Braulick v. Corrections Corporation of America et al
ORDER denying 39 Motion for Summary Judgment as to Defendant Didier; granting 39 Motion for Summary Judgment as to Defendant CoreCivic. Count IV of the Complaint is DISMISSED. Signed by Magistrate Judge John Johnston on 10/10/2019. Transmitted electronically to prison for delivery to Plaintiff. (TAG)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
GREAT FALLS DIVISION
JEREMY JOHN BRAULICK,
CORECIVIC (F/K/A CORRECTIONS
CORPORATION OF AMERICA) and
Pending before the Court is Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. 39.) Plaintiff Jeremy Braulick, a pro se prisoner, filed a Complaint on
November 3, 2017 alleging four counts against various named defendants.
(Complaint, Doc. 2.) The only remaining claims are Mr. Braulick’s allegations
raised in Counts III and IV of the Complaint against CoreCivic and Nurse Didier.
CoreCivic and Nurse Didier filed an Answer to Counts III and IV on July 19, 2018
denying liability. (Doc. 15.)
Having considered the parties’ arguments and submission, Mr. Braulick has
established a genuine dispute as to material facts regarding his retaliation claim
alleged in Count III against Nurse Didier. Nurse Didier’s Motion for Summary
Judgment will be denied. CoreCivic has established that there is no genuine issue
of material fact regarding the merits of Mr. Braulick’s Monell claims regarding his
medications as alleged in Count IV of the Complaint. CoreCivic’s Motion for
Summary Judgment will be granted.
I. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Summary judgment is appropriate when the moving party “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). Under summary judgment practice,
“[t]he moving party initially bears the burden of proving the absence of a genuine
issue of material fact.” In re Oracle Corp. Sec. Litig., 627 F.3d 376, 387 (9th Cir.
2010) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)). The moving
party may accomplish this by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials” or by showing that such
materials “do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that
the adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(A), (B).
“Where the non-moving party bears the burden of proof at trial, the moving
party need only prove that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party’s case.” Oracle Corp., 627 F.3d at 387 (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at
325); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(B). Summary judgment should be entered,
“after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to
make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that
party’s case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.” See
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. “[A] complete failure of proof concerning an essential
element of the nonmoving party’s case necessarily renders all other facts
immaterial.” Id. at 323. In such a circumstance, summary judgment should be
granted, “so long as whatever is before the district court demonstrates that the
standard for entry of summary judgment, as set forth in Rule 56(c), is satisfied.”
If the moving party meets its initial responsibility, the burden then shifts to
the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue as to any material fact actually
does exist. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
586-87 (1986). In attempting to establish the existence of this factual dispute, the
opposing party may not rely upon the allegations or denials of its pleadings but is
required to tender evidence of specific facts in the form of affidavits, and/or
admissible discovery material, in support of its contention that the dispute exists.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1); Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586 n.11. “A plaintiff’s
verified complaint may be considered as an affidavit in opposition to summary
judgment if it is based on personal knowledge and sets forth specific facts
admissible in evidence.” Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1132 n.14 (9th Cir. 2000)
(en banc). The opposing party must demonstrate that the fact in contention is
material, i.e., a fact “that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing
law,” and that the dispute is genuine, i.e., “the evidence is such that a reasonable
jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors
Ass’n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).
“In evaluating the evidence to determine whether there is a genuine issue of
fact,” the court draws “all inferences supported by the evidence in favor of the
non-moving party.” Walls v. Cent. Costa Cnty. Transit Auth., 653 F.3d 963, 966
(9th Cir. 2011). It is the opposing party’s obligation to produce a factual predicate
from which the inference may be drawn. See Richards v. Nielsen Freight Lines,
810 F.2d 898, 902 (9th Cir. 1987). Finally, to demonstrate a genuine issue, the
opposing party “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586 (citations omitted).
By notice provided on March 4, 2019 (Doc. 43), Mr. Braulick was advised
of the requirements for opposing a motion brought pursuant to Rule 56 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Rand v. Rowland, 154 F.3d 952, 957 (9th
Cir. 1998)(en banc); Klingele v. Eikenberry, 849 F.2d 409 (9th Cir. 1988).
II. UNDISPUTED FACTS
A. Blood Draws
Defendant Nurse Didier is a registered nurse (“R.N.”) at the Crossroads
Correctional Center (“Crossroads”) located in Shelby, Montana. (SUF at ¶ 5.)
Mr. Braulick was being monitored for thyroid concerns in the Crossroads’ clinic
and saw Nurse Didier for blood draws to determine his thyroid levels. (SUF at ¶
6.) Mr. Braulick contends that Nurse Didier only drew his blood on three
occasions. (SDF at ¶ 6.)
On February 5, 2015, Mr. Braulick submitted an informal resolution form
complaining that on January 28, 2015 at 4:00 a.m., Nurse Didier did not wear
gloves while conducting his blood draw. (SUF at ¶ 8; Informal Resolution Form,
Doc. 2-1 at 42-43.) At that blood draw, Mr. Braulick made clear that he did not
want Nurse Didier to touch him with her ungloved free hand. (SUF at ¶ 8.)
Nurse Didier contends she was not aware of the February 2, 2015 grievance
submitted by Mr. Braulick until this lawsuit was filed. (SUF at ¶ 8.) Mr. Braulick
contests this statement because the response to the February 5, 2015 grievance
states, “I will advise my law draw nurse on standard precautions when drawing
labs.” He argues that once Nurse Didier was advised about standard lab draw
precautions by her supervisor she would have known it was Mr. Braulick who
complained about her. In addition, Mr. Braulick testified that he made it clear to
Nurse Didier at the time of the incident that he had an issue with her ungloved
hands. (SDF at ¶ 8.)
On September 22, 2015, Nurse Didier conducted another blood draw on Mr.
Braulick. (SUF at ¶ 10.) On that same day, Mr. Braulick submitted an informal
resolution form in which he stated,
Today at about 3:35 a.m. I had a labdraw and the nurse who took my
blood got an attitude with me. She began by asking me if I put in my
previous grievance about her “Did you put I wipe my fingers with the
alcohol pad before touching your vein.” I didn’t answer her as I
didn’t like her tone. She proceeded to touch my vein with her bare
finger before inserting the needle. I said, “no you need to put your
gloves on before touching my vein.” She got upset and put the glove
on than proceeded to put the needle in when I stopped her and said,
“she needed to rewipe my vein.” She than ripped open an alcohol
swab package and began aggressively and violently swabbing my arm
and jabbed the needle in my arm and moved the needle to a cockeyed
position to my vein causing it to tear my vein inside my arm and for it
to bleed out inside my arm causing the area on my arm to discolor.
While she was doing this she made the comment that “Next time you
write a grievance you need to put in it that I wipe my fingers with the
alcohol pad.” and restated the comment as I left. . . .
(Informal Resolution Form, Doc. 2-1 at 44-45.)
With regard to this blood draw, Nurse Didier made a note on the lab
requisition form stating, “Fasting lab specimen obtained in one attempt and
without difficulty from LAC.” (Doc. 42-1 at 2.) Nurse Didier does not recall
anything unusual medically about that blood draw and nothing unusual is
indicated in her contemporaneous records. Nurse Didier testified that she wore
standard exam gloves on each hand on September 22, 2015. She cleaned Mr.
Braulick’s arm and felt the vein again to be sure of placement before inserting the
needle. She testified that Mr. Braulick spoke harshly to her that she was not to
touch his arm, even with her gloved hand, prior to inserting the needle. Nurse
Didier pointed out to Mr. Braulick that she had gloves on and Mr. Braulick
subsided, but appeared to remain angry. As he left the lab after the blood draw,
Mr. Braulick stated that he was going to file a grievance. Nurse Didier asked him
to include in any statement that she had used alcohol on her bare finger and then
later on her gloved finger. Mr. Braulick did not complain of any pain or injury at
that time and departed the lab. (SUF at ¶ 10 citing Didier Aff. at ¶ 9.)
Mr. Braulick contests these statements on the grounds that Nurse Didier did
not make any negative notes about him from the September 22, 2015 blood draw.
(SDF at ¶ 10.)
Mr. Braulick also submitted a Sick Call Request on September 22, 2015
stating that the nurse who did his blood draw caused “the needle to go through my
vein and for me to bleed out in my arm and my arm to discolor.” He received a
response on September 24, 2015 advising that this “is a common complication
w/drawing blood” and that he can apply warm packs to the site for comfort. (SUF
at ¶ 11; Sick Call Request, Doc. 42-1 at 3.)
Nurse Didier was not made aware of any other complaints about the
September 22, 2015 blood draw until this lawsuit was filed. (SUF at ¶ 12.)
A blood draw necessarily causes some pain as it requires a needle injected
into the body. Nurse Didier testified that she has never intentionally caused
increased pain beyond what a normal blood draw requires on any patient,
including Mr. Braulick. While Mr. Braulick’s left arm may have shown some
discoloration after the September 22 blood draw, that is not unusual and is a very
common side effect of the procedure. No bruising was noted or demonstrated on
Mr. Braulick’s subsequent visits to medical on September 28, September 29, or
October 2, 2015. (SUF at ¶ 16.)
B. Thyroid Medications
In Count IV of the Complaint, Mr. Braulick alleged that Crossroads’ staff
failed to give him his thyroid medications on three occasions in 2014 and that
Crossroads’ rules and policies kept him from getting needed medications. The
first incident occurred in June 2014 when Mr. Braulick tried to get his medication
on a non-KOP (“keep on person”) day. He alleges he took his last pill on Saturday
morning and since Tuesday was the next KOP day, he had to go without his
medication for two and a half days. He also alleges that on October 16, 2014 he
was placed in “the hole” and did not get his medication on October 17 and 18,
2014. When he got out of the hole on October 31, 2014, he did not get his
medication until mid-day November 3, 2014. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at 57-58.)
Mr. Braulick was advised regarding access to health care at the prison upon
intake at Crossroads. This included a health care information sheet which
addressed pill call and KOP medications. Mr. Braulick was also provided
instructions related to his KOP medications and what he was required to do to
re-order and obtain additional blister packs. (SUF at ¶ 19.) CoreCivic’s Policy
13-70 addresses pharmaceuticals, including the dispensing of medications to
inmates, and the KOP program. (SUF at ¶ 20.) Crossroads also has policies
related to Mr. Braulick’s hypothyroid condition and blood draws. (SUF at ¶ 21.)
The policies and practices at Crossroads are to provide inmates, including Mr.
Braulick, with his prescribed and approved medications. If an inmate has not
re-ordered medications in a timely manner or supply cannot be located in the
facility for any reason, there may be a missed dose, but those circumstances would
be highly unusual and not the policy, practice or custom at Crossroads. (SUF at ¶
A. Retaliation–Blood Draws
“Within the prison context, a viable claim of First Amendment retaliation
entails five basic elements: (1) An assertion that a state actor took some adverse
action against an inmate (2) because of (3) that prisoner’s protected conduct, and
that such action (4) chilled the inmate’s exercise of his First Amendment rights,
and (5) the action did not reasonably advance a legitimate correctional goal.”
Rhodes v. Robinson, 408 F.3d 559, 567-68 (9th Cir. 2005)(citing Resnick v. Hayes,
213 F.3d 443, 449 (9th Cir. 2000)). It is the plaintiff’s burden to prove each of
these elements. Pratt v. Rowland, 65 F.3d 802, 806 (9th Cir. 1995).
“Prisoners have a First Amendment right to file grievances against prison
officials and to be free from retaliation for doing so.” Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d
1108, 1114 (9th Cir. 2012); see also Gomez v. Vernon, 255 F.3d 1118, 1127 (9th
Cir. 2001) (“[A] retaliation claim may assert an injury no more tangible than a
chilling effect on First Amendment rights.”)
Taking the facts in the light most favorable to Mr. Braulick, the Court finds
a genuine issue of material fact exists regarding whether Nurse Didier retaliated
against Mr. Braulick when she took his blood on September 22, 2015.
Under the first element of a viable First Amendment retaliation claim, a
plaintiff need not prove that the alleged retaliatory action, in and of itself, violated
a constitutional right. Id. (to prevail on a retaliation claim, plaintiff need not
“establish an independent constitutional interest” was violated); see also Hines v.
Gomez, 108 F.3d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1997) (upholding jury determination of
retaliation based on filing of a false rules violation report); Rizzo v. Dawson, 778
F.2d 527, 531 (9th Cir. 1985) (transfer of prisoner to a different prison constituted
adverse action for purposes of retaliation claim). The interest cognizable in a
retaliation claim is the right to be free of conditions that would not have been
imposed but for the alleged retaliatory motive.
Mr. Braulick has established an issue of fact regarding whether Nurse
Didier took an adverse action against him. He contends that Nurse Didier
“violently jabbed the needle in my arm causing injury to my arm to the point I felt
like she poked into or knicked the tendon in my arm due to the angled position to
my vein she moved the needle to and the pain in my arm that lasted about 10
days.” (Complaint, Doc. 2 at 55.) Nurse Didier does not recall anything unusual
about the blood draw. She testified that a blood draw necessarily causes some
pain and that she never intentionally caused increased pain beyond what a normal
blood draw requires on any patient. (Didier Affidavit, Doc. 42 at 3, 5, ¶¶ 9, 15.)
Given the different versions of the blood draw itself, there is an issue of fact
regarding whether Nurse Didier took adverse action against Mr. Braulick.
To prove the second element – retaliatory motive – a plaintiff must show
that his protected activities were a “substantial” or “motivating” factor behind the
defendant’s challenged conduct. Brodheim v. Cry, 584 F.3d 1262, 1269, 1271
(9th Cir. 2009). A plaintiff must provide direct or circumstantial evidence of
defendant’s alleged retaliatory motive; mere speculation is not sufficient. See
McCollum v. CDCR, 647 F.3d 870, 882–83 (9th Cir. 2011); accord Wood v.
Yordy, 753 F.3d 899, 905 (9th Cir. 2014). In addition to demonstrating
defendant’s knowledge of plaintiff’s protected conduct, circumstantial evidence of
motive may include: (1) proximity in time between the protected conduct and the
alleged retaliation; (2) defendant’s expressed opposition to the protected conduct;
and (3) other evidence showing that defendant’s reasons for the challenged action
were false or pretextual. McCollum, 647 F.3d at 882.
The response to Mr. Braulick’s February 5, 2015 grievance stated, “I will
advise my law draw nurse on standard precautions when drawing labs.” (Doc. 2-1
at 42.) Nurse Didier denies knowledge of this grievance but Mr. Braulick argues
that once Nurse Didier was advised of the standard precautions on lab draws (as
indicated in the grievance response), she would have known that it was Mr.
Braulick who complained about her because she admits that during the February
blood draw Mr. Braulick “made clear that he did not want me to touch him with
my ungloved free hand.” (Didier Aff, Doc. 42 at 3, ¶ 7.). In addition, Mr.
Braulick stated in his September 22, 2015 informal resolution form that Nurse
Didier began the September 22 interaction by having an “attitude” with him for
filing a grievance against her and told him what he should and should not say in
his grievances. (Doc. 2 at 54, Doc. 2-1 at 44.) Mr. Braulick’s testimony that
Nurse Didier expressed opposition to his filing the prior grievance just prior to
allegedly jabbing his arm in an intentionally painful manner creates a genuine
issue of material fact regarding whether she took adverse action against him
because of his protected conduct.
The third element concerns a prisoner’s First Amendment right to access the
courts. Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 346 (1996). While prisoners have no
freestanding right to a prison grievance process, see Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d
850, 860 (9th Cir. 2003), “a prisoner’s fundamental right of access to the courts
hinges on his ability to access the prison grievance system.” Bradley v. Hall, 64
F.3d 1276, 1279 (9th Cir. 1995), overruled on other grounds by Shaw v. Murphy,
532 U.S. 223, 230 n.2 (2001). Because filing administrative grievances and
initiating civil litigation are protected activities, it is impermissible for prison
officials to retaliate against prisoners for engaging in these activities. Rhodes, 408
F.3d at 567–68. Protected speech also includes an inmate’s statement of intent to
pursue an administrative grievance or civil litigation. Watison v. Carter, 668 F.3d
1108, 1114 (9th Cir. 2012); Rhodes, 408 F.3d at 567; Bruce v. Ylst, 351 F.3d 1283,
1288 (9th Cir. 2003). It is undisputed that Mr. Braulick filed a grievance
regarding Nurse Didier on February 5, 2015 which constitutes protected conduct.
Under the fourth element, a plaintiff need not demonstrate a “total chilling
of his First Amendment rights,” only that defendant’s challenged conduct “would
chill or silence a person of ordinary firmness from future First Amendment
activities.” Rhodes, 408 F.3d at 568–69 (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted). Moreover, direct and tangible harm will support a retaliation claim even
without demonstration of a chilling effect on the further exercise of a prisoner’s
First Amendment rights. Id. at 568 n.11. “[A] plaintiff who fails to allege a
chilling effect may still state a claim if he alleges he suffered some other harm” as
a retaliatory adverse action. Brodheim, 584 F.3d at 1269 (citing Rhodes, 408 F.3d
at 568 n. 11).
Defendants argue that Mr. Braulick cannot prove that Nurse Didier’s
alleged conduct chilled or affected his willingness to file grievances because he
continued to use the grievance process regularly. (MSJ Brief, Doc. 41 at 12.) But
the Ninth Circuit makes clear that “[s]peech can be chilled even when not
completely silenced.” Rhodes, 408 F.3d at 568. As set forth in Rhodes,
“[b]ecause it would be unjust to allow a defendant to escape liability for a First
Amendment violation merely because an unusually determined plaintiff persists in
his protected activity, Rhodes does not have to demonstrate that his speech was
actually inhibited or suppressed.” Id. at 569 (internal quotations and citations
The Court finds that jabbing a needle into someone’s arm causing pain for
approximately ten days (as alleged by Mr. Braulick) would chill a person of
ordinary firmness from future First Amendment activities. In addition, Mr.
Braulick has alleged “direct and tangible harm” sufficient to support his retaliation
claim without the demonstration of a chilling effect. See Id. at 568 n.11.
Defendants argue that this requires that Mr. Braulick show more than minimal
harm and Mr. Braulick failed to show more than minimal harm because his
medical records only showed some discoloration of his arm. (MSJ Brief, Doc. 41
at 12.) Mr. Braulick contends that it felt like the needle poked into or knicked a
tendon and that he suffered pain in his arm for approximately ten days.
(Complaint, Doc. 2 at 55.) If believed, this could be considered more than
minimal harm. Mr. Braulick’s allegations that his First Amendment rights were
chilled, though not necessarily silenced, is enough to create a genuine issue of fact
on this issue.
Regarding the fifth element, the Ninth Circuit has held that preserving
institutional order, discipline, and security are legitimate penological goals that, if
they provide the motivation for an official act taken, will defeat a claim of
retaliation. Barnett v. Centoni, 31 F.3d 813, 816 (9th Cir. 1994); Rizzo, 778 F.2d
at 532. When considering this final factor, courts should “‘afford appropriate
deference and flexibility’ to prison officials in the evaluation of proffered
legitimate penological reasons for conduct alleged to be retaliatory.” Pratt, 65
F.3d at 807 (quoting Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 482 (1995)). A plaintiff
bears the burden of pleading and proving the absence of legitimate correctional
goals for defendant’s challenged conduct. Pratt, 65 F.3d at 806.
Defendants do not contend and the Court finds that there is no legitimate
penological reason to “violently jab” a needle into an inmate’s arm to intentionally
As such, Mr. Braulick has established the existence of material fact
regarding his claim of retaliation against Nurse Didier. Summary judgment will
be denied on this claim.
B. Monell Claims regarding Medications
Mr. Braulick’s second claim is a Monell claim against CoreCivic based
upon Mr. Braulick failing to timely receive thyroid medications on three
occasions–June 2014, October 17-18, 2014, and October 31, 2014 - November 3,
2014. In Monell v. Dept. of Social Services of City of New York, the United States
Supreme Court, announced the following standard governing the liability of a
municipality under 42 U.S.C. § 1983:
[A] local government may not be sued under § 1983 for an injury
inflicted solely by its employees or agents. Instead, it is when
execution of a government’s policy or custom, whether made by its
lawmakers or by those whose edicts or acts may fairly be said to
represent official policy, inflicts the injury that the government as an
entity is responsible under § 1983.
436 U.S. 658, 694. Monell involved a municipal corporation, but every circuit to
consider the issue has extended the holding to private companies acting under
color of state law such as CoreCivic. See Robinson v. City of San Bernardino
Police Dept., 992 F.Supp. 1198, 1204 (C.D. Cal 1998) (citing Street v.
Corrections Corp. of America, 102 F.3d 810, 817–18 (6th Cir. 1996)); Harvey v.
Harvey, 949 F.2d 1127, 1129–30 (11th Cir. 1992); Rojas v. Alexander’s Dep’t
Store, Inc., 924 F.2d 406, 408 (2nd Cir. 1990); Lux v. Hansen, 886 F.2d 1064,
1067 (8th Cir. 1989); Iskander v. Village of Forest Park, 690 F.2d 126, 128 (7th
Cir. 1982); Powell v. Shopco Laurel Co., 678 F.2d 504, 506 (4th Cir. 1982).
As such, CoreCivic’s liability under Section 1983 may not be predicated
upon a respondeat superior theory of liability. Monell, 436 U.S. at 694. That is,
Mr. Braulick cannot state a federal claim for relief against CoreCivic just because
one of its employees may have violated his federal constitutional rights.
CoreCivic, however, “can be sued directly under § 1983 for monetary,
declaratory, or injunctive relief where . . . the action that is alleged to be
unconstitutional implements or executes a policy statement, ordinance, regulation,
or decision officially adopted and promulgated by that body’s officers.” Id. at
690. For CoreCivic to be liable, Mr. Braulick must establish “(1) that he
possessed a constitutional right of which he was deprived; (2) that the
municipality had a policy; (3) that this policy amounts to deliberate indifference to
the plaintiff’s constitutional right; and (4) that the policy was the moving force
behind the constitutional violation.” Miranda v. City of Cornelius, 429 F.3d 858,
868 (9th Cir. 2005) (internal citations and quotations omitted).
Conclusory and generic allegations are insufficient to plead municipal
liability under Monell. See e.g., Okla. City v. Tuttle, 471 U.S. 808, 823–24 (1985)
(“[p]roof of a single incident of unconstitutional activity is not sufficient to impose
liability under Monell, unless proof of the incident includes proof that it was
caused by an existing, unconstitutional municipal policy, which policy can be
attributed to a municipal policymaker”); AE ex rel. Hernandez v. Cnty. of Tulare,
666 F.3d 631, 637 (9th Cir.2012) (allegations “that Defendants ‘maintained or
permitted an official policy, custom or practice of knowingly permitting the
occurrence of the type of wrongs’ that [plaintiff] elsewhere alleged” were
insufficient where plaintiff “did not put forth additional facts regarding the
specific nature of this alleged ‘policy, custom, or practice’ ”).
Mr. Braulick contends that the policy he is referring to is that provided in
the inmate handbook regarding pill call and KOP medications. He claims the
policy states that KOP medications should be reordered when you have eight days
of supply left. But, Mr. Braulick’s eighth day fell on a non-KOP day so he could
not order his medications in time to receive them on a timely basis. The Court
finds that CoreCivic’s policy advising inmate to reorder their KOP medications
when they had an eight-day supply is constitutional. There is no evidence that Mr.
Braulick could not have ordered prior to the exact day when he had an eight-day
Mr. Braulick does not relate the alleged failure to receive his medications on
October 17-18, 2014 to a particular policy. Rather, he contends that it is the duty
of the correctional officers to pack an inmate’s property and separate the inmate’s
KOP medications from their property and give them to medical staff so they can
administer the medications to the inmate while he is in restrictive housing. He
alleges though that sometimes a correctional officer would “accidently pack the
inmates KPO meds along w/his property, i.e., not separate them to give to medical
staff which would cause an inmate to not receive his meds for a few days.”
(Response, Doc. 51 at 22.) He claims that there could be flaws in the policy which
would allow this to happen.
Mr. Braulick’s burden is to demonstrate that CoreCivic’s policy knowingly
permitted the type of wrong alleged. The policy of having a correctional officer
separate medications when an inmate is placed in restrictive housing, does not
knowingly permit mistakes to be made. There is no evidence to establish that
CoreCivic knew or should have known that this policy was so defective as to
allow the “mistake” which presumably occurred in Mr. Braulick’s case.
Mr. Braulick was also without his medications from October 31, 2014
through November 3, 2014 because of an apparent mix up regarding his
prescription. Again, Mr. Braulick does not attribute this mix up to a particular
policy of CoreCivic. Rather, it seems to be just that–a mix up. It does not rise to
the level of a constitutional violation.
Summary judgment is also appropriate on Mr. Braulick’s Monell claims.
Based upon the foregoing, the Court issues the following:
1. Defendant Didier’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 39) is
2. CoreCivic’s Motion for Summary (Doc. 39) is GRANTED. Count IV of
the Complaint is DISMISSED.
DATED this 10th day of October, 2019.
/s/ John Johnston
United States Magistrate Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?