United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Al-Wahid Ali, a former inmate of South Woods State Prion,
filed a civil rights complaint alleging that several
healthcare providers and prison officials denied him proper
medical care for his Hepatitis C and accompanying afflictions
in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Currently pending
before this Court is Defendant E. Marin's motion for
summary judgment. For the following reasons, Defendant
Marin's motion is denied without prejudice.
Court recites the facts in the light most favorable to
Plaintiff. With respect to the claims against Defendant
Marin, Plaintiff alleges that on August 26, 2016,
Officer Marin, Officer Watermaysk, and other unnamed
corrections officers informed Plaintiff that he needed to go
to the Extended Care Unit (“ECU”) for his
prescribed dialysis treatment. (See ECF No. 1 at ¶ 40).
In response, Plaintiff requested to be provided with a
wheelchair to be transported to ECU. (See id.). Plaintiff
claims that Defendant Marin denied him the use of a
wheelchair, which caused him to begin crawling from his jail
cell to the officers' podium to request a wheelchair.
(See Id. at ¶¶ 40-41). After Plaintiff was
denied this request, he was thrown back in his jail cell and
did not receive his prescribed dialysis treatment that day.
(See Id. at ¶ 41).
the incident, Plaintiff was charged with prohibited act .256,
refusing to obey an order of any staff member, for failing to
surrender a wheelchair that had temporarily been issued to
him. (See ECF No. 18, Ex. A, at p. 1). A
disciplinary hearing was held on August 31, 2016 and the
hearing officer found Plaintiff guilty of the offense.
(See ECF No. 18, Ex. B, at pp. 1-3). The
disciplinary hearing officer relied on a preliminary incident
report authored by Sergeant Inman stating that Plaintiff
failed to surrender a wheelchair that medical had issued to
him despite orders from Nurse Tsakiris and Sergeant Inman
directing him to do so. (See ECF No. 18, Ex. C, at
p. 1). The disciplinary hearing officer also relied on an
order from Dr. Dias dated the day after the incident stating
“[Plaintiff] is medically cleared and able to walk at
this time. There is no medical issue requiring a
wheelchair.” (See Id. at p. 4).
appealed the disciplinary hearing officer's
determination, arguing that his MRI records were not
presented as evidence in his defense. (See ECF No.
18, Ex. D). On September 2, 2016, the administrator found
that the disciplinary hearing officer's decision was
based on substantial evidence and upheld the decision and
sanctions. (See ECF No. 18, Ex. E).
February 23, 2017, Plaintiff filed a § 1983 civil rights
complaint in this Court. (See ECF No. 1). On August
30, 2017, this Court permitted Plaintiff's Eighth
Amendment claims against Defendants Tsakiris, Marin,
Watermasysk, Flowers, and Powers to proceed and granted
Plaintiff's motion for pro bono counsel. (See
ECF Nos. 5-6). On November 17, 2017, Defendant Marin filed a
motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint based on
collateral estoppel, qualified immunity, and failure to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted. (See ECF
No. 18). Plaintiff, through his appointed counsel, filed
opposition to Defendant Marin's motion to dismiss on
February 2, 2018. (See ECF No. 24). On May 29, 2018,
this Court converted Defendant Marin's motion to dismiss
into a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(d). (See ECF No. 26).
Court should grant a motion for summary judgment when the
moving party “shows that there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). An
issue is “material” to the dispute if it could
alter the outcome, and a dispute of a material fact is
“genuine” if “a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986);
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (quoting First
Nat'l Bank of Az. v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S. 253,
289 (1968)) (“Where the record taken as a whole could
not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving
party, there is no ‘genuine issue for
trial.'”). In deciding whether there is any genuine
issue for trial, the court is not to weigh evidence or decide
issues of fact. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. Because
fact and credibility determinations are for the jury, the
non-moving party's evidence is to be believed and
ambiguities construed in its favor. Id. at 255;
Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587.
the movant bears the burden of demonstrating that there is no
genuine issue of material fact, the non-movant likewise must
present more than mere allegations or denials to successfully
oppose summary judgment. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256.
The non-moving party must at least present probative evidence
from which the jury might return a verdict in his favor.
Id. at 257. Where the non-moving party fails to
“make a showing sufficient to establish the existence
of an element essential to that party's case, and on
which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial,
” the movant is entitled to summary judgment.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
Marin moves for summary judgement against Plaintiff, arguing
that the Court should apply collateral estoppel with respect
to the factual findings made by the disciplinary hearing
officer in the disciplinary proceeding against Plaintiff.
(See ECF No. 18, at pp. 4-6). Specifically,
Defendant Marin contends that the hearing officer's
findings regarding Dr. Dias's opinion of Plaintiff's
need for a wheelchair entitle Defendant ...