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Robinson v. Vidonish

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

October 29, 2014

HARVEY MIGUEL ROBINSON, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
LOUIS S. FOLINO; PETER VIDONISH, Sued in their individual capacities, Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

MAUREEN P. KELLY, Chief Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Harvey Miguel Robinson, Jr. ("Plaintiff"), is an inmate in the custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections ("DOC"), and is currently incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Greene ("SCI-Greene"). Plaintiff brings this civil rights action against Defendants Louis S. Folino ("Folino"), the Superintendent at SCI-Greene, and Peter Vidonish ("Vidonish"), the Unit Manager at SCI-Greene in charge of capital case prisoners, (collectively, "Defendants"), alleging that Defendants violated his rights provided by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Presently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss ("the Motion"), submitted on behalf of Defendants. ECF No. 4. For the reasons that follow, the Motion will be granted.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

According to the Complaint, Plaintiff was transferred back to SCI-Greene in July 2011. ECF No. 1-2, ¶ 10. Within a week or two of his return, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Vidonish came through the exercise yard in the capital case unit where plaintiff was housed and stopped at plaintiff's yard cage. Id. at ¶¶ 11-12. Plaintiff then alleges that:

13. Immediately after defendant Vidonish stop, he placed the palm of one hand on his hip, and the tip of his pointy finger (of his other hand) up to his cheek bone (and held that pose), and then stated, "So your Robinson. Your the one that like filing law suits and a shit load of grievances against staff. You know it can be arranged for you to take a trip to F-block."
14. Plaintiff then stated, "Who the fuck do you think your takin' to you dick eatin' no life outside the prison faggot-ass fuck boi". Then almost immediately, defendant Vidonish started to uncontrollably shiver, and his eyes got extremely wide and watery. Plaintiff then stated, "What are you staring at? Get away from me Peter cotton-ass! Only a cross-dressing sheep fuckin' hill-billy coward-ass indred, would want to write a man up and send him to the hole".
15. After hearing this, defendant Vidonish became extremely agitated looking, and after his face and neck turned red, he stated, "You heard me convict, see. I run the show here Robinson, and what I say goes, see. You like filing grievances and law suits against us. Well, if you keep it up, see, I'll find a way to write a misconduct on you, and have you sent to the hole on F-block. That'll make you stop filing grievances".
16. Plaintiff then stated, "Your not allowed to give me a misconduct for filing law suits and grievances against staff". To which defendant Vidonish then replied, "If I want to, I can turn any inmate grievance filed against staff, into a misconduct against the inmate and one way trip to the hole on F-block, especially if its you, see. I'm a little spoiled bitch, so they let me do what ever I want on prison grounds".

Id. at ¶¶ 13-16.

Plaintiff alleges that on September 11, 2011, he signed up for law library time slots on September 13, 14, 15 and 17, 2011, but unbeknownst to him, he had been scheduled to go to an outside hospital for a medical test on September 14, 2011. Id. at ¶¶ 24-29. Plaintiff claims that he was also unaware that he was scheduled for his 90-day review by the capital case Program Review Committee ("PRC"), of which Vidonish was a member, on September 14thas well. ¶¶ 30, 33, 36. Plaintiff complains that the PRC meeting was nevertheless held and that the DC-141 form memorializing the meeting, which was filled out in part by Vidonish, states that plaintiff "declined" his review. Id. at ¶¶ 33-35, 38-39. Because Plaintiff was unaware of the PRC meeting and was on a medical trip at the time of the meeting, Plaintiff contends that the representation that he "declined" review was a lie. Id. at ¶¶ 36, 39.

Consequently, on September 29, 2011, Plaintiff filed Grievance No. 383018 ("the Grievance"), complaining that he was denied his 90-day review and that the committee members lied that he had declined it; Plaintiff also requested that the meeting be rescheduled. Id. at ¶¶ 41-42. It appears that Vidonish was assigned to investigate Plaintiff's Grievance by Tracy Shawley, the grievance coordinator at SCI-Greene, which Plaintiff claims violated DOC Policy. Id. at ¶¶ 44-49. Plaintiff also claims that that Vidonish lied on the DC-141 form and purposely did not reschedule the 90-day review to discourage prisoners from filing complaints. Id. at ¶ 43. Nevertheless, according to the Complaint, another PRC meeting was scheduled and held on October 6, 2011. Id. at ¶ 50.

Plaintiff alleges that six days later, on October 12, 2011, Vidonish issued a misconduct against him for "lying to an employee." Id. at ¶ 51. According to the Complaint, the misconduct states that Plaintiff's representation in the Grievance that he was in the law library and that no one informed him of the PRC review on September 14, 2011, was a lie because Plaintiff was in fact absent from the prison facility on a medical trip. Id. at ¶ 52. After the misconduct was issued, Plaintiff contends that he initiated another verbal exchange with Vidonish stating, "Hey Vidonna-bitch! You just couldn't help your self, you vindictive cow fuckin' inbred. You just had to retaliate with the misconduct cuz I filed the grievance." Id. at ¶¶ 54-55. Vidonish allegedly responded by saying, "Hey, I told you that if you keep it up, I'd find a way to write a misconduct on you." Id . ¶ 56. Plaintiff contends that Vidonish subsequently bragged to other inmates that he issued the misconduct on Plaintiff in retaliation for filing the Grievance and warned them not to file grievances either unless they wanted to end up in the RHU like Plaintiff. Id. at ¶¶ 58-62.

Plaintiff also claims that he saw Defendant Folino on October 17, 2011, and told him about the alleged retaliation. Folino allegedly responded by telling Plaintiff that he would address the issue in Plaintiff's misconduct appeal. Id. at ¶¶ 64-65. Plaintiff therefore concludes ...


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