United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
JOSEPH LAURENSAU, Plaintiff, Pro se, Graterford, PA.
For GARRET FINLEY, COI, GERALD HONSAUER, Defendants: Mary Lynch Friedline, LEAD ATTORNEY, Timothy Mazzocca, Office of Attorney General, Pittsburgh, PA.
OPINION Re: ECF No. 64
MAUREEN P. KELLY, CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Plaintiff Joseph Laurensau (" Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (" DOC"), and is currently incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution (" SCI") at Graterford. Plaintiff has brought this civil rights suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (" Section 1983"), alleging that Defendants Garret Finley (" Finley"), and Gerald Honsauer (" Honsauer") (collectively, " Defendants") violated his rights provided by the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution in July of 2010 while he was incarcerated at SCI Greene.
Presently before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment (" the Motion") that was submitted by Defendants on March 6, 2014. ECF No. 64. On May 12, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Brief in Opposition to the Motion, a Declaration in Opposition to the Motion, a Counterstatement of Facts, and an Appendix to Brief in Opposition. ECF Nos. 73-76. The Motion therefore is ripe for review. For the reasons that follow, the Motion will be granted.
I. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that: " The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). An issue of material fact is in genuine dispute if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). See Doe v. Abington Friends Sch., 480 F.3d 252, 256 (3d Cir. 2007) (" A genuine issue is present when a reasonable trier of fact, viewing all of the record evidence, could rationally find in favor of the non-moving party in light of his burden of proof"). Thus, summary judgment is warranted where, " after adequate time for discovery and upon motion . . . a party . . . fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial."
Marten v. Godwin, 499 F.3d 290, 295 (3d Cir. 2007), quoting Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986).
The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating to the court that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. at 322. See Conoshenti v. Pub. Serv. Elec. & Gas Co., 364 F.3d 135, 140 (3d Cir. 2004). " [W]hen the moving party has carried its burden under Rule 56(c), its opponent must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts .... Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no genuine issue for trial."
Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 167 L.Ed.2d 686 (2007), quoting Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986).
In deciding a summary judgment motion, a court must view the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and must draw all reasonable inferences and resolve all doubts in favor of the nonmoving party. Matreale v. New Jersey Dep't of Military & Veterans Affairs, 487 F.3d 150, 152 (3d Cir. 2007); Woodside v. Sch. Dist. of Phila. Bd. of Educ., 248 F.3d 129, 130 (3d Cir. 2001).
Plaintiff has brought his claims pursuant to Section 1983, which provides that:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress . . . .
42 U.S.C. § 1983. " Section 1983 provides remedies for deprivations of rights established in the Constitution or federal laws. It does not, by its own terms, create substantive rights."
Kaucher v. Cnty. of Bucks, 455 F.3d 418, 423 (3d Cir. 2006), citing Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 145 n.3, 99 S.Ct. 2689, 61 L.Ed.2d 433 (1979) (footnote omitted). Thus, in order to state a claim for relief under Section 1983, the plaintiff must allege facts from which it could be inferred that " the defendant, acting under color of state law, deprived him or her of a right secured by the Constitution or the laws of the United States." Id. at ...