United States District Court, D. New Jersey
RICHARD B. GIEHL, Plaintiff,
GARY M. LANIGAN, et al., . Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. SHERIDAN, U.S.D.J.
matter is before the Court on a motion for summary judgment
brought by Defendant, Officer Kelsey Russell (ECF No. 28) for
Plaintiff's failure to comply with The Prison Litigation
claim arises from an alleged civil rights violation pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. §1983 in which Plaintiff, a former inmate,
claims that Defendant, a correction officer, violated his
Eight Amendment rights. Plaintiff, Richard B. Giehl, was an
inmate within the New Jersey Department of Corrections;
however, he has since been released. (See
Exhibit-A). There are two dramatically different recounts of
the alleged incident; but the motion focuses on the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Suffice it to say, on November
7, 2013 there was a physical encounter between Corrections
Officer Kelsey Russell and Plaintiff. As a result, Plaintiff
filed this matter pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983.
argues that Plaintiff did not follow the procedures set forth
in the Inmate Handbook, and therefore the PLRA bars this
suit. Parties disagree as to whether Plaintiff received an
Inmate Handbook upon his arrival to the Garden State
facility. Defendant argues that Plaintiff was issued an
Inmate Handbook when he was incarcerated at the Central
Reception and Assignment facility. (See Exhibit F.)
However, the only signed proofs of handbook delivery are
dated to 2014 and 2015, after the incident. According to the
“Inmate Handbook for Garden State Youth Correctional
Facility, ” revised on September 2013, a prisoner
“must submit a written form within ten (10) business
days of the date of the incident/issue of complaint occurred,
unless it is not possible to file within such period.”
[Handbook, pg. 66].
judgment is appropriate under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) when the
moving party demonstrates that there is no genuine issue of
material fact and the evidence establishes the moving
party's entitlement to judgment as a matter of law.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23
(1986). A factual dispute is genuine if a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the non-movant, and it is material
if, under the substantive law, it would affect the outcome of
the suit. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 248 (1986). In considering a motion for summary
judgment, a District Court may not make credibility
determinations or engage in any weighing of the evidence;
instead, the non-moving party's evidence “is to be
believed and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in
his favor.” Marino v. Indus. Crating Co., 358
F.3d 241, 247 (3d Cir. 2004) (quoting Anderson, 477
U.S. at 255).
the moving party has satisfied its initial burden, the party
opposing the motion must establish that a genuine issue as to
a material fact exists. Jersey Cent. Power & Light
Co. v. Lacey Twp., 772 F.2d 1103, 1109 (3d Cir. 1985).
The party opposing the motion for summary judgment cannot
rest on mere allegations and instead must present actual
evidence that creates a genuine issue as to a material fact
for trial. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; Siegel
Transfer, Inc. v. Carrier Express, Inc., 54 F.3d 1125,
1130-31 (3d Cir. 1995). “[U]nsupported allegations . .
. and pleadings are insufficient to repel summary
judgment.” Schoch v. First Fidelity Bancorp.,
912 F.2d 654, 657 (3d Cir. 1990); see also Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(e) (requiring nonmoving party to “set forth
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial”). Moreover, only disputes over facts that might
affect the outcome of the lawsuit under governing law will
preclude the entry of summary judgment. Anderson,
477 U.S. at 247-48. If a court determines, Aafter drawing all
inferences in favor of [the non-moving party], and making all
credibility determinations in his favor “that no
reasonable jury could find for him, summary judgment is
appropriate.” Alevras v. Tacopina, 226 Fed.
App'x. 222, 227 (3d Cir. 2007).
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA”), Pub. L. No.
104-134, § 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (April
26, 1996), requires a District Court to screen a complaint in
a civil action in which a Plaintiff is proceeding in
forma pauperis or a prisoner is seeking redress against
a government employee or entity, and to sua sponte
dismiss any claim if the Court determines that it is
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief
may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who
is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B), 1915A.
1997e(a) includes a procedural default component. Spruill
v. Gillis, 372 F.3d 218, 222 (3d Cir. 2004); See
Spada v. Martinez, 579 Fed.Appx. 82, 85, 2014 U.S. App.
LEXIS 15805, *6, 2014 WL 4056924 (3d Cir. Pa. Aug. 18, 2014).
PLRA mandates that inmates first exhaust all administrative
remedies prior to filing an action challenging prison
conditions pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Small v.
Camden County, 728 F.3d 265, 269 (2013)
1997e of the PLRA states:
No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions
under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law,
by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other
correctional facility until such administrative remedies as
available are exhausted. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e.
indicated by Congress' language in this statute, the
exhaustion requirement is not a technicality, rather it is
federal law which federal district courts are required to
follow. Nyhuis v. Reno,204 F.3d 65, 73 (3d Cir.
2000). The Third Circuit held, “it is beyond the power
of this court -- or any other -- to excuse compliance with
the exhaustion requirement, whether the ground of ...