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Williamson v. Varano

United States District Court, Third Circuit

October 31, 2013

SHARIF WILLIAMSON, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN DAVID VARANO, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM

ROBERT D. MARIANI, District Judge.

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Sharif Williamson ("Plaintiff' or "Williamson"), an inmate currently confined at the State Correctional Institute in Coal Township, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Coal Township"), initiated the above action pro se by filing a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiffs Complaint will be dismissed pursuant to Rule 41 (b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

II. Procedural Background

On December 10, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. (Doc. 1). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that when he was housed in a psychiatric observation cell ("POC")[1] in the medical department Defendants failed to provide him with his legal mail, resulting in his Post Conviction Petition being dismissed as time barred. ( Id. ). Plaintiff alleges that he "used the prison grievance procedure available at SCI-Coal coordinator (sic) to try to solve the problem. On November 19, [2012], Plaintiff name Sharif (sic) was sent a response that the grievance had been denied. On December 5, [2012], he appealed the denial of the grievance." ( Id. at ¶ 11). Plaintiff named the following Defendants in their individual and official capacities: David Varano, Warden; A. Luscavage, Deputy Superintendent, T. Kelly, Grievance Coordinator; Stetler, Captain of Security; and Defendant Kaskie, Head Psychiatrist. ( Id. at ¶¶ 4-8).

On April 23, 2013, Defendants Varano, Luscavage, Kelley, and Stetler filed a Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 17). On the same day, Defendant Kaskie also filed a motion to dismiss and a motion to stay discovery. (Docs. 18, 19). On April 29, 2013, Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson granted Defendant Kaskie's motion to stay discovery. (Doc. 21). On May 7, 2013, Defendants each filed their briefs in support. (Docs, 27, 28). Plaintiffs opposition was due fourteen (14) days after service of Defendants' brief, or by May 21, 2013.[2] See Middle District of Pennsylvania Local Rule 7.6. Plaintiff failed to file an opposition brief. On August 29, 2013, we issued an order directing Plaintiff to file his opposition brief on or before September 12, 2013. (Doc. 31). To date, Plaintiff has neither filed his opposition brief nor requested an extension of time in which to do SO.[3]

III. Discussion

A. Under the Rules of this Court the Motion to Dismiss Should be Deemed Unopposed and Granted

Local Rule 7.6 states:

[a]ny party opposing any motion, other than a motion for summary judgment, shall file a brief in opposition within fourteen (14) days after service of the movant's brief, or, if a brief in support of the motion is not required under these rules, within seven (7) days after service of the motion. Any party who fails to comply with this rule shall be deemed not to oppose such motion.

Middle District of Pennsylvania Local Rule 7.6.

It is now well-settled that "Local Rule 7.6 can be applied to grant a motion to dismiss without analysis of the complaint's sufficiency if a party fails to comply with the [R]ule after a specific direction to comply from the court: Stackhouse v. Mazurkiewicz, 951 F.2d 29, 30 ( 1991) ." Williams v. Lebanon Farms Disposal, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102436, *1 (M.D. Pa. 2010).

Defendants filed their briefs in support of their motions to dismiss on May 7, 2013. (Docs. 27, 28). Plaintiff failed to file a brief in opposition in a timely manner. In our Order dated August 29, 2013, we explained that Plaintiffs failure to file his opposition as directed within the required time will result in Defendants' Motion being deemed unopposed and addressed on the merits. (Doc. 31). To date, Plaintiff has not filed a brief in opposition nor has he requested an extension of time in which to do so. In addition, the Court performed a search for Plaintiff on the VINELink website, which provides the custody status of inmates in Pennsylvania correctional facilities through Pennsylvania's automated victim notification system, PA SAVIN. The search revealed the Plaintiff is ...


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