The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM SKRETNY, District Judge
*fn1 Plaintiff has not identified John Does 26-100, nor has he
set forth any reasons why they should not be dismissed. Plaintiff
contends that he has inquired into the identify of the John Does,
but that his inquiries remain unanswered. Nevertheless, because
John Does 26-100 are alleged to have engaged in conduct similar
to either those defendants who have been dismissed or the named
Defendants who are parties to this motion, this Court will
dismiss Plaintiff's claims against John Does 26-100.
Plaintiff Ronald Davidson filed this pro se action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1985 alleging that Defendants violated
his constitutional rights by strip frisking him on several
occasions while he was an inmate in the custody of the New York
State Department of Correctional Services ("DOCS"). Presently
before this Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment,
filed on April 30, 2003.*fn2 This Court has reviewed and
considered the motion papers and finds that oral argument is
unnecessary. For the following reasons, Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment is granted in its entirety. II. BACKGROUND
Plaintiff filed his Complaint on July 10, 2001, and it was
entered on the docket on October 10, 2001.*fn3 The Complaint
names 15 individual defendants and 100 John Doe defendants (John
Does 1-26 and John Does 26-100). Because Plaintiff was initially
granted in forma pauperis status,*fn4 his Complaint was
screened by the Honorable John T. Elfvin, Senior United States
District Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
On November 9, 2001, Judge Elfvin filed a Memorandum and Order
dismissing several of Plaintiff's claims for failure to state a
claim upon which relief could be granted. Specifically, Judge
Elfvin (1) dismissed Plaintiff's claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1985,
(2) dismissed Plaintiff's claims related to strip frisks and
strip searches conducted at the Auburn Correctional Facility as
untimely, and (3) dismissed Plaintiff's § 1983 claims against
several defendants for failure to allege the defendants' personal
involvement in the complained-of acts. What remains are Plaintiff's § 1983 claims against the
defendants listed in the caption related to strip frisks
conducted on Plaintiff while he was an inmate at the Wende
Correctional Facility ("Wende"). The facts underlying those
claims are discussed below.
Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are not in dispute.
At all times relevant, Plaintiff was an inmate in the custody of
the DOCS residing at Wende. (Defendants' Rule 56 Statement of
Undisputed Facts ("Defendants' Statement"), ¶ 1.) Defendants
Robert Kyle, James Snyder, Keith White, Emmanuel Powell, Kevin
Wiles and Arthur Beck were at all times relevant employed by DOCS
as corrections officers at Wende. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 5.)
On September 11, 1998, Plaintiff was strip frisked at Wende by
Defendant Kyle at the direction of the Acting Deputy
Superintendent prior to Plaintiff being transported for an
outside medical trip. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 9; Complaint, ¶¶
On September 29, 1998, Plaintiff was again scheduled for an
outside medical trip. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 10; Complaint, ¶
44.) As per the facility's procedure, Plaintiff's escort
officers, Defendants Snyder and White, were ordered to strip
frisk Plaintiff prior to departing the facility. (Defendants'
Statement, ¶ 10.) On this occasion, Plaintiff refused to submit
to the strip frisk. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 10; Complaint, ¶
47.) Consequently, Plaintiff's outside medical trip was cancelled
and Plaintiff was not strip frisked. (Defendants' Statement, ¶
10; Complaint, ¶ 48.)
On November 12, 1998, at the direction of the Deputy
Superintendent, Plaintiff was strip frisked at Wende by Defendant
Snyder prior to being transported for an outside medical trip. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 11; Complaint, ¶¶ 64,
Plaintiff further alleges that on November 19, 1998, he was
scheduled for an outside medical trip, and was advised by
Defendants Powell and Beck that he would be stripped frisked
prior to leaving the facility. (Complaint, ¶¶ 71-74.) Plaintiff
refused to submit to the strip frisk and his outside medical trip
was cancelled. (Complaint, ¶¶ 75-76.) Defendants assert that
Defendant Beck was on vacation on November 19, 1998. (Defendants'
Statement, ¶ 12.) Plaintiff contends that whether Defendant Beck
was present on November 19, 1998, is a disputed fact, and that
this incident could have occurred on a different date.*fn5
(Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Statement.)
All strip frisks conducted on Plaintiff were performed in
compliance with DOCS policy and as ordered by the Deputy
Superintendent of Security. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 13.) On
those occasions when Plaintiff refused to submit to the strip
frisk, he was not permitted to leave the facility. (Defendants'
Statement, ¶ 13.) Corrections officers assigned to escort inmates
leaving Wende did not have discretion as to whether to conduct a
strip frisk of the departing inmate. (Defendants' Statement, ¶
14; Powell Dec., ¶ 4; Snyder Dec., ¶ 4; White Dec., ¶ 4; Kyle
Dec., ¶ 4; Wiles Dec., ¶ 4.) Rather, corrections officers were
required to complete the strip frisk as ordered by the Deputy
Superintendent of Security. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 14.) III. DISCUSSION
Cognizant of the distinct disadvantage that pro se litigants
face, federal courts routinely read their submissions liberally,
and interpret them to raise the strongest arguments that they
suggest. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520,
92 S.Ct. 594, 596, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972); Burgos v. Hopkins,
14 F.3d 787, 790 (2d Cir. 1994). As Plaintiff is proceeding pro se,
this Court has considered his submissions and arguments
Plaintiff alleges that the strip frisks performed on September
11 and November 12, 1998, and those attempted on September 29 and
November 19, 1998, were violative of his rights under the Fourth,
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and were performed in
contravention of the consent decree entered on July 21, 1983, in
the Southern District of New York in Hurley v. Coughlin,
77-CV-3847. This Court notes that Plaintiff does not allege that
the manner in which the strip frisks were conducted was in
violation of any of his rights, but solely complains of the fact
that the strip frisks were conducted or attempted. Defendants
have moved for summary judgment on each of Plaintiff's remaining
A. Summary Judgment Standard
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
summary judgment is warranted where 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
judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c). A "genuine
issue" exists "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the non-moving party." Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Ford v.
Reynolds, 316 F.3d 351, 354 (2d Cir. 2003). A fact is "material"
if it "might affect the outcome of the suit under governing law."
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. In a case where the non-moving party
bears the ultimate burden of proof at trial, the movant may
satisfy its burden by pointing to the absence of evidence
supporting an essential element of the non-moving party's claim.
See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 So.
Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986).
At this stage, the function of the court is not "to weigh the
evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine
whether there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 249. Thus, summary judgment is not appropriate if "there is
any evidence in the record that could ...