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RIVERA v. WHITMAN

August 17, 2001

PETER JOE RIVERA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, JACK TERHUNE, DONALD E. LEWIS, M. SCHILLING, SGT. KERSHAW, S.C.O. PEREZ, STANLEY NUNN, SGT. WARREN, S.C.O. SHARP, S.C.O. MCCONNELLY, T. LOPEZ, JAMES F. BARBO, S.C.O. SCHWENK, S.C.O. WASICK, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irenas, District Judge:

OPINION

Presently before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment of Plaintiff Peter Joe Rivera's § 1983 action. This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, 1343. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' suit is dismissed without prejudice.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff asserts that on May 27, 1998, while he was incarcerated at RSP, he was assaulted by defendants Perez and Kershaw, while Lieutenant Schillig witnessed the incident but refused to intervene. (Compl. 6(c)-(e)). Defendants counter that, in preparing to escort Plaintiff to TCC, they merely used necessary force after Plaintiff resisted being handcuffed. (Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. Ex B. at ¶ 3). Plaintiff alleges that he sustained cuts and bruises all over his body during the assault. (Compl. at 6(c)). He claims that once he was in the detention unit, the corrections officers there called the medical staff to care for his injuries. (Id. at 6(f)). Rivera maintains that, after thirty minutes, a nurse arrived and interviewed him through the detention cell's soundproof door. (Id.). He states that the nurse would not treat his injuries, but told him to wait until he was released from the detention area. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that the medical staff knew he had serious injuries but refused to treat him in retaliation for a lawsuit plaintiff had previously filed against an RSP physician. (Id. at 6(g)). Defendants maintain that Plaintiff had only minor superficial abrasions. (Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. Ex. C at D001).
Plaintiff was transferred to Southwoods in June of 1998. (Compl. 6(i)). He claims that many items of his personal property were lost during the transfer and that property he sent to his family never arrived. (Id. at 6(j)). Plaintiff also complains about the conditions of his confinement after his transfer. (Id. at 6(i)-6(j)). Defendants claim this complaint was resolved by a member of the warden's staff. (Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. Ex. D at ¶ 2). Plaintiff next asserts that, on July 31, 1998, Defendants Sergeant Warren and Officer Sharp along with a group of other officers beat him as he was leaving the dining hall. (Compl. 6(k)). Defendants counter that they confronted Plaintiff after he was observed to have bulges in his front pockets, and restrained him after he assaulted Warren, one of the confronting officers. (Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. Ex. E at D004-D007). Plaintiff further alleges that medical personnel again refused to provide treatment following the incident. (Compl. 6(h)). Again, Defendants claim he suffered only minor abrasions. (Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. Ex. C. at D002).
Plaintiff was transferred to NSP on or about August 2, 1998. (Compl. 6(m)-(n)). He claims that the transporting officer, McConnelly, terrorized him throughout the trip to NSP. (Id. at 6(m)). He also alleges that he was denied a meal when he arrived and was denied a sanitary cell as well as clothes and cleaning supplies. (Id. at 6(n)-(o)). Plaintiff further maintains that he was abused by Wasik and Schwenk once they learned that he had assaulted Warren at Southwoods. (Id. at 6(p)-(v)). Plaintiff also included various complaints about the law library services at NSP. (Id. at 6(r)-(s)).
Plaintiff contends that, during his disciplinary hearing on August 3, 1998, vis a vis his assault on Warren, he was denied his right to cross-examine witnesses and that the hearing officer overlooked evidence. (Compl. 6(x)-(y)). Plaintiff was found guilty on the disciplinary charges, a decision upheld on appeal. (Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. at 8).
On March 25, 1999, Plaintiff filed the instant action pursuant to § 1983 alleging violations of his constitutional rights under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. On June 29, 2001, Defendants filed this Motion for Summary Judgment.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

"[S]ummary judgment is proper `if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.'" Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)).
In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must construe the facts and inferences in a light most favorable to the non-moving party. Pollock v. American Tel. & Tel. Long Lines, 794 F.2d 860, 864 (3d Cir. 1986). The role of the court is not "to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986).

III. DISCUSSION

A. ยง ...


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