United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Magistrate Judge Schwab
Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Schwab, in which she recommends that the Court grant the County Defendants’ motion for summary judgment (Doc. No. 136), grant the Medical Defendants’ supplemental motion for summary judgment (Doc. No. 185), and close this case. (Doc. No. 202.) After the Court granted Plaintiff Shannon Mayo two extensions of time to object to the Report and Recommendation, Plaintiff filed a “Motion to Stay Proceeding or 120 day Extension and Appoint Counsel.” (Doc. No. 209.) For the reasons that follow, the Court will construe Plaintiff’s filing as objections, overrule those objections, adopt Magistrate Judge Schwab’s Report and Recommendation, grant the motions of both the County Defendants and Medical Defendants, and close this case.
The lengthy factual and procedural background of the above-captioned action is detailed in Magistrate Judge Schwab’s Report and Recommendation (Doc. No. 202), and the Court need not reproduce it here. Plaintiff presents numerous Section 1983 claims against several defendants based on his detention and medical care at the York County Prison while he was detained there before his criminal trial in 2009 and 2010. Throughout this litigation, the defendants have been treated as two groups: corrections employees of York County (the County Defendants), and the medical providers at York County Prison (the Medical Defendants). (Doc. No. 102 at 2.) On March 29, 2013, the Court adopted an earlier Report and Recommendation from Magistrate Judge Carlson and granted summary judgment on most of the claims against the Medical Defendants. (Doc. No. 164.) The County Defendants filed their own motion for summary judgment on October 24, 2012, and that motion is addressed in the present Report and Recommendation. (Doc. Nos. 136, 202.) In addition, the Medical Defendants filed a supplemental summary judgment motion, also addressed in the present Report and Recommendation, covering Plaintiffs’ remaining claims against them. (Doc. No. 185.)
The County Defendants seek summary judgment as to the entire action; the claims against them include: inadequate medical care, conditions of confinement, procedural due process, excessive force, property deprivation, retaliation, equal protection, free exercise of religion, interference with incoming mail, access to courts, and a municipal liability claim against the County of York itself. (Doc. No. 202 at 18-59.) The only remaining claims against the Medical Defendants are for retaliation against Defendant Mike Baldwin, for the conditions of confinement, and for inadequate medical care against Defendant Prime Care, Inc. (Doc. No. 164 at 9.) Magistrate Judge Schwab issued her Report and Recommendation on March 3, 2014. (Doc. No. 202.) Plaintiff requested extensions of time specifically to object on March 26, 2014, and again on May 14, 2014. (Doc. Nos. 203, 207.) On July 24, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion to stay the proceedings and to appoint counsel, or for a 120-day extension. (Doc. No. 209.) Because Plaintiff filed his motion after requesting multiple extensions to object to Magistrate Judge Schwab’s Report and Recommendation, and because many parts of Plaintiff’s 49-page filing are, in substance, objections to specific recommendations from Magistrate Judge Schwab, the Court will treat Plaintiff’s filing as objections. The Court will also briefly address the stated relief requested in Plaintiff’s filing.
II. LEGAL STANDARD
Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that summary judgment is warranted “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). A factual dispute is material if it might affect the outcome of the suit under the applicable law, and it 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. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986). At summary judgment, the inquiry is whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to the jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law. Id. at 251-52. In making this determination, the Court must “consider all evidence in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion.” A.W. v. Jersey City Pub. Schs., 486 F.3d 791, 794 (3d Cir. 2007).
The moving party has the initial burden of identifying evidence that it believes shows an absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Conoshenti v. Pub. Serv. Elec. & Gas Co., 364 F.3d 135, 145-46 (3d Cir. 2004). Once the moving party has shown that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party’s claims, “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. Grp. Ltd. v. Colkitt, 455 F.3d 195, 201 (3d Cir. 2006); accord Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986). If the non-moving 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 at trial, ” summary judgment is warranted. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. With respect to the sufficiency of the evidence that the non-moving party must provide, a court should grant summary judgment when the non-movant’s evidence is merely colorable, conclusory, or speculative. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50. There must be more than a scintilla of evidence supporting the non-moving party and more than some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts. Id. at 252; see also Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Further, a party may not defeat a motion for summary judgment with evidence that would not be admissible at trial. Pamintuan v. Nanticoke Mem’l Hosp., 192 F.3d 378, 387 (3d Cir. 1999).
The Magistrate Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636, and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), provide that any party may file written objections to a magistrate’s proposed finding and recommendations. In deciding whether to accept, reject, or modify the Report and Recommendation, the Court is to make a de novo determination of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which specific objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also Sample v. Diecks, 885 F.2d 1099, 1106 n.3 (3d Cir. 1989). The district court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings and recommendations contained in the report. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); M.D. Pa. Local Rule 72.3.
Although Magistrate Judge Schwab’s Report and Recommendation addresses all claims from both motions for summary judgment, Plaintiff’s filing, construed as objections and liberally read, raises substantive objections to only three of her recommendations. (Doc. No. 209 at 1-2, 8, 17, 19, 21-23.) The balance of Plaintiff’s filing accuses Magistrate Judge Schwab of bias, asks the Court to consider Plaintiff’s criminal appeal as grounds for granting a stay, and accuses opposing counsel of misleading the Court. (See e.g., id at 3-4, 19-20, 25) (“Plaintiff has done his best to respect Judge Schwabb [sic] but, has to say that she has been biased and prejudice towards plaintiff and his evidence since she was assigned to this matter.”).
Plaintiff has raised specific objections to three claims: the denial of medical treatment by the County Defendants, the denial of medical treatment by the Medical Defendants, and excessive force by County Defendant Officer Ronk. The Court addresses these objections in turn, considering (A) the medical treatment claims ...