United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION [1"
PARADISE BAXTER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendants' motion for sanctions,
seeking dismissal of Plaintiff's action with prejudice
or, alternatively, the imposition of attorneys' fees
incurred in the preparation of the motion and in response to
Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. [ECF No. 72, p.
13]. Defendants contend that such consequences are warranted
based upon Plaintiff's commission of a fraud upon the
Court, through his submission of manufactured and forged
evidence in opposition to a pending motion.
fully set forth herein, the Court agrees that Plaintiff has
abused the judicial process in an effort to harass Defendants
and to fraudulently extract monetary damages in pursuit of
questionable claims. Therefore, in accordance with Rule 11 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Prisoner
Litigation Reform Act, Plaintiff's action shall be
dismissed with prejudice.
Background and Relevant Procedural History
Boulware (“Plaintiff”) initiated this civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, by filing a
motion to proceed in forma pauperis, accompanied by
his complaint. [ECF No. 1] At the time of filing suit,
Plaintiff was an inmate incarcerated at the State
Correctional Institution at Forest in Marienville,
Pennsylvania (“SCI - Forest”). Named as
Defendants in his complaint are: Deputy Overmyer
(“Overmyer”), Deputy Oberlander
(“Oberlander”), Major Ennis
(“Ennis”), Lt. Haggerty (“Haggerty”),
Lt. Davis (“Davis”), Lt. Dickey
(“Dickey”), Lt. Murin (“Murin”), Sgt.
Cochran (“Cochran”), Sgt. Anthony
(“Anthony”), C.O. Mullooly
(“Mullooly”), C.O. Drayer (“Drayer”),
Dr. Simons (“Simons”), Nurse Hill
(“Hill”), and C.O. Baumcratz
(“Baumcratz”). [ECF No. 3].
complaint alleges several Eighth Amendment conditions of
confinement claims and a separate Fourteenth Amendment due
process claim arising from the theft of a television.
Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment claim was dismissed for
failure to state a claim by Order entered March 7, 2017, due
to the availability of a post-deprivation remedy. [ECF No.
52]. Accordingly, the following claims remain:
(1) an Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against
Defendants Drayer, Mullooly, Cochran, Buamcratz, and Murin,
arising from a November 11, 2015, incident when his hand was
allegedly pulled through a cell-door wicket;
(2) an Eighth Amendment failure to protect claim, alleging
that Defendants failed to prevent him from being raped by his
cellmate on November 18, 2015, after he says he informed
Defendants Oberlander, Anthony and Ennis that he had received
threats from other inmates indicating an attack was imminent;
(3) an Eighth Amendment claim of deliberate indifference
against Defendants Simons and Hill, related to inadequate
medical and psychological care; and,
(4) an Eighth Amendment and/or First Amendment claim related
to the denial of several showers and meals, as well as
harassment by DOC personnel, in retaliation for filing
the conclusion of discovery, Defendants filed their summary
judgment motion, requesting the entry of judgment in their
favor as matter of law. [ECF No. 58]. Defendants contend that
Plaintiff failed to appeal the initial denial of any
grievance and, accordingly, he has failed to properly and
completely exhaust his claims, as required by the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), Pub. L. No.
104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). In
addition, Defendants indicate that certain Defendants and
claims were not identified by Plaintiff in any grievance and,
therefore, have not been exhausted. Finally, based upon the
uncontradicted evidence of record, Defendants argue that
Plaintiff cannot establish the existence of required elements
of his failure to protect claim. [ECF No. 58, 61].
has filed a motion for summary judgment, primarily serving as
his response to Defendants' pending motion, and has
attached as exhibits thereto copies of documents purporting
to evidence that he completely and properly exhausted each of
his claims through the prison grievance process. [ECF Nos.
64, 65]. In addition, as to his failure to protect claim,
Plaintiff provides documents which purport to establish
Defendants' deliberate indifference to an identifiable
risk of a potential inmate assault.
in turn, have filed their response to Plaintiff's motion,
and assert that many of Plaintiff's exhibits in
opposition to Defendants' motion for summary judgment are
fabricated or forged. Defendants argue that the manufactured
documents should not impact the dispositive effect of
Plaintiff's failure to exhaust administrative remedies or
to otherwise establish issues of fact with regard to any of
his claims. [ECF Nos. 68, 72].
further move for the imposition of sanctions pursuant to Rule
11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendants argue
that Plaintiff's exhibits are designed to harass and
needlessly prolong and complicate the case, and otherwise
perpetrate a fraud upon the Court and judicial process. [ECF
72, p13');">p. 13 - 15]. Defendants seek dismissal of the pending
action or, alternatively, an award of reasonable
attorneys' fees in the amount of $4812.50, determined by
the prevailing hourly rate, for the time and expense incurred
to “ferret out and address some of the forgeries and
altered, fraudulent documents” Plaintiff has filed with
the Court. [ECF No. 72, pp. 14-15].
response to the motion for sanctions, Plaintiff has filed a
“Motion to Strike and to Move Forward from Summary
Judgment.” Plaintiff contends that it is Defendants who
have fabricated evidence to avoid liability for their
conduct, and that “all of [his] documents are true and
correct.” [ECF No. 70, p. 2]. Plaintiff's motion to
strike was denied on August 31, 2017, leaving Defendants'
motion for sanctions, as well as cross motions for summary
judgment to be resolved. [ECF No. 71].
support of their entitlement to sanctions, Defendants
indicate that, in large part, the 135 pages of exhibits
submitted by Plaintiff in response to their motion for
summary judgment have been fabricated or contain post-hoc
falsifications or forgeries. These fabrications include fake