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Chrisco v. Raemisch

United States District Court, D. Colorado

July 27, 2018

LUKE IRVIN CHRISCO, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD RAEMISCH, DONALD GIBSON, DANA KRAKOW, BLAHER, JOHNSON, PACHECO, GALKOWSKI, LARIMORE, VALDEZ, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Michael E. Hegarty, United States Magistrate Judge.

         All Defendants except Donald Gibson seek dismissal of this case. Plaintiff's claims primarily relate to Defendants' use of four-point restraints and involuntary administration of medicine. I find that the statute of limitations bars Plaintiff's first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth claims. Additionally, Plaintiff's second claim fails to assert an Eighth Amendment violation. Accordingly, I grant Defendants' motion and dismiss all of Plaintiff's claims other than those against Mr. Gibson.

         BACKGROUND

         I. Facts

         I take as true all factual allegations in the Complaint pursuant to Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         Plaintiff is incarcerated at the San Carlos Correctional Facility (“SCCF”) in the Colorado Department of Corrections (“CDOC”). Compl., ECF No. 1. On July 30, 2015, Plaintiff sprayed water out of his shower onto the floor of the unit. Id. ¶ 79. SCCF officials removed him from the shower and placed him in restraints. Id. ¶ 80. Plaintiff then took ten milligrams of Zyprexa at the request of SCCF staff. Id. ¶¶ 80-81. Defendant Larimore accused Plaintiff of having “cheeked” his medication. Id. ¶ 82. As a result, a nurse administered an intramuscular injection of Halidol. Id. ¶ 83. This caused Plaintiff to suffer radial nerve pain and anxiety. Id. ¶ 84.

         On July 31, 2015, Plaintiff was placed on a mental health watch (“MHW”) and put in restraints. Id. ¶ 1. When Plaintiff complained that the restraints were too tight, various nurses and guards drafted false reports stating that he was being aggressive. Id. ¶¶ 4-5. As a result, Defendants placed Plaintiff on a table in “four-point restraints” from August 2, 2015 through August 4, 2015. Id. ¶¶ 5-6. Plaintiff was placed in these restraints pursuant to a CDOC policy that requires staff to review the need for restraints after four hours and then again every twenty-four hours. Id. ¶¶ 30-33. However, in practice, SCCF medical staff assessed inmates only after twenty-four hours. Id. ¶ 33. Defendant Gibson removed the restraints after Plaintiff promised he would stop filing lawsuits and grievances. Id. ¶ 60.

         II. Procedural History

         Although Plaintiff initiated this case on March 31, 2017, see ECF No. 1, he did not assert claims against Defendants until he filed his Amended Complaint on August 14, 2017. Am. Compl., ECF No. 5. Plaintiff deposited his Amended Complaint in the SCCF mail system on August 8, 2017, id. at 25, which is relevant to the applicability of the statute of limitations. Plaintiff pleads six causes of action in his Amended Complaint. First, he alleges Defendants Blaher, Galkowski, Larimore, Valdez, Johnson, and Pacheco violated the Fourteenth Amendment by filing false reports to keep him on a four-point restraint table from August 2 through August 4, 2015. Id. ¶¶ 1-6. Plaintiff's second claim asserts the CDOC policy permitting use of four-point restraints violates the Eighth Amendment. Id. ¶¶ 21-45. In his third cause of action, Plaintiff pleads an Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants Krakow and Gibson for leaving him in restraints from July 31 through August 4, 2015. Id. ¶¶ 51-70. Plaintiff's fourth claim contends Defendants Krakow and Gibson placed him in restraints as retaliation for lawsuits he filed. Id. ¶¶ 72-78. Claim five alleges Defendants Larimore and Gibson violated the Eighth Amendment by force medicating Plaintiff on July 30, 2015. Id. ¶¶ 79-88. Lastly, Plaintiff's sixth claim contends Defendants Larimore and Gibson force medicated him as retaliation for protected legal activity. Id. ¶¶ 86-88.

         Defendants Raemisch, Krakow, Blaher, Johnson, Pacheco, Galkowski, Larimore, and Valdez responded to the Amended Complaint by filing the present Motion to Dismiss on February 15, 2018. ECF No. 32. Defendants contend the two-year statute of limitations bars Plaintiff's first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth claims. Mot. to Dismiss 4-6. Additionally, Defendants seek dismissal of Plaintiff's second claim, arguing that the four-point restraint policy does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Id. at 7-11.

         During a May 15, 2017 Status Conference, Plaintiff stated that he wished to administratively close the case while he pursued an injunction against CDOC officials for confiscating his legal materials. See ECF No. 38. I granted Plaintiff's request and instructed him to reopen the case by filing a response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Id.

         On June 8, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Lift Stay and a response to Defendants' motion. Mot. to Lift Stay, ECF No. 45; Resp. to Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 42. I granted Plaintiff's motion and permitted Defendant until June 25, 2018 to file a reply. ECF No. 46. In his response brief, Plaintiff asks me to equitably toll the statute of limitations. Resp. to Mot. to Dismiss 1. According to Plaintiff, he was prevented from timely finishing his complaint “due to being moved to another prison and deprived of his papers in the process until August 6, 2017.” Id. at 1. Plaintiff does not address the merits of his claims. The parties filed their magistrate judge consent forms on June 10 and June 11, 2018, but Defendants did not submit a reply brief.

         LEGAL STANDARDS

         I. ...


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