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Lamancusa v. Garman

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

January 12, 2017

MARK GARMAN, ET AL., Defendants


          Matthew W. Brann United States District Judge.


         This pro se civil rights action was filed by Anthony Lamancusa, an inmate presently confined at Rockview State Correctional Institution, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (SCI-Rockview). Service of the Complaint was previously ordered Named as Defendants are two SCI-Rockview officials, Superintendent Mark Garman and Inmate Accounts Manager Brian Miller. Plaintiff describes himself as being “mentally incompetent and disabled.” Doc. 1, ¶ 1. As a result, Lamancusa claims that he is unable to perform prison employment. Plaintiff states that all SCI-Rockview inmates should receive $ 15.00 per month in idle pay until they are physically able to work and inmates who are medical patients should be given a monthly $ 10.00 medical allowance. See id. at ¶ 4. According to the sparsely worded Complaint, Plaintiff has been subjected to a retaliatory denial of medical allowance and idle pay because of his mental disability. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief.

         Defendants responded to the complaint by filing a motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment. See Doc. 15. The opposed motion is ripe for consideration.


         Defendants argue that the Complaint cannot proceed because: (1) Lamancusa failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies, (2) there are no assertion of personal involvement by Defendants in any acts of constitutional misconduct; and (3) a viable allegation of retaliation has not been raised.

         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, together with 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. Sybron Transition Corp., 142 F.R.D. 607, 609 (M.D. Pa. 1992). Unsubstantiated arguments made in briefs are not considered evidence of asserted facts. Versarge v. Township of Clinton, 984 F.2d 1359, 1370 (3d Cir. 1993).

         Once the moving party has shown that there is an absence of evidence to support the claims of the non-moving party, the non-moving party may not simply sit back and rest on the allegations in its complaint. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986). Instead, it must “go beyond the pleadings and by [its] own affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id. (internal quotations omitted); see also Saldana, 260 F.3d at 232 (citations omitted). Summary judgment should be granted where 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 at trial.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-23. “‘Such affirmative evidence - regardless of whether it is direct or circumstantial - must amount to more than a scintilla, but may amount to less (in the evaluation of the court) than a preponderance.'” Saldana, 260 F.3d at 232 (quoting Williams v. Borough of West Chester, 891 F.2d 458, 460-61 (3d Cir. 1989)).

         Administrative ...

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