United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
M. MUNLEY JUDGE
James Robinson, an inmate currently confined in the State
Correctional Institution, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
(“SCI-Huntingdon”), filed the above captioned
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. (Doc.
1). The remaining Defendants are Kevin Kauffman and Ms.
Sipple, both employees of SCI-Huntingdon.
December 26, 2018, remaining Defendants filed a motion to
dismiss Plaintiff's complaint 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. 16).
March 21, 2019, in accordance with Paladino v.
Newsome, 885 F.3d 203 (3d Cir. 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. 19).
April 3, 2019, Defendants filed a statement of material facts
in support of their motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 21).
Although the Plaintiff has had more than ample time to file a
brief in opposition to Defendants' motion, he has failed
to oppose the motion. As such, the Court will grant
Defendants' motion as unopposed.
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
November 3, 2017, following a hearing on Misconduct No.
073690C, for possession or use of dangerous or controlled
substance, possession of contraband, and unauthorized use of
the mail or telephone, Robinson pled guilty to unauthorized
use of the mail or telephone, and was sanctioned to a loss of
privileges, as well as a loss of good conduct time. (Doc.
18-3 at 2, Disciplinary Hearing Report). On November 3, 2017,
Robinson appealed the decision of his Misconduct hearing to
the Program Review Committee. (Doc. 18- at 2, Misconduct
November 15, 2017, the Program Review Committee denied
Robinson's appeal and upheld the decision noting that the
findings of fact were sufficient to support the decision and
the punishment was proportionate to the offense. (Doc. 18-5
at 2, Decision).
review of the DOC records indicates that Robinson did not
appeal the Program Review Committee decision for Misconduct
No. 073690C to the Facility Manager or Chief Hearing
Examiner's Office. (Doc. 18-6 at 2, Declaration of