Snow v. United States

Decision Date11 August 2014
Docket NumberCIVIL ACTION NO. 3:CV-13-0789
PartiesCHANDAR A. SNOW, Plaintiff v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants
CourtU.S. District Court — Middle District of Pennsylvania

(Judge Caputo)

(Magistrate Judge Blewitt)

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
I. BACKGROUND.

On March 27, 2013, Plaintiff Chandar A. Snow1, an inmate at USP-Lewisburg located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, filed, pro se, this instant Bivens2 civil action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1331. (Doc. 1). On March 27, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis and used an improper form. (Doc. 2). On April 8, 2013 Plaintiff filed a second Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis using the proper form. (Doc. 5). The Court has jurisdiction over hisComplaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 1343(a)(3). (Doc. 1, p. 1). On April 16, 2013, we screened Plaintiff's Complaint in accordance with § 1915 of the PLRA and issued a Report and Recommendation recommending the following:

1. DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE Plaintiff's claims for monetary damages to the extent they are against Defendants in their official capacities.
2. DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE Defendants BOP Regional Director Samuels and United States of America.

3. DISMISS WITHOUT PREJUDICE Plaintiff's claim that he was wrongfully charged and convicted by the DHO of threatening his cellmate.

4. DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE Plaintiff's request for Declaratory Judgment.

5. DISMISS WITHOUT PREJUDICE Defendant Warden Bledsoe.

6. ALLOW PLAINTIFF TO AMEND his Eighth Amendment excessive force claim, his Eighth Amendment denial of access to medical care claim, and his First Amendment denial of access to courts claim in order to properly allege the personal involvement of each prison official regarding each claim.

(Doc. 8).

On July 17, 2013, the Court adopted our Report and Recommendation in its entirety and ordered Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint consistent with the Report and Recommendation within thirty (30) days. (Doc. 10). The Court further granted Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed in forma pauperis. (Id.). On August 19, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Extension of Time to file an amended Complaint which we granted on August 21, 2013. (Docs. 11, 12). On September 23, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Appoint Counsel. (Doc. 13). On September 23, 2013, Plaintiff filed an appeal to the Third Circuit regarding the Court's July 17, 2013 Order docketed as USCACase Number 13-3979. (Docs. 14, 16). After extensions of time were granted, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on October 21, 2013. We screened Plaintiff's Amended Complaint in accordance with § 1915 of the PLRA. Also, on October 21, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Brief in support of same. (Docs. 17, 18). We will address the Motion in this report as well as an analysis.

On November 20, 2013 we issued a Report and Recommendation. We recommended the following:

1. DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE Plaintiff's claims for monetary damages to the extent they are against Defendants in their official capacities.
2. DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE Defendants U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Warden J.E. Thomas, BOP Regional Director Samuels, Disciplinary Hearing Officer Jordan, Captain Snider, Dr. Cannon, The Captain and T. Bink.

3. ALLOW TO PROCEED Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment denial of medical care and deliberate indifference claims against Lieutenant Johnson, Lieutenant Sherman, Heather Ladisic and Beverly Prince.

4. DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment excessive force claim.

5. DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE Plaintiff's First Amendment denial of access to courts claim.

(Doc. 23).

On December 6, 2013, Plaintiff submitted objections to the Report and Recommendations as well as a letter regarding Plaintiff's Third Circuit Appeal. (Doc. 24, 25).

On December 13, 2013, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued an Order that stated the following:

(1) The Report and Recommendation (Doc. 23) is ADOPTED in part and REJECTED in part.
(A) The recommendation to dismiss with prejudice the claims for monetary damages asserted against Defendants in their official capacities is ADOPTED. The claims for monetary damages against Defendants in their official capacities are DISMISSED with prejudice.

(B) The recommendation to dismiss with prejudice Defendants U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Warden Thomas, BOP Regional Director Samuels, Disciplinary Hearing Officer Jordan, Snider, Counselor Edinger, Case Manager Nichols, Dr. Cannon, and T. Brink is ADOPTED. Defendants U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Warden Thomas, BOP Regional Director Samuels, Disciplinary Hearing Officer Jordan, Snider, Counselor Edinger, Case Manager Nichols, Dr. Cannon, and T. Brink are DISMISSED from the action with prejudice.

(C) The recommendation to dismiss with prejudice the First Amendment denial of access to the courts claim is ADOPTED. The First Amendment denial of access to the courts claim is DISMISSED with prejudice.

(D) The Recommendation to allow Plaintiff to proceed on the Eighth Amendment denial of medical care claim and Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment (deliberate indifference) claim against Lieutenant Sherman, Lieutenant Johnson, Heather Ladisic, and Beverly Prince is ADOPTED.

(E) The recommendation to dismiss with prejudice the Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against The Captain, Lieutenant Sherman, and Lieutenant Johnson is REJECTED. The recommendation to dismiss with prejudice the excessive force claim as to all other Defendants is ADOPTED, and the excessive force claim is DISMISSED with prejudice as to all Defendants

except The Captain, Lieutenant Sherman, and Lieutenant Johnson.
(2) Plaintiffs may PROCEED on the following claims:
(A) Eighth Amendment excessive force claim against Defendants The Captain, Lieutenant Sherman, and Lieutenant Johnson.

(B) Eighth Amendment denial of medical care claim against Defendants Lieutenant Sherman, Lieutenant Johnson, Heather Ladisic, and Beverly Prince.

(C) Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment (deliberate indifference) claim against Defendants Lieutenant Sherman, Lieutenant Johnson, Heather Ladisic, and Beverly Prince.

(3) The matter is RECOMMITTED to Magistrate Judge Blewitt for further proceedings.

(Doc. 27).

On January 6, 2014 we issued an Order to serve Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (Doc. 20) upon remaining Defendants: The Captain, Lieutenant Sherman, Lieutenant Johnson, Heather Ladisic and Beverly Prince. (Doc. 28).

Defendants submitted a Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment on March 31, 2014 (Doc. 33) and a Brief/Statement of Facts in support on April 14, 2014. (Doc. 36, 37). Also submitted on April 14, 2014, was a Motion to Seal with the sealed document and video. (Doc. 34, 35).

On April 15, 2014, Defendants submitted, nunc pro tunc, a Motion to Exceed Page Limitation and a Brief to support. (Doc. 38, 39). Also on April 15, 2014, we granted Defendants' Motion to Seal. (Doc. 40).

On April 16, 2014, we granted an Order for Defendants to file, nunc pro tunc, Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages. (Doc. 41).

On April 29, 2014 Plaintiff submitted a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order granting Defendants' Motion to Seal video. (Doc. 44). On that same day Plaintiff also submitted a Brief in Opposition of the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgement (Doc. 45), a response to Defendants' statement of material facts (Doc. 46), a Motion for Order to undergo a physical and/or mental evaluation (Doc. 47), and Objections to the Order for Leave to File Excess Pages. (Doc. 48).

Plaintiff submitted a second Motion to Appoint Counsel on May 7, 2014. (Doc. 49). Additionally on May 7, 2014, Plaintiff submitted a Response entitled "Brief in support of motion to object to defendants motion to dismiss and for summary judgment" (Doc. 50) and a second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 51).

On May 15, 2014, we issued an Order that Plaintiff's Motion for reconsideration of Document 40 order granting Defendants' Motion to Seal video pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(2) (Doc. 44) and Plaintiff's Motion to undergo a physical and/or mental evaluation pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 35(a) (Doc. 47), were deemed withdrawn pursuant to Rule 7.5, M.D. Pa., based on Plaintiff's failure to file supporting briefs. (Doc. 52). Plaintiff submitted his objections to said order on June 2, 2014. (Doc. 53).

On June 5, 2014, this Court issued a Memorandum and Order denying Plaintiff's second Motion for Appointment of Counsel. (Doc. 54, 55). Plaintiff submitted Objections to the June 5th Memorandum and Order on June 26, 2014. (Doc. 56). On July 10, 2014 Plaintiff submitted aMotion and Brief in Support to Stop Summary Judgment and Move Forward with Discovery. (Doc. 57, 58). Plaintiff also submitted a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order on July 10th. (Doc. 59). On July 24, 2014 Defendants submitted a Brief in Opposition of both the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Motion for Discovery. (Doc. 60, 61).

For the purposes of this Report and Recommendation, we will be analyzing the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment that was filed on March 31, 2014. (Doc. 33). We will also analyze Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed on October 21, 2013 (Doc. 17), Plaintiff's Motion to Stop Summary Judgment and Move Forward with Discovery filed on July 10, 2014 (Doc. 57), and Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order filed on July 10, 2014. (Doc. 59). Defendants submitted Briefs in opposition to Motions on July 24, 2014. (Doc. 60, 61).

II. AMENDED COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS.

In his Amended Complaint filed on October 21, 20133, Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants, namely, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Dr. Cannon; Psychologist, Heather Ladisic, S. Snider; Deputy Captain, The Captain, J.E. Thomas; Warden, T. Brink, Charles E. Samuels; Regional Director of BOP, A. Jordan; Disciplinary Hearing...

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