nausea, numbness in his feet, eye problems, and headaches.
Plaintiff, however, did not file any grievances claiming that he
was denied medical attention to address these complaints.
Moreover, at times, after complaining of these medical
conditions, plaintiff would refuse medical treatment or fail to
keep medical appointments scheduled by the prison authorities.
Plaintiff filed the instant action on August 12, 1998.*fn16 In
his complaint, plaintiff contends that defendants Horn, Vaughn,
Brumfield, Matalavage, Thomas, Martin, Newton, and the Graterford
PRC conspired to place plaintiff in, acquiesced in plaintiff's
placement in, or knew of plaintiff's placement in restrictive
housing and/or solitary confinement at Graterford in violation of
his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights, First Amendment
rights, his Sixth Amendment rights to counsel. Plaintiff further
contends that while he was so confined, he suffered "loss of
life-giving food, loss of exercise, needless degradation, loss of
work opportunities . . ., loss of money, loss of schooling and
training opportunities, loss of self improvement through reading
books of plaintiff's own choice, loss of parole status for
release on minimum sentence . . .," allegedly in violation of his
Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual
punishment. Compl. ¶¶ 47-53 (Count I). Plaintiff also alleges
that defendants Varner, Horn, and the Greene PRC have improperly
retained plaintiff in restrictive housing without the benefit of
proper review procedures of that confinement, in retaliation for
his filing of grievances and statements concerning the oppressive
nature of the prison system, and have failed to provide plaintiff
with proper health care, all in violation of his First, Sixth,
Eighth, Fourteenth Amendment rights. Id. ¶¶ 56-65 (count II).
Plaintiff's prayer for relief against defendants Graterford
PRC, Horn, Vaughn, Brumfield, Matalavage, Thomas, Martin, and
Newton includes, inter alia, a request for a declaratory
judgment that the defendants have violated plaintiff's
constitutional rights, injunctive relief prohibiting those
defendants from retaliating against him for filing the instant
action, immediate release from confinement, compensatory damages,
and punitive damages. Against defendants Varner, Horn, and the
Greene PRC, plaintiff seeks, inter alia, a declaratory judgment
that the defendants have violated plaintiff's constitutional
rights, transfer from Greene to "a facility of less confinement,"
immediate release from confinement, compensatory damages, and
punitive damages. After conducting discovery, defendants filed
the instant motion for summary judgment.
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Summary judgment is appropriate if the moving party can "show
that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). When ruling on a motion for summary judgment,
the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to
the non-movant. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538
(1986). In addition, the court must accept the non-movant's
version of the facts as true and resolve conflicts in the
non-movant's favor. See Big Apple BMW, Inc. v. BMW of N. Amer.,
Inc., 974 F.2d 1358, 1363 (3d Cir. 1992).
The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the
absence of genuine issues of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265
(1986). Once the movant has done so, however, the non-moving
party cannot rest on its pleadings. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).
Rather, the non-movant must then "make a showing sufficient to
establish the existence of every element essential to his case,
based on the affidavits or by depositions and admissions on
file." Harter v. GAF Corp., 967 F.2d 846, 852 (3d Cir. 1992);
see also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255,
106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Speculation, conclusory
allegations, and mere denials are insufficient to raise genuine
issues of material fact. To defeat "a properly supported summary
judgment motion, the party opposing it must present sufficient
evidence for a reasonable jury to find in its favor."*fn17
Groman v. Township of Manalapan, 47 F.3d 628, 633 (3d Cir.
1995). In addition, Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure imposes on the non-moving party "the duty to
`designate' the specific facts in the record that create genuine
issues precluding summary judgment." Jones v. Sheehan, Young &
Culp, 82 F.3d 1334, 1338 (5th Cir. 1996).
To establish a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
show that a person acting under color of state law deprived him
of a right secured by the Constitution or the laws of the United
States.*fn18 See Flagg Bros., Inc. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149,
155, 98 S.Ct. 1729, 56 L.Ed.2d 185 (1978); Nicini v. Morra,
212 F.3d 798, 805 (3d Cir. 2000).*fn19
The court will address each of plaintiff's claims seriatim.
A. Plaintiff's Claims against the DOC, the Graterford PRC, the
Greene PRC and the Individual Defendants in the Their
Plaintiff asserts claims under § 1983 against the DOC, the
Graterford PRC, the Greene PRC, and the individual defendants in
their official capacities. In their motion for summary judgment,
defendants contend that plaintiff is prohibited from bringing
suit in federal court against the DOC, the Greene and Graterford
PRCs, and the individual defendants acting in their official
capacities pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment. Defendants also
contend that the DOC, the PRCs, and the individual officers
acting in their official capacities do not constitute "persons"
subject to liability under § 1983.