United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
ZACHARY T. EVANS, Plaintiff.
CAITLIN DIGIOVANNI, et al., Defendants.
Matthew W. Brann United States District Judge
Zachary T. Evans, a state prisoner incarcerated at SCI
Mahanoy in Frackville, Pennsylvania, has filed an amended
complaint and a motion to reopen in this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court previously
screened and dismissed Plaintiff's complaint in which he
alleged that a corrections counselor provided incorrect
information regarding his convictions to the mother of his
children, because it failed to allege a constitutional
claim. In the original complaint, Plaintiff
alleged that Defendant Counselor DiGiovanni sent his
children's mother forms related to his visitation list at
prison that identified his convictions as for involuntary
deviate sexual intercourse and rape. Plaintiff alleged that this
information is incorrect and has defamed his character.
Plaintiff's amended complaint, he alleges that around the
end of October 2017, he submitted a visitor add-on form to
have his children added to his visitation list, which
requires his counselor and unit manager to send a consent
form to the guardians of the minors to apprise the guardian
of his convictions. Defendants DiGiovanni, a counselor, and
Griffin, his unit manager, sent the mother of Plaintiff's
children this visitor add-on form, in which they stated that
Plaintiff was convicted of involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse and rape. Plaintiff alleges that he received an
email from the mother of his children about this issue on
November 2, 2017, and that the information contained in the
form is incorrect. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants'
actions defamed him and caused the mother of his children to
withhold his children from visiting him based on inaccurate
information in violation of his due process and equal
protection rights under the Fourteenth
addition to the allegations of the amended complaint,
Plaintiff has appended as exhibits the visitor form dated
October 25, 2017, sent to the mother of his children, as well
as administrative grievances and responses. The response to
Plaintiff's initial grievance provides further context
regarding the situation that was not alleged in the Amended
Inmate Evans filed this grievance regarding minor consent
forms that were send to his children's mother. He claims
that the letters referred to him as having a sex offense
against a minor. He expressed that the letters were sent by
the counselor which was resulted in problems with the mother,
he finds it very unprofessional and wants something done
He spoke to me about this issue on the unit on 11.06.2017,
after having accused the counselor of not doing her job
and/or not doing it correctly. I explained to Evans that we
recently replaced the housing unit clerk who had many years
of experience, with a new clerk who is still learning the
process. I also apologized for the error and assured him that
his counselor was not the one who made the error and that
there was no malicious intent. I also informed him that I
would contact the clerk to send corrected letters (that was
done on 11.06.2017) and that if the mother of his children
had any lingering concerns that she could call me and I would
explain it to her.
The letters were corrected and send on that day, 11.06.2017.
They were signed and returned to SCI Mahanoy on 12.04.2017.
No. phone or letter correspondence was received from Ms.
Gardner, the mother of the children involved. The children
are now on his approved visitor list.
As I met with Evans and informed him that the matter would be
corrected and offered to speak to the mother, I find this
grievance to be frivolous and therefore denied.
filed another, similar grievance, to which Plaintiff received
the following response:
You state that you are filing this grievance because you feel
the clerk was not doing her job and sent the wrong visitation
form to your children's mother. You offer no relief.
I would like to apologize as in researching this grievance
you are correct, the clerk sent the wrong form to your
family, so I am Upholding in Part and Denying in Part in that
I disagree, however, that she was not doing her job, in fact
she was and just made a mistake. She meant you no harm and
she was informed on the correct procedures for sending out
these visitation letters.
appeal to the facility manager received a similar response,
and his appeal to the Department of Corrections was dismissed
for failure to provide the required
1915(e)(2) and 1915A require a court to review complaints
prior to service in cases in which a plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis and in which a plaintiff is
incarcerated. The Court must sua sponte
dismiss any claim that is frivolous, is malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. This action is subject to sua sponte
screening for dismissal ...