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Charles Lescoe v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections- Sci-- Frackville

March 30, 2011

CHARLES LESCOE,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS- SCI-- FRACKVILLE, DEFENDANT.



Hon. John E. Jones III Hon. Malachy E. Mannion

MEMORANDUM THE BACKGROUND OF THIS MEMORANDUM IS AS FOLLOWS:

This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation ("R&R") of Magistrate Judge Malachy E. Mannion (Doc. 32), filed on March 5, 2011, which recommends that we grant the Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 18) of Defendant Pennsylvania Department of Corrections- SCI--Frackville ("Defendant").

Plaintiff Charles Lescoe ("Plaintiff" or "Lescoe") filed objections to the R&R and a brief in support thereof on March 24, 2011. (Docs. 33, 34). For the reasons that follow, we shall overrule the Plaintiff's objections and adopt the R&R in its entirety.

I. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

A. Review of Magistrate Judge's R&R

When objections are filed to the report of a magistrate judge, the district court makes a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 674-75 (1980). The court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the magistrate judge's findings or recommendations. Id. Although the standard of review is de novo, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) permits whatever reliance the district court, in the exercise of sound discretion, chooses to place on a magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations. Raddatz, 447 U.S. at 674-75; see also Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 275 (1976); Goney v. Clark, 749 F.2d 5, 7 (3d Cir. 1984).

B. Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is appropriate if the record establishes "that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Initially, the moving party bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The movant meets this burden by pointing to an absence of evidence supporting an essential element as to which the non-moving party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Id. at 325. Once the moving party meets its burden, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party to show that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2). An issue is "genuine" only if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find for the non-moving party, and a factual dispute is "material" only if it might affect the outcome of the action under the governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc, 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986).

In opposing summary judgment, the non-moving party "may not rely merely on allegations of denials in its own pleadings; rather, its response must ... set out specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2). The non-moving party "cannot rely on unsupported allegations, but must go beyond pleadings and provide some evidence that would show that there exists a genuine issue for trial." Jones v. United Parcel Serv., 214 F.3d 402, 407 (3d Cir. 2000). Arguments made in briefs "are not evidence and cannot by themselves create a factual dispute sufficient to defeat a summary judgment motion." Jersey Cent. Power & Light Co. v. Twp. of Lacey, 772 F.2d 1103, 1109-10 (3d Cir. 1985). However, the facts and all reasonable inferences drawn therefrom must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non- moving party. P.N. v. Clementon Bd. of Educ., 442 F.3d 848, 852 (3d Cir. 2006).

Summary judgment should not be granted when there is a disagreement about the facts or the proper inferences that a factfinder could draw from them. Peterson v. Lehigh Valley Dist. Council, 676 F.2d 81, 84 (3d Cir. 1982). Still, "the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; there must be a genuine issue of material fact to preclude summary judgment." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48.

III. DISCUSSION

A. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff commenced the instant case through the filing of a civil complaint on May 4, 2009 wherein he alleges the following: (1) Count I: Discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 10221 et seq.; (2) Count II: Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act -- Termination; (3) Count III: Violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, ("PHRA"), 43 P.S. § 955(a); (4) Count IV: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; and (5) Count V: Constructive Discharge. (Doc. 1). Defendant filed an answer to the complaint on July 6, 2009. (Doc. 8).

On April 1, 2010 Defendant filed the instant motion for summary judgment, (Doc. 18), and we referred the same to Magistrate Judge Mannion on April 13, 2010. (Doc. 20). Defendant filed a brief in support on April 15, 2010, (Doc. 22), and Plaintiff filed a brief in opposition, (Doc. 26), on May 28, 2010. Defendant ...


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