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Toolasprashad v. Wright

December 22, 2005

LATCHMIE TOOLASPRASHAD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROBERT WRIGHT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Simandle, U.S. District Judge

OPINION

Plaintiff Latchmie Toolasprashad brought this action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), alleging that Defendants Robert Wright, Dennis Kneiblher, Jeffrey Cremer, Carol Morton, Thoms Blumm, James Gleason, C.J. DeRosa, Jose Curbelo, T.K. Cozza-Rhodes, David Steele, Tara Moran, Banci Tewolde and D.J. Davis, all present or former employees of the Federal Bureaus of Prisons ("BOP") at FCI Fort Dix, violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights.*fn1 Defendants filed this motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, seeking dismissal of the Complaint in its entirety.*fn2 For the reasons explained below, Defendants' motion will be granted and summary judgment will be entered in favor of Defendants.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Latchmie Toolasprashad is an inmate presently serving a life sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, New Jersey ("FCI Fort Dix"). At least as early as April 1, 2002, Plaintiff was an inmate worker in the Commissary on the west side of FCI Fort Dix ("Commissary West"). According to the Complaint, while Plaintiff was working in the Commissary, three of Plaintiff's supervisors, Defendants Wright, Kneibhler, and Cremer, harassed and threatened Plaintiff without cause. (Compl. at ¶ 2.)

First, Plaintiff alleges that on April 2, 2002, the three Defendants posted signs restricting access to the Commissary bathroom and water fountain to prison employees. (Compl. at ¶¶ 3-5.) Moreover, Plaintiff claims that the three supervisors locked the door between the front and back of the Commissary during store hours, thereby preventing the worker inmates, including Plaintiff, from accessing the water fountain. And, because Plaintiff was not allowed to bring any water to work with him, Plaintiff argues, Plaintiff had no access to water while at work. (Comp. at ¶ 10.) Finally, Plaintiff alleges that he had to work in temperatures above 100 degrees and was "laughed at" when he requested drinking water. (Compl. at ¶ 9.) Additionally, Plaintiff alleges that no chairs were made available to Plaintiff while working in the Commissary, despite a medical condition preventing him from standing continuously. (Compl. at ¶ 40-42.)

On April 6, 2002, Plaintiff filed an Informal Resolution Attempt ("BP8") with Defendant Curbelo, a Correctional Counselor, complaining about the lack of access to restrooms and drinking water, as well as the behavior of Defendants Wright, Kneibhler and Cremer. (Compl. at ¶ 17, Ex. 1, Att. 7.) Plaintiff alleges that two days later, on April 8, 2002, he requested use of the restroom and was denied by Kneibhler, Wright and Cremer. (Compl. at ¶ 13.) After more than 20 minutes, another supervisor, Aponte, allowed Plaintiff to use the restroom. Due to the dealy, though, Plaintiff claims he urinated on himself before reaching the restroom. (Comp. at ¶ 14.)

Plaintiff alleges that around April 29, 2002, he was removed from his position at the Commissary, along with three other inmates, in retaliation to his complaints. (Compl. at ¶ 34.) On May 10, 2002, Plaintiff submitted a BP8 requesting to be reinstated as a worker in the Commissary. (Compl. at ¶ 38.) Subsequently, Plaintiff filed a request for administrative remedy ("BP9"), which was denied. (Compl. at ¶ 38.)

On April 4, 2004, Plaintiff filed this complaint pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), alleging the following violations of his rights secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States:

(1) Defendants Wright, Kneibhler, and Cremer for depriving him of access to a bathroom and drinking water at the Commissary; for making disparaging remarks about his race and religious beliefs; for depriving him of a chair to sit on during work; and for retaliating against him for filing grievances by firing him;

(2) Thomas Blumm and James Gleason, who supervised Defendants Wright, Kneibhler, and Cremer, for failing to stop their illegal actions; for obstructing his administrative remedies; and for retaliating against him for taking legal action;

(3) Carol Morton, who was the second-line supervisor of Defendants Blumm and Gleason, for failing to stop the Guards' illegal actions; for obstructing Plaintiff's administrative remedies; and for retaliating against him for taking legal action;

(4) David Steele, a Correctional Counselor, for removing Plaintiff from his position in the Commissary in retaliation for taking legal action;

(5) Jose Curbelo, Correctional Counselor, for obstructing Plaintiff's ...


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