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Adrian S. Holmes v. Warden Bledsoe

January 26, 2011

ADRIAN S. HOLMES,
PLAINTIFF
v.
WARDEN BLEDSOE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Rambo

MEMORANDUM

On May 14, 2010, Plaintiff Adrian S. Holmes ("Holmes"), an inmate presently confined at the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania ("USP Lewisburg"), commenced the above action pro se by filing a Bivens*fn1 -styled complaint against six (6) Defendants.*fn2 (Doc. 1.)

Holmes alleges that Defendants used excessive force and failed to provide adequate medical care in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and retaliated against him in violation of the First Amendment. Specifically, he alleges that, on March 1,2010, he sustained an eye injury after the use of force team attacked him in his cell, and that he was denied medical care for his injury. (Doc. 1 at 2 § IV. ¶ 1.) He further alleges that, after this incident, he was thrown back into his cell in restraints, and that an inmate worker was sent to attack him. (Id.) He claims that officers at USP Lewisburg "have been setting people up to get hurt" by "forcing them into cells with people that works [sic] for them." (Id. ¶ 2.) In addition, he alleges that the Warden is "the boss over everyone," the Captain "signs before the (force team) arrive," and Defendant SIA Perrin "is the one helping to try to run this." (Id. ¶ 3.) Finally, Holmes alleges that his life is in danger, and that "they are retaliating against me." (Id. at 3 § V. ¶ 3.)

Presently before the court is Defendants' motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment, (Doc. 14), and Holmes' "Motion to Supplement"*fn3 his complaint, (Doc. 26). For the reasons set forth below, summary judgment will be granted in favor of Defendants, and Holmes' request to supplement his complaint will be denied.

I. Background

Holmes filed his complaint on May 14, 2010. (Doc. 1.) By order dated May 24, 2010, service of the complaint on Defendants was directed. (Doc. 6.) On August 3, 2010, Defendants filed their motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment, (Doc. 14). After obtaining leave to file a brief in excess of the fifteen (15) page limit, on August 17, 2010, Defendants filed a statement of facts, (Doc. 18), supporting exhibits, (Doc. 18-2), and a supporting brief, (Doc. 19), in which they argue, inter alia, that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law because the undisputed record establishes that Holmes failed to properly exhaust his administrative remedies before bringing his claims.

One (1) day after Defendants filed their supporting materials, on August 18, 2010, Holmes filed a document entitled "Respond Motion to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment." (Doc. 20.) This document was docketed as Holmes' brief in opposition to Defendants' motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment. It was apparent that Holmes had prepared this document, dated August 10, 2010, before he was served with Defendants' supporting materials on August 17, 2010. Therefore, by order dated August 30, 2010, the Honorable James F. McClure, Jr., to whom this case was then assigned, afforded Holmes the opportunity to file a supplementary brief responding to the arguments raised in Defendants' brief within fourteen (14) days. (See Doc. 21.)

The August 30 order also noted that Holmes had not filed a statement of material facts responding to Defendants' statement as required by Middle District of Pennsylvania Local Rule ("LR") 56.1, and therefore directed Holmes to file his required statement within fourteen (14) days. (See id.) The order advised Holmes that the requirements of LR 56.1 were set forth in the standing practice order issued in this case on May 14, 2010, (Doc. 4), that a copy of the rule was attached to that order, and warned him that his failure to file his statement as specified within LR 56.1 within the required time would result in the material facts set forth in Defendants' statement being deemed admitted. (See id.) Although the deadline to file his supplementary brief and statement of material facts has long passed, Holmes has not filed either document. Therefore, Defendants' motion is fully briefed and ripe for review.

On December 22, 2010, following Judge McClure's death, this case was verbally reassigned to the undersigned.*fn4 Thereafter, on January 13, 2011, Holmes filed a "Motion to Supplement" his complaint. We will consider Defendants' motion for summary judgment before turning to a discussion of Holmes' recently filed motion.

II. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment

A. Undisputed Facts

In support of their motion for summary judgment, Defendants filed a statement of material facts in accordance with LR 56.1. (Doc. 18.) Although the August 30, 2010 order specifically directed Holmes to file his statement of material facts responding to Defendants' statement, and warned him of the consequences if he failed to do so, Holmes has not filed his opposing statement of material facts. Accordingly, all material facts set forth in Defendants' statement are deemed admitted. See LR 56.1.*fn5 Defendants' statement, (Doc. 18), and supporting materials, (Doc. 18-2)*fn6 , establish the following undisputed facts material to Defendants' motion:

1. Facts Regarding Incident

On March 1, 2010, a staff lieutenant informed Defendant Trate of Holmes' and his cell mate's disruptive behavior and threats toward staff. (Doc. 18 ¶ 3 (citing3/1/10 Incident Report, Doc. 18-2 at 25-28).) Defendant Trate requested permission from Defendant Bledsoe to assemble a use of force team to regain control of Holmes and his cell mate. (Doc. 18 ¶ 4.) Defendant Bledsoe authorized the assembly and use of force. (Id. ¶ 5.)

Holmes and his cell mate initially were responsive to the confrontation avoidance procedures and submitted to restraints. (Id. ¶ 6.) However, when removed from the cell, Holmes resisted and had to be placed against the wall for staff to regain control of him. (Id. ¶ 7.)

Holmes was medically assessed at the end of the incident and was found to have suffered a small abrasion to his upper right eye brow. (Id. ΒΆ 8 (citing 3/1/10 Health Services Clinical Encounter, Doc. 18-2 at 30-31).) Medical services reported that the abrasion had ceased bleeding by the time of the assessment and that ...


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