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Brown v. Fox

United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

March 17, 2015

LAMAR BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
FOX, et al, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER [1]

SUSAN PARADISE BAXTER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

Plaintiff, currently a state prisoner at SCI Albion, filed this action in the Erie County Court of Common Pleas. Thereafter, the action was removed from the Court of Common Pleas to this Court by Defendants. The basis of Defendants’ removal was that the complaint “purports to raise civil rights claims for excessive force, deliberate indifference and retaliation, negligence, assault and battery; asserting claims under Federal and state law.” ECF No. 1, page 1.

The Allegations of the Original Complaint

Named as Defendants to this action are: Fox, Morendo, Lt. John Doe, Sgt. O’Brien, Dunmire, Streichart, and Correctional Officer John Doe 2, all of whom are prison staff at SCI Albion. Although Plaintiff organizes his original complaint into three separate counts (entitling them as Count I – Assault and Battery; Count II – Assault and Battery; and Count III – Willful Misconduct, with all three counts directed against Defendants Fox and Morendo), his original complaint is full of numerous other claims directed against all the named Defendants. Because Plaintiff is a pro se litigant[2], this Court will review the allegations of the original complaint and outline the allegations against each Defendant.

Defendants Fox and Morendo

Plaintiff alleges that on the morning of April 9, 2013, Defendants Fox and Morendo assaulted him or used excessive force against him by slamming his face and head into a metal fence and/or door. Plaintiff was then taken to the Medical Department where his injuries were treated and documented.[3] Following his treatment in the Medical Department, Plaintiff was escorted to the Restricted Housing Unit (“RHU”). Plaintiff claims that this assault by Fox and Morendo was in retaliation for the filing of a lawsuit against other Department of Corrections employees at SCI Somerset. ECF No. 1-1, ¶ 96, 98.

On June 7, 2013, Plaintiff was released from RH U.Since his release therefrom, Plaintiff alleges that Fox and Morendo have created a “campaign of harassment” against him in retaliation for filing grievances about the April 9th incident. Id. at ¶ 51.

Plaintiff claims that the actions of Fox and Morendo violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Id. at ¶ ¶ 95-98.

Defendants Lt. John Doe and Sgt. O’Brien

Lt. John Doe and Sgt. O’Brien were responsible for assigning Plaintiff to a psychological observation cell in RHU, despite there being no legitimate reason for such a placement and other regular RHU cells were available. Id. at ¶ ¶ 65-71. Plaintiff claims this cell assignment was retaliatory. Id. at ¶ 99. Due to his placement in the psychological observation cell in RHU, Plaintiff’s food trays were limited in size and he was thereby deprived of nutritionally adequate meals. Id. at ¶ ¶ 73 – 80.

Defendant Dunmire

In April of 2013, Defendant Dunmire did not give Plaintiff grievance forms in order to report the physical abuse by staff members. Id. at ¶ 72. Plaintiff claims that this conduct violated his right to freedom of speech and right to redress of grievances under the First Amendment and due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at ¶ 100.

Defendants Striechert and Correctional Officer John Doe

Due to the negligence of these two Defendants, two of Plaintiff’s personal photo albums were lost, depriving him of his personal ...


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