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Lawson v. Hollis

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

February 23, 2018

TYREE LAWSON, Plaintiff
v.
SERGEANT HOLLIS, et al., Defendants

          Bissoon District Judge.

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SUSAN PARADISE BAXTER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         I. RECOMMENDATION

         It is respectfully recommended that Defendants' motion to dismiss amended complaint [ECF No. 22] be granted and that this case be dismissed.

         II. REPORT

         A. Relevant Procedural History

         Plaintiff Tyree Lawson, a prisoner formerly incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Forest in Marienville, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Forest"), [1] initiated this civil rights action on April 24, 2017, by filing a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [ECF No. 3]. Plaintiff subsequently filed an amended complaint on or about September 1, 2017 [ECF No. 19], which superseded the original complaint and is the operative pleading in this case. Named as Defendants are the following individuals, all of whom were employed at SCI-Forest during the relevant time periods at issue: Sergeant Hollis (“Hollis”), and Correctional Officers Reed (“Reed”) and Menteer (“Menteer”).

         Plaintiff claims that Defendants retaliated against him for filing grievances when they did not permit him to attend his scheduled work shift at the prison law library on the morning of September 25, 2016. As relief for his claim, Plaintiff seeks monetary relief.

         On September 15, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss amended complaint [ECF No. 22], arguing that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Despite being given ample time to do so, Plaintiff has failed to file a response to Defendants' motion. This matter is now ripe for consideration.

         B. Relevant Factual History

         Plaintiff alleges that he was a law library worker and that he was given a modified work schedule that went into effect on September 4, 2016, which required him to leave his cell for early morning meal line at around 7:00 a.m. so he could report to work by 8:00 a.m. (ECF No. 19, Amended Complaint, at ¶ 5). In accordance with that work schedule, Plaintiff was allowed to attend early morning meal line on September 4, 11, and 18, 2016; however, on September 25, 2016, Defendant Reed allegedly refused Plaintiff's request to attend the early morning meal because, according to Defendant Reed, Plaintiff was not scheduled for work that morning. (Id. at ¶¶ 6-12). After returning from regular morning meal line at around 8:10 a.m. on the same morning, Plaintiff requested a pass from Defendant Menteer to go to his law library worksite, but Defendant Menteer denied Plaintiff's request and ordered him to return to his cell because he was not scheduled for work. (Id. at ¶¶ 13-14). When Plaintiff returned to his cell, he retrieved his modified work schedule and returned to show Defendant Menteer that he was scheduled to work that morning; however, Defendant Menteer would not accept Plaintiff's schedule and ordered Plaintiff to return to his cell. (Id. at ¶ 15).

         Plaintiff later reported to his worksite at approximately 1:20 p.m., at which time he was asked why he failed to appear for work that morning. (Id. at ¶ 16). Plaintiff then discovered that Defendant Hollis had called and verified that Plaintiff was, in fact, scheduled to work at 8:00 a.m., but he was still not allowed to attend work that morning. (Id. at ¶ 17). Later that day, during evening meal line move, Plaintiff learned that Defendant Menteer failed to heed Defendant Hollis's morning directive to write Plaintiff a pass to go to work, allegedly informing her that “it was because of ‘[a]sshole grievance filing inmates like plaintiff why him and Reed had to take a day off from work to go all the way to Erie to testify, and plaintiff did not need to go to work.'” (Id. at ¶¶ 18).

         C. Standards of Review 1.Motion to Dismiss

         A motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) must be viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and all the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint must be accepted as true. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007). A complaint must be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12 (b)(6) if it does not allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). See also ...


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