The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD CONABOY, Senior District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER Background
William E. Foster, Sr., an inmate presently confined at the
Mahanoy State Correctional Institution, Frackville, Pennsylvania
(SCI-Mahanoy), initiated this pro se civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. By Order dated July 22, 2004, this
Court granted Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint which
identified John/Jane Doe Defendants which were named in the
Named as Defendants in Plaintiff's subsequently filed amended
complaint (Doc. 82) are Franklin County, Pennsylvania; the
Borough of Chambersburg and former Mayor Robert Morris, as well
as current Mayor Thomas L. Newcomer; the Franklin County Prison,
ex-Warden Ray Rosenberry and eight (8) members of the prison
Board of Trustees.*fn1 The Plaintiff is also proceeding against the
Honorable Douglas W. Herman of the Franklin County Court of
Plaintiff describes himself as being a partial paraplegic and
"wheelchair bound individual."*fn2 Doc. 82, ¶ 15. Foster
states that he was transferred from the handicapped accessible
SCI-Mahanoy to the Franklin County Prison on or about October 18,
1999. He alleges that the Defendants had full knowledge that he
was wheelchair bound and that the prison was not in compliance
with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Therefore, he
contends that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
medical and physical needs in that they failed to provide
handicapped accessible accommodations at the Franklin County
Plaintiff adds that his wheelchair would not fit into his cell
and the toilet and shower lacked grab bars. Furthermore, Foster
allegedly fell on November 1, 1999 while trying to use the shower
and was thereafter forced to use the sink in his cell as his sole
means of bathing.
The amended complaint adds that since Defendants were aware
that the prison was not handicapped accessible, their failure to
relocate Plaintiff to a prison having handicapped accessible
facilities likewise constituted deliberate indifference. Foster also contends that Defendants' alleged actions violated the ADA
and he includes pendent state law tort claims. His amended
complaint seeks injunctive and declaratory relief as well as
compensatory and punitive damages.
Presently pending are two motions for summary judgment filed by
the Defendants. See Docs. 87 & 90. Both motions raise identical
arguments. The motions have been briefed and are ripe for
Defendants claim entitlement to an entry of summary judgment on
the grounds that Plaintiff's amended complaint is barred by the
applicable statute of limitations. Alternatively, they argue that
Foster failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies.
Summary judgment is appropriate if the "pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, admissions on file, together with
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
[T]he plain language of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry
of summary judgment, after adequate time for
discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails
to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's
case, and on which that party will bear the burden of
proof at trial. In such a situation, there can be "no
genuine issue as to any material fact," since a
complete failure of proof concerning an essential
element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily
renders all other facts immaterial. The moving party
is "entitled to a judgment as a matter of law" because the nonmoving party has failed to make a
sufficient showing on an essential element of her
case with respect to which she has the burden of
proof. "[T]he standard [for granting summary
judgment] mirrors the standard for a directed verdict
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(a). . . ."
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317
, 322-23, (1986).
The moving party bears the initial responsibility of stating
the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the
record which demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact. The moving party can discharge that burden by
"`showing' . . . that there is an absence of evidence to support
the nonmoving party's case." Celotex, supra,
106 S.Ct. at 2553 and 2554. Once the moving party has satisfied its burden,
the nonmoving party must present "affirmative evidence" to defeat
the motion, consisting of verified or documented materials.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 257 (1986).
Issues of fact are "genuine only if a reasonable jury,
considering the evidence presented could find for the nonmoving
party." Childers v. Joseph, 842 F.2d 689, 693-94 (3d Cir.
1988). Only disputes over facts that might ...