United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
WILLIAM W. CALDWELL, District Judge.
Toratio Deval Williams, a federal inmate, filed this civil-rights action concerning a series of events that occurred in 2013 while he was housed at the United States Prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Williams alleges that defendants frequently searched his cell and confiscated legal materials and personal property; interfered with his access to the courts; physically assaulted him on three occasions; denied him medical care for his injuries; called him racially charged names; tampered with his food; and issued him false incident reports to cover up their inappropriate use of force against him. Named as defendants are the following Bureau of Prisons (BOP) USP Lewisburg employees: Correctional Officer (CO) Robert Admire; CO Sergio Argueta; CO Thomas Benedict; CO Jason Carpenter; CO Timothy Crawford; CO Ty Crawley; Paramedic Sarah Dees; Correctional Counselor James Diltz; Lieutenant (Lt.) Daniel Dowkus; Lt. Keith Ferguson; CO Brittany Garman; CO Joseph Hodish; CO Chad Hurley; Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO) Angelo Jordan; CO Michael Kemmerer; Phlebotomist Kimberly Lindsey; Lt. Roger Miller; CO Brandon Mottern; CO Joshua Oldt; Lt. Shannon Prutzman; Lt. Jerame Sherman; CO Tara Stackhouse; CO Brian Wertz; and Associate Warden David Wilson. (Doc. 1, Compl.)
Presently before the court is the Defendants' motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 15, Mot. to Dismiss and Mot. For Summ. J.) The motion is properly supported with a statement of undisputed material facts, brief, and exhibits. ( See Docs. 32 and 33). In addition to seeking dismissal of the Complaint on the basis of Williams' alleged failure to exhaust his administrative remedies, Defendants attack the merits of each of Williams' claims. Williams filed a "Declaration in Opposition to [Defendants'] Motion." ( See Doc. 36, Br. in Opp'n Mot. Summ. J.). He did not file a response to Defendants' statement of undisputed facts. However, Williams suggests the Regional Director improperly rejected his administrative remedies due to bias. In their reply, Defendants point out that when given the opportunity to correct or re-file his administrative remedies that were rejected by the Regional Director, Williams failed to do so. ( See Doc. 38).
As the issue of Williams' exhaustion of administrative remedies is dispositive of Defendants' motion, the court need not address the remaining defenses presented. For the reasons that follow, the defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted because Williams has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with regard to any of the claims presented in his Complaint.
II. Standard of Review
Because the court will consider matters outside of the pleadings, Defendants' motion will be treated as one for summary judgment.
Summary judgment is proper where "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). In making this evaluation, the court must determine "whether the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions on file, and affidavits show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and whether the moving party is therefore entitled to judgment as a matter of law." MacFarlan v. Ivy Hill SNF, LLC, 675 F.3d 266, 271 (3d Cir. 2012)(citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986)).
"[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2509-10, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). "Material facts are those that could affect the outcome' of the proceeding, and a dispute about a material fact is genuine if the evidence is sufficient to permit a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'" Roth v. Norfalco, 651 F.3d 367, 373 (3d Cir. 2011)(citing Lamont v. New Jersey, 637 F.3d 177, 181 (3d Cir. 2011)).
"[S]ummary judgment is essentially put up or shut up' time for the non-moving party: the non-moving party must rebut the motion with facts in the record and cannot rest solely on assertions made in the pleadings, legal memoranda, or oral argument." Berckeley Inv. Group, Ltd. Colkitt, 455 F.3d 195, 201 (3d Cir. 2006). The moving party has the burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, but the nonmoving party must present affirmative evidence from which a jury might return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 256-57, 106 S.Ct. at 2514. Allegations made without evidentiary support may be disregarded. Jones v. UPS, 214 F.3d 402, 407 (3d Cir. 2000).
A. Allegations of the Complaint
The allegations of the Complaint consist of several distinct events that occurred in 2013 while Williams was incarcerated at USP Lewisburg. (Doc. 1, Compl.)
Williams claims Defendants Admire, Mottern, Garman and Ferguson searched his cell on July 8, 2013, and threw away some of his ...