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Stubbs v. DeRose

March 12, 2007


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Jones


Gwendolyn Stubbs ('Stubbs"), an inmate, who at all times relevant to the complaint was incarcerated at the Dauphin County Prison, filed the instant counseled civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Stubbs seeks damages and injunctive relief for violations of her First, Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as constitutional violations of her minor son, Cleo Stubbs, who was born in the Dauphin County Prison. (Doc. 1). Named as defendants are Warden Dominick DeRose ("DeRose"), Deputy Warden Elizabeth Nichols ("Nichols"), Corrections Officer Walizer ("Walizer"), Chaplain Calvin Favers*fn1 ("Favers") and five John Doe defendants.

By previous Orders of Court, Defendants DeRose, Nichols and all John Doe Defendants were dismissed from the action; all claims of sexual harassment and/or assault occurring prior to December 23, 2001were dismissed as statutorily barred; and all claims against Defendants Walizer and Favers, with the exception of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim, were dismissed. (Docs. 11, 22 ).

Presently before the Court are separate motions for summary judgment filed by Defendant Favers and Defendant Walizer. (Docs. 25, 28). The motions are fully briefed and are ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, the motions will be granted.

I. Standard of Review

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) requires the court to render summary judgment " . . . forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the 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]his standard provides that the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original).

A disputed fact is "material" if proof of its existence or nonexistence would affect the outcome of the case under applicable substantive law. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; Gray v. York Newspapers, Inc., 957 F.2d 1070, 1078 (3d Cir. 1992). An issue of material fact is "genuine" if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 257; Brenner v. Local 514, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, 927 F.2d 1283, 1287-88 (3d Cir. 1991).

When determining whether there is a genuine issue of material fact, the court must view the facts and all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Moore v. Tartler, 986 F.2d 682 (3d Cir. 1993); Clement v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, 963 F.2d 599, 600 (3d Cir. 1992); White v. Westinghouse Electric Company, 862 F.2d 56, 59 (3d Cir. 1988). In order to avoid summary judgment, however, the nonmoving party may not rest on the unsubstantiated allegations of his or her pleadings. When the party seeking summary judgment satisfies its burden under Rule 56(c) of identifying evidence which demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, the nonmoving party is required by Rule 56(e) to go beyond the pleadings with affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories or the like in order to demonstrate specific material facts which give rise to a genuine issue. Celotex Corporation v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986). The party opposing the motion "must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). When Rule 56(e) shifts the burden of production to the nonmoving party, that party must produce evidence to show the existence of every element essential to its case which it bears the burden of proving at trial, for "a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. See Harter v. G.A.F. Corp., 967 F.2d 846, 851 (3d Cir. 1992).

II. Defendant Favers' Motion for Summary Judgment

A. Statement of Facts

From the pleadings, depositions and exhibits submitted therewith, the following facts can be ascertained as undisputed.

Defendant Calvin Favers was employed by Christian Churches United as a full-time Chaplain. (Doc. 35-2, Ex. 1, Favers Deposition at p. 93). Christian Churches United contracted with the Dauphin County Prison to provide pastoral services to the inmate population. (Id. and Doc. 35-4, Ex. 3, Warden DeRose Deposition at p. 4). Christian Churches United assigned Favers to the Dauphin County Prison, as the full-time Chaplain, from 1992 through August, 2003. (Doc. 35-2, Ex. 1, Favers Dep. at p. pp. 11-12). In his capacity as Chaplain, Favers would conduct worship services for members of the Protestant Faith, discussion groups which dealt with spiritual issues, one-on-one sessions, and help supervise volunteers. (Id.). Although Favers' day-to-day activities were supervised by Warden DeRose and Deputy Warden Nichols, Favers was required to submit monthly reports to the Executive Director of Christian Churches United, as well as attend regular staff meetings and monthly staff meetings. (Doc. 35-2, Ex. 1, Favers Dep. at pp. 93-94). In the fall of 2003, Favers resigned his position as chaplain at the Dauphin County Prison. (Id. at pp. 53-54).

Plaintiff, Gwendolyn Stubbs was an inmate in the Dauphin County Prison during the time Favers was Chaplain. (Doc. 35-3, Ex. 2, Stubbs Deposition at p. 9). She is currently confined in the State Correctional Institution, Muncy, Pennsylvania. (Id.). Stubbs is married to Freddy Green. (Id. at p. 32).

Sometime in 1997, Stubbs violated her parole and was recommitted to the Dauphin County Prison as a parole violator. (Id. at p. 79- 80). Stubbs, who was at the time confined in the Restricted Housing Unit, first came into contact with Defendant Favers in May, 1998, when her grandmother passed away, and Favers was called upon to offer counseling. (Id. at pp. 78-79). At that time, the parties began engaging in a consensual weekly sexual relationship. (Id. at pp. 84- 85, 88-89). Although the parties engaged in physical contact, they admit that they did not have sexual intercourse in the prison. (Id. at p. 140, and Doc. 35-2, Ex. 1, Favers Dep. at p. 27).

On December 22, 1998, Stubbs was released from the Dauphin County Prison. (Id. at p. 92). The parties continued their relationship after Stubbs was released from the Dauphin County Prison. (Doc. 35-3, Ex. 2, Stubbs Dep. at p. 95). Stubbs would call Favers' house and talk to his wife or daughter and then ask for Favers. (Id. at p. 116). Favers took Stubbs and her daughter shopping and out to eat, (Id. at p. 112) and Stubbs would call Favers if she needed money, clothes, or anything that had something to do with money. (Id. at p. 115). He even paid her rent a couple of times. (Id.).

Stubbs was recommitted to the Dauphin County Prison in December, 1999 and released in April, 2000. (Id. at p. 95-96). In October, 2000, Stubbs was again incarcerated in the Dauphin County and released in January, 2001. (Id. at 98). Stubbs did not return to the Dauphin County Prison again until December 7, 2002, when she was recommitted as a parole violator. (Doc. 30, Ex. A, Intake Form). She was released on December 15, 2002. (Doc. 35-3, Ex. 2, Stubbs Dep. at p. 106). Stubbs returned to the Dauphin County Prison on April 23, 2003, as a parole violator. (Doc. 30, Ex. K, Intake Form). During the above times, Stubbs and Favers maintained a relationship. (Doc. 35-3, Ex. 2, Stubbs. Dep. at pp. 97-108). Their relationship ended in August, 2003. (Id. at pp. 108, 111).

During the course of their five year relationship, Stubbs never made a formal report to any prison official, (Id. at pp. 117-118); nor did she discontinue her relationship when confronted with it by her husband. (Id. at pp. 119-120). Stubbs maintains that while in prison she needed Favers because he was her emotional and physical support. (Id. at p. 118). Outside of prison, Stubbs did not end the relationship when confronted by her husband, and states the following as her reason:

I can honestly say that my husband is the type of man where whatever makes me happy, he loves my unconditionally, and if he - - he loves me that much to where he feels as though whatever makes you happy to keep you home, he'll do it. Didn't approve of it, but what could he do? He done go out and beat the man up, but then he'll go to jail. (Id. at p. 120). During the course of their ...

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