The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARVIN KATZ, Senior District Judge
AND NOW, this ___ day of April, 2004, upon consideration of Motion of
Defendants County of Bucks, Charles H. Martin, Sandra Miller, Michael
Fitzpatrick, Willlis Morton and Harris Gubernick for Summary Judgment,
pursuantto Fed R. Civ. P. 56, Plaintiff Donna M. Horak's response
thereto, Defendants' Reply, and Plaintiff's Surreply, it is ORDERED that
said Motion is GRANTED based on the undisputed facts set forth below.
The problem, however, appears to be a recurring one. Bucks County's
response has not risen above the level of deliberate indifference.
Failure to take even stronger measures from this point forward could
expose the County and its Commissioners to the risk of liability.
1. Defendant County of Bucks (the "County") is a municipal governmental
entity with two offices in Doylestown, PA. Compl. at ¶ 3.
2. Defendants Charles Martin ("Martin"), Sandra Miller ("Miller"), and
Michael Fitzpatrick ("Fitzpatrick") are the County Commissioners for
Bucks County. Compl. at ¶ 4.
3. Defendant Willis Morton ("Morton") is the Warden of the Bucks County
Correctional Facility ("BCCF"). Compl. at ¶ 5. 4. Defendant Harris Gubernick ("Gubernick") is Director of Corrections
for Bucks County. Compl. at ¶ 5.
5. Plaintiff Donna Horak ("Horak") is a former BCCF inmate. Compl. at
6. Defendant David Rosser ("Rosser") is a former employee of Bucks
County. Compl. at ¶ 6.
7. On July 28, 2003, Rosser pled guilty to Institutional Sexual
Assault, a third degree felony. Compl. at ¶ 20; Rosser Dep. at 18,
8. As of the date of the incidents between Rosser and Horak, the County
of Bucks had issued various rules, including the Standard Operation
Procedures, Code of Ethics, Discipline Policy and Table of Offenses. See
Standard Operation Procedure 4.13; Disciplinary Policy; Table of
Offenses; Rosser Dep. at 45-46, 50-57, 69-75, 91-96, 107-110.
9. The BCCF Code of Ethics establishes professional boundaries, and
expressly prohibits staff from engaging in intimate behavior or
developing romantic relationships with inmates. Rosser Dep. at 45-46,
50-57, 59-75, 91-96.
10. The Code of Ethics further prohibits employees from associating
with inmates or their families and friends, and it requires that any such
contact must be reported. Rosser Dep. at 45-46, 50-57, 69-75, 91-96.
11. The Code of Ethics requires staff members to immediately report any
conduct which threatens the professional operations of the facility.
Rosser Dep. at 45-46, 50-57, 69-75, 91-96.
12. Deputy Warden Mitchell directed that all staff sign off to
acknowledge their receipt of the Code of Ethics. Rosser Dep. at 91. 13. As part of the Code of Ethics, the County also issued a new
Discipline Policy that included a Table of Offenses. Rosser Dep. at
45-56, 50-57, 69-75.
14. The Table of Offenses provides for 64 separate offenses that govern
the conduct of the staff at the BCCF. Rosser Dep. at 45-46, 50-57, 69-75,
15. The Table of Offenses defines the appropriate level and range of
discipline for each offense, with some variation depending on whether the
staff member has committed similar previous infractions. Rosser Dep. at
16. The Table of Offenses provides for sanctions for misconduct, even
if the misconduct does not rise to the level of criminal behavior. Rosser
Dep. at 69-75.
17. Among other things, the Table of Offenses prohibits "inappropriate
physical contact or mistreatment of an inmate, patient, client, resident,
or employee," Rosser Dep. at 69-70; BCDOC14.
18. Similarly, the Table of Offenses forbids "improper or unauthorized
contact with [an] inmate, undue familiarity with inmates, parolees, their
families or friends. Rosser Dep. at 71-72; BCDOC42.
19. The Table of Offenses also prohibits sexual harassment, and
provides penalties against corrections officers who engage in sexual
harassment. Rosser Dep. at 74-75.
20. The BCDOC has issued an Inmate handbook that provides a procedure
for inmates to raise complaints. See Inmate Handbook at 19-20; Rosser
Dep. at 26-27'.
21. In June 2002, the County conducted an in-service training on the
topic of "Professionalism and Ethics for Correctional Staff." See
Materials from the June 2002 in-service on "Professionalism and Ethics for Correctional Staff;" Rosser Dep. at
45-46, 89-91, 96-106; Morton Dep. at 15-16.
22. The in-service in June 2002 consisted of three days of training for
all officers on the following topics: Ethics/Professionalism, First Aid,
CPR, and Fire Suppression. Rosser Dep. at 45-56, 89-91, 96-106.
23. The Ethics/Professionalism class was an eight hour class covering
unethical/inappropriate relationships, sexual harassment, values of
diversity, and reporting of inappropriate relationships. Rosser Dep. at
45-56, 89-91, 96-106.
24. The in-service training in June 2002 was given to all corrections
officers, sergeants, lieutenants, and captains. Morton Dep. at 15-16.
25. The in-service training in June 2002 included a multiple-choice
test, a Power Point presentation, and distribution of documents that
describe the "red flags" and the "myths and realities of staff ...