from that institution for a four year period, and during that period he had been transferred to the State Correctional Institution at Rockview, a minimum security prison. Upon his temporary transfer back to Graterford, Green evidenced a desire to retransfer as a permanent resident to Graterford and disclaimed his previous behavior as "water over the dam." (Defendants' Exhibit 6). Although Alexander McCant had a poor disciplinary record at Huntingdon and was assigned to an institution job at Graterford shortly after his transfer to that institution, McCant had never been incarcerated at Graterford prior to his temporary transfer there. Five days after being assigned an institution job, McCant was returned to administrative segregation for an infraction of institutional rules and regulations, and remained in administrative segregation until he was returned to Huntingdon on April 23, 1970. Thereafter, on April 29, 1970, McCant was retransferred to Graterford as a temporary transferee. During his second stay at Graterford, McCant remained in administrative segregation. (Defendants' Exhibits 2 and 8). Finally, defendants add that George Armstrong, another inmate who had been temporarily transferred to Graterford and who had an excellent record at the State Correctional Institution in Huntingdon (indeed, he was frequently outside the institution while at Huntingdon), was also placed in administrative segregation upon his arrival as a temporary transferee at Graterford and advised that he would remain there until he was returned to Huntingdon. (Defendants' Exhibit 5). These facts relied upon by defendants are also uncontroverted.
In order to evaluate the claim of animus, it is instructive to retrace Wolfe's involvement in plaintiff's case from the time plaintiff was originally incarcerated at Graterford. Plaintiff incurred nearly sixty misconduct citations at Graterford. Of these, Wolfe was personally responsible for citing plaintiff for two of the most serious. These two charges led to ultimate findings of guilt at hearings before the Behavior Clinic of which Wolfe was the presiding member, although his was only one of four or more votes (see note 9 supra). At the hearing before us, Wolfe testified that he did not feel, nor had he ever felt, any animosity toward plaintiff. In fact, Wolfe did not recollect ever having cited plaintiff for infractions of prison rules. Neither did he recollect visiting plaintiff's cell and informing plaintiff of his desire not to have him in the general prison population during the five and one half months that plaintiff spent as a transferee on "B" Block.
Even if we were to accept plaintiff's testimony that Wolfe visited his cell and told him that he did not want him in the general population, that statement -- bare of any evidence of why Wolfe felt that way -- is equally consistent with a finding that Wolfe had no animosity, but was merely informing plaintiff of the Behavior Clinic's decision. However, we credit Wolfe's testimony and find that Wolfe bore no animosity toward the plaintiff.
III. Plaintiff's Constitutional Claims
A. Participation of Defendant Wolfe
Plaintiff has conceded that he has no cause of action against defendants Prasse and Rundle for failure to demonstrate their participation or knowledge and acquiescence in plaintiff's confinement to administrative segregation. Defendant Wolfe similarly argues that plaintiff has introduced no facts which would show that he participated in any way to violate the plaintiff's constitutional rights. See Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 96 S. Ct. 598 (1976) The decisions, Bracey v. Grenoble, 494 F.2d 566 (3d Cir. 1974); Curtis v. Everette, 489 F.2d 516 (3d Cir. 1973); and Howell v. Cataldi, 464 F.2d 272, 282-85 (3d Cir. 1972), explicate the degree of involvement in a constitutional violation that may render a defendant liable for damages under § 1983. These cases require proof of participation or knowledge and acquiescence in the allegedly offending conduct. Wolfe was not involved in the initial decision to place plaintiff in administrative segregation,
nor did he have individual or sole power or responsibility to alter plaintiff's status thereafter. However, the proven personal connection of Wolfe to the facts alleged to establish the constitutional violation does arguably rise to the degree of involvement required by the Court of Appeals in Howell, Curtis, and Bracey, to state a cause of action under § 1983. Accordingly, we now consider plaintiff's constitutional claims with regard to action taken by defendant Wolfe.
B. Plaintiff's Equal Protection Claim
Plaintiff alleges that he was relegated to continuing administrative segregation, while other transferees with equally bad prior conduct records were released into the general population. Plaintiff argues that the record on this issue justifies our finding a denial of his constitutional right to equal protection of the laws on either of two legal theories. First, plaintiff contends that the prima facie showing that he was accorded harsher treatment than another individual identically situated establishes, without more, a violation of equal protection. Alternatively, plaintiff contends that his prolonged confinement in segregation was prompted by the personal animosity of defendant Wolfe and that such specific discrimination constitutes a denial of equal protection. Plaintiff argues that Wolfe had irrationally identified the plaintiff as a "troublemaker" and bore a strong personal animus toward him due to his criticism of Wolfe's methods in extricating another inmate from a nearby cell.
In reversing Judge Body's prior grant of summary judgment and remanding the case on this point, the Third Circuit held:
Plaintiff [alleges] sufficient facts that, if proven, would entitle him to judgment on [the equal protection] claim. . . .