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Young v. Quinlan

filed: April 1, 1992.

KENNETH MCCLURE YOUNG, II, APPELLANT,
v.
J. MICHAEL QUINLAN, PATRICK KEOHANE, KENNETH MORITSUGU, DR. PAULO DEPETRILLO, WALLACE CHENEY, WALTER WELLS, LEROY BLANKS, CHARLES LEWIS, ROBERT ZIMANY, STAN AHLIN, KENNETH KAUFMAN, JERRY BLACKBURN, JOHN STEPPIE, RICHARD WAGNER, STEVEN BILGER, FRANK WOODS, W.L. GARRISON, GEORGE THOMAS, WILLIAM RADLOFF, VERNON LONDON, CHARLES TURNBO, LT. CONRAD, OFFICER SPANGLER, H. WIEGAND, JOHN DOE DEFENDANTS 1-21, AND OTHER UNKNOWN DEFENDANTS



On Appeal From the United States District Court For the Middle District of Pennsylvania. (M.D.Pa. Civ. No. 88-1445)

Before: Becker, Nygaard, and Higginbotham, Circuit Judges.

Author: Nygaard

Opinion OF THE COURT

NYGAARD, Circuit Judge.

Kenneth McClure Young II, formerly a federal prisoner, appeals the district court's order granting defendants' motion for summary judgment in his suit for monetary damages against various federal prison officials. See Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). We conclude that the district court erred in two respects: First, by dismissing the complaint as to defendant William Radloff, for lack of adequate service of process; and second, by granting summary judgment against Young on his claims under the Eighth Amendment that, a) prison officials failed to protect him from attacks by fellow inmates, and b) further, that the conditions of his confinement were inhumane. We conclude that the district court correctly granted summary judgment on Young's other claims, correctly dismissed certain defendants for failure to state a claim, and correctly denied Young's motion for class certification. Accordingly, we will affirm the district court order in part, but since we will reverse in part, we must remand the cause for further proceedings.

I. FACTS

The events concerned here have been told, in part, in our earlier decision, Young v. Kann, 926 F.2d 1396 (3d Cir. 1991).*fn1 We nonetheless find it necessary to detail the wretched conditions to which Young was subjected while confined at the United States Penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Although appellees contest Young's allegations, they would, if proven, paint a picture of prison life that violates the United States Constitution.

For counterfeiting $42 in U.S. obligations, Young was sentenced to five years imprisonment. After serving six months of his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution at Seagoville, Texas, he was transferred to a higher security prison, the United States Penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The abuse he allegedly suffered there during his first five months of imprisonment forms the gravamen of his suit.

Two days after he arrived at Lewisburg, Young was interviewed by two Segregation Reviewing Officers, Captain George Thomas, and Richard Wagner, the case manager coordinator at Lewisburg. At the interview, Thomas and Wagner decided that Young should be transferred to a lower security prison, and while he awaited transfer be placed in the Segregation Housing Unit ("SHU"). Thomas and Wagner based their decision on Young's files, his medical status, and his youthful and diminutive stature.*fn2 Young requested that he be placed in protective custody until his transfer. Thomas, however, told Young that would not be necessary, because he would ensure that Young was protected in the SHU.

During the late night and early morning hours of April 21-22, Young's violent ordeal at Lewisburg began. Young's cellmate began asking Young, repeatedly, to have sex with him. After Young refused, his cellmate threatened Young and attempted to climb onto his bunk. At one point an officer making his rounds approached the cell. Young's cellmate told Young that if he said anything to the officer he would be killed. After the officer left, Young's cellmate "started slapping [him] demanding sex." Young was able to ward off his cellmate's sexual advances that night.

The next morning, Young handed an inmate-orderly a note addressed to Officer Steven Bilger about the incident. Bilger then came to Young's cell and told Young that he could not be moved because of his medical condition. After Bilger left, Young's cellmate began "spitting in plaintiff's face, slap[ping him] up side his head and shoving [him] into the wall." An inmate-orderly saw the incident and alerted Bilger. Bilger again came to Young's cell and Young again asked to be moved. Bilger then told Young that he should write a letter asking to be moved and that he would take it to Lieutenant London. Young's cellmate told Young that if he wrote anyone a letter he would be killed. Young wrote the letter and handed it to the inmate-orderly to give to Bilger. Young was then moved to a new cell.

One week later, Young's new cellmate assaulted him and demanded sex. Young again warded off his cellmate's sexual demands. The new cellmate also threatened to kill Young if he told anyone of the incident. That night, Young wrote a letter to Warden Keohane, Lieutenant London, and Captain Thomas telling them of the incident, and requesting protective custody. Prison officials did nothing. On May 15, Young's cellmate dunked Young's head in a toilet in an attempt to convince Young to have sex with him. Young wrote another letter to Keohane, Thomas and London telling them of the incident and again he requested protection. Prison officials again did nothing.

On May 16, Young filed an administrative request for protective custody. Three months later the Bureau of Prisons, by Charles Turnbo, denied his request. On May 16, Young also explained the head-dunking incident to an unnamed officer and once again requested that he be moved. The officer told Young that he could not move him because of his medical condition, but that he would inform SHU Lieutenant Conrad*fn3 and Officer Spangler of the situation. Prison officials again did nothing.

On May 29, Young's cellmate "pulled a razor blade on him threatening to kill him if he did not decide real soon to become his wife and have sex with him." On May 30, when Young's cellmate was showering, Young wrote a letter to London and Thomas and handed it to Officer Diamond.*fn4 Shortly afterwards, Officer Marshall*fn5 told Young that he had delivered the note to Spangler and that Spangler had decided not to move Young. Young, in despair that he had no official relief, told Marshall that he was not going to let his cellmate reenter the cell. When guards attempted to deliver Young's cellmate to the cell, Young then began pounding the door with a milk crate. Young was transferred to a different cell, but given an incident (disciplinary) report.

On June 1, at a prison disciplinary hearing before John Steppie and McDermott,*fn6 Young "informed them of the events that had been taking place and his unsuccessful attempts at getting moved." According to Young, McDermott told Young that "protection was not one of his duties, that plaintiff had better learn to get along because the officials at Lewisburg do not like cry babies."

Young further alleges that on June 2, 1988, his cellmate told him that he wanted Young to leave the cell permanently. The two then argued, and his cellmate punched Young in the stomach and face. His cellmate then "grabbed a razor blade that was attached to a toothbrush, placed it to plaintiff's throat, coerced him to his knees and forced plaintiff into an act of fellatio." After the incident, his cellmate told Young that if he did not move out of the cell the next day, the inmate would "rape his anus." That night, Young wrote a letter to Keohane, Thomas, London, and Wells in which he explained the incident and asked to be moved.

On June 3, when officials took no action, Young began pounding on his cell door to attract attention. An unnamed officer approached the cell, and Young told him of his need to be moved. The officer told Young that he would inform Lieutenant Radloff of the situation. The officer returned ten minutes later and told Young that Radloff was not going to move him. Young continued banging on the door. Thirty minutes later Radloff came to Young's cell. After telling Radloff of the incident, Radloff stated that "you can bang on the door all day, I'm not going to move you. You got moved three days ago and I'm not going to move you again." Young continued pounding on his cell for two hours and then stopped. Young's cellmate then told him, "if you don't get moved you know what's going to happen." He then told Young to stop up the toilet and flood the cell. Young did so and flooded the cell.

As a result, prison officials placed Young in a "dry cell" for the next 96 hours, from June 3 to June 7. A "dry cell" has no toilet, no running water, and in Young's case, prison officials did not even provide him with toilet paper. Young alleges that he was neither allowed to wash before eating, nor shower during these four days. Throughout this period, he suffered from diarrhea.

Young attempted to explain to Radloff why he flooded the cell, however, Radloff interrupted Young and told him that, "he had better not hear a peep out of him, for if he did, he would chain plaintiff down to the steel slab indefinitely, and that plaintiff better not ask the officers for anything because it would be like whistling in the wind." At 6:00 p.m., on June 3, Young requested a blanket from Officer Troutman*fn7 because he was cold. Troutman, however, told Young that Radloff had ordered him not to give him anything. Young explained to Troutman that he had tested HIV positive and did not want to catch a cold. Troutman then gave Young a blanket and told Young not to tell anybody who gave it to him.

After the shift of officers changed at midnight, Young asked the officers on duty if he could leave the dry cell in order to defecate and urinate. The unnamed officers told Young that he could not leave the cell. Young then asked where he should relieve himself. The officers stated, "where ever you want to in that cell," and began laughing. Young then asked if he could have a drink of water. The officers told Young to "drink your piss," and continued laughing. The officers then told Young to settle down, because they had orders to chain him down if he became disruptive. Young attempted to hold in his urine, but because of the pain was forced to urinate in the corner of his cell.

After the shift changed at 8:00 a.m., Young asked an unnamed officer if he could leave the cell to defecate. The officer told Young that he could not because he was too busy. An hour later, Young asked the officer again. He was again told that he could not leave the cell because the officer was too busy and that Young should be quiet or he would chain him to a steel slab. Young then went to a corner of the cell where he defecated. At 8:00 p.m., after the shift of officers changed, Troutman for the first time provided Young with a plastic urinal and told Young that he could leave the cell to defecate if he wanted. This, however, was 29 hours after Young was placed in the dry cell. Young told Troutman that he did not need to defecate at the time. Because of the stench, an inmate on duty refused to clean the cell so Troutman had the inmate-orderly give Young utensils to clean it himself.

During the 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. shift on June 5, Young twice asked an unnamed officer if he could leave the cell to defecate and empty his urinal. The officer stated that he was too busy and would do it later. A short while afterwards, Young asked again and again his request was denied. Three hours after making his initial request, Young was permitted to empty his urinal but was not allowed to leave the cell to defecate. Young asked the officer a few more times if he could leave the cell to defecate. The officer denied Young's additional requests. On June 6, Young was allowed to leave the cell to defecate, and he was allowed to empty his urinal. On June 7, Young was removed from the dry cell.

On September 9, Young was moved to a different section of the prison and placed in a cell that was immediately next to the cell of the inmate who had sexually assaulted him on June 2. Young explained to Conrad that if he were moved to this section he would likely be killed, because a death hit had been placed on his head by the Texas Death Syndicate. Conrad stated that "he did not want to listen to plaintiff's cry baby excuses." Between September 11 and 15, Young wrote five letters to Keohane telling him of his situation and requesting protective custody. Prison officials, however, did nothing. On September 17, Young attempted suicide by slitting his wrist. He stayed in the infirmary until September 19.

On September 22, Young attended a review hearing conducted by Thomas and Wagner. During the review hearing, Young told Thomas and Wagner about his fear of gang members. Thomas and Wagner, however, said that they had no information to substantiate Young's concerns. On September 29, Young filed an official request to recreate alone, claiming that he was being forced to recreate with an inmate who posed a serious danger to him. On the same date, Young also ...


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