who ordered, or who conducted, the investigation.
On December 5, 1991, a "Tier III" disciplinary hearing was held, pursuant to 7 N.Y.C.R.R. Part 254, at which Williams was found guilty of refusing to comply with the direct orders of Officer Murphy, on November 27, 1991, as set out in the misbehavior report made out by Murphy. Item 31, PP 14-15 and Ex. 5. The hearing officer imposed a penalty of 45 days in SHU, and loss of packages, commissary and phones, suspended for 90 days. Id., Ex. 5, transcript of Tier III hearing, p. 9. He also recommended two months' loss of good time. Id.
On December 8, 1991, a "Tier II" disciplinary hearing was held, pursuant to 7 N.Y.C.R.R. Part 253, at which Williams pled guilty to refusing to comply with the direct orders of Officer Davis, on November 26, 1991, as set out in the misbehavior report made out by Davis. Item 31, PP 13-15 and Ex. 5. The hearing officer, defendant Lieutenant Burge, counselled Williams, and issued a warning. Id., Ex. 5, transcript of Tier II hearing, p. 5.
1. Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment may be granted only if the "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue 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). Whether a disputed fact is material can only be determined by reference to the applicable substantive law. See Heilweil v. Mount Sinai Hospital, 32 F.3d 718, 721 (2d Cir. 1994). The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that no genuine issue exists with respect to any material fact. Gallo v. Prudential Residential Services, Limited Partnership, 22 F.3d 1219, 1223 (2d Cir. 1994). All ambiguities must be resolved and all inferences drawn in favor of the nonmoving party. Id. The moving party may prevail by showing that little or no evidence may be found in support of the nonmoving party's case. Id. at 1223-24. There is no genuine issue of material fact, and a grant of summary judgment is proper, "when no rational jury could find in favor of the nonmoving party because the evidence to support its case is so slight." Id. at 1224. The trial court's task is "limited to discerning whether there are any genuine issues of material fact to be tried, not to deciding them. Its duty, in short, is confined at this point to issue-finding; it does not extend to issue-resolution." Id.
2. Eighth Amendment Claim
The Eighth Amendment protects prison inmates from "'cruel and unusual punishments,'" including punishments that "'involve the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain.'" Hathaway v. Coughlin, 37 F.3d 63, 66 (2d Cir. 1994) (quoting Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 173, 49 L. Ed. 2d 859, 96 S. Ct. 2909 (1976)). It prohibits "grossly disproportionate" penalties, "as well as those that transgress today's 'broad and idealistic concepts of dignity, civilized standards, humanity, and decency.'" Hutto v. Finney, 437 U.S. 678, 685, 57 L. Ed. 2d 522, 98 S. Ct. 2565 (1978) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 102, 50 L. Ed. 2d 251, 97 S. Ct. 285 (1976)). It is contextual, "'drawing its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.'" Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, , 112 S. Ct. 995, 1000, 117 L. Ed. 2d 156 (1992) (quoting Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. at 346).
In addition to prohibiting punishments that involve the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain, the Eighth Amendment imposes certain duties on prison officials, who "must ensure that inmates receive adequate food, clothing, shelter and medical care, and must 'take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the inmates.'" Farmer v. Brennan, 128 L. Ed. 2d 811, U.S. , 114 S. Ct. 1970, 1976 (1994) (quoting Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 526-27, 82 L. Ed. 2d 393, 104 S. Ct. 3194 (1984)). As the Supreme Court has observed recently:
"When the State takes a person into its custody and holds him there against his will, the Constitution imposes upon it a corresponding duty to assume some responsibility for his safety and general well being. . . . The rationale for this principle is simple enough: when the State by the affirmative exercise of its power so restrains an individual's liberty that it renders him unable to care for himself, and at the same time fails to provide for his basic human needs -- e.g., food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and reasonable safety -- it transgresses the substantive limits on state action set by the Eighth Amendment . . . ." Contemporary standards of decency require no less.