United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
OPINION AND ORDER RE: ECF NO. 22
MAUREEN P. KELLY MAGISTRATE JUDGE
James Hubert ("Plaintiff) is an inmate currently
confined at the State Correctional Institution at Coal
Township, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Coal Township"). This
civil rights action arises out of allegations that Defendants
Thomas Richter ("Richter") and Keith Graft
("Graft") (collectively, "Defendants")
communicated the details of Plaintiffs criminal history to
other inmates, placing him at risk of harm. Plaintiff further
alleges that Defendants retaliated against him when he sought
redress for this conduct.
before the Court is Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment.
ECF No. 22. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiffs Motion
for Summary Judgment is denied.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
commenced this action in the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette
County, Pennsylvania. Upon the filing of a "First
Amended Civil Complaint" (the "Amended
Complaint"), and pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1441 et
seq., Defendants removed the action to this Court,
asserting original jurisdiction in federal court over
Plaintiffs federal claims. ECF No. 1. In his Amended
Complaint, Plaintiff asserts claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for the alleged violation of his rights arising
under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the
United States Constitution, the Pennsylvania Constitution,
the Pennsylvania Civil Service Act, and various provisions of
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections ("DOC) Code of
Ethics arising out of the circumstances and conditions of his
confinement at the State Correctional Institution at Fayette
("SCI-Fayette") during the period January 21, 2016
through November 20, 2016.
claims arise out of his status as a convicted sex-offender.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Richter and Graft, prison
officials at SCI-Fayette, communicated Plaintiffs criminal
background to inmates in Plaintiffs general population and
restricted housing units, placing him at serious risk of
violence and injury, and defaming him. ECF No. 1-1
¶¶ 17-19. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendants
retaliated against him after he submitted grievances and
complaints as to Defendants' conduct, violating his First
Amendment rights. Id. ¶¶ 22, 27-31.
April 11, 2018, Defendants filed a partial Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiffs Amended Complaint. ECF No. 5. The Court granted in
part and denied in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss on
October 4, 2018. ECF No. 11, As a result of this disposition,
the Court dismissed all Defendants other than Richter and
Graft, and the following claims remain in this action:
1. Plaintiffs Eighth Amendment conditions of
confinement/failure to protect claims against Defendants
Richter and Graft;
2. Plaintiffs First Amendment retaliation claims against
Defendants Richter and Graft;
3. Plaintiffs claims for nominal and punitive damages as to
his remaining federal claims; and
4. Plaintiffs state law claims for recklessness, negligence,
and intentional infliction of emotional distress as to
Defendants Richter and Graft.
parties conducted discovery as to the remaining claims, and
the discovery period closed on February 5, 2019. ECF No. 18.
The Court entered a Case Management Order requiring that
Defendants file a pretrial statement or motion for summary
judgment by April 5, 2019. Id. The only remaining
Defendants, Richter and Graft, elected not to file a motion
for summary judgment. See ECF No. 28 at 3 n. 1.
March 1, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Summary
Judgment. ECF No. 22. Although Plaintiff has styled his
Motion as a "Motion for Summary Judgment," the
specific relief he seeks is unclear. In the opening
paragraph, Plaintiff explains that he is responding to
Defendant's summary judgment motion and requests that the
Court not dismiss this action-but Defendants did not move for
summary judgment in this matter. Id. ¶ 22.
Then, in closing, Plaintiff asks the Court to grant his
"Motion for Summary Judgment on the Pleadings,"
appearing to conflate motions filed under Federal Rules of