Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

JONES v. CORRECTIONS OFFICER M. SWAIN

August 15, 2005.

THOMAS J. JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECTIONS OFFICER M. SWAIN, CORRECTIONS OFFICER R. HICKS, SERGEANT DAVIS and MICHAEL MURPHY, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FREDA WOLFSON, Magistrate Judge

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This case is unpublished as indicated by the issuing court.] OPINION

This matter comes before the Court on separate Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Michael Murphy, the former Health Services Administrator at the Camden County Correctional Facility ("CCCF"), and Corrections Officer M. Swain, Corrections Officer R. Hicks and Sergeant Davis ("CCCF Defendants"). Plaintiff's Complaint alleges civil rights violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. For the reasons discussed herein, the Court grants both Motions for Summary Judgment.*fn1 I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff's allegations arise out of an altercation with CCCF Corrections Officers on September 22, 2003, and his medical treatment at CCCF following that incident. Plaintiff, a former pretrial detainee at CCCF, alleges that on that date, Defendant Swain insisted that Plaintiff eat from a breakfast tray that bore another person's name. Compl. at 6; Plaintiff's Pretrial Memorandum ("Pl. Pretrial Mem.") at 1. When Swain opened the door to his cell, Plaintiff stepped out to show him that the tray given to him was not his tray, and refused to get back in his cell when Swain ordered that he do so. Compl. at 6. After Plaintiff requested that Swain call the Sergeant, Swain allegedly tried to grab Plaintiff, then aimed his mace at Plaintiff's face. Id. Plaintiff then ran from Swain, and hit Swain with the breakfast tray as he was running from him. Id.

  Plaintiff ran through a gate to the sally port, locking the gate behind him as he passed through. Once in the sally port, Defendant Hicks threw Plaintiff to the ground and held him there until someone opened the door for Swain in response to Swain's request to "let me get him." Id. Sergeant Davis observed Hicks holding Plaintiff down and handing him over to Swain. Id. Once Swain had control of Plaintiff, he allegedly bumped him up against the walls of the hallway and a steel corner off a doorway while escorting him down the hall. Id. The incident left Plaintiff unconscious, and with a cut above his eye that required stitches. Id.

  Plaintiff alleges that once he awoke, Swain escorted him to Sergeant Davis' office. Id. Sergeant Davis then escorted Plaintiff to the CCCF medical area, where he was cleaned up and sent to Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center for treatment. Id. There, Plaintiff received stitches on his eye. Id. After returning from the emergency room at Our Lady of Lourdes, Plaintiff was kept in the medical area at CCCF for "several days," where he was treated with antibiotics and analgesics. Affidavit of Michael Murphy, R.N. ("Murphy Aff.") ¶ 5. Plaintiff was then transferred to solitary confinement for 30 days based on the incident with Swain. Compl. at 7.

  Plaintiff asserts that despite repeated requests to the medical department, the medical Director, and medical runners who pass medicine to inmates, he was not taken out of solitary confinement to have his stitches removed. Compl. at 7; Dep. Of Thomas J. Jones, Exh. A to Murphy Motion for Summary Judgment at 71:1-73:15. Plaintiff's medical chart reflects that a nurse was directed to remove his sutures on September 28, 2003. Murphy Aff. ¶ 6. Plaintiff's chart further notes that he refused treatment. Id. The chart does not reflect that Plaintiff made any further complaints about the wound or that he sought any additional treatment. Id. ¶¶ 7-8. Murphy never met, saw or treated Plaintiff during the time he was the Health Services Administrator at CCCF, and received no grievance forms relating to Plaintiff's medical care or treatment. Murphy Aff. ¶¶ 3-4.

  Plaintiff contends that as a result of the September 22, 2003 incident, he sustained injuries including head trauma, eye laceration, eye swelling, facial muscle damage, twisted right knee ligaments, post traumatic emotional distress, temporary double vision, neck pains, and serious headaches. Compl. at 11.

  II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

  Plaintiff filed the instant Complaint on December 10, 2003, naming as Defendants Warden David Owens, CCCF Medical Department, Camden County Department of Corrections, Deputy Warden Berry and Scibel Associates as Defendants, in addition to Swain, Hicks, Davis and Murphy. By Order dated May 27, 2004, the Court sua sponte dismissed Defendants Warden Owens, CCCF Medical Department, Camden County Department of Corrections, Deputy Warden Berry and Scibel Associates. See Jones v. Owens, et al., No. 03-5850 (D.N.J. May 27, 2004). Plaintiff's remaining claims are that Swain and Hicks used excessive force against him; that Hicks and Davis failed to intervene and protect him from Swain; and that Murphy failed to provide him with adequate medical treatment.

  III. DISCUSSION

  A. Summary Judgment Standard

  Summary judgment is appropriate where there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). A genuine issue of material fact is one that will permit a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). To show that a genuine issue of material fact exists, the nonmoving party may not rest upon mere allegations, but must present actual evidence in support thereof. Id. at 249 (citing First Nat'l Bank of Arizona v. Cities Svc. Co., 391 U.S. 253, 290 (1968)). In evaluating the evidence, the Court must "`view the inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts in the light most favorable to the [nonmoving] party.'" Curley v. Klem, 298 F.3d 271, 276-77 (3d Cir. 2002) (quoting Bartnicki v. Vopper, 200 F.3d 109, 114 (3d Cir. 1999)).

  The pleadings of pro se plaintiffs are to be construed liberally. Alston v. Parker, 363 F.3d 229, 234 (3d Cir. 2004) (citing Dluhos v. Strasberg, 321 F.3d 365, 369 (3d Cir. 2003)). Thus, the Court will "apply the applicable law, irrespective of whether the pro se litigant has mentioned it by name." Dluhos, 321 F.3d at 369 (3d Cir. 2003) (citing Higgins v. Beyer, 293 F.3d 683, 688 (3d Cir. 2002)).*fn2 However, even though pro se pleadings are entitled to liberal construction, the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.