United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Ali-X, 000422722B New Jersey State Prison Plaintiff pro se
S. Grewal, Attorney General of New Jersey Kai W.
Marshall-Otto, Deputy Attorney General R.J. Counsel for
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
R. Ayars, E. Brainard, R. Charlesworth, K. Davis, P. Davis,
Z. Ennals, J. Ginyard, C. Jones, J. Kilman, B. Malpica, M.
Maniscalo, B. McIver, T. Miller, H. Ortiz, C. Pierce, D.
Ruiz, J. Thompson, L. Vastano, D. Wells, and C. Williams
(“the mailroom defendants”) move for summary
judgment on Plaintiff Kaseem Ali-X's amended complaint
alleging that they opened his legal mail. Defendants
Christopher Holmes and David McKishen likewise move for
summary judgment on Plaintiff's claim that they failed to
supervise their subordinates and stop the alleged
infringement on Plaintiff's First Amendment rights.
issue is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, which
is ripe for adjudication. See ECF No. 89. The Court
has subject-matter jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331, as this case concerns a federal question.
The Court finds that no reasonable jury could conclude that
Plaintiff has met his burden of proof on showing the mailroom
defendants were personally involved in any constitutional
violation. Additionally, Holmes and McKishen are entitled to
qualified immunity. For the reasons that follow, the Court
will grant the Motion.
was incarcerated in South Woods State Prison, Bridgeton, New
Jersey from approximately May 2010 to September 2011. ECF No.
96 at 3 ¶ 1. He is presently confined in New Jersey
State Prison in Trenton. Id. ¶ 1.
alleges that legal mail was opened outside of his presence on
May 24, 2010; June 12, 2010; July 9, 2010; July 23, 2010;
August 13, 2010; March 27, 2011; July 11, 2011; September 27,
2011; and September 30, 2011. Id. at 4. Plaintiff
alleges the mailroom defendants opened his legal mail on one
or more of those dates. Id. ¶ 5. Plaintiff
alleges McKishen and Holmes failed to correct the violations
by the mailroom defendants. Id. at 11 ¶¶
filed an amended complaint on May 9, 2013. ECF No. 11. On
September 28, 2016, the Court permitted Plaintiff to
substitute the names of the mailroom defendants for the John
Doe mailroom employees. ECF No. 61 (granting motion with
mailroom defendants' names at ECF No. 57).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
judgment should be granted when the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, admissions on file, and
affidavits show that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). A disputed
fact is material when it could affect the outcome of the suit
under the governing substantive law. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute is
genuine if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Id. at
250. The Court should view the facts in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party and make all reasonable
inferences in that party's favor. Hugh v. Butler
County Family YMCA, 418 F.3d 265, 267 (3d Cir. 2005).
the moving party must show the absence of a genuine issue
concerning any material fact. See Celotex Corp. v.
Carrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party
has satisfied its burden, the non-moving party, “must
present affirmative evidence in order to defeat a properly
supported motion for summary judgment.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 257. “While the evidence
that the non-moving party presents may be either direct or
circumstantial, and need not be as great as a preponderance,
the evidence must be more than a scintilla.”
Hugh, 418 F.3d at 267 (citing Anderson, 477
U.S. at 251).
court determines that “the record taken as a whole
could not lead a rational trier or fact to find for the
non-moving party, there is no ‘genuine issue for
trial.'” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (quoting First
Nat'l Bank of Arizona v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S.
253, 289 (1968)). Rule 56 mandates the entry of summary
judgment against the party who fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element ...