Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

PAYTON v. VAUGHN

September 10, 1992

ERIC PAYTON
v.
DONALD VAUGHN, Superintendent, WILLIAM WINDER, Deputy Superintendent, THOMAS STACHELEK, Deputy Superintendent.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BY THE COURT; MARVIN KATZ

 Defendants Donald Vaughn, William Winder, and Thomas Stachelek have moved for Summary Judgment in the above captioned case. For the following reasons, the motion will be granted.

 Plaintiff, a prisoner at the State Correctional Institution at Graterford ("SCIG"), has sued Donald Vaughn, Superintendent of SCIG; William Winder, Deputy Superintendent of Operations; and Thomas Stachelek, Deputy Superintendent of Treatment Services, for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; the eighth amendment; and the fourth amendment. Plaintiff alleged in his complaint that certain conditions of his confinement, denial of medical treatment, and a strip search violated his constitutional rights. Plaintiff only seeks money damages. Defendants Vaughn, Winder, and Stachelek have moved for summary judgment on the ground that they have not violated the plaintiff's federal constitutional rights.

 Summary judgment is authorized by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, which states:

 The party seeking summary judgment "bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of 'the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). "Material" facts are those facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the substantive law governing the claims made. An issue of fact is "genuine" only "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party" in light of the burdens of proof required by substantive law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 252, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986).

 As will be detailed for each count below, the Plaintiff has failed to establish the existence of any genuine issues of material fact.

 I. The Section 1983 Claim

 Under 42 U.S.C § 1983, a right of action is provided against any person who, acting under color of state law, "subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States . . . to [be deprived] of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws. . . ." To impose liability under Section 1983, a plaintiff must establish with particularity that the named defendant was directly and personally involved in the deprivation of the plaintiff's rights. Rode v. Dellarciprete, 845 F.2d 1195, 1207 (3d Cir. 1988); Hampton v. Holmesburg Prison Officials, 546 F.2d 1077, 1082 (3d Cir. 1976). "To make out a case under § 1983, the plaintiff must show actual participation in the unlawful conduct, or actual knowledge of and acquiescence in that conduct." Roach v. Kligman, 412 F. Supp. 521 (E.D.Pa. 1976). The doctrine of respondeat superior is inapplicable to Section 1983 claims. Rode, 845 F.2d at 1207.

 Plaintiff has failed to show that the defendants Vaughn, Winder, and Stachelek personally deprived him of a constitutional or other federally-protected right. The Plaintiff has admitted that defendants Vaughn, Winder, and Stachelek had no personal involvement, knowledge of, or acquiescence in the alleged unlawful prison conditions, denial of medical care, or strip search, he has failed to state a cognisable claim under Section 1983. See Defendants' Exh. 5 (Plaintiff's response to interrogatories), at PP 37, 39, 41. Nor did any of the defendants receive notice from the Plaintiff of the alleged violations by either oral or written complaint. See Defendants' Exh. 2 (Declaration by Stachelek) at P 5; Exh. 7 (Declaration by Vaughn) at P 3; Exh. 8 (Declaration by Winder) at P 4. The fact that the Plaintiff complained to prison guards on his cell-block regarding these alleged violations is irrelevant in the case against the named defendants. Summary judgment, therefore, is granted with regard to Plaintiff's Section 1983 claim.

 II. Prison Conditions: Failure to Establish An Eighth Amendment Claim

 To establish that prison conditions violate the eighth amendment, a Plaintiff must allege facts showing that such conditions result in the wanton and unnecessary infliction of pain, or are grossly disproportionate to the severity of the crime warranting Punishment. Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347, 69 L. Ed. 2d 59, 101 S. Ct. 2392 (1981). The plaintiff must also allege that defendants acted with deliberate indifference with respect to the challenged conditions. Wilson v. Seiter, 115 L. Ed. 2d 271, 111 S. Ct. 2321, 2328 (1991).


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.