Case: Vega v. Davis

1:12-cv-01144 | U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

Filed Date: May 1, 2012

Closed Date: 2016

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 1, 2012, the family of a deceased prisoner formerly held at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum in Florence, Colorado ("ADX") filed a Bivens action in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado against agents of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that the defendants' failure to treat the prisoner's serious mental illness violated his Eighth Amendment rights. Specifically, the plaintiffs all…

On May 1, 2012, the family of a deceased prisoner formerly held at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum in Florence, Colorado ("ADX") filed a Bivens action in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado against agents of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that the defendants' failure to treat the prisoner's serious mental illness violated his Eighth Amendment rights. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant "exhibited persistent and deliberate indifference" to the prisoner's mental illness, which lead to the death of the prisoner in an incident determined to be a suicide.

A related class action case was filed on June 18, 2012. See PC-CO-0019.

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on August 31, 2012, adding a second cause of action for deprivation of the plaintiff's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant disregarded the family's right to the prompt return of the prisoner's body and his personal possessions following his death.

On April 23, 2013, the district court (Judge Richard P. Matsch) granted the defendant's motion to dismiss on the First Amendment claim and denied the motion to dismiss on all other claims.

On June 21, 2012, the defendant filed an appeal of the district court's order denying the motion to dismiss. On July 22, 2014, the U.S. Circuit Court for the Tenth Circuit reversed the district court's decision, finding a lack of factual support for the allegation that the named defendant could be held personally liable for any shortcomings in the treatment of the prisoner. The court (Chief Judge Mary Beck Briscoe) remanded the case with direction to grant the defendant's motion to dismiss. 572 Fed. App'x 611 (10th Cir. 2014). On remand, the district court (Judge Matsch) entered an order dismissing the case on November 13, 2014. No. 12-cv-1144-RPM, 2015 WL 9583378 (Col. 2015).

On December 11, 2014, the plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Seek Relief from Judgment and Leave to Amend the Complaint. The plaintiff claimed that he could prove that Warden Davis knew Vega and knew of his mental condition through new evidence obtained in discovery in Cunningham, et al v. Federal Bureau of Prisons (PC-CO-0019). Judge Matsch granted the motion on April 23, 2015. The plaintiff filed a second amended complaint on July 15, 2015, alleging that, had Warden Davis performed his job duties and read Vega’s records, he would have been aware of the suicide risk. Instead, he failed to take any preventative action. The amended complaint included a count of deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, and a count of deprivation of right of familial association.

The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the claim of deprivation of the right of familial association on the grounds that the claim was already adjudicated by the 10th Circuit, and also filed a motion to dismiss the deliberate indifference claim on the basis that the complaint still failed to state an individual-capacity claim against the defendant.

On December 31, 2015, the judge granted the motion to dismiss, determining that the defendant was not accountable for the death under the doctrine of qualified immunity without direct knowledge or notice.

The plaintiff appealed the decision to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on January 21, 2016. The appellate court determined that, although the deliberate indifference claim was nudged closer to the line of plausibility than in his initial complaint, the plaintiff still failed the facial plausibility standard. As such, the 10th Circuit Court affirmed the district court’s grant of the motion to dismiss. 673 Fed App'x 885 (10th Cir. 2016). The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Denise Heberle (6/19/2012)

Priyah Kaul (11/18/2014)

Justin Hill (11/13/2019)

Related Cases

Cunningham v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, District of Colorado (2012)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4195758/parties/vega-v-davis/


Judge(s)

Briscoe, Mary Beck (Kansas)

Holloway, William Judson Jr. (Oklahoma)

Matsch, Richard Paul (Colorado)

McHugh, Carolyn Baldwin (Utah)

Phillips, Gregory Alan (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Aro, Edwin P. (Colorado)

Callahan, Veronica E. (New York)

Leiter, Maurice A. (California)

Morrow, Christopher Scott (District of Columbia)

Taylor, Robert Paul (California)

Judge(s)

Briscoe, Mary Beck (Kansas)

Holloway, William Judson Jr. (Oklahoma)

Matsch, Richard Paul (Colorado)

McHugh, Carolyn Baldwin (Utah)

Phillips, Gregory Alan (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Aro, Edwin P. (Colorado)

Callahan, Veronica E. (New York)

Leiter, Maurice A. (California)

Morrow, Christopher Scott (District of Columbia)

Taylor, Robert Paul (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Padden, Amy L. (Colorado)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

March 16, 2017 Docket
1

Complaint and Jury Demand

May 1, 2012 Complaint
13

Amended Complaint and Jury Demand

Aug. 31, 2012 Complaint
43

Order and Judgment

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

572 Fed.Appx. 611, 2014 WL 3585714

July 22, 2014 Order/Opinion
62

Second Amended Complaint and Jury Demand

July 15, 2015 Complaint

Order and Judgment

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

673 Fed.Appx. 885

Dec. 28, 2016 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

An American Gulag: Descending into Madness at Supermax

Andrew Cohen

This is the first in a three-part series about the new class-action lawsuit filed Monday against the Bureau of Prison and the officials who run ADX-Florence, the so-called "Supermax" facility that ho… June 18, 2012 http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/06/an-american-gulag-descending-into-madness-at-supermax/258323/

Supermax: The Faces of a Prison's Mentally Ill

Andrew Cohen

This is the second in a three-part series about a new class-action lawsuit filed Monday against the Bureau of Prison and its officials who run ADX-Florence, the "Supermax" facility in Colorado that h… June 19, 2012 http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/06/supermax-the-faces-of-a-prisons-mentally-ill/258429/

Supermax: The Constitution and Mentally Ill Prisoners

Andrew Cohen

This is the third in a three-part series about a new class-action lawsuit filed Monday against the Bureau of Prison and the officials who run ADX-Florence, the "Supermax" facility that houses some of… June 20, 2012 http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/06/supermax-the-constitution-and-mentally-ill-prisoners/258587/

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4195758/vega-v-davis/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT and Jury Demand against All Defendants (Filing fee $ 350, Receipt Number 1082-2819497), filed by Raymond Vega.(Aro, Edwin) (Entered: 05/01/2012)

May 1, 2012 PACER
2

Case assigned to Judge Richard P. Matsch and drawn to Magistrate Judge Micheal E. Hegarty. Text Only Entry (sphil, ) (Entered: 05/02/2012)

May 1, 2012 PACER
3

Magistrate Judge Consent Form issued. No summons issued. (sphil, ) (Entered: 05/02/2012)

May 2, 2012 PACER
4

SUMMONS REQUEST as to Defendant, Blake R. Davis re 1 Complaint by Plaintiff Raymond Vega. (Aro, Edwin) (Entered: 06/15/2012)

June 15, 2012 PACER
5

NOTICE re 1 Complaint Civil Cover Sheet by Plaintiff Raymond Vega (Aro, Edwin) (Entered: 06/15/2012)

June 15, 2012 PACER
6

SUMMONS issued by Clerk. (jjhsl, ) (Entered: 06/15/2012)

June 15, 2012 PACER
7

NOTICE of Entry of Appearance by Amy L. Padden on behalf of Blake R. Davis (Padden, Amy) (Entered: 08/14/2012)

Aug. 14, 2012 PACER
8

STIPULATION for Extension of Time to Answer or Respond to the Complaint by Defendant Blake R. Davis. Blake R. Davis answer due 8/23/2012. (Padden, Amy) (Entered: 08/14/2012)

Aug. 14, 2012 PACER
9

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer or Otherwise Respond re 1 Complaint by Defendant Blake R. Davis. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order (PDF Only))(Padden, Amy) (Entered: 08/22/2012)

1 Proposed Order (PDF Only)

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Aug. 22, 2012 PACER
10

ORDER granting 9 Motion for Extension of Time for Blake Davis to Answer or Otherwise Respond to the Complaint. It is ordered that Defendant Davis may file his response to Plaintiff's complaint 20 days after service of Plaintiff's amended complaint by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 08/23/12.(jjhsl, ) (Entered: 08/23/2012)

Aug. 23, 2012 PACER
11

Unopposed MOTION for Leave to File First Amended Complaint by Plaintiff Raymond Vega. (Attachments: # 1 Amended Complaint, # 2 Exhibit A - Part 1 to Amended Complaint, # 3 Exhibit A - Part 2 to Amended Complaint, # 4 Exhibit A - Part 3 to Amended Complaint, # 5 Exhibit B - Part 1 to Amended Complaint, # 6 Exhibit B - Part 2 to Amended Complaint, # 7 Proposed Order (PDF Only))(Aro, Edwin) (Entered: 08/30/2012)

1 Amended Complaint

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2 Exhibit A - Part 1 to Amended Complaint

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3 Exhibit A - Part 2 to Amended Complaint

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4 Exhibit A - Part 3 to Amended Complaint

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5 Exhibit B - Part 1 to Amended Complaint

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6 Exhibit B - Part 2 to Amended Complaint

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7 Proposed Order (PDF Only)

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Aug. 30, 2012 PACER
12

ORDER Granting 11 Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint re 1 and [11-1]: Amended Complaint attached to Plaintiff's motion is hereby accepted for filing, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 8/31/2012.(rpmcd) (Entered: 08/31/2012)

Aug. 31, 2012 RECAP
13

AMENDED COMPLAINT And Jury Demand against Blake R. Davis, filed by Raymond Vega. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A Part 1 to Amended Complaint, # 2 Exhibit A - Part 2 to Amended Complaint, # 3 Exhibit A - Part 3 to Amended Complaint, # 4 Exhibit B - Part 1 to Amended Complaint, # 5 Exhibit B - Part 2 to Amended Complaint)(rpmcd) (Entered: 08/31/2012)

1 Exhibit A Part 1 to Amended Complaint

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2 Exhibit A - Part 2 to Amended Complaint

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3 Exhibit A - Part 3 to Amended Complaint

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4 Exhibit B - Part 1 to Amended Complaint

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5 Exhibit B - Part 2 to Amended Complaint

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Aug. 31, 2012 PACER
14

MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim by Defendant Blake R. Davis. (Padden, Amy) (Entered: 09/20/2012)

Sept. 20, 2012 PACER
15

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 14 MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim by Plaintiff Raymond Vega. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order (PDF Only))(Aro, Edwin) (Entered: 10/10/2012)

1 Proposed Order (PDF Only)

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Oct. 10, 2012 PACER
16

ORDER Granting 15 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response : Plaintiff shall respond to Defendant Davis's 14 Motion to Dismiss no later than October 22, 2012, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 10/12/2012.(rpmcd) (Entered: 10/12/2012)

Oct. 12, 2012 PACER
17

RESPONSE to 14 MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim filed by Plaintiff Raymond Vega. (Aro, Edwin) (Entered: 10/22/2012)

Oct. 22, 2012 PACER
18

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 14 MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim by Defendant Blake R. Davis. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order (PDF Only))(Padden, Amy) (Entered: 11/05/2012)

1 Proposed Order (PDF Only)

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Nov. 5, 2012 PACER
19

ORDER Granting Defendant's 18 Motion for Extension of Time to File Reply re 14, to and including November 14, 2012, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 11/6/2012.(rpmcd) (Entered: 11/06/2012)

Nov. 6, 2012 PACER
20

REPLY to Response to 14 MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim filed by Defendant Blake R. Davis. (Padden, Amy) (Entered: 11/14/2012)

Nov. 14, 2012 PACER
21

Minute ORDER Setting Hearing on 14 MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim for 4/23/2013 at 02:00 PM in Courtroom A, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 3/26/2013. (rpmcd) (Entered: 03/26/2013)

March 26, 2013 PACER
22

NOTICE of Entry of Appearance by Christopher Scott Morrow on behalf of Raymond Vega (Morrow, Christopher) (Entered: 04/22/2013)

April 22, 2013 PACER
23

NOTICE of Entry of Appearance by Maurice Abraham Leiter on behalf of Raymond Vega (Leiter, Maurice) (Entered: 04/22/2013)

April 22, 2013 PACER
24

Courtroom Minutes for Motion Hearing held on 4/23/2013 before Judge Richard P. Matsch. ORDERED: Motion to Dismiss by Defendant Davis, 14 in case 12-cv-01144-RPM, is granted with respect to the First Amendment Claim and denied in all other respects. Defendant shall file an answer in accordance with the rules. Conference set for 5/24/2013 AT 02:00 PM in Conference Room (requirement of Rule 16 not applicable). FTR: K. Terasaki. (rpmcd ) (Entered: 04/23/2013)

April 23, 2013 RECAP
25

Restricted Audio File - Level 3 regarding Motion Hearing 24 held on 04/23/2013 at 2:00pm before Senior District Judge Richard P. Matsch. AUDIO FILE SIZE (16.0 MB) (ktera, ) (Entered: 04/24/2013)

April 23, 2013 PACER
26

NOTICE of Entry of Appearance by Robert Paul Taylor on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Taylor, Robert) (Entered: 05/06/2013)

May 6, 2013 PACER
27

ANSWER to 13 Amended Complaint, by Blake R. Davis.(Padden, Amy) (Entered: 05/07/2013)

May 7, 2013 PACER
28

NOTICE of Plaintiff's Submission of Proposed Scheduling Order and Proposed First Set of Document Requests by Plaintiff Raymond Vega (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D)(Aro, Edwin) (Entered: 05/22/2013)

1 Exhibit A

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2 Exhibit B

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3 Exhibit C

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4 Exhibit D

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May 22, 2013 PACER
32

ORDER Granting 31 Motion for Leave: Plaintiffs in both of the above captioned actions are granted leave to take the deposition of JOHN J. POWERS (BOP Register No. 03220-028) at the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri, beginning on June 25, 2013, and continuing thereafter until completed, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 6/17/2013.(rpmcd)

June 18, 2013 RECAP
40

ORDER Granting [Doc. 76 in 12-cv-01570-RPM] Motion for Leave to Depose Incarcerated Witness Richie Antonio Hill, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 7/22/2013 (12-cv-01144-RPM and 12-cv-01570-RPM).(rpmcd).

July 23, 2013 RECAP
45

ORDER OF DISMISSAL RE 43 / 44 : the "Count One", more properly identified as the First Cause of Action, in the Amended Complaint 13 is dismissed. And this Court having previously dismissed the Second Cause of Action in the Amended Complaint. Clerk shall enter final judgment dismissing this civil action, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 11/13/2014. (jsmit)

Nov. 13, 2014 RECAP
46

VACATED FINAL JUDGMENT re: 45 Order, by Clerk on 11/13/2014. (jsmit)(Modified on 4/24/2015 Vacated pursuant to the 56 Order)(evana, ).

Nov. 13, 2014 RECAP
49

ORDER granting 48 Blake Daviss Unopposed motion for a 10-day extension of time to respond to Plaintiffs 47 Motion for Relief from Judgment and for Leave to Amend Complaint up to and including January 15, 2015, to respond to the motion, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 12/29/2014.(evana, ) (Modified on 2/24/2015 corrected link to 48 Motion)(evana, ).

Dec. 29, 2014 RECAP
54

MINUTE ENTRY for Motion Hearing proceedings held before Judge Richard P. Matsch on 4/16/2015. Granting 47 Motion for Leave. Plaintiff shall have to and including June 15, 2015 to file the amended complaint. FTR: Kathy Terasaki. (babia)

April 16, 2015 RECAP
56

ORDER Granting 47 Motion for Relief from Judgment and Leave to Amend Complaint. Final Judgment 46 entered on November 13, 2014, is vacated and the plaintiff has to and including June 15, 2015, within which to file a new amended complaint, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 4/23/2015. (ktera)

April 23, 2015 RECAP
79

ORDER that the defendants motion to dismiss is granted and the Clerk shall entered judgment dismissing this civil action with an award of costs, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 12/31/2015.(evana, )

Dec. 31, 2015 RECAP

State / Territory: Colorado

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Solitary confinement

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 1, 2012

Closing Date: 2016

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Family of prisoner who committed suicide at supermax facility due to untreated mental illness.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Confinement/isolation

Disciplinary segregation

Failure to supervise

Habilitation (training/treatment)

Restraints : physical

Sanitation / living conditions

Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Suicide prevention

Discrimination-area:

Medical Exam / Inquiry

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

Mental impairment

Mental Disability:

Autism

Depression

Mental Illness, Unspecified

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general

Self-injurious behaviors

Suicide prevention

Type of Facility:

Government-run