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Hromyko v. Rosemeyer

February 7, 2007


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambrose, Chief District Judge


Plaintiff Daniel Hromyko ("Hromyko") filed a Complaint alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while he was a pretrial detainee in the Allegheny County Jail ("the Jail"). The Court previously dismissed all of Hromyko's claims except one which focused upon the alleged denial of sufficient food. Specifically, Hromyko claimed that he was starved while at the Jail and that he suffered some symptoms which he attributes to inadequate nutrition.

His claim is based upon the Eighth Amendment, which provides that "cruel and unusual punishments [shall not be] inflicted."*fn1 He seeks to hold Defendant Frederic A. Rosemeyer ("Rosemeyer") liable for this alleged constitutional deprivation. Rosemeyer was the Warden at the Jail during the relevant period of time. Hromyko contends that Rosemeyer ignored his complaints about the deprivation of adequate amounts of food.

Rosemeyer has filed a Second Motion for Summary Judgment. See Docket No. 54. In the Brief in Support (Docket No. 55), Rosemeyer sets forth two "arguments":

(1) that Rosemeyer is entitled to qualified immunity; and (2) that there is no evidence of a custom, practice or policy implemented by the Jail which caused the constitutional deprivation. I put the word "arguments" in quotation marks for a reason, Rosemeyer's actual analysis of these arguments - the application of the law to the facts-each consists of no more than two sentences. Coupled with the fact that Rosemeyer has totally failed to comply with Local Rule 56.1B, which requires the filing of a Concise Statement of Material Facts in conjunction with a motion for summary judgment,*fn2 Rosemeyer's Motion and Brief have not convinced me that he is entitled to the entry of summary judgment in his favor. The Motion is denied.


Summary judgment may only be granted if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with any affidavits, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material facts and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A fact is material when it might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Rule 56 mandates the entry of judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against the 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. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

In considering a motion for summary judgment, the Court must examine the facts in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. International Raw Materials, Ltd. v. Stauffer Chemical Co., 898 F.2d 946, 949 (3d Cir. 1990). The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could not return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. Where the non-moving party will bear the burden of proof at trial, the party moving for summary judgment may meet its burden by showing that the evidentiary materials of record, if reduced to admissible evidence, would be insufficient to carry the non-movant's burden of proof at trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. Once the moving party satisfies its burden, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party, who must go beyond its pleadings, and designate specific facts by the use of affidavits, depositions, admissions, or answers to interrogatories showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324.


I. Qualified Immunity

Rosemeyer's first argument is entitled "[t]he claims against the individual defendant must be dismissed on the basis of qualified immunity." See Docket No. 55, p. 3. A qualified immunity analysis requires a two-step inquiry. "First, the court must determine whether the facts alleged show that the defendant's conduct violated a constitutional or statutory right. If so, the court must then determine whether the constitutional or statutory right allegedly violated by the defendant was 'clearly established.'" Williams v. Bitner, 455 F.3d 186, 190 (3d Cir. 2006) (citations omitted). "If the court concludes that the defendant's conduct did violate a clearly established constitutional or statutory right, then it must deny the defendant the protection afforded by qualified immunity." Williams, 455 F.3d at 190 (citations omitted).

Rosemeyer's entire argument with respect to qualified immunity consists of the following:

The allegations in Plaintiff's complaint are insufficient to meet either the first or second prong of this test. Therefore, all claims against Defendant Rosemeyer must be dismissed based on qualified immunity.

See Docket No. 55, p. 3. This is woefully inadequate. There is no analysis of case law. There is no application of fact to law. There is no explanation of how Hromyko's evidence, which was deemed sufficient to withstand summary judgment previously, is now deficient. Under other ...

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