United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER ON PENDING MOTIONS AND DIRECTING CLOSURE OF THE
S. Krieger, Chief United States District Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, Motion for Summary
Judgment (#26). Plaintiff Jada
Davis has not filed a response.
before the Court is Ms. Davis' Motion for Reconsideration
of an Order issued by Judge Babcock dismissing claims against
certain Defendants. (#21).
instant lawsuit asserts an Eighth Amendment claim pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Thus, the Court exercises jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
turning to the Motion to Dismiss, the Court briefly addresses
Ms. Davis' pending Motion for Reconsideration
(#21). It seeks reconsideration of a May 14,
2018 Order (#13) dismissing claims against
the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office and the Board of
Commissioners of the County of Chaffee. The Order found that
the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office is not a proper party
because it is not separate entity from the County of Chaffee,
and thus any claim must be asserted against the County. With
respect to the Board of Commissioners, the Order concluded
that because Ms. Davis has asserted no allegations that might
allow the Court to find that Ms. Davis' injury was caused
by a municipal policy or custom, she had not stated a claim
Motion for Reconsideration, Ms. Davis does not appear to
address the deficiencies identified in the Order. She
apparently believes that the claims against the Chaffee
County Sheriff's Department and the Board of
Commissioners of the County of Chaffee were dismissed as
duplicative of claims brought in another case. Since that was
not the basis of the dismissal, her Motion for
Reconsideration is DENIED.
TO DISMISS/MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Davis initiated this lawsuit on February 20, 2018, by letter
(#1), which was supplemented by a formal
Complaint (#4), and then an Amended
Complaint. (#8). The Amended Complaint
asserts an Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants John
Spezze, Tracy Jackson and Joe McGuire. Defendants
responded to the Amended Complaint by filing a document
entitled “Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative,
Motion for Summary Judgment” (#26).
Among the arguments Defendants raise is that Ms. Davis failed
to exhaust the administrative remedies available to her at
the Chaffee County Jail as required by the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (the “PLRA”), 42 U.S.C. §1997e.
Because the Motion relies on matters outside parameters of
Ms. Davis' letter, initial Complaint and Amended
Complaint, the Court addresses the Motion as one for summary
judgment. See: Fitzgerald v. Corr. Corp. of America,
403 F.3d 1134, 1140-41 (10th Cir. 2005).
Ms. Davis participates pro se and has not responded
to the Motion, the Court interprets her allegations in the
Amended Complaint (#8) liberally, treating
them as true. Summarized briefly, Ms. Davis was a convicted
inmate serving a one year sentence at the Chaffee County
Jail. (#4, at p. 5.) During September 2017,
and from October 30, 2017 through May 7, 2018, Ms. Davis was
detained in cells at the Chaffee County Jail, where she was
exposed to black mold. This exposure caused her to have
nosebleeds, shortness of breath, a burning sensation in her
nose, and other respiratory symptoms. She asked jail staff,
particularly Tracy Jackson and Joe McGuire, to remove the
black mold, but they did not do so. Mr. Spezze, who
ultimately is responsible for supervising the jail, also was
aware of the mold but did not take steps to have it removed.
jail had a four-step grievance process.
(#26-1, at pp. 2, 5-6.) The inmate handbook
stated that “[s]hould [an inmate] feel personally
aggrieved about any matter, ” compliance with the
specified administrative steps was mandatory. (Id.
at p. 5.) The administrative grievance process required that:
1) an inmate discuss his or her problem with a Detention
Deputy; 2) if that did not resolve the problem, the inmate
should submit a kite (a written request) to the Shift
Supervisor explaining the problem; 3) if the response to the
kite did not satisfy the inmate, he or she should submit a
formal grievance to a jail supervisor; and 4) if the
grievance did not resolve the issue to the inmate's
satisfaction, he or she should submit a sealed letter to the
Detention Jail Center Commander. (Id. at pp. 5-6.)
According to Defendants, Ms. Davis submitted three kites and
a grievance raising concerns about black mold. None occurred
prior to the filing of this lawsuit, with the earliest being
submitted on April 10, 2018.
argue they are entitled to summary judgment based on Ms.
Davis' failure to exhaust her available ...