United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Mr. Faruq Franklin, Camden, NJ, Pro Se Plaintiff.
Marvin L. Freeman, Esq., State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Trenton, NJ, Attorney for Defendants.
JEROME B. SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge.
Plaintiff Faruq Franklin, who is proceeding pro se, brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights in two separate beatings on January 3, 2010 at Bayside State Prison. The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. This matter comes before the Court on the motion for summary judgment by Defendants, Officers Paul Mingin, James Messier, Kelly, and S. Fleetwood. [Docket Item 33.] Defendants allege that Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights were not violated and that Plaintiff failed to administratively exhaust his claims before he filed this action. Plaintiff did not file opposition. The Court will grant Defendants' motion because Plaintiff failed to administratively exhaust his claims.
1. The Alleged Physical Altercations
On January 3, 2010, Plaintiff and Defendants were involved in two separate confrontations. (Def. Ex. H, Pl. Dep. 29:3-31:16, Nov. 21, 2013.) Plaintiff was an inmate at Bayside State Prison, and Defendants were corrections officers at the prison.
The first incident occurred when Defendant Mingin attempted to serve a disciplinary charge known as an "on-the-spot" on Plaintiff for being off of his bunk during prisoner count. (Pl. Dep. 28:1-29:2.) Defendant Mingin described the incident in a disciplinary report. (Def. Ex. B at 1.) Mingin wrote that he gave Plaintiff the disciplinary charge sheet to sign, and then Plaintiff said, "I'm not fucking signing this, " crumpled up the charge, and threw his pen and the balled-up charge at Mingin. (Id.) Defendant Mingin also reported that the plaintiff "struck" him in the "chest area with his hand." (Id.) Defendant Mingin stated that he, along with four other officers, attempted to restrain Plaintiff, and that Plaintiff became "very combative and had to be taken to the ground." (Id.)
Plaintiff claims he was attempting to sign the disciplinary charge and that the altercation began when Defendant Kelly, without provocation, jumped on Plaintiff's back causing him to collapse to the ground. (Pl. Dep. at 29:3-18.) Plaintiff claims that Defendant Mingin then got on the floor, placed Plaintiff in a headlock, and began punching him in the head. (Id. at 29:18-21.) Plaintiff stated that other officers then came to assist and removed Plaintiff to the infirmary. (Id. 29:21-30:14.)
Plaintiff claims that, when he arrived at the infirmary, he was strip-searched and Defendant Messier initiated the second altercation. (Id. 31:6-16.) Plaintiff claims Defendant Messier attempted to strike Plaintiff with his club. (Id. 31:6-7.) According to Plaintiff, Defendant Messier missed and Plaintiff fell to the ground. (Id. 31:9-10.) Plaintiff asserts that the officers beat him on his legs and face and that, while he was on the ground "in the fetal position, " the officers "stomped" him to the point that he defecated. (Id. 31:10-14.)
During a status conference, the Magistrate Judge asked Plaintiff what kinds of injuries he sustained. (Def. Ex. G, Tr. of Status Conference 8:2-4, Oct. 15, 2013.) Plaintiff stated that he "didn't receive no injuries [sic]" as a result of either altercation aside from ...