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Eugene L. Dickerson v. Corrections Officer Sanatucci

October 24, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. John E. Jones III



Plaintiff Eugene L. Dickerson ("Plaintiff" or "Dickerson"), an inmate presently confined at the State Correctional Institution Dallas ("SCI Dallas") in Dallas, Pennsylvania, initiated the above action pro se by filing a civil rights Complaint under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1.) The Complaint raises claims based upon events that allegedly occurred while Dickerson was confined at the State Correctional Institution Camp Hill ("SCI Camp Hill") in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. (Doc. 1.) Named as Defendants are SCI Camp Hill Corrections Officers Sanatucci, McBeth, and Stum.

Service of the Complaint was directed by Order dated May 10, 2012. (Doc. 7.)

Presently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), which was filed on July 17, 2012 on behalf of Defendants. (Doc. 11.) For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion will be granted.

Also pending is Dickerson's Motion to Uphold Complaint (Doc. 15), filed on August 21, 2012, which we construe, along with his supporting brief (Doc. 14) and exhibits (Doc. 14-1), as his opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Based upon our determination that the dismissal of Dickerson's Complaint for failure to exhaust administrative remedies is appropriate, we shall deny his Motion to Uphold Complaint.


A. Allegations of the Complaint

In his Complaint, filed on May 8, 2012*fn1 , Dickerson alleges that Defendant McBeth directed verbal insults at him, commented on Dickerson's HIV positive status, and that he physically assaulted him. He alleges that Defendant Stum verbally insulted him, denied him access to the yard and lunch, and refused to allow him to shower following afternoon chores. Finally, Dickerson alleges that Defendant Sanatucci caused him to miss the appointed time for pill line on one day. Dickerson's specific allegations against each of the three Defendants are as follows:

1. Defendant McBeth

Dickerson alleges that, on March 28, March 29, and April 10, 2012, Defendant McBeth verbally insulted him by making comments about his sexuality, and in his comment on March 29, referred openly to Dickerson's HIV status. (Doc. 1 at 2 ¶¶ 1-3.) Dickerson further alleges that, on April 18, 2012, he was having an asthma attack and McBeth struck him in the chest so hard that it triggered another asthma attack and said, "When I give you an order freak, you follow it!" (Id. at 3 ¶ 4.) Dickerson alleges that the assault left him with "bruised ribs and visible bruise [sic]", and that his injuries were photographed and x-rayed, and an investigation is pending. (Id.)

2. Defendant Stum

Dickerson alleges that, on March 29 and April 4, 2012, Defendant Stum directed verbal insults toward him that mocked his sexuality. (Id. at 3-4 ¶¶ 5, 7.) He also alleges that, on March 29, Stum denied him access to the yard and lunch (id. At 3

5), and that, on April 2, Stum refused to allow Dickerson to take a shower after he completed afternoon chores and then locked Dickerson in his cell, which resulted in the denial of lunch and access to the yard. (Id. at 3 ¶ 6.)

3. Defendant Sanatucci

Dickerson alleges that, on April 16, 2012, while Sanatucci was working the 6-2 shift, he gave Dickerson an order to go cut grass and that, as a result, Dickerson missed pill line. (Id. at 4 ¶ 8.) He alleges that, after he finished his task, he asked Sanatucci if he could go to get his pills, and Sanatucci told him to wait for the medical nurse to call him. (Id.) Dickerson renewed his request a half hour later, and Sanatucci replied that "no one called and he wasn't sending me down." (Id.) When Dickerson went to pill line at 8PM, the nurse told him that he had called two times for him and that Dickerson cannot miss doses of the "life sustaining medications" that he takes. (Id.) He alleges that Sanatucci refused him medical services. (Id.)

As relief, Dickerson requests financial compensation for mental and emotional distress, including severe depression, that he experienced as a result of harassment by these corrections officers; the cruel and unusual punishment that he received at the hands of these officers, including the denial of showers, meals, and recreation; and the physical pain caused by McBeth's ...

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