that plaintiff has requested injunctive relief, plaintiff has not
demonstrated that this remedy is justified or appropriate.
E. Qualified Immunity
Defendants argue that summary judgment should be granted based
on their right to qualified immunity from monetary damages. "As
government officials engaged in discretionary functions,
[d]efendants are qualifiedly immune from suits brought against
them for damages under section 1983, `insofar as their conduct
does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional
rights of which a reasonable person would have known.'" Sherwood
v. Mulvihill, 113 F.3d 396, 398-99 (3d Cir. 1997) (quoting
Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818, 102 S.Ct. 2727, 73
L.Ed.2d 396 (1982)). Thus, Harlow provides the court with an
objective standard against which to measure the official's
actions. When applying this objective standard, the court must
resolve two issues: (1) Has the plaintiff stated a violation of a
constitutional or federal statutory right? Siegert v. Gilley,
500 U.S. 226, 232, 111 S.Ct. 1789, 114 L.Ed.2d 277 (1991); and
(2) If so, was that right clearly established, i.e., were the
"contours of the right . . . sufficiently clear that a reasonable
official would understand that what [he or she] is doing violates
that right"? Anderson v. Creighton, 483 U.S. 635, 640, 107
S.Ct. 3034, 97 L.Ed.2d 523 (1987).
As I stated in my 1998 opinion, prohibition on racial
segregation in cell assignments is a clearly established right of
which a reasonable prison official would be aware, and thus did
not give rise to qualified immunity. In renewing their claim,
defendants argue that it was objectively reasonable for them to
believe that their conduct did not violate plaintiff's rights.
Defendants refer to Miller v. Horn, et al., 96-CV-0248, in
which plaintiff's cellmate raised the same equal protection claim
against the same defendants involved in this case. Following a
bench trial, Judge Fullam found in favor of the defendants.
Defendants argue that the Miller decision demonstrates that
defendants reasonably believed that their actions did not violate
an inmate's rights.
Defendants have presented evidence that plaintiff Miller raised
the same claims against the same defendants involved in this
case. Defendants provide declarations of Vaughn and Conrad
stating that the focus of the trial was the equal protection
issue and whether there was an intent to discriminate by cell
assignments. However, defendants do not point to a trial
transcript or written opinion that indicates the basis for the
ruling in favor of defendants. Therefore, I am unable to
determine on the evidence before me whether Miller provides a
basis for defendants' reasonable belief that they did not violate
plaintiff's right to equal protection.
For the reasons set forth above, I will grant defendants'
motion regarding plaintiff's claim for injunctive relief. I will
deny the remainder of defendants' motion for summary judgment.
AND NOW, this 13th day of January 2000, it is ORDERED that
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (docket entry 93) is
granted in part and denied in part.
1. Defendants' motion regarding plaintiff's claim for
injunctive relief is GRANTED.
2. Defendants' motion as to all remaining claims is DENIED.