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 initially 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. The case manager had also moved to have the court
dismiss the claims against her because the plaintiff failed
to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, and
because she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies as
required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The court
converted the motion to dismiss 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.
court received a supplemental submission by the case manager,
but received nothing from the plaintiff. After reviewing the
applicable record, the court granted summary judgment in
favor of the case manager, finding that the plaintiff had
failed to file a grievance, and thus, there was no genuine
issue of material fact regarding whether she failed to
exhaust her administrative remedies before filing this
the court granted summary judgment in favor of the case
manager and dismissed this case, the plaintiff filed a motion
for relief from the court's order dismissing the case,
indicating that for medical reasons, she was unable to
participate in discovery during the period of time provided
by the court. After holding a hearing on the plaintiff's
motion for relief from the court's order dismissing this
case, the court reopened the case and granted the parties an
additional 60 days to engage in discovery as to (1) whether
the plaintiff exhausted her administrative remedies, and (2)
the plaintiff's underlying claims. After the discovery
period closed, the case manager filed a renewed motion for
summary judgment. After reviewing the supplemental record,
the court will again 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 prior to filing this lawsuit.
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,
respectively. Doc. Nos. 21, 22. Rodenbaugh filed responses to
the motions to dismiss on November 21, 2016. Doc. Nos. 24,
25. . . .
18, 2017 Mem. Op. (“Opinion on MTD”) at 2-5
(footnote no. 2 omitted), Doc. No. 26.
On January 18, 2017, the court entered a memorandum opinion
and order (1) dismissing the claims against Dr. Thomas with
prejudice for the failure to state a claim, (2) granting
Adduddell's motion to dismiss and dismissing the claims
against him with prejudice, (3) denying Boandl's motion
to dismiss without prejudice and converting it to a motion
for summary judgment, and (4) notifying Boandl and Rodenbaugh
that they had 20 days to file all relevant material relating
to Boandl's motion. Doc. Nos. 26, 27. On February 6, 2017,
Boandl filed an addendum in support of her converted Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss which reraised the arguments set
forth in her motion to dismiss as a motion for summary
judgment. See Addendum to Def. Tracy Boandl's
Rule 12(b)(6) Mot. and Brief which was Converted by the Court
to a Mot. for Summ. J. by Order Dated Jan. 18, 2017
(“Boandl Addendum”) at 2-6, Doc. No. 28. . . .
14, 2017 Mem. Op. (“Opinion on MSJ”) at 4-5, Doc.
February 14, 2017, the 20-days leave that the court granted
the parties to file all material relevant to Boandl's
motion having passed, and Rodenbaugh having filed no
supplemental memoranda or evidence in support of her claims,
the court entered a memorandum opinion and order granting
summary judgment in favor of Boandl because there was no
genuine issue of material fact with respect to
Rodenbaugh's failure to exhaust her administrative
remedies as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). Doc. Nos.
29, 30. On February 22, 2017, Rodenbaugh filed a motion for
relief from the court's order granting Boandl's
motion for summary judgment and dismissing the case. Doc. No.
31. Boandl filed a response in opposition to Rodenbaugh's
motion on March 10, 2017. Doc. No. 33. After holding a
hearing and oral argument on Rodenbaugh's motion for
relief on March 16, 2017, the court entered an order, which
(1) granted the motion to reopen and (2) directed the clerk
of the court to re-open this case, (2) provided the parties
with 60 days to complete limited discovery, and (3) set forth
a schedule for Boandl to file a renewed motion for summary
judgment and for the plaintiff to file a response to the
motion. Order, Doc. No. 35.
filed a motion to conduct polygraph exams of Boandl and
Warden Janine Donate of the Lehigh County Jail (“Warden
Donate”), in conjunction with their depositions, on
April 5, 2017, which the court subsequently denied on April
6, 2017. Doc. Nos. 37-39. Rodenbaugh filed a motion for
reconsideration of the court's order denying her motion
to conduct polygraph exams on April 17, 2017, which the court
subsequently denied on April 18, 2017. Doc. Nos. 40, 41.
timely filed a renewed motion for summary judgment on May 26,
2017. Doc. No. 42. Rodenbaugh timely filed a response in
opposition to Rodenbaugh's renewed motion for summary
judgment on June 7, 2017. Doc. No. 43. Boandl's renewed
motion for summary judgment is now ripe for disposition.