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Davidson v. Talbot

July 5, 2006

RONALD DAVIDSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN TALBOT, AUBURN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY; RICHARD SMITH, AUBURN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY; M.D. ANTHONY GRACEFFO, FACILITY HEALTH SERVICES DIRECTOR; HANS WALKER; GARY HODGES, DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT AUBURN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY; GLEN GOORD, COMMISSIONER OF D.O.C.S.; M.D. LESTER WRIGHT, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF D.O.C.S.; UNITED HEALTH CARE; ESTATE OF EDWARD DANN; AND JERRY S. LEONARD, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER FOR N.Y.S. D.O.C.S., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Scullin, Senior Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

In his second amended complaint, which he filed on May 13, 2003, see Dkt. No. 36, Plaintiff asserts several Eighth Amendment claims against various Defendants.*fn1 Specifically, he claims that, on or about April 6, 1998, Defendants Talbot and Smith attacked him and that subsequently Defendants Leonard and United Health Care denied him the medical care he needed to treat the injuries he suffered as a result of that attack. In addition, Plaintiff contends that Defendants Walker, Hodges and Dann authorized the use of force that caused his injuries. Finally, he alleges that Defendants Goord and Graceffo failed to intervene after he apprised them of his situation.

On June 1, 2004, Defendants Goord, Graceffo, Smith and Talbot moved for summary judgment on the ground that Plaintiff's complaint failed to state a claim against them upon which relief could be granted. Defendant Dann joined the motion after Plaintiff successfully effected service of process on him.

On March 31, 2005, Magistrate Judge Treece issued a Report-Recommendation and Order in which he recommended that this Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims against Defendants Walker, Hodges and Wright, upon whom Plaintiff had not successfully effected service. Alternatively, Magistrate Judge Treece recommended that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims against these Defendants because Plaintiff had not alleged that they were personally involved in any of the alleged constitutional violations. Finally, with regard to Defendants Wright, Leonard,*fn2 and United Health Care Group, Magistrate Judge Treece recommended that this Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims against them because their actions, as alleged, did not amount to a constitutional violation.

Alternatively, with respect to the claims against Defendants Goord, Graceffo, Smith, Talbot and Dann, Magistrate Judge Treece found that Plaintiff had not exhausted all of his administrative remedies and further determined that none of Plaintiff's claims against these Defendants had any merit and could be dismissed on that ground alone.

For all of the above-stated reasons, Magistrate Judge Treece recommended that this Court grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismiss Plaintiff's second amended complaint in its entirety. Currently before the Court are Plaintiff's objections to that recommendation.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Standards of Review

1. Review of Magistrate Judge's Report-Recommendation

"The Court reviews de novo those findings and recommendations in a magistrate judge's report-recommendation to which a party has filed timely objections and for clear error those parts of the report-recommendation to which a party does not object." Gill v. Smith, 283 F. Supp. 2d 763, 766 (N.D.N.Y. 2003) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72; Thomas E. Hoar, Inc. v. Sara Lee Corp., 900 F.2d 522, 525 (2d Cir. 1990)). The district court has broad latitude when reviewing a report-recommendation and may reject or modify the entire report-recommendation or specific portions therein. See Jermosen v. Coughlin, No. 87 Civ. 6267, 1993 WL 267357, *2 (S.D.N.Y. July 9, 1993) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)).

2. Summary Judgment Standard

A court will grant a motion for summary judgment only where "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and when, based upon facts not in dispute, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Bryant v. Maffucci, 923 F.2d 979, 982 (2d Cir. 1991) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552-53, 91 L.Ed. 2d 265 (1986)). "In assessing the record, [the court will resolve] all ambiguities and [draw all] reasonable inferences . . . in a light most favorable to the non-moving party." Id. (citing United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655, 82 S.Ct. 993, 994, 8 L.Ed. 2d 176 (1962) (per curiam)). Moreover, the court must construe a pro se litigant's pleadings and submissions more liberally than those that an attorney drafts. See Baumann v. Walsh, 36 F. Supp. 2d 508, 510 (N.D.N.Y. 1999) (citing Platsky v. CIA, 953 F.2d 26, 28 (2d Cir. 1991)). Nonetheless, even where the non-movant is a pro se litigant,

[o]nce the movant has established a prima facie case demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, the nonmoving party must come forward with enough evidence to support a jury verdict in its favor, and the motion will not be defeated merely upon a "metaphysical doubt" concerning the facts, . . ., or on the basis of conjecture or surmise.

Bryant, 923 F.2d at 982 (internal citation omitted).

B. Service of Process and Personal Jurisdiction

A plaintiff is responsible for the service of a summons and complaint upon each defendant in an action. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(1). The plaintiff is also responsible for furnishing the person effecting that service with the documents necessary to do so. See id. If a plaintiff is incarcerated, the Clerk of the Court will have the U.S. Marshals Service effect service of process on the plaintiff's behalf pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d); Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(2). If a plaintiff does not effect service of his summons and complaint within 120 days after filing his complaint, the court may dismiss the action without prejudice as to any unserved defendant. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m). ...


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