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Streshenkoff v. Tutko

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

July 31, 2014

ROBERT TUTKO, RAMON RUSTIN, Warden; WILLIAM EMERICK, Deputy Warden; JAMES DONIS, Major; and JOHN DOE(S), Correctional Officers, Defendants.


CYNTHAI REED EDDY, Magistrate Judge.


For the reasons that follow, it is respectfully recommended that the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants (ECF No. 20) be granted. Plaintiff has requested, and been granted, two extensions of time in which to respond to this motion. The last Order directed Plaintiff to respond by May 20, 2014.

Plaintiff has not responded to the motion, and the time for responding has now passed. Therefore, in the absence of any timely response by Plaintiff, the Court will deem the motion to dismiss to be ripe for disposition and will analyze the Complaint on the merits. Ray v. Reed, 240 F.Appx. 455, 456 (3d Cir. 2007). For the reasons set forth below, it is recommended that the motion to dismiss be granted.


A. Relevant and Material Facts

The following allegations are summarized from the Complaint, and must be taken as true in deciding this Motion to Dismiss. See Newman v. Beard, 617 F.3d 775, 779 (3d Cir. 2010).

This case stems from events allegedly arising on December 23, 2010, when Plaintiff was taken into custody at his place of residence by Defendant Robert Tutko, aa Allegheny County probation officer, and several unidentified officers of the Baldwin Borough Police Department. According to the Complaint, Defendants did not produce a warrant at the time of his arrest and, despite his numerous requests, Plaintiff was never told why he was being arrested.

Plaintiff was then transported to the Allegheny County Jail ("ACJ"). While being processed at ACJ, according to the Complaint, Defendant Tutko threw what appeared to be two (2) hypodermic needles onto the floor in close proximity to Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that he immediately alerted several nearby unidentified correctional officers (hereinafter "C.O.s") to the actions of Defendant Tutko and that, upon informing the C.O.s of what he had witnessed, the C.O.s, in a misuse of force, beat him into unconsciousness. Plaintiff was seen at UPMC Mercy Hospital for his injuries, where he was diagnosed as having a concussion, a fractured nose, and contusions to his face and head. He was discharged from UPMC Mercy Hospital and returned to the ACJ infirmary.

Plaintiff next alleges that while recuperating in the ACJ's infirmary, an unidentified ACJ sergeant prematurely discharged him from the infirmary as a form of punishment and transferred him to "an intake pod on level 4." Upon transfer to this pod, Plaintiff alleges that he notified an unidentified C.O. that "there was a problem between him and another inmate and that he was in fear for his safety." Complaint, at ¶ 45. As he feared, Plaintiff was later attacked by this inmate and received injuries to his head and face, which injuries necessitated treatment at UPMC Mercy Hospital. Plaintiff alleges that when he was discharged from UPMC Mercy Hospital, he was returned to ACJ, and placed in segregation, where he was provided with inadequate medical care. Plaintiff was released from the ACJ on or about February 20, 2011. On December 17, 2012, Plaintiff, then confined at the State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon, [1] commenced this action by filing a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis, with an attached Complaint filed under the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging the denial of his Fourth Amendment due process rights, as well as claims under Pennsylvania state law for the torts of false imprisonment, assault, battery, negligence, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Named as defendants are Robert Tutko, a probation officer with the Allegheny County Adult Probation; Ramon Rustin, former Warden of ACJ; William Emerick, Deputy Warden of ACJ; James Donis, Major at ACJ; and John Doe(s), unidentified correctional officers of ACJ. On January 8, 2013, Plaintiff's request for in forma status was granted and his Complaint was filed the following day.

Defendants have filed the instant Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 20) along with a Brief in support thereof (ECF No. 21) claiming that the Complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

B. Standard of Review for Motion to Dismiss

1. Pro Se Litigants

Pro se pleadings, "however inartfully pleaded, " must be held to "less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-521 (1972). If the court can reasonably read pleadings to state a valid claim on which the litigant could prevail, it should do so despite failure to cite proper legal authority, confusion of legal theories, poor syntax and sentence construction, or the litigant's unfamiliarity with pleading requirements. Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364 (1982); United States ex rel. Montgomery v. ...

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