United States District Court, D. Colorado
A. BRIMMER, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment [Docket No. 109] and defendant Ali
Shoaga’s Motion for Summary Judgment [Docket No. 110].
The Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
case arises out of the June 13, 2012 murder of James Roemer
by his cellmate, Paul Farley, while in the custody of the
Colorado Department of Corrections (“CDOC”).
See Docket No. 110 at 9, ¶ 46; Docket No. 109
at 2, ¶ 2; Docket No. 136 at 2, 6.
2011, Mr. Farley was transferred from the Arizona Department
of Corrections (“ADC”) to the CDOC to serve a
sentence for a conviction in Colorado. Docket No. 109 at 3,
¶ 5; Docket No. 110 at 1, ¶ 1; Docket No. 136 at 6.
Before Mr. Farley’s transfer, an ADC official, Herb
Haley, wrote a letter summarizing Mr. Farley’s history
with the ADC (“Haley letter”). Docket No. 109 at
3, ¶ 6. That letter was included among the materials
provided to the CDOC and was considered by defendant Ali
Shoaga (“defendant”) in determining whether to
recommend Mr. Farley for administrative segregation.
See Docket No. 109 at 6, ¶ 23; Docket No. 110
at 2, 4, ¶¶ 5, 15; Docket No. 110-4 at 2-4 (Haley
to the Haley letter, Mr. Farley had been incarcerated with
the ADC since August 6, 1997 for armed robbery, aggravated
assault, manslaughter, and theft by extortion. Docket No.
110-4 at 2. The letter stated that Mr. Farley had “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. Mr.
Farley’s ADC records reflect the following incidents
that occurred during his incarceration with the ADC: on
November 3, 1997, he received a prison disciplinary
conviction for fighting with other inmates; on August 13,
1998, he received a disciplinary conviction for possessing
dangerous contraband, including escape paraphernalia; on May
18, 1999, he received a disciplinary conviction for sexually
assaulting a cellmate with a lethal weapon; in October 2000,
he escaped custody using force while being transported from
Kansas to Arizona; on July 2, 2000, he received a
disciplinary conviction for slicing open his cellmate’s
back with a razorblade; and in 2001, he assisted an inmate in
an adjoining cell commit suicide by strangling him with a bed
sheet, which resulted in Mr. Farley’s conviction for
manslaughter. Docket No. 110 at 2-3, ¶ 6. Several of
these incidents were specifically noted in the Haley letter.
See Docket No. 110-4 at 3-4. The Haley letter also
noted that Mr. Farley had made several threatening statements
regarding other inmates, including “documented
statements to investigators that he ‘had tried to enter
protective segregation [“PS”] for the purposes of
killing a PS inmate, ’” and statements such as
“I just want to do somebody, ” “I want to
put steel in someone, ” and “it would be easier
to find a victim in PS.” Id. Regarding the
latter three statements, the letter noted that the
“likelihood of these statements being
‘bravado’ to ensure a single cell setting might
explain the statements, but the violence [Mr. Farley] has
demonstrated in the past has clearly established a threat
towards other inmates; and in turn a potential threat towards
inmate Farley himself due to his actions and
statements.” Id. Finally, the Haley letter
indicated that Mr. Farley’s protection issues were
“a result of ‘disrespecting’ Aryan
Brotherhood hierarchy, ” and that he was identified as
either a “Victim” or a “Predator”
with respect to thirty-one inmates on his “Do Not House
With” list. Id. at 3. As a result of Mr.
Farley’s “predatory behavior, ” the ADC
decided, on April 28, 2009, to “override” his
“classification to maximum custody, ” where it
was determined he would “remain . . . while in the
ADC.” Id. at 4.
arriving at the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center
(“DRDC”), the CDOC’s intake prison, in July
2011, a case manager completed a Notice for Administrative
Segregation Hearing to determine whether Mr. Farley was safe
enough for general population or would need to be placed in
administrative segregation within the CDOC. Docket No. 109 at
4, ¶ 11; Docket No. 110 at 1, 4, ¶¶ 2, 16. T
he notice recited some of Mr. Farley’s disciplinary
infractions and stated that his “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. 110-1 at 1. A hearing was
held on September 1, 2011. Docket No. 110 at 1, ¶ 2;
Docket No. 110-2 at 1. Defendant, a Case Manager II with the
CDOC, was the chairperson of the three-member board that
presided over the hearing. Docket No. 110 at 1, ¶ 3. As
the chairperson, defendant was responsible for making the
recommendation as to whether Mr. Farley should be placed in
administrative segregation. Id. at 2, ¶
On September 1, 2011, defendant recommended that Mr. Farley
not be placed in administrative segregation. Docket No.
110-2. Defendant explained his recommendation as follows:
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.
Id. During his deposition, defendant also stated
that he considered the CDOC’s ability to place
offenders in more restrictive housing, such as “close
custody” housing. Docket No. 110 at 6, ¶
In recommending that Mr. Farley not be placed in
administrative segregation, defendant knew it was likely Mr.
Farley would be placed in general population with a cellmate.
Docket No. 109 at 8, ¶¶ 35-36. However, defendant
assumed that Mr. Farley would be properly classified and
would receive appropriate treatment and programming. Docket
No. 110 at 8, ¶ 41.
Johnson, the associate warden at DRDC, affirmed the hearing
board’s recommendation, Docket No. 109 at 8, ¶ 34,
and Mr. Farley was transferred to Sterling Correctional
Facility (“SCF”) in Sterling, Colorado on
September 22, 2011. Docket No. 110 at 9, ¶ 45. At some
point, Mr. Farley was assigned to a cell with Mr. Roemer.
See id., ¶ 46. On June 13, 2012, Mr. Farley
murdered Mr. Roemer in their cell. Id.
Mr. Roemer’s estate, filed this case on June 12, 2014.
Docket No. 1. Plaintiff asserts an Eighth Amendment claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that defendant Shoaga
acted with deliberate indifference to the substantial risk of
serious harm posed by Mr. Farley in not recommending that Mr.
Farley be placed in administrative segregation. Docket No.
141 at 20-21, ¶¶ 95-97. On September 27, 2017, the
Court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant Shoaga
after finding plaintiff’s claim was barred by the
statute of limitations. Docket No. 155 at 20. In the same
order, the Court denied as moot plaintiff’s motion for
partial summary judgment. See Id . at 20. On October
12, 2017, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of the
remaining defendants on statute-of-limitations grounds.
Docket No. 175. Plaintiff appealed both summary judgment
orders. Docket No. 179.
March 7, 2019, the Tenth Circuit reversed the Court’s
summary judgment rulings, holding that the Court had erred by
failing to determine when plaintiff’s “claims
against each defendant accrued.” Docket No.
186 at 23. The Tenth Circuit also concluded that, with the
exception of Thomas Boyer, defendants had failed to establish
that plaintiff’s claims accrued outside of the relevant
limitations period. Id.
the Tenth Circuit’s remand, see id., the Court
directed the parties to file status reports identifying the
issues that remained to be resolved in light of the Tenth
Circuit’s decision. Docket No. 188. Based on those
status reports and the Tenth Circuit’s ruling, the
Court determined that the next step in this case is for the
Court to determine whether defendants are entitled to summary
judgment on any ground other than the statute of limitations.
Docket No. 191 at 1. On April 24, 2019, the Court reinstated
the parties’ summary judgment motions. Docket No. 191.
judgment is warranted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56 when the “movant shows that there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a);
see Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
248-50 (1986). A disputed fact is “material” if
under the relevant substantive law it is essential to proper
disposition of the claim. Wright v. Abbott Labs.,
Inc., 259 F.3d 1226, 1231-32 (10th Cir. 2001). Only
disputes over material facts can create a genuine issue for
trial and preclude summary judgment. Faustin v. City
& Cty. of Denver, 423 F.3d 1192, 1198 (10th Cir.
2005). An issue is “genuine” if the evidence is
such that it might lead a reasonable jury to return a verdict
for the nonmoving party. Allen v. Muskogee, 119 F.3d
837, 839 (10th Cir. 1997).
“the moving party does not bear the ultimate burden of
persuasion at trial, it may satisfy its burden at the summary
judgment stage by identifying a lack of evidence for the
nonmovant on an essential element of the nonmovant’s
claim.” Bausman v. Interstate Brands Corp.,
252 F.3d 1111, 1115 (10th Cir. 2001) (internal quotation
marks omitted) (quoting Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 144 F.3d 664, 671 (10th Cir. 1998)). “Once
the moving party meets this burden, the burden shifts to the
nonmoving party to demonstrate a genuine issue for trial on a
material matter.” Concrete Works of Colo., Inc. v.
City & Cty. of Denver, 36 F.3d 1513, 1518 (10th Cir.
1994). The nonmoving party may not rest solely on the
allegations in the pleadings, but instead must designate
“specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 324 (1986) (internal quotation marks omitted). “To
avoid summary judgment, the nonmovant must establish, at a
minimum, an inference of the presence of each element
essential to the case.” Bausman, 252 F.3d at
1115. When reviewing a motion for summary judgment, a court
must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Id.