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Hill v. Ebbert

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

June 12, 2015



MATTHEW W. BRANN, District Judge.


Demetrius Hill, Nestor Cercet, Anthony Washington, Kevin Lawson, Martin Eduardo Castellano-Bayseillo, Roscoe L. Alford, and John F. Legrand initiated this pro se civil rights action regrading their mutual confinement at the Canaan United States Penitentiary, Waymart, Pennsylvania (USP-Canaan).[1] An Amended Complaint (Doc. 13) was previously submitted.

By Order dated June 6, 2013, Plaintiffs' request for class certification was denied and the Original Plaintiffs' individual motions to proceed in forma pauperis were construed as motions to proceed without full prepayment of fees and costs and the motions and granted. See Doc. 51. The Order also authorized service of the Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint on the Defendants named therein.[2]

Named as Defendants are the following USP-Canaan officials: Warden David Ebbert; Associate Warden Leonard Oddo; Captain Robert Kazuba; Lieutenant B. Sudul; Health Services Administrator Jeffrey Burkett; Unit Managers Kyle Lindsay, Michael Sample, and Thomas Gubbiotti; Counselors James Durkin, Debra Tomaino, and Thomas Newcomb; Margaret Trently; as well as Correctional Officers John Schwartz, Christopher Heenan, Ryan Burns, Ryan Rosencrance, Matthew Kubicki, and Edward Hayden.

According to the Amended Complaint, USP-Canaan was placed on lockdown status following the killing of a correctional officer by an inmate on February 25, 2013. During this lockdown period, Plaintiffs contend that beginning with an incident which purportedly transpired on March 4, 2013 they have been injured as the result of a retaliatory campaign of abuse carried out by correctional staff. See Doc. 13, p. 3.

Presently pending is Defendants' partial motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment. See Doc. 92. Plaintiff Hill has opposed the motion.[3] Defendants initially ask that this Court dismiss the Amended Complaint as to Plaintiffs Cercet, Gay, Castellano-Bayseillo and Alford for failure to prosecute because they have each failed to provide the Court with their current address following their release from the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and have failed to make filing fee payments. They also seek entry of summary judgment on the basis that "each of the plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies." Doc. 99, p. 2.


Standard of Review

Defendants' pending dispositive motion is supported by evidentiary materials outside the pleadings. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(d) provides in part as follows:

If, on a motion under Rule 12(b)(6) or 12(c), matters outside the pleading are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion must be treated as one for summary judgment under Rule 56. All parties must be given reasonable opportunity to present all the material that is pertinent to the motion.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(d).

This Court will not exclude the evidentiary materials accompanying the Defendants' motion. Thus, their motion will be treated as solely seeking summary judgment. See Latham v. United States, 306 Fed.Appx. 716, 718 (3d Cir. 2009)(when a motion to dismiss has been framed alternatively as a motion for summary judgment such as in the present case, the alternative filing "is sufficient to place the parties on notice that summary judgment might be entered.")

Summary judgment is proper if "the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); See also Saldana v. Kmart Corp., 260 F.3d 228, 231-32 (3d Cir. 2001). A factual dispute is "material" if it might affect the outcome of the suit under the applicable law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A factual dispute is "genuine" only if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis that would allow a reasonable fact-finder to return a verdict for the non-moving party. Id. at 248. The court must resolve all doubts as to the existence of a genuine issue of material fact in favor of the non-moving party. Saldana, 260 F.3d at 232; see also Reeder v. ...

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