United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
OPINION AND ORDER
MAUREEN P. KELLY JUDGE. 
Anthony Tusweet Smith ("Plaintiff) is an inmate in the
custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
("DOC"), and is presently incarcerated at the State
Correctional Institution at Greene ("SCI Greene").
Plaintiff brings this civil rights action against Defendants
Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections; SCI
Greene F-Unit Manager; SCI Greene Captain Shrader; SCI Greene
RHU Lt. Morris; SCI Greene RHU Sgt. Tikey
("Tikey"); SCI Greene C/O Arbabell; SCI Greene C/O
Carter; SCI Greene C/O Hollowood ("Hollowood"); SCI
Greene C/O Lewis; SCI Greene C/O Riddle ("Riddle");
SCI Greene C/O Recichar; and SCI Greene Facility Manager,
alleging that cavity/strip searches are being conducted to
harass Level 5 prisoners and deter them from participating in
Level 5 activities and that Defendants have retaliated
against him for filing a grievance relative to the
submitted the instant Complaint on January 19, 2017, which
was filed with the Court on April 17, 2017. ECF Nos. 1, 6. On
August 3, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion for Leave to file a
Motion for Summary Judgment On the Issue of Exhaustion Only,
which was granted by the Court on August 4, 2017. ECF Nos.
23, 24. Defendants were directed to file the Motion for
Summary Judgment by August 18, 2017 and, at the same time,
Plaintiff was ordered to file a response to the Motion by
September 18, 2017. ECF No. 24. Defendants timely filed their
Motion for Summary Judgment on August 14, 2017, and on
September 25, 2017, having failed to receive Plaintiffs
response to the Motion as ordered, the Court issued an Order
to Show Cause directing Plaintiff to show cause why the
Motion should not be granted for failing to respond. ECF No.
31. In his response to the Order to Show Cause, Plaintiff
indicated, amongst other things, that he did not receive the
Court's Order granting Defendants leave to file the
Motion for Summary Judgment and setting the briefing
schedule. ECF No. 33. Plaintiff also indicated that he is
unable to substantiate that he exhausted his administrative
remedies absent discovery. Id. Consequently, the
Court ordered Defendants to provide Plaintiff with any and
all documents relevant to the issue of exhaustion that had
not already been produced in conjunction with Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment and to do so by October 30, 2017.
The Court also extended the time for Plaintiff to respond to
the Motion for Summary Judgment until 11/30/2017. 10/16/17
Text Order; ECF No. 34. In a letter dated October 23, 2017,
Defendants represented that all of the documents related to
the issue of exhaustion had been provided to Plaintiff in the
Appendix to the Motion for Summary Judgment and thus no
further discovery would be forthcoming. ECF No. 36-1 at 2.
Plaintiff subsequently requested an extension of time to file
his response, which was granted by the Court. ECF Nos. 38,
40. Plaintiff filed his Response to Defendants' Motion
for Summary Judgment on December 27, 2017. ECF Nos. 38, 40,
41. As such, the Motion is ripe for review. For the reasons
that follow, the Motion for Summary Judgment will be granted.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that:
"The 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). An issue of material fact is
in genuine dispute if the evidence is such that a reasonable
jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). See Doe v. Abington Friends Sch.. 480 F.3d
252, 256 (3d Cir. 2007) ("A genuine issue is present
when a reasonable trier of fact, viewing all of the record
evidence, could rationally find in favor of the non-moving
party in light of his burden of proof'). Thus, summary
judgment is warranted where, "after adequate time for
discovery and upon motion ... a party ... fails to make a
showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case, and on which that party
will bear the burden of proof at trial." Marten v.
Godwin, 499 F.3d 290, 295 (3d Cir. 2007), quoting
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett. 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986).
moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating to the
court that there is an absence of evidence to support the
non-moving party, 's case. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322(1986). See Conoshenti v.
Pub. Serv. Elec. & Gas Co.. 364 F.3d 135. 140 (3d
Cir. 2004). "[W]hen the moving party has carried its
burden under Rule 56(c), its opponent must do more than
simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the
material facts .... Where the record taken as a whole could
not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving
party, there is no genuine issue for trial." Scott
v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007), quoting
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.. 475
U.S. 574. 586-87 (1986). .
deciding a summary judgment motion, a court must view the
facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and
must draw all reasonable inferences, and resolve all doubts
in favor of the nonmoving party. Matreale v. N.J.
Dep't of Military & Veterans Affairs, 487 F.3d
150, 152 (3d Cir. 2007); Woodside v. Sch. Dist. of Phila.
Bd. of Educ. 248 F.3d 129, 130 (3d Cir. 2001).
Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), requires a
prisoner filing a Section 1983 action to exhaust all
administrative remedies before filing a claim in federal
court. 42 U.S.C. § 1997(e)(a). See Spruill v.
Gillis. 372 F.3d 218, 228 (3d Cir. 2004). See a]so
Nyhuis v. Reno.-204 F.3d 65, 73, (3d Cir. 2000)
("it is beyond the power of the court to excuse
compliance with the exhaustion requirement"). In order
to properly exhaust his or her administrative remedies, a
plaintiff must be in "compliance with an agency's
deadlines and other critical procedural rules .. .."
Woodford v. Ngo. 548 U.S. 81, 90-91 (2006). The
DOC's Grievance System Policy, DC-ADM 804, sets out a
three-step grievance and appeals process. First, an inmate is
required to legibly set forth all facts and identify all
persons relevant to his claim in a grievance which will then
be subject to "initial review." Spruill v.
Gillis. 372 F.3d at 232, 233. Second, after the initial
review by a grievance officer, the inmate must file an appeal
to the Facility Administrator for a second level of review.
Id. at p. 232. Finally, the inmate is required to
file an appeal to the Secretary's Office of Inmate
Grievances and Appeals ("the Secretary's
addition, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit has found that the PLRA's exhaustion requirement
includes a procedural default component which requires more
than "simple" exhaustion; it requires
"proper" exhaustion. Id. at 228, 230.
Thus, where the inmate fails to specifically name the
individual in the grievance or where the grievance is
untimely or otherwise defective, claims against an accused
individual are procedurally defaulted. Id. at 234.
See Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. at 90-91 (exhaustion
of administrative remedies under the PLRA requires
"using all steps that the agency holds out, " and
"demands compliance with an agency's deadlines and
other critical procedural rules") (internal quotations
and citations omitted).
courts have held that the mandatory language contained in the
DOC's policy governing inmate grievances, which provides
that, "the inmate must request the specific
relief sought in his/her initial grievance" if the
inmate desires compensation or other legal relief normally
available from a court, requires an inmate who seeks legal
relief from a Court to state in the grievance what relief is
sought (e.g. monetary relief) or else he has not
properly exhausted administrative remedies as to any legal
remedies not mentioned in that grievance. ECF No. 29-1 at 41
¶ 11.d. See e.g., Mobley v. Snyder. No.
1:13-772, 2015 WL 5123909, at *7-9 (M.D. Pa. Sept. 1, 2015),
favorably cited by Mavon v. Capozza. No. 2:14-1203,
2017 WL 476790, at *8 (W.D. Pa. Feb. 6, 2017); Sanders v.
Beard. No. 3:09-1384, 2013 WL 1703582, at *6 (M.D. Pa.
April 19, 2013); Collins v. Walsh. No. 1:09-1932,
2012 WL 3536803, at *3-4 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 15, 2012);
Stafford v. Wetzel. No. 4:13-2026, 2016 WL 5171725,
at *5 (M.D. Pa. Sept. 21, 2016), citins Geisler v.
Hoffman. No. 99-1971, slip op. at 4 (3d Cir.
Sept. 29, 2000).
to exhaust administrative remedies is an affirmative defense
and, hence, the burden lies with party asserting it.
Karpiel v. Ogfi, Cordes, Murphy & Ignelzi, LLP,
297 Fed.Appx. 192, 193 (3d Cir. 2008).
it is clear from the record that Plaintiff has not only
failed to exhaust his administrative remedies but that his
claims are procedurally defaulted as well.