The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES KELLY, Senior District Judge
Presently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss, in Part,
Plaintiff's Complaint filed by Defendants Correctional Officer Nathaniel
Hollis ("Hollis"), Correctional Officer Kevin Marsh ("Marsh") and
Internal Security Lieutenant Kenneth Eason ("Eason") (collectively,
"Defendants") requesting that this Court dismiss some of the claims set
forth in the Complaint filed by pro se Plaintiff Ronald Wesley
("Plaintiff" or "Wesley"), an inmate incarcerated at the State
Correctional Institution at Graterford, Pennsylvania ("Graterford"),
against Defendants in their individual capacities.*fn1 Defendants move
for dismissal of the following claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6): (1) First Amendment access to courts claim against Hollis for
allegedly kicking and confiscating Plaintiff's legal materials; (2)
Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim against Hollis for
allegedly writing a false misconduct report; (3) retaliation claim
against Hollis; (4) conspiracy claim against Hollis and Marsh; (5) claim
against Eason for conducting a delayed and incomplete investigation of
the alleged assault; and (6) pendent state law claims against all
Defendants. For the following reasons, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, in
Part, Plaintiff's Complaint is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED
For the purpose of ruling on this Motion to Dismiss, we recite the
facts as alleged by Plaintiff and accept his allegations as true.
On June 10, 2001, Correctional Officer Hollis appeared at Wesley's cell
in the Restricted Housing Unit and announced a cell search. Hollis
handcuffed Wesley through the opening in the cell door, called control
operations to open the door and instructed Wesley to exit the cell.
Hollis frisked Wesley, then entered his cell and began the search.
During the cell search, Wesley observed Hollis going through a stack of
his "legal-related work-product materials." (Compl. ¶ E.6.) Hollis extracted "contrasting tablet-back materials from the
stack and tossed them to the floor, as though they were trash."
(Id.) Wesley objected to Hollis that the tablet-back materials
were legal-related work-product relating to pending and contemplated
civil rights and habeas proceedings. Hollis insisted that the tablet-back
material was contraband.
Wesley called Lieutenant Marsh, who was standing nearby, and asked him
to instruct Hollis to stop trashing his legal-related materials. Marsh
entered the cell, spoke briefly to Hollis, and left the cell.
Hollis concluded his search. While leaving the cell, he swept the
tablet-back legal-related materials out of the cell with his feet. Wesley
tried to kick the materials back into his cell, but Hollis prevented him
from doing so. Wesley requested a confiscation receipt, as required by
Department of Corrections policy, for the tablet-back materials from
Hollis. Hollis refused, stating, "I'm throwing the stuff in the trash."
(Compl. ¶ E.11.)
Wesley was then ordered to return to his cell. After the cell door was
closed, he stood with his back to the door to enable Hollis to remove the
handcuffs. Under the guise of removing the handcuffs, Hollis grabbed the
cuffs, yanking them with enough strength and force to tighten the cuffs
on Wesley's wrists to cause Wesley's back and head to bang into the steel
cell door. Wesley screamed and pleaded with Hollis to let go of the cuffs, stating "You're gonna break my wrists." (Compl. ¶
E.14.) Hollis refused to release his hold on the cuffs, even as Wesley
twisted in pain and agony while attempting to pull away.
Hollis held onto the handcuffs for approximately five minutes. Although
at least six officers, including Marsh, stood nearby, none of them
intervened at first. Eventually, Marsh stopped the assault, by ordering
Hollis to let go of the cuffs and give him the key. Hollis let go of the
cuffs, pulled the key from his pocket, and handed it to Marsh. Marsh then
struck the key into the lock and removed the cuffs from Wesley's wrists.
Wesley's hands and wrists were badly bruised, swollen, and bleeding. He
hollered to Marsh to have him taken to the infirmary for treatment and to
notify the State Police of his intent to file a complaint for an
Several minutes later, two officers appeared at Wesley's cell to escort
him to the infirmary.
Later that day, Wesley was served with a misconduct report written by
Hollis, in which Hollis blamed Wesley for provoking the assault, by
refusing to obey his orders to be uncuffed.
On June 10, 2001, Wesley submitted a grievance against Hollis. On June
12, 2001, he submitted a request to Deputy Superintendent of Internal
Security, Mr. Lorenzo, requesting investigations by the internal security
department and the State Police. Consequently, on June 23, 2001, Eason, a
lieutenant in Graterford's internal security department, interviewed
Wesley. On July 11, 2001, Eason notified Wesley in ...