and the claim based upon the decision to place plaintiff in the RHU without an opportunity to be heard.
Defendant Cuyler argues that the Eighth Amendment claim and the due process claim against him do not contain sufficient allegations of personal involvement for § 1983 purposes. In support of this argument, defendant Cuyler has submitted an affidavit which states that subordinates of his were in charge of the RHU and were responsible for the decisions relating to plaintiff's placement in the RHU.
Plaintiff has identified paragraphs within the complaint which state that defendant Cuyler either knew of or acquiesced in the constitutional violations alleged. Such involvement in the constitutional violations, if proven, would be sufficient for liability under § 1983. The fact that defendant Cuyler delegated to subordinates responsibility for the condition of the RHU or for the determinations of where to place transferees within the prison is not sufficient to warrant summary judgment in this action in the face of plaintiff's allegations of personal involvement. Defendant Cuyler's affidavit does not provide any evidence to refute plaintiff's allegations of knowledge or acquiescence on the part of defendant Cuyler. Thus, there remain issues of fact to be resolved before judgment can be entered on these claims. Accordingly, defendant Cuyler's motion for summary judgment will be denied insofar as it relies upon defects in plaintiff's complaint.
Although the complaint in this action, read liberally as is appropriate for a pro se complaint, can withstand the present motions for summary judgment, it is quite difficult to parse its lengthy allegations and to identify the nature of the individual constitutional violations alleged or which facts relate to any particular violation. In fact, if plaintiff had not identified the relevant portions of the complaint in the response to the present motion, it would have been very difficult to extract from the complaint the allegations of personal involvement or intentional conduct on which the decisions made earlier in this Memorandum Opinion were based.
In the brief submitted by plaintiff in response to the present motion for summary judgment, plaintiff suggests that this court should grant leave to submit an amended complaint to correct any deficiencies discovered in the course of ruling upon this motion. Due to the difficulty this court has had in determining from the complaint which facts fit within which constitutional claims, which defendants are potentially liable under which claims, and what constitutional violations are actually alleged, it would be very useful if the complaint could be amended to eliminate all claims which have been dismissed or which plaintiff does not wish to pursue. At the same time, plaintiff's counsel can undertake to conform the pleadings to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and to allege in proper fashion the facts which underlie each of the remaining claims. Such an amended complaint should help focus the claims in a manner which will facilitate discovery and the ultimate resolution of this case. Therefore, plaintiff's request will be treated as a motion to amend the complaint and that motion will be granted, provided that plaintiff submits any such amended complaint within twenty days of the date of the Order accompanying this Memorandum Opinion, and further provided that the amended complaint eliminates those claims which were previously dismissed and conforms to this Memorandum Opinion.
5. Qualified Immunity
Both defendants argue that they are entitled to qualified immunity from liability as to all of plaintiff's claims under the standard enunciated in Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 102 S. Ct. 2727, 73 L. Ed. 2d 396 (1982). That decision held that summary judgment was warranted in favor of state officials on § 1983 claims when the conduct of those officials does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known. 102 S. Ct. at 2738. As is apparent in the discussion of the first three arguments in support of the motion for summary judgment, the state of the law with regard to each of the alleged constitutional violations did not at the relevant times so clearly support defendants' actions that it can be found as a matter of law that defendants are entitled to "good faith" immunity from suit under Harlow. This determination does not preclude such a finding at a later point in the action on the basis of a more fully developed record.
6. Limitations on Suits Under the Eleventh Amendment
Defendants argue that this court lacks jurisdiction over this action due to the limitations on suits against states imposed by the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Eleventh Amendment states:
The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.
The Supreme Court has consistently held that by virtue of this amendment an unconsenting state is immune from federal court suits brought by its own citizens or by citizens of another state. See Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 662-63, 94 S. Ct. 1347, 1355-56, 39 L. Ed. 2d 662 (1974). Furthermore, (putting aside cases illustrative of the rule in Ex Parte Young, 209 U.S. 123, 28 S. Ct. 441, 52 L. Ed. 714, discussed infra), a suit against a state official for actions taken in his official capacity is equivalent to an action against the state for purposes of the Eleventh Amendment. See Pennhurst State School and Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 104 S. Ct. 900, 908, 79 L. Ed. 2d 67 (1984).
Defendants argue that because there is no state statute which waives Pennsylvania's immunity from suit for cases such as this one, and because defendants are being sued for actions taken in their official capacities, the Eleventh Amendment bars this action. Plaintiff does not directly address these arguments but merely states that Monell v. Department of Social Services of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S. Ct. 2018, 56 L. Ed. 2d 611 (1978), implicitly overrules any such limitations on this § 1983 action. However, Monell involved claims against a municipality, not a state or state official, and hence is not pertinent.
Nonetheless, the Eleventh Amendment does not preclude this suit. In the recent Supreme Court decision in Pennhurst State School and Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 104 S. Ct. 900, 79 L. Ed. 2d 67 (1984), the Court reviewed the key decisions interpreting the Eleventh Amendment throughout this century. The majority opinion notes that Ex Parte Young, 209 U.S. 123, 28 S. Ct. 441, 52 L. Ed. 714 (1908), created an exception to the general rule that a suit against a state official for actions taken in his official capacity is precluded by the Eleventh Amendment. The decision in Ex Parte Young allowed a suit to proceed in federal court against a state official for official acts when the suit challenged the constitutionality of that state official's actions. Therefore, under Ex Parte Young, this suit may proceed because it alleges that the actions taken by defendants as state officials acting in their official capacities violated plaintiff's constitutional rights.
Although Ex Parte Young has never been overruled, the exception created by that decision has since been limited. For example, Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 94 S. Ct. 1347, 39 L. Ed. 2d 662 (1974), held that the Eleventh Amendment bars suits which seek money damages from the public treasury even though such suits fit within the exception created by Ex Parte Young. As a result of these later decisions, the primary issue for a federal court to consider, when a suit is brought against a state official alleging constitutional violations, is whether the type of relief sought would be precluded by the Eleventh Amendment. Rutledge v. Arizona Board of Regents, 660 F.2d 1345, 1349 (9th Cir. 1981).
The complaint in the present action requests relief in the form of an injunction, declaratory relief, and payment of money damages. As Edelman v. Jordan, supra, makes clear, the declaratory and injunctive relief sought are not precluded by the Eleventh Amendment. But Edelman also teaches that when damages are sought against persons solely in their official capacities, the recovery prayed for would, if allowed, come from the public treasury of the state and hence such claims would be barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See also Rutledge v. Arizona Board of Regents, supra; Heisse v. State of Vermont, 519 F. Supp. 36 (D.Vt.1980); King v. Carey, 405 F. Supp. 41 (W.D.N.Y.1975); Klein v. New Castle County, 370 F. Supp. 85 (D.Del.1974). Therefore, to the extent that plaintiff seeks money damages from defendants in their official capacities, plaintiff's claims are dismissed.
ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
On March 23, 1984, I issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying defendants L. Lorenzo Alleyne and Julius T. Cuyler's motion for summary judgment and allowing plaintiff time in which to file an amended complaint. On March 28, 1984, defendants filed a motion for reconsideration of that ruling. Plaintiff responded to that motion for reconsideration on April 23, 1984.
Defendants' motion for reconsideration is based entirely upon their construction of one sentence within the discussion of qualified immunity in the March 23 Memorandum Opinion. In the portion of the Memorandum Opinion which preceded the qualified immunity discussion, I had held that defendants' challenges to the viability of each of plaintiff's individual constitutional claims did not support summary judgment for defendants. First, I found that defendants were not entitled to summary judgment on plaintiff's claim for deprivation of property under Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 101 S. Ct. 1908, 68 L. Ed. 2d 420 (1981), because plaintiff had alleged that the deprivation was intentional. Second, I determined that defendants' argument that plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims were collaterally estopped did not warrant summary judgment since there was no evidence that another court had found that the conditions of the Restricted Housing Unit at the Graterford facility met constitutional standards at the time in question. Third, I concluded that I could not grant summary judgment on plaintiff's due process claim related to the decision to place plaintiff in the Restricted Housing Unit under the current state of the record because the facts surrounding that decision were not sufficiently developed.
The sentence upon which defendants base their motion for reconsideration reads as follows:
As is apparent in the discussion of the first three arguments in support of the motion for summary judgment, the state of the law with regard to each of the alleged constitutional violations did not at the relevant times so clearly support defendants' action that it can be found as a matter of law that defendants are entitled to "good faith" immunity under Harlow.
Memorandum Opinion at 15. Defendants contend that this sentence reflects a misinterpretation of the standard for qualified immunity set forth by the Supreme Court in Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 102 S. Ct. 2727, 73 L. Ed. 2d 396 (1982). In that opinion, Justice Powell, writing for the majority, stated:
. . . government officials performing discretionary functions generally are shielded from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.