Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Chaney v. Koupash

December 30, 2008

TODD CHANEY AND ERIC DELEON, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THOMAS KOUPASH, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER

Todd Chaney and Eric Deleon ("Plaintiffs"), New York State prison inmates, filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against eighty-three(83) correctional officials employed by the New York State Department of Corrections ("Defendants").*fn1

Generally, Plaintiffs allege that, between approximately January 26, 2001, and December 14, 2005, at the Attica, Auburn, Great Meadow and Southport Correctional Facilities, Defendants violated Plaintiffs' rights under the First, Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. (See generally Dkt. No. 116 [Plfs.' Third Am. and Suppl. Compl.].)*fn2 Currently before the Court are (1) Defendants' motion for summary judgment, (2) United States Magistrate Judge Homer's Report-Recommendation that Defendants' motion be granted, (3) Plaintiffs' objections to the Report-Recommendation, and (4) Plaintiffs' motion to file a Fourth Amended and Supplemental Complaint. (Dkt. Nos. 228, 239, 241 & 242.) For the reasons set forth below, the Report-Recommendation is adopted in its entirety; Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted; Plaintiffs' Third Amended and Supplemental Complaint is dismissed; and Plaintiffs' motion to file a Fourth Amended and Supplemental Complaint is denied.

I. BACKGROUND

Familiarity with this action's procedural background, Plaintiffs' claims, and Defendants' undisputed factual assertions, as set forth in Magistrate Judge Homer's Report-Recommendation (Dkt. No. 239) is assumed, and shall not be repeated in this Memorandum-Decision and Order. Only the background, claims and facts necessary to the discussion shall be set forth herein.

II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Standard of Review on Objection to Report-Recommendation

When specific objections are made to a magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the Court makes a "de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).*fn3

When only general objections are made to a magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the Court reviews the report-recommendation for clear error or manifest injustice. See Brown v. Peters, 95-CV-1641, 1997 WL 599355, at *2-3 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 22, 1997) (Pooler, J.) [collecting cases], aff'd without opinion, 175 F.3d 1007 (2d Cir. 1999).*fn4 Similarly, when a party makes no objection to a portion of a report-recommendation, the Court reviews that portion for clear error or manifest injustice. See Batista v. Walker, 94-CV-2826, 1995 WL 453299, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. July 31, 1995) (Sotomayor, J.) [citations omitted]; Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), Advisory Committee Notes: 1983 Addition [citations omitted]. After conducing the appropriate review, the Court may "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).

B. Standard Governing Motion for Summary Judgment

Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56, summary judgment is warranted if "the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the Court must resolve all ambiguities and draw all reasonable inferences against the moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). In addition, "[the moving party] bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the . . . [record] which it believes demonstrate[s] the absence of any genuine issue of material fact." Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). However, when the moving party has met this initial responsibility, the nonmoving party must come forward with "specific facts showing a genuine issue [of material fact] for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2).

A dispute of fact is "genuine" if "the [record] evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. As a result, "[c]onclusory allegations, conjecture and speculation . . . are insufficient to create a genuine issue of fact." Kerzer v. Kingly Mfg., 156 F.3d 396, 400 (2d Cir. 1998) [citation omitted]; see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2). As the Supreme Court has famously explained, "[The nonmoving party] must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts" [citations omitted]. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 585-86 (1986).

As for the materiality requirement, a dispute of fact is "material" if it "might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. "Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted." Id. [citation omitted].

Implied in the above-stated burden-shifting standard is the fact that, where a nonmoving party fails to adequately respond to a motion for summary judgment, a district court has no duty to perform an independent review of the record to find proof of a factual dispute--even if that nonmoving party is proceeding pro se.*fn5 (This is because the Court extends special solicitude to the pro se litigant, in part by ensuring that he or she has received notice of the consequences of failing to properly respond to the motion for summary judgment.)*fn6 As has often been recognized by both the Supreme Court and Second Circuit, even pro se litigants must obey a district court's procedural rules.*fn7 For this reason, this Court has often enforced Local Rule 7.1(a)(3) by deeming facts set forth in a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.