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Yancey v. Snyder

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 24, 2017

C.A. SNYDER, et al., Defendants


          MALACHY E. MANNION United States District Judge

         I. Background

         Edward Thompson Yancey, an inmate presently confined in the State Correctional Institution, Camp Hill (“SCI-Camp Hill”), Pennsylvania, filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. (Doc. 1). The named Defendants are the following SCI-Camp Hill employees: C.A. Snyder, CO Crokus, CO McBeth, and CO Keller. Id. Presently before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 16). Defendants seek entry of judgment based on Plaintiff's failure to exhaust available administrative remedies. Id. The motion has been fully briefed, and is ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

         II. Summary Judgment

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) “[t]he court shall grant summary judgment 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); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). “[T]his standard provides that the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986).

         A disputed fact is “material” if proof of its existence or nonexistence would affect the outcome of the case under applicable substantive law. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; Gray v. York Newspapers, Inc., 957 F.2d 1070, 1078 (3d Cir. 1992). An issue of material fact is “genuine” if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 257; Brenner v. Local 514, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, 927 F.2d 1283, 1287-88 (3d Cir. 1991).

         When determining whether there is a genuine issue of material fact, the court must view the facts and all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Moore v. Tartler, 986 F.2d 682 (3d Cir. 1993); Clement v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, 963 F.2d 599, 600 (3d Cir. 1992); White v. Westinghouse Electric Company, 862 F.2d 56, 59 (3d Cir. 1988). In order to avoid summary judgment, however, parties may not rely on unsubstantiated allegations. Parties seeking to establish that a fact is or is not genuinely disputed must support such an assertion by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record, ” by showing that an adverse party's factual assertion lacks support from cited materials, or demonstrating that a factual assertion is unsupportable by admissible evidence. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1); see Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324 (requiring evidentiary support for factual assertions made in response to summary judgment). The party opposing the motion “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Parties must produce evidence to show the existence of every element essential to its case that they bear the burden of proving at trial, for “a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323; see Harter v. G.A.F. Corp., 967 F.2d 846, 851 (3d Cir.1992). Failure to properly support or contest an assertion of fact may result in the fact being considered undisputed for the purpose of the motion, although a court may also give parties an opportunity to properly provide support or opposition. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).

         III. Statement of Facts[1]

         On December 3, 2015, Plaintiff filed the above captioned action, alleging an excessive use of force by Defendants on April 15, 2015, and a deliberate indifference to his medical needs for the injuries resulting therefrom. (Doc. 1).

         On April 15, 2015, Plaintiff was issued Misconduct No. B476387 for assault and Misconduct No. B476388 for threatening an employee or their family with bodily harm. (Doc. 19-6 at 2, Misconduct History). Plaintiff was found guilty of both misconducts and sanctioned to 90 days disciplinary custody on each misconduct. (Doc. 19-9 at 2, Declaration of Joseph Dupont, Chief Hearing Examiner). No appeal from either misconduct was ever filed. Id.

         On April 20, 2015, Plaintiff filed Grievance No. 563115, in which he alleges that on April 15, 2015, while being escorted to the visiting room, he was walking “towards the exit door” when he was “slammed down by officers' force fully to the ground, punch[ed] or kick[ed] repeatedly in the ribs, face or stomach, when [he] wasn't resisting at all.” (Doc. 19-3 at 2, Official Inmate Grievance).

         On April 27, 2015, Plaintiff was issued a notice of investigation, indicating that an investigation into the allegations of abuse contained in his grievance was underway, and that an extension of time to respond to his grievance was necessary in order to appropriately investigate and respond. (Doc. 19-3 at 3, Extension).

         On July 27, 2015, an Initial Review Response to Grievance No. 563115 was issued, denying Plaintiff's grievance as follows:

An investigation was conducted on behalf of the SCI-Camp Hill Security Office concerning your ...

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