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Hall v. M. Cox

United States District Court, D. Colorado

July 10, 2019



          N. Reid Neureiter United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter is before the Court on the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff on May 22, 2019. (Dkt. #54.) Defendants Sgt. Leach and Matt Elbe submitted their Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment on June 7, 2019. (Dkt. #58.) Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer referred the motion to me for recommendation on May 23, 2019. (Dkt. #56.) Having carefully considered the briefing, the record, the discussion at the June 27, 2019 Motions Hearing (see Dkt. #59), and the applicable law, the Court finds that Mr. Hall failed to establish that no genuine issues of material fact exist such that Mr. Hall would be entitled to judgment as a matter of law.


         Mr. Hall, a pro-se prisoner, filed the operative complaint in this action (Second Amended Complaint) on March 1, 2019, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated during his time as a pre-trial detainee at the Weld County jail. (Dkt. #32.) On April 23, 2019, the Court granted Defendants Sgt. Leach and Matt Elbe's request for an extension of time in which to respond to the Complaint, giving them until May 14, 2019 to do so. (Dkt. #43.) Defendants filed a Motion to Partially Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint on May 14, 2019. (Dkt. #50.) The same day, Defendants Sgt. Leach and Matt Elbe also filed their Answer. (Dkt. #51.)

         The Court notes that while Mr. Hall did not file a response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. #50), he filed the instant Motion, titled “Motion for Summary Judgment” after Defendants Motion to Dismiss, and requests in his Motion for Summary Judgment that the Court “at least deny the motions to dismiss.” (Dkt. #54 ¶ 5.) The Court will address Defendants' Motion to Dismiss separately in a Recommendation on Defendants' Motion to Partially Dismiss.


         The Court shall grant summary judgment if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions, or affidavits show there is no genuine issue of material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). A fact is material if it might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing substantive law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). The moving party bears the initial responsibility of providing to the Court the factual basis for its motion. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). “The party seeking summary judgment must identify portions of the record that demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Lenox MacLaren Surgical Corp. v. Medtronic, Inc., 762 F.3d 1114, 1118 (10th Cir. 2014).


         Plaintiff's Motion argues that “Defendants have had more than enough ample time to respond to the claims in matter, ” which the Court construes to mean Plaintiff believes that Defendants have not properly or timely responded to his Second Amended Complaint. This is not the case. Defendants timely responded to Mr. Hall's Second Amended Complaint when they filed their Motion to Dismiss and their Answer on May 14, 2019.

         In the remainder of his Motion for Summary Judgment, Mr. Hall fails to identify any evidence or substantive facts in the record. Instead, Mr. Hall further states that his allegations are not frivolous or malicious (Dkt. #54 ¶ 6), and he believes “that the court will sense a genuine urgency and perseverance to have the defendants held accountable for violating the civil and constitutional rights that were bestowed on me by this great country.” (Id. ¶ 8.) Mr. Hall failed to identify any evidence, let alone undisputed material facts, to support his claims against Sergeant Leach and Matt Elbe.

         Accordingly, the Court RECOMMENDS that Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment be DENIED. To be clear, this does not mean that Plaintiff's case fails. It is just that at this early stage, Plaintiff has not established his right to prevail.

         IT IS ORDERED that pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72, the parties shall have fourteen (14) days after service of this Recommendation to serve and file any written objections in order to obtain reconsideration by the District Judge to whom this case is assigned. A party's failure to serve and file specific, written objections waives de novo review of the Recommendation by the District Judge, Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 147-48 (1985), and also waives appellate review of both factual and legal questions. Makin v. Colo. Dep't of Corr., 183 F.3d 1205, 1210 (10th Cir. 1999); Talley v. Hesse, 91 F.3d 1411, 1412-13 (10th Cir. 1996). A party's objections to this Recommendation must be ...

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