United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
September 30, 2005.
RAYMOND ALEXANDER, Plaintiff
JIM FORR, ET AL., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: THOMAS VANASKIE, Chief Judge
THE BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:
By Report and Recommendation (R&R) filed on July 26, 2005,
Magistrate Judge Malachy E. Mannion proposed that this Court deny
the pro se plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment motion
on a claim that prison officials wrongfully retaliated against
Plaintiff for his exercise of allegedly First Amendment protected
rights by fabricating and prosecuting misconduct charges.
Magistrate Judge Mannion found that summary judgment in
Plaintiff's favor on this claim was not warranted for several
grounds, including the existence of evidence proffered by
Defendants that retaliation was not a motivation for the charges
and the adjudication of guilt. Plaintiff timely objected to the
R&R, contesting each of the reasons articulated by the Magistrate
Judge for recommending against summary judgment. Having carefully
reviewed the matter de novo, I find that Defendants did proffer
adequate evidence on the question of motivation for the
misconduct charge and adjudication to preclude summary
adjudication of this issue. In this regard, the affidavits
presented by some of the Defendants accused of retaliation on the
claim that is the subject of Plaintiff's partial summary
judgment, attesting to the fact that the same decision would have
been made in the absence of the allegedly protected conduct, is
enough to defeat summary judgment. In this regard, prison
officials are entitled to a substantial measure of deference when
it comes to matters of discipline. See Carter v. McGrady,
292 F. 3d 152, 158 (3d Cir. 2002).
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. The R&R filed on July 26, 2005 (Dkt. Entry 51) is ADOPTED.
2. Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment (Dkt. Entry
25 is DENIED.
3. This matter is referred back to Magistrate Judge Mannion for
further pretrial proceedings.
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