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Boomer v. Samuels

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 21, 2017

RODNEY BOOMER, Plaintiff
v.
CHARLES SAMUELS, ET AL., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          RICHARD P. CONABOY United States District Judge.

         Background

         This pro se action pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) was filed by Rodney Boomer, an inmate presently confined at the United States Penitentiary, Coleman, Florida (USP-Coleman). Named as sole Defendant is the United States of America.[1] An Amended Complaint (Doc. 10) was previously filed.

         By Memorandum and Order dated September 30, 2015, Defendant's motion for summary judgment was partially granted. See Doc. 89. Summary judgment was granted with respect to all claims except Boomer's allegations that officials at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania (USP-Lewisburg) negligently failed to protect his safety.

         Boomer was arrested and taken into federal custody on February 21, 2006. According to the Amended Complaint, paperwork relating to Plaintiff's criminal case which was readily accessible to other prisoners via an electronic legal research database falsely indicated that he had cooperated with state and federal law enforcement authorities. Plaintiff allegedly discovered that this false accusation of police cooperation in 2008 while confined at the Federal Correctional Institution, Gilmer, West Virginia (FCI-Gilmer).

         Plaintiff claims that his written notification that the false accusation had placed his life in danger was ignored by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Prior to his arrival at USP-Lewisburg, Boomer asserts that he was almost killed by inmates at four federal correctional facilities where he was previously confined. As s result of those incidents, Plainitff was placed in solitary confinement at some of those facilities. The Amended Complaint indicates federal prison officials continually ignored his repeated requests for protection Boomer arrived at USP-Lewisburg on July 23, 2013 and was immediately placed in the prison's Special Management Unit (SMU). It is undisputed that upon his arrival at the prison, Boomer informed staff during an interview that he could not be housed with any inmates who were either from New York or had gang affiliation. See Doc. 178, pp. 7-8. On August 23, 2013, Plaintiff states that he was involved in an altercation with his USP-Lewisburg cell mate after he refused to turn over copies of his federal criminal case paperwork. A second altercation transpired on October 22, 2013 when Boomer was purportedly accused by another prisoner of cooperating with authorities.

         On November 1, 2013, a third more serious incident allegedly transpired when Plaintiff's cell mate assaulted him after indicating that Boomer had cooperated with law enforcement. As a result of this attack, Plaintiff was hospitalized for a concussion, facial fractures and a broken left hand and elbow. See id. at ¶ 20. Boomer was transferred to X Block at USP-Lewisburg on November 5, 2013 where he remained until January 1, 2014.[2] Plaintiff returned to X Block on November 20, 2014 and remained there until his December 20, 2015 transfer to USP-Coleman.

         The Amended Complaint contends that the above described assaults at USP-Lewisburg took place because prison officials failed to adequately protect Boomer's safety by negligently housing him with gang members and New York City inmates who were aware of the false rumor that he had cooperated with law enforcement officials.

         Presently pending is Defendant's second motion for summary judgment. See Doc. 164. The Plaintiff has not filed an opposing brief. However, Boomer has filed two motions to compel discovery (Docs. 186 & 197); a motion for preliminary injunctive relief (Doc. 209); and a request for an evidentiary hearing (Doc. 210). All of those pending motions will be addressed below.

         Discussion

         Motions To Compel

         Boomer's initial pending motion to compel asserts that the Defendant has not produced two discoverable documents “which are letters from Plaintiff to Defendant explaining his concerns about his safety.” Doc. 186, p. 2. The second motion similarly seeks production of those same letters.

         Defendant asserts that Plaintiff never served it with a request for the discovery materials at issue prior to the expiration of the discovery period in this matter. Since discovery was closed for over four months prior to the date Plaintiff allegedly served the discovery request at issue, since Plaintiff was not granted leave to engage in additional discovery the Defendant was under no obligation to provide a response, Plaintiff's pending motions to compel, his 9th and 10th such motions in this case, will be denied.

         Preliminary Injunctive Relief

         Plaintiff's motion asserts that he has been denied adequate care by the medical staff at USP-Coleman, his current place of confinement.[3] Boomer indicates that he has neurological and physical mobility ...


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