United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
G. SMITH, J.
action arises from the pro se plaintiff's arrest
after she unsuccessfully attempted to use a hospital's
telephone and obtain additional medical treatment while
there. The plaintiff brought constitutional claims under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against the officer that arrested her, the
judge that presided over her guilty plea and sentencing, and
a case manager and physician that interacted with her while
she was incarcerated. The court previously dismissed the
claims against the officer, the judge, and the physician at
the pleading stage of this case. As such, the only remaining
defendant is the case manager, who the plaintiff alleges
deprived her of access to phone calls and mail, and prevented
her from communicating with her attorney and the court.
before the court is the case manager's motion to dismiss
for failure to exhaust administrative remedies as required by
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, and for failure to state a
claim, which the court converted to a motion for summary
judgment because it relied on matters outside of the
pleadings which the court could not properly consider on a
motion to dismiss. In connection with converting the case
manager's motion, the court granted the parties leave to
submit any evidence relevant to (1) whether the plaintiff
exhausted her administrative remedies, and (2) the
plaintiff's underlying claims. The court received a
supplemental submission by the case manager, but did not
receive anything from the plaintiff. After reviewing the
applicable record, the court will grant summary judgment in
favor of the case manager because there is no genuine issue
of material fact regarding whether the plaintiff failed to
exhaust her administrative remedies before filing this
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
court previously set forth most of the factual and procedural
history in this matter as follows:
On April 25, 2015, the pro se plaintiff, Daphne
Rodenbaugh (“Rodenbaugh”) went to the emergency
department at Sacred Heart Hospital (“Sacred
Heart”) to obtain treatment for severe blisters on her
feet. Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) at 2, Doc.
No. 19. Sacred Heart medical personnel provided her with a
prescription for cream and told her to come back if she had
further problems. Id. Rodenbaugh left Sacred Heart
and attempted to make a phone call, but her cellular phone
did not work, so she returned to Sacred Heart, informed the
staff that she could barely walk, and asked if she could use
the hospital's telephone located in the waiting room.
Id. The staff at Sacred Heart did not permit
Rodenbaugh to use the hospital's telephone, and Sacred
Heart's security called the police. Id.
Jason Adduddell (“Adduddell”), a police officer
for the city of Allentown, arrived and arrested Rodenbaugh.
Id. Rodenbaugh was charged with violating 18 Pa.
C.S. § 3503 (defiant criminal trespass), and because she
was unable to post bail-which was set at $1500-Rodenbaugh was
committed to the Lehigh County Jail pending arraignment.
See Defendant Tracy Boandl Rule 12(b)(6) Mot. to
Dismiss Pl.'s Second Am. Compl. (“Boandl
MTD”) at Ex. 1, Affidavit of Tracy Boandl
(“Boandl Aff.”), at Ex. A, Commitment Order, Doc.
On May 4, 2015, Rodenbaugh appeared before Lehigh County
Magisterial District Judge Rashid Santiago for arraignment.
SAC at 7; Boandl Aff. at Ex. B, Order Imposing Sentence
(“Sentencing Order”). Based on a discussion
between Judge Santiago, the “D.A. and others[, ]”
Rodenbaugh pleaded guilty to defiant criminal trespass
because she believed she would be released in five days if
she pleaded guilty instead of spending three months in jail
awaiting trial if she pleaded not guilty. SAC at 2;
Sentencing Order. Judge Santiago sentenced Rodenbaugh to
“time served to 12 months, parole plan needed, SPORE
supervision, fines suspended, pay costs.” Sentencing
Order. Rodenbaugh's sentence required that she have a
parole plan in place with an address to which the Lehigh
County Jail could release her. Boandl Aff. at ¶ 5.
Rodenbaugh did not have such an address where she could be
released. Id. During her incarceration, Rodenbaugh
interacted with Tracy Boandl (“Boandl”), a Lehigh
County Jail case manager assigned to her. SAC at 3, 5; Boandl
Aff. at ¶ 2. Rodenbaugh believes that Boandl blocked her
access to phone calls and mail, and prevented her from
communicating with her attorney and the court. SAC at 3, 5.
During her incarceration, Rodenbaugh also interacted with Dr.
Alex Thomas (“Dr. Thomas”), a physician at the
Lehigh County Jail. Id. at 9. On the second day of
her incarceration, Rodenbaugh met with Dr. Thomas and stated,
“I don't belong here.” Id.
Rodenbaugh believes that Dr. Thomas should have transferred
her to a mental health institution at that point.
On October 23, 2015, Judge Carol K. McGinley of the Court of
Common Pleas of Lehigh County found that Rodenbaugh was
severely mentally disabled and in need of treatment, and
ordered that she be involuntarily treated at the Wernersville
State Hospital. Boandl Aff. at Ex. E, Order for Involuntary
Treatment. On November 23, 2015, Judge James T. Anthony of
the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County ordered that
Rodenbaugh be paroled to the Wernersville State Hospital,
with an effective date of December 1, 2015. Id. at
Ex. F, Order. Rodenbaugh was transferred to the Wernersville
State Hospital on December 1, 2015. Id. at Ex. G,
Rodenbaugh filed the instant lawsuit, apparently asserting
claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“section
1983”) against Judge Santiago, Adduddell, Boandl, and
Dr. Thomas, and an application to proceed in forma
pauperis, on February 17, 2016, in the Middle District
of Pennsylvania. Complaint, Doc. Nos. 1-1, 1-2. On February
19, 2016, the Honorable Joseph F. Saporito, Jr. entered an
order transferring Rodenbaugh's case to this court. Order
at ECF pp. 3-4, Doc. No. 1.
This matter was not assigned to the undersigned until the
Clerk of Court received the original record in this case on
May 4, 2016. On May 12, 2016, the court entered an order (1)
granting Rodenbaugh's motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis, and (2) providing her with leave to file
an amended complaint to clarify her allegations and to list
all defendants in the caption of the pleading as required by
Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Order at 1,
Doc. No. 2. On May 23, 2016, Rodenbaugh separately filed a
motion seeking the appointment of counsel and an amended
complaint in which she once again asserted claims against
Judge Santiago, Adduddell, Boandl, and Dr. Thomas.
The court entered an order denying Rodenbaugh's motion
for counsel without prejudice on June 8, 2016. Doc. No. 6. On
June 30, 2016, after screening the amended complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the court entered an order
dismissing the claims against Judge Santiago with prejudice,
and ordering the United States Marshal for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania to serve the summonses and the
amended complaint upon the remaining defendants. Doc. No.
Adduddell filed motions to dismiss, to strike, and for a more
definite statement on August 25, 2016. Doc. No. 11. Boandl
filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint on August 31,
2016. Doc. No. 13. Rodenbaugh filed a response to
Adduddell's and Boandl's motions on September 27,
2016. Doc. No. 16. The court held oral argument on the
motions on October 4, 2016. Doc. No. 18.
On October 26, 2016, Rodenbaugh filed a second amended
complaint (“SAC”) against Judge Santiago,
Adduddell, Boandl, and Dr. Thomas. On October 27, 2016, the
court entered an order dismissing the claims in the SAC
against Judge Santiago with prejudice, and denying
Adduddell's and Boandl's motions to dismiss the
amended complaint as moot based on the filing of the SAC.
Doc. No. 20. Adduddell and Boandl separately filed motions to
dismiss the SAC on November 8, 2016 and November 10, 2016,