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MATHIS v. DIGIACINTO

March 15, 1977

THOMAS MATHIS, Plaintiff
v.
MR. DiGIACINTO, Warden; MR. HOWEY, Deputy Warden; MR. OLEANDER, Director of Treatment; and MR. SPAZIAI, Assistant Director of Treatment, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRODERICK

 BRODERICK, J.

 This is a prisoner's civil rights action pursuant to Sections 1983, 1985(3), and 1986 of Title 42. Jurisdiction is asserted pursuant to § 1343(3) of Title 28. In this action, plaintiff seeks damages and injunctive relief against the defendant prison officials for alleged violations of his constitutional rights while incarcerated at Northampton County Prison, Northampton, Pennsylvania.

 Presently before this Court is defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Rule 56, F.R.Civ.P. Defendants' Motion alleges that, because no genuine issue as to any material fact exists and because defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law, summary judgment should be entered in favor of all defendants. Plaintiff has responded to this Motion and has submitted accompanying exhibits and affidavits.

 In reviewing the plaintiff's allegations in his pro se pleadings, this Court has held both plaintiff's complaint and his response to defendants' motion to a less stringent standard than that applied to formal pleadings drafted by counsel. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 30 L. Ed. 2d 652, 92 S. Ct. 594 (1972).

 The Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, provides that:

 
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.

 In order for the plaintiff to state a claim for relief pursuant to this Act, his complaint must necessarily allege specific acts and conduct by state officials which violate some constitutional right of the plaintiff. In another prisoner's civil rights action, our Third Circuit pointed out:

 
an allegation of negligent conduct by a state public official is not sufficient, in and of itself, to bring a claim within section 1983. More is needed than a naked averment that a tort was committed under the color of state law; the wrongdoing must amount to a deprivation of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Gittlemacker v. Prasse, 428 F.2d 1, 6 (3d Cir. 1970) (emphasis added).

 Accordingly, even if factually valid, unless plaintiff's claims of deprivation of rights rise to the level of constitutional significance, the defendants are entitled, as a matter of law, to summary judgment.

 In this action, the plaintiff has alleged numerous constitutional infringements by the defendants. Most of these alleged infringements occurred during the period that plaintiff was placed in solitary confinement after his participation in an attempted escape from the prison on December 26, 1975.

 For purposes of this memorandum and order, the plaintiff's allegations will be grouped and discussed in the following general areas:

 
(A) Solitary confinement for 32 days (December 26, 1975 to January 27, 1976) without a disciplinary hearing;
 
(B) Deprivation of certain privileges while in solitary confinement (incoming mail, writing materials, visitation privileges, and showers);
 
(C) Denial of access to the courts and to legal materials;
 
(D) Loss or destruction of personal property; and
 
(E) Denial of medical care and/or medication.

 I.

 Plaintiff's Allegations

 (A) to (C)


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