Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Amir Hakim Mccain v. John E. Wetzel

July 10, 2012

AMIR HAKIM MCCAIN,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN E. WETZEL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, J.

MEMORANDUM

Before the Court is Defendants Wetzel, Shaylor, Allison, and Wenerowicz's motion for summary judgment, and Plaintiff's cross-motions for summary judgment. For the following reasons, the Court will grant summary judgment in favor of Defendants on all of Plaintiff's claims, and deny Plaintiff's motions for summary judgment.

I.FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Amir McCain, also known as John McCain, a state prisoner currently incarcerated at SCI-Fayette filed this civil action against John E. Wetzel, Wendy Shaylor, Lieutenant Allison and Michael Wenerowicz,*fn1 Superintendent at SCI-Graterford (collectively "Defendants"). He seeks damages for the destruction of his property, which occurred at SCI-Graterford, and for the denial of his access to the courts pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Compl. 6, ECF No. 3.*fn2

In 1990, Plaintiff was convicted of rape in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Pl's Dep. 20:2-15. He was sentenced to twenty-one to sixty years in prison. Id. at 21:4-6. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania upheld his conviction and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania did not accept his appeal. Id. at 22:11-25. Plaintiff then filed a Post-Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA") petition in which he claimed ineffective assistance of trial counsel, but it was denied. Id. at 23:1-24:5, 28:22-30:1.

On March 31, 2011, Plaintiff was transferred to SCIGraterford to appear in court. Id. at 56:5-7. Prior to his transfer, Plaintiff was housed at SCI-Fayette. Id. at 17:2- 18:10. On May 27, 2011, Plaintiff was issued a misconduct for being in an unauthorized area and for unauthorized use of the telephone. Id. at 67:8-10. On May 31, 2011 Plaintiff had a hearing in which he pled guilty to unauthorized use of the telephone. Id. at 84:12-19. Plaintiff was sanctioned to thirty days in the Restricted Housing Unit ("RHU"). Id. at 63:17-25, 83:19-21. Prior to going to the RHU, Plaintiff returned to his cell in the general prison population. Id. at 64:11-18. Plaintiff then packed his property into one box. Id. at 65:17-66:1, 74:17-19. Plaintiff's property was not inventoried by an officer, which according to Plaintiff was against the policies of SCI-Graterford. Id. at 65:13-66:7. Plaintiff was taken to the RHC while his property remained in the housing unit. Id. at 66:8-19.

On June 10, 2011, Plaintiff was released from RHU and returned to the housing unit block to which he was assigned prior to being sent to the RHU. Id. at 69:25-70:12, 85:16-18. Once he arrived at his housing unit, Plaintiff asked an officer for his property who informed him that his property was in the property room. Id. at 70:9-71:1. Plaintiff went to the property room. Id. The officer in the property room informed him that his property was never brought to the property room from the housing unit and told him to check for his property back at his housing unit. Id. at 71:2-9. Plaintiff returned to his housing unit. Id. at 71:16-24. After a series of back-and-forth exchanges from the property room to the housing unit, an officer informed Plaintiff that his property was located on the housing unit. Id. at 71:16-72:25. Once Plaintiff's property was located, Plaintiff opened the box and determined that his transcripts and legal materials were missing. Id. at 74:4-25. Plaintiff admitted that he does not know who took his legal materials or property. Id. at 79:22-25.

On June 16, 2011, Plaintiff returned to SCI-Fayette. Id. at 83:9-13. While at Fayette, Plaintiff filed a grievance over his missing property, which was denied. Id. at 79:11-21, 95:10-97:24.*fn3

After deposing the Plaintiff, Defendants, collectively, filed a motion for summary judgment on March 30, 2012. Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. Plaintiff filed his own cross-motion for summary judgment on April 2, 2012. Pl.'s Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 33. After a telephone conference with both parties, the Court ordered Plaintiff to respond to Defendants' motion for summary judgment by May 9, 2012. Order, April 10, 2012, ECF No.

35. Plaintiff did not respond to Defendants' motion but filed a second motion for summary judgment.*fn4 Pl.'s Second Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 37. The motions are now ripe for disposition.

II.DISCUSSION

Defendants argue that Plaintiff's claims fail as against all Defendants as a matter of law because Plaintiff has not established the personal involvement of any of the Defendants named in the destruction of Plaintiff's property or his resultant denial of access to the courts. Defs.' Mot. Summ.

J. 6-11. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants Wetzel, Shaylor, Allison, and Wenerowicz interfered with his right of access to courts by refusing to investigate and review video footage to identify John Doe, the officer who allegedly destroyed ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.