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Davis v. Barrett

January 15, 2007


The opinion of the court was delivered by: H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge


Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), the parties have consented to the assignment of this case to the undersigned to conduct all proceedings in this case, including the entry of final judgment. Dkt. #20.

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, commenced this suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that defendant Barrett violated his constitutional right to due process during the course of an administrative segregation hearing at the Elmira Correctional Facility ("Elmira"), on January 16, 2001. Dkt. #1.

Currently before the Court is defendant's motion for summary judgment.

Dkt. #57. For the following reasons, defendant's motion is granted.


On January 3, 2001, Sergeant J. Perry issued an administrative segregation recommendation for the plaintiff, Samuel Davis, which stated as follows:

Over the past two weeks I have received confidential information from three separate sources indicating that inmate Davis has been involved in fights, extortion and possible drug involvement. The information was verified with a fourth confidential source who has been reliable in the past. The main theme of the accusations is that Davis targets weaker inmates and then extorts them for Commissary products. There is [sic] strong statements that Davis uses a weapon sometimes.

Dkt. #58, p.22.

On January 16, 2001, the Commissioner's Hearing Officer ("CHO"), defendant Barrett, conducted a hearing with respect to the recommendation. Dkt. #58, Exh. A. During the course of the hearing, plaintiff requested that CHO Barrett interview the confidential informants outside of his presence so that he could "see their credibility." Dkt. #58, p.9. CHO Barrett denied plaintiff's request. Dkt. #58, p.15. In support of his motion for summary judgment, CHO Barrett opined that attempting to interview the confidential informants outside of plaintiff's presence would pose a risk to them because I believed it would be difficult to conduct such an interview without another inmate becoming suspicious of what was happening and reporting his suspicion to the Plaintiff, an influential inmate. I was aware that Sgt. Perry had interviewed the confidential informants himself, and I had confidence in his ability to assess their credibility. Accordingly, I saw no need to interview them myself, as I thought it would jeopardize institutional safety and put the confidential informants' lives in danger.

Dkt. #58, ¶ 8.

Relying upon the administrative segregation recommendation written by Sgt. Perry, CHO Barrett found plaintiff involved in the extortion of inmates. Dkt. #58, p.20. Plaintiff complained that CHO Barrett hadn't interviewed Sgt. Perry and didn't indicate why Sgt. Perry had not been called to testify at the hearing. Dkt. #58, p.15. CHO Barrett responded that plaintiff had not requested Sgt. Perry as a witness. Dkt. #58, p.16. CHO Barrett also noted that he "read some of the notes . . . that were supplied along with my copy of the hearing, the confidential information." Dkt. #58, p.16.*fn1 Plaintiff asked to see that information "with the names deleted," but CHO Barrett refused the request on the ground that "it's confidential information." Dkt. #58, p.16.

Plaintiff remained in administrative segregation until February 26, 2001, when he was transferred to the Attica Correctional Facility and housed in the general population. Dkt. #61, ¶ 2. Inmates placed in administrative segregation at Elmira are housed in Special Housing Units ("SHU"), where they are confined to their cells except for one hour of exercise daily, a minimum of two showers a week, unlimited legal visits and one non-legal visit per week. Dkt. #62, ¶ 5. Inmates placed in administrative segregation may receive counseling services and access to sick call on a daily basis, are generally afforded the opportunity to participate in a cell study program, and are permitted books and periodicals from the law library and general library. Dkt. #62, ¶ 5. Unlike inmates placed in SHU for disciplinary reasons, inmates in administrative segregation may possess additional personal property and are permitted to make specified commissary purchases on a monthly basis from the commencement of their confinement to SHU. Dkt. #62, ¶ 6. Captain John Colvin, who made rounds of SHU during the duration of plaintiff's administrative segregation, declares that these rules were complied with during plaintiff's administrative segregation and denies any atypical conditions with respect to hygienic standards within SHU. Dkt. #59, ¶¶ 2-3. Elmira has no record of any grievances concerning the conditions of plaintiff's confinement in SHU. Dkt. #60, ¶ 3.

Plaintiff declares that he was confined to SHU 23 hours per day and subjected to a loss of packages and limitation of his commissary privileges, visitation, personal property, participation in religious services and other events. Dkt. ## 65 & 67. Plaintiff also complains that his cell lacked a desk, locker, chair or tables and that he was provided an "unhygienic body waste infected ...

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