1996 WL 421449 at *7. The movant may discharge this burden by demonstrating to the Court that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case on an issue on which the non-movant has the burden of proof. E.g., Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. at 323, 106 S. Ct. at 2552-53; Ruiz v. Selsky, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3473, 96 Civ. 2003, 1997 WL 137448 at *3 (S.D.N.Y. March 24, 1997) (Peck, M.J.).
To defeat a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must do "more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S. Ct. 1348, 1356, 89 L. Ed. 2d 538 (1986). Instead, the non-moving party must "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); accord, e.g., Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587, 106 S. Ct. at 1356.
In evaluating the record to determine whether there is a genuine issue as to any material fact, "the evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 255, 106 S. Ct. at 2513; see also Chambers v. TRM, 43 F.3d at 36; Gallo v. Prudential, 22 F.3d at 1223; Hernandez v. New York City Law Dep't, 1997 WL 27047 at *6. The Court draws all inferences in favor of the nonmoving party -- here, Watson -- only after determining that such inferences are reasonable, considering all the evidence presented. See, e.g., Apex Oil Co. v. DiMauro, 822 F.2d 246, 252 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 977, 108 S. Ct. 489, 98 L. Ed. 2d 487 (1987); Hernandez v. New York City Law Dep't, 1997 WL 27047 at *6; Burger v. Litton, 1996 WL 421449 at *7. "If, as to the issue on which summary judgment is sought, there is any evidence in the record from any source from which a reasonable inference could be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party, summary judgment is improper." Chambers v. TRM, 43 F.3d at 37; see also, e.g., Hernandez v. New York City Law Dep't, 1997 WL 27047 at *6.
In considering a motion for summary judgment, the Court is not to resolve contested issues of fact, but rather is to determine the existence of any disputed issues of material fact. See, e.g., Donahue v. Windsor Locks Bd. of Fire Comm'rs, 834 F.2d 54, 58 (2d Cir. 1987); Knight v. United States Fire Ins. Co., 804 F.2d 9, 11 (2d Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 480 U.S. 932, 107 S. Ct. 1570, 94 L. Ed. 2d 762 (1987); Ruiz v. Selsky, 1997 WL 137448 at *3. To evaluate a fact's materiality, the substantive law determines which facts are critical and which facts are irrelevant. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S. Ct. at 2510. While "disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of a suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment[,] factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted." Id. (citations omitted); see also, e.g., Knight v. United States Fire Ins. Co., 804 F.2d at 11-12; Shaw v. City of New York, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4901, 95 Civ. 9325, 1997 WL 187352 at *2 (S.D.N.Y. April 15, 1997) (Peck, M.J.); Ruiz v. Selsky, 1997 WL 137448 at *3.
The Court recognizes that it must "extend extra consideration" to pro se plaintiffs such as Watson; pro se parties are "to be given 'special latitude on summary judgment motions.'" Reyes v. Koehler, 815 F. Supp. 109, 112 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) (quoting McDonald v. Doe, 650 F. Supp. 858, 861 (S.D.N.Y. 1986)); see also, e.g., Valentine v. Honsinger, 894 F. Supp. 154, 156 (S.D.N.Y. 1995); Gabai v. Jacoby, 800 F. Supp. 1149, 1153 (S.D.N.Y. 1992).
II. WATSON HAS FAILED TO SUBMIT ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF HIS CLAIM
In denying Officer Ruiz's motion to dismiss, this Court held that a prison "guard's intentionally calling a prisoner a snitch in order to cause him harm by other inmates states an Eighth Amendment excessive force claim." Watson v. McGinnis, 964 F. Supp. at 132.
After completion of discovery, Ruiz's summary judgment motion should be granted, however, because Watson has not presented any admissible evidence that Officer Ruiz called him a snitch. As the Supreme Court stated in Celotex :
In our view, the plain language of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who 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. In such a situation, there can be "no genuine issue as to any material fact," since a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. at 322-23, 106 S. Ct. at 2552.
An essential element of Watson's case is that Officer Ruiz called Watson a snitch. Watson admitted at his deposition that he never heard Officer Ruiz call him a snitch. (Watson Dep. at 27-28.) Watson merely testified that other inmates said that Officer Ruiz had called him a snitch. (Watson Dep. at 27-30.) What other inmates (allegedly) told Watson, however, constitutes hearsay and is therefore inadmissible. See, e.g., Reyes v. Koehler, 815 F. Supp. 109, 113 (S.D.N.Y. 1993); see also, e.g., Gostanian v. Bendel, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5620, 96 Civ. 1781, 1997 WL 214966 at *9 (S.D.N.Y. April 25, 1997); Mueller v. County of Westchester, 943 F. Supp. 357, 359 (S.D.N.Y. 1996), aff'd, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 23051, 96 Civ. 9487, 1997 WL 539771 (2d Cir. Sept. 3, 1997).
Watson cannot complain that he was not aware that he needed to oppose Ruiz's summary judgment motion with admissible evidence that Ruiz called him a snitch. When a month passed without Watson responding to defendant Ruiz's motion, the Court ordered Watson to do so and directed Watson's attention to paragraphs H and I of the "Rules of Procedure Before Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck," a copy of which was provided to Watson. (Order dated 8/22/97.) My Rules paragraph H provides:
H. Summary Judgment Motions (Pro Se Cases)