United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
October 10, 2017, Plaintiff, Jamal Hellams, an inmate
confined in the Mahanoy State Correctional Institution,
Frackville, Pennsylvania, (“SCI-Mahanoy”) filed
the above captioned civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§1983. (Doc. 1, complaint). On November 14,
2017, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (Doc.
12). The named Defendants are the following
SCI-Mahanoy Correctional Officers: Brett Machuga, Christopher
Swartz and Kevin Martin.
December 21, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss,
pursuant to Federal Rule Civil Procedure 12(b)(6),
arguing that Plaintiff's action should be dismissed for
Plaintiff's failure to properly exhaust his
administrative remedies in accordance with the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C.
§1997e(a). (Doc. 18).
April 25, 2018, in accordance with Paladino v.
Newsome, 885 F.3d 203 (3d Cir. Mar. 16, 2018), (holding
that the District Court shall provide the parties notice that
it will consider exhaustion in its role as fact finder under
Small v. Camden Cty., 728 F.3d 265 (3d Cir. 2013),
this Court issued an Order, converting Defendants' motion
to dismiss to a motion for summary judgment and allowing the
parties an opportunity to supplement the record with
supporting evidence relevant to the exhaustion of
administrative remedies. (Doc. 26). The motion has
been fully briefed, and is ripe for disposition. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court will grant Defendants'
motion for summary judgment.
Standard of Review
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a)
“[t]he 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); see also Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
“[T]his standard provides that the mere existence of
some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not
defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary
judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue
of material fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986).
disputed fact is “material” if proof of its
existence or nonexistence would affect the outcome of the
case under applicable substantive law. Anderson, 477
U.S. at 248; Gray v. York Newspapers, Inc., 957 F.2d
1070, 1078 (3d Cir. 1992). An issue of material fact is
“genuine” if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 257; Brenner v.
Local 514, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of
America, 927 F.2d 1283, 1287-88 (3d Cir. 1991).
determining whether there is a genuine issue of material
fact, the court must view the facts and all reasonable
inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Moore v.
Tartler, 986 F.2d 682 (3d Cir. 1993); Clement v.
Consolidated Rail Corporation, 963 F.2d 599, 600 (3d
Cir. 1992); White v. Westinghouse Electric Company,
862 F.2d 56, 59 (3d Cir. 1988). In order to avoid summary
judgment, however, parties may not rely on unsubstantiated
allegations. Parties seeking to establish that a fact is or
is not genuinely disputed must support such an assertion by
“citing to particular parts of materials in the record,
” by showing that an adverse party's factual
assertion lacks support from cited materials, or
demonstrating that a factual assertion is unsupportable by
admissible evidence. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1); see
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324 (requiring evidentiary support
for factual assertions made in response to summary judgment).
The party opposing the motion “must do more than simply
show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Parties must produce
evidence to show the existence of every element essential to
its case that they bear the burden of proving at trial, for
“a complete failure of proof concerning an essential
element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders
all other facts immaterial.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at
323; see Harter v. G.A.F. Corp., 967 F.2d 846,
851 (3d Cir. 1992). Failure to properly support or contest an
assertion of fact may result in the fact being considered
undisputed for the purpose of the motion, although a court
may also give parties an opportunity to properly provide
support or opposition. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).
Statement of Facts
states that “Defendants violated his Constitutional
rights by using excessive force on him on September 23, 2017
and then denied him the basic necessities.” (Doc.
October 2, 2017, Plaintiff “submitted two difference
grievances outlining the violations of his rights when the
Defendants used excessive force and the denial of [his]
showers, yard, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper.”
October 4, 2017, Plaintiff “saw the Grievance
Coordinator come on the pod to collect the grievances that
was placed in the locked box on the pod and [Plaintiff] had
to yell out of his cell to get her attention so he [could
ask] if she received his grievances he filed two days ago and
her answer was no, she did not receive any grievances of
his.” Id. Plaintiff then asked the Grievance
Coordinator to come to his cell and “take the
grievances he wished to file against C/O's that used
excessive force and other things to him and her answer was no
because she is not allowed to pick up grievances off
inmate's doors in the RHU.” Id. Plaintiff
states “that night during 10:00 pm to 6:00 am shift the
Plaintiff gave a John Doe Correctional Officer the two
grievances he wanted to submit about the use of excessive
force and the denial of his yards, showers, toilet paper,
soap toothpaste and tooth brush.” Id.
Plaintiff alleges that he “kept his inmate's Golden
Rod copy for his own record but submitted the other 3 copies
to go to the Grievance Coordinator per policy.”
Id. Also, on October 4, 2017, Plaintiff penned his
original complaint, which was filed in this Court on October
10, 2017. (Doc. 1).
claims that “to date [he] never his Pink Action Return
Copy indicating that the Grievance was received by the
Grievance Coordinator, nor did ...