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Crumby v. Martinez

September 2, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Caputo


I. Introduction

Plaintiff David Crumby, an inmate formerly housed at the Allenwood United States Penitentiary (USP-Allenwood), in White Deer, Pennsylvania,*fn1 commenced this pro se action on October 15, 2008, by filing a civil rights complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Mr. Crumby claims staff failed to properly classify him as a protective custody inmate and failed to separate him from the known threat that white supremacist inmates posed to him. Specifically, on April 18, 2008, during David Crumby's transfer from USP-Allenwood to another facility, other inmates on the transport bus, members of the Aryan Circle, attempted to kill. The following Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employees are named as defendants: USP-Allenwood Warden, R. Martinez; Case Manager Coordinator, Mark Tanner; and Regional Director D. Scott Dodrill. (Doc. 1, Compl.; Doc. 4. Supp. to Compl.) As relief, Mr. Crumby seeks the following: permanent protective custody status; a separation order keeping him away from any member of any white supremacist group; a transfer to a protective custody facility; and monetary damages for the attempts on his life. (Doc. 1.)

On February 12, 2009, Defendants filed a properly supported Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment, based in part, on Mr. Crumby's failure to exhaust his administrative remedies and his failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. (See Docs. 20-21 and 23, Defendants' motion, supporting brief with exhibits, and statement of material facts.) On March 17, 2009, Mr. Crumby filed an opposition brief, exhibits and a response to defendants' statement of material facts. (See Docs. 25 - 26.) On April 6, 2009, Defendants' filed a reply brief. (See Doc. 29.) The motion is now ripe for disposition.

For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment will be granted.

II. Undisputed Facts as Established by the Record

Mr. Crumby, a white male, arrived at USP-Allenwood on December 27, 2007, as a "close supervision transfer" from FCI-Edgefield. (Doc. 23, Defendants' Statement of Material Facts (DSMF) at ¶ 3 and ¶ 52; Doc. 26-2, Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Statement of Material Facts (PSMF) at ¶ 3 and ¶ 52.) While at FCI-Edgefield, Mr. Crumby refused to enter the inmate general population, and was treated as an unverified protective custody case. (DSMF at ¶ 52; PSMF at ¶ 52). Upon his arrival at USP-Allenwood, Mr. Crumby was immediately placed in the institution's Special Housing Unit (SHU). (DSMF at ¶ 54; PSMF at ¶ 54.) Based on Mr. Crumby's security concerns, he remained in the SHU pending an investigation into his request for protective custody. (DSMF at ¶ 56; PSMF at ¶ 56.)

Staff may place an inmate in the SHU for several reasons, including when an inmate seeks SHU placement for his own protection. (DSMF at ¶ 57; PSMF at ¶ 57.) After an inmate requests protective custody, their claim is investigated by the BOP's Special Investigative Staff (SIS). (DSMF at ¶ 58; PSMF at ¶ 58.) The BOP monitors and controls the transfer, temporary release, and community activities of certain inmates who present special needs for management. These inmates are known as Central Inmate Monitoring (CIM) cases, and require a higher level of review prior to any movement outside the instituiton. (DSMF at ¶¶ 60-61; PSMF at ¶¶ 60-61.) Inmates with a verified need for protective custody are designated as CIM cases. Inmates also may be given a CIMs assignment of "separation" from other individuals who are presently housed in federal custody, or who may come into federal custody in the future (as was previously done for Mr. Crumby). (DSMF at ¶¶ 62-63; PSMF at ¶¶ 62-63.) Inmates may also be given a CIMs assignment of separation from an identifiable disruptive group, such as the Aryan Brotherhood. (DSMF at ¶ 64; PSMF at ¶ 64.)

On January 7, 2008, the institution's SIS Department completed a protective custody investigation into Mr. Crumby's allegations, which included a review of his Central File, medical, psychological, and disciplinary records, an interview with at least one other inmate, a search of records to locate an inmate alleged by Mr. Crumby to be in BOP custody, and information provided by Mr. Crumby himself. (DSMF at ¶ 65; PSMF at ¶ 65.) Although Mr. Crumby has one or more inmates with whom he can not be housed, none of those inmates, also known as separatees, were housed at USP-Allenwood. (DSMF at ¶ 66; PSMF at ¶ 66.) Even though no identifiable threat could be identified, based on Mr. Crumby's statements, he was designated as an unverified protective custody case and held in the SHU on administrative custody status. (DSMF at ¶¶ 68-69; PSMF at ¶¶ 68-69.) Defendant Tanner advised Mr. Crumby of the SIS investigation findings, his status as an unverified protection case, and informed him that he would remain in the SHU for approximately one year at which time the Unit Team would review his case and make a decision as to whether he could be safely transferred to another facility. (DSMF at ¶ 75; PSMF at ¶ 75.)

In early 2008, the executive staff made a decision to temporarily transfer approximately twenty-eight inmates to another institution due to overcrowding at USP-Allenwood. (DSMF at ¶ 76; PSMF at ¶ 76.) The SIS department generated the list of inmates to be transferred. The Unit Team staff and Case Management Coordinator Tanner reviewed the list to ensure that none of the inmates had any CIMs classification issues which would prevent their transfer. (DSMF at ¶ 77; PSMF at ¶ 77.) Although Mr. Crumby had one or more separatees listed, none of the identified individuals were scheduled to be on the bus with him. (DSMF at ¶ 78; PSMF at ¶ 78.) Likewise, as a temporary transfer to the receiving institution, it was anticipated that Mr. Crumby would be held in that facility's SHU in administrative detention status, and not placed in that facility's general population. (DSMF at ¶ 80; PSMF at ¶ 80.) Tanner was not involved in the actual physical transport process on April 18, 2008. (DSMF at ¶ 82; PSMF at ¶ 82.)

On April 18, 2008, during transport, one or more inmates removed portions of their restraints during the trip. As a result, the transport bus was diverted to another facility and the inmates were taken off the bus. (DSMF at ¶ 83; PSMF at ¶ 83.) All inmate restraints were checked and full restraints re-applied where necessary, and the inmate were re-loaded onto the bus and a van, with the exception of Mr. Crumby due to his statements to staff that he was concerned for his safety. (DSMF at ¶ 84 and ¶ 86; PSMF at ¶ 84 and ¶ 86.) No inmates were assaulted, including Mr. Crumby, during this incident. (DSMF at ¶ 85; PSMF at ¶ 85.)

Mr. Crumby was then re-designated back to USP-Allenwood. (DSMF at ¶ 86; PSMF at ¶ 86.) Mr. Crumby was returned to USP-Allenwood on May 7, 2008, without incident and placed in the SHU as an unverified protection case. Mr. Crumby was transferred to FCI-Edgefield, South Carolina on November 25, 2008. (DSMF at ¶ 4; PSMF at ¶ 4.)

BOP records reveal that Mr. Crumby filed fifteen administrative remedies from the date of his arrival at USP-Allenwood (December 27, 2007) until the date he filed the present action (October 15, 2008). (DSMF at ¶ 28; PSMF at ¶ 28.) Six of the fifteen administrative remedies did not pertain to any of the allegations in the Complaint. (DSMF at ¶ 29; PSMF at ¶ 29.)

On February 4, 2008, Mr. Crumby filed Administrative Remedy Number (AR No.) 481665-R1 with the BOP Northeastern Regional Office, alleging that staff were not acting on information he related to them and that he wanted to be transferred for his own protection. (DSMF at ¶ 31; PSMF at ¶ 31.) The Northeastern Regional Office rejected the administrative remedy appeal because the issues raised were not sensitive in nature and directed Mr. Crumby to raise the issues complained of at the institutional level. (DSMF at ¶ 32; PSMF at ¶ 32.) On March 20, 2008, Mr. Crumby filed AR No. 486815-F1, stating that he was an informant and former federal witness. As such he sought a transfer to another facility that did not house any white supremacist group members. (DSMF at ¶ 33; PSMF at ¶ 33; Doc. 21-5 at R. 13.)*fn2 The administrative remedy was denied on April 7, 2008. Mr. Crumby appealed this decision to the BOP Northeast Regional Office, AR No. 486815-R1 on April 28, 2008. The Northeast Regional Office denied the appeal on May 28, 2008. (DSMF at ¶¶ 34-36; PSMF at ¶¶ 34-36.) On June 12, 2008, Mr. Crumby appealed this decision to the BOP Central Office at AR No. ...

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