were to reduce what were perceived as frivolous prisoner
petitions as well as the caseload of the federal courts. See,
e.g., 141 Cong.Rec. § 7498-01, § 7526 (1995) (statement of
Senator Kyl that overall purpose of PLRA is to deter and reduce
the numbers of "frivolous inmate lawsuits . . . clogging the
courts and draining precious judicial resources") (quoted in
Diezcabeza v. Lynch, 75 F. Supp.2d 250, 255 (S.D.N.Y. 1999)).
Allowing Dixon to bring his claims here after they were already
redressed internally, would negate the purpose of the PLRA and
would be unnecessarily duplicative.
Accordingly, Dixon's claims are reduced to damages for
injuries suffered before his grievances were addressed.
According to the record, Dixon filed grievances concerning
repeated exposure to second-hand smoke for being housed with a
smoking cell-mate, untimely provision of notary services, denial
of medical attention, and denial of access to his property.
(Dixon Aff. Ex. B). Defendants have not alleged that these
Eighth Amendments claims are insufficient as a matter of law and
they will therefore not be addressed on the merits.*fn9
4. Personal Involvement by Defendants
The Defendants also argue that Dixon's Eighth Amendment claims
should be dismissed because there is no evidence that any of the
Defendants were personally involved in the alleged violations.
It is clearly settled that "[i]n order to establish a
violation of his Eighth Amendment rights, an inmate must show
(1) a deprivation that `is objectively, sufficiently serious'
that he was denied `the minimal civilized measure of life's
necessities,' and (2) a `sufficiently culpable state of mind' on
the part of the defendant official, such as deliberate
indifference to inmate health or safety." Gaston v. Coughlin,
249 F.3d at 164 (quoting Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834,
114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811, (1994)). A prison official may
be found to have had a sufficiently culpable state of mind only
if he (i) participated directly in the alleged event, (ii)
learned of the inmate's complaint and failed to remedy it, (iii)
created or permitted a policy that harmed the inmate, or (iv)
acted with gross negligence in managing
subordinates. Gaston, 249 F.3d at 164; see also Willianms v.
Smith, 781 F.2d 319, 323 (2d Cir. 1986); Johnson v. Newburgh,
239 F.3d 246, 254 (2d Cir. 2001); Colon v. Coughlin,
58 F.3d 865, 873 (2d Cir. 1995). Personal liability cannot be imposed on
a state official under a theory of respondeat superior. Monell
v. Dep't of Soc. Serv., 436 U.S. 658, 694, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56
L.Ed.2d 611 (1978); Blyden v. Mancusi, 186 F.3d 252, 264 (2d
Here, the Defendants did not work at the facility at which
Dixon suffered the alleged unconstitutional conditions he lists
in his complaint.*fn10 Dixon does not assert in his
complaint, nor is there any evidence in the record, that
Defendants were aware of these conditions or that they were
responsible for addressing these conditions. Without knowledge
of or responsibility for the conditions, Defendants cannot be
held personally liable for alleged violations of the Eighth
Amendment. See Gaston 249 F.3d at 166 (summary judgment is
appropriate where prison guards were not assigned to the
facility in which alleged conditions occurred, and where
plaintiff does not assert knowledge of the conditions).
The only specific allegation that Dixon makes concerning the
Defendants' culpability for the conditions of his SHU
confinement is that, by reason of the sentence Schneider issued
at the disciplinary hearings, he was made to suffer an
unconstitutional sentence and unconstitutional prison
conditions. (Compl. ¶ 32, 33.) As discussed above, the sentence
issued by Schneider did not itself constitute a violation of
Dixon's Eighth Amendment rights, nor are conditions of more
secure prison facilities per se unconstitutional. Dixon also
states that the Defendants "were grossly negligent in managing
subordinates who caused the incident." (Pl.'s Mem. at 13.)
Again, however, Dixon refers to the Defendants actions at the
time of the hearing at Green Haven and not to their culpability
for the conditions at Upstate: "Meaning, if Defendant Goord
would have trained his employees efficiently, the Plaintiff
would not have endured the specific conditions pertaining to his
SHU sentence."*fn11 (Id.) The Defendants are not responsible
for the conditions at SHU because of any alleged impropriety at
the hearing. Therefore, Dixon's Eighth Amendment claims must be
dismissed because the facts and allegations do not support the
requisite personal involvement by Defendants in the prison
conditions Dixon alleges constituted the violations.
For the reasons stated above, it is hereby
ORDERED that Defendants' motion for summary judgment is
The Clerk of Court is directed to close this case.