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Pino v. Carey

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

September 5, 2017

JOHN A. PINO, Plaintiff
v.
MICHAEL CAREY, et al., Defendants

          CARLSON, M.J.

          MEMORANDUM

          MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the court is the report of Magistrate Judge Carlson, (Doc. 69), which recommend that defendant Carey's motion for summary judgment, (Doc. 41), be granted. All of the other defendants in this case, except for defendant Carey, have previously been dismissed. Also pending is the motion of plaintiff for a second extension of time to object to Judge Carlson's report and/or a motion to hold the case in abeyance. (Doc. 72). Plaintiff's request to hold this case in abeyance will be denied. The court will grant plaintiff's second request for an extension of time to file his objections.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Briefly, by way of background, on June 16, 2015, the plaintiff filed, pro se, the instant civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 alleging violations of his constitutional rights by the defendants in relation to events leading to his arrest, conviction and current term of imprisonment at SCI- Houtzdale.[1] (Doc. 1). The plaintiff is now proceeding on his amended complaint which he filed on July 9, 2015. (Doc. 9). Defendant Carey filed his answer to plaintiff's amended complaint with affirmative defenses on March 4, 2016. (Doc. 25).

         Discovery then ensued, including the deposition of plaintiff.

         On October 13, 2016, defendant Carey filed a motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 41). The motion was briefed by the parties, a statement of material facts was filed as well as exhibits.

         On June 16, 2017, Judge Carlson issued his report and recommended that defendant Carey's motion for summary judgment be granted since he found that Carey was entitled to qualified immunity. (Doc. 69).

         On July 3, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion for an extension of time to file objections to Judge Carlson's reports which the court granted and gave plaintiff until July 31, 2017 to file his objections. (Doc. 70, Doc. 71).

         On August 1, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion for a second extension of time to object to Judge Carlson's report and/or a motion to hold the case in abeyance “due to [plaintiff's] mental incompetence to file a meaningful appeal”, i.e., objections. (Doc. 72). In his motion, plaintiff requests the court to place his case in abeyance “until his mental [condition] stabilizes and the arrival of his corrective lenses.” He also requests that if his stay is denied, that he be given another extension of time to file his objections.

         Attached to this motion is a July 26, 2017 “Affidavit” of Jeffery Goodwin, seemingly a fellow inmate of plaintiff at SCI-Houtzdale, which is only signed by plaintiff.[2] (Doc. 72-1). In the Affidavit, it is alleged by Goodwin that plaintiff is “mentally uncapable (sic) to reply to any or all of [the court's] request” due to a fall plaintiff suffered in September 2015 in a non-handicap cell after the prison doctor removed his required handicap cell status. The Affidavit also alleges various instances of mistreatment plaintiff has suffered in prison. It further re-asserts some of the alleged constitutional violations plaintiff raised against the defendants in his pleadings in this case. Additionally, the Affidavit alleges that the prison mental health doctors are not treating plaintiff's mental disorders, namely, bipolar and PTSD disorders.

         In the Affidavit, Goodwin also alleges that “[plaintiff] is in a dangerous state of depression that's trigging (sic) PTSD TRAUMA EVENTS OF THE WAR HEARING VOICES WITH UNCONTROLABE (sic) MOOD SWINGS. MENTALLY UNCAPABLE (sic) OF UNDERSTANDING ANY LEGAL DOCUMENTS.” Attached to the Affidavit are exhibits, (Doc. 72-1), including plaintiff's medical records from the Lebanon VA Medical Center dated in 2008 showing his diagnoses of bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). Also, included as exhibits are copies of Inmate Request to Staff Member forms plaintiff submitted in July 2017 in which he requested mental health treatment.

         Finally, it is alleged in the Affidavit that the prison medical staff deprived plaintiff of his required eye drops for his glaucoma and that he has been mistreated by prison staff regarding his medical need for dark glasses. It is also indicated that the lenses of his glaucoma glasses are being properly tinted and that plaintiff has not yet received them.

         The court directed defendant Carey to respond to plaintiff's motion and he did so, through ...


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