appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court of that denial is now pending.
Presley now brings this action, claiming that Morrison arrested him "acting on an unsupported accusation by plaintiff's ex-girlfriend and without any investigation...although no criminal charges were filed against plaintiff...." Presley further alleges that he had complied with the conditions of his parole and was not in violation at the time of his arrest.
I. Cruel and Unusual Punishment Claim
To make out a claim for cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, a plaintiff must show that punishment has been imposed which included "elements of severity, arbitrary infliction, unacceptability in terms of contemporary standards, or gross disproportion...." Ingraham v. Wright, 430 U.S. 651, 658, 97 S. Ct. 1401, 1405, 51 L. Ed. 2d 711 (1977). Not only has plaintiff failed to demonstrate that any of these elements were present, he has failed to allege that Morrison punished him at all. He has alleged only that: (a) Morrison arrested him without probable cause; (b) his incarceration subjected him to overcrowded prison conditions and a hostile environment; and (c) his probation was revoked and he was resentenced to two to five years. Therefore, as to punishment, no Eighth Amendment claim lies against Morrison.
With regard to his arrest, Presley does not have an Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment claim. "Eighth Amendment scrutiny is appropriate only after the State has complied with the constitutional guarantees traditionally associated with criminal prosecutions." Ingraham, at 671, n. 40, 97 S. Ct. at 1412, n. 40; Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 398, 109 S. Ct. 1865, 1873, 104 L. Ed. 2d 443 (1989). Presley has failed to explain what connection Morrison has to either the conditions of his incarceration or the revocation of his probation and resentencing. Morrison, a probation officer, has had no control over either.
For these reasons, I will grant Morrison's summary judgment motion with regard to Presley's Eighth Amendment claim.
II. Due Process Claim
Plaintiff also alleges that his due process rights have been violated, again pointing to the arrest, the overcrowded prison conditions, and his sentence. This claim must be dismissed with regard to the prison conditions and his sentencing for the same reasons, stated immediately above, as must his Eighth Amendment claim.
With regard to his arrest, his claim is one more properly characterized as invoking the protections of the Fourth Amendment than those of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment specifically guarantees citizens the right "to be secure in their persons...against unreasonable...seizures" of the person. "Because the Fourth Amendment provides an explicit textual source of constitutional protection against this sort of physically intrusive governmental conduct, that Amendment, not the more generalized notion of 'substantive due process,' must be the guide for analyzing these claims." Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396, 109 S. Ct. 1865, 1870, 104 L. Ed. 2d 443 (1989) (referring to the use of excessive force in an arrest). Therefore, I will grant Morrison's summary judgment motion with regard to the Fourteenth Amendment due process claim.
III. Unlawful Arrest Claim
Presley asserts a claim for unlawful arrest under the Fourth Amendment. He alleges the following facts in support of his contention that his arrest by Morrison was unlawful:
1. Morrison "acted on unsupported accusation by plaintiff's ex-girlfriend and without any investigation arrested plaintiff."