 27 order”). In
that order, the Court granted Ali Shoaga's summary
judgment motion based on the two-year statute of limitations
for 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims in Colorado. Id. at
20-21. The Court found that, at least ten days before his
murder, Mr. Roemer was aware of the facts supporting his
§ 1983 claim for deliberate indifference to substantial
risk of serious harm in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Id. at 16. As a result, Mr. Roemer's cause of
action accrued on or before June 3, 2012 and yet his estate
did not file suit until more than two years later. The Court
therefore dismissed plaintiff's claim against Mr. Shoaga
as being barred by the statute of limitations. Id.
summary judgment motion incorporates by reference the same
summary judgment arguments made by Mr. Shoaga, Docket No. 145
at 2, and plaintiff responds by incorporating its response to
that argument. Docket No. 148 at 8. After the Court's
September 27 order, the Court ordered supplemental briefing
from the remaining parties on the statute of limitations
issue. Docket Nos. 156, 158, 159. On October 4, 2017,
plaintiff moved for reconsideration of the Court's
September 27 order. Docket No. 160.
Farley has an well-documented history of violence and threats
against other inmates. Docket No. 155 at 2. When Mr. Farley
was transferred from a state prison in Arizona to the
Colorado Department of Corrections (“DOC”), his
record was reviewed by Mr. Shoaga, the chairperson of the
administrative segregation hearing committee. Id. at
4. Despite Mr. Farley's history, Mr. Shoaga recommended
that Mr. Farley not be placed in administrative segregation,
which meant that Mr. Farley was instead placed in the general
prison population. Id.
Shoaga's decision was reviewed and affirmed by defendant
David Johnson, the associate warden of DOC's Denver
Reception and Diagnostic Center, the DOC facility where Mr.
Farley was placed after arrival in Colorado. Defendant's
Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (“DSUMF”)
8; Docket No. 149 at 1. Defendant Nathan Algien, an offender
services classification officer, assigned Mr. Farley to be
housed at the DOC's Sterling Correctional Facility
(“SCF”). DSUMF 23, 48-49.
Thomas Boyer, a Corrections Officer I, worked at SCF with
defendant Chase Felzein, a housing lieutenant. DSUMF 56, 58.
Both Mr. Roemer and Mr. Farley were assigned to Living Unit 2
in the medium security portion of SCF. DSUMF 61, 62. Because
he was placed in the general population at SCF, Mr. Farley
was required to have a cellmate. Docket No. 155 at 5. After
approximately nine months with other cellmates, Mr. Farley
was reassigned to a cell with Mr. Roemer. Id. This
reassignment resulted from a kite turned in by four inmates
asking for a cell reassignment. DSUMF 100. Messrs. Farley and
Roemer agreed to live together as part of that request. DSUMF
101. Officer Boyer met with the four inmates, and both he and
Lt. Felzein reviewed the request. DSUMF 102, 103.
response to a discovery request in this case, 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 was extremely fearful of
Mr. Farley and wanted not to be housed in a cell with
ten days before the murder, Mr. Roemer told Officer Boyer
that he “could not live with Mr. Farley due to safety
concerns” and requested to move to a different cell to
get away from Mr. Farley. Docket No. 110-11 at 4, Resp. to
Interrogatory No. 7. Officer Boyer immediately denied the
request. Docket No. 141 at 18, ¶ 84; Docket No. ...