The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge
Currently before the Court in this pro se prisoner civil rights action are Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 46), Plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 52), and United States Magistrate Judge Gustave J. DiBianco's Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendants' motion be granted and Plaintiff's cross-motion be denied. (Dkt. No. 56.) Plaintiff has filed Objections to the Report-Recommendation. (Dkt. No. 58.) For the reasons set forth below, the Report-Recommendation is accepted and adopted in its entirety, Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted, and Plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment is denied.
On October 12, 2005, Plaintiff filed this action against six (6) individuals employed by the New York State Department of Correctional Services at Eastern Correctional Facility. (Dkt. No. 1.) On February 21, 2007, Senior United States District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn adopted a Report-Recommendation by Magistrate Judge DiBianco that dismissed several of Plaintiff's claims against certain Defendants pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 23.) As a result, currently remaining before the Court for consideration are (1) Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim for inadequate medical care against Defendants Milicevic and Bhavsar, (2) Plaintiff's claim against Defendants Lucas and Milicevic for conspiring to deny Plaintiff medical care, (3) Plaintiff's First Amendment claim against Lucas for retaliation, and (4) Plaintiff's motion for sanctions.
On February 23, 2007, Defendants filed their Answer to Plaintiff's Complaint. (Dkt. No. 26.) On April 30, 2008, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 46.) Generally, Defendants' motion is premised on the following four grounds: (1) Plaintiff failed to allege facts plausibly suggesting that he suffered from a serious medical need; (2) Plaintiff's conspiracy claim is barred by the intracorporate conspiracy doctrine, and/or lacks support by the admissible record evidence; (3) Plaintiff's retaliation claim against Defendant Lucas fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; and (4) Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity as a matter of law. (Dkt. No. 46.) On July 8, 2008, Plaintiff filed a cross-motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 52.)
On March 9, 2009, Magistrate Judge DiBianco issued a Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendants' motion be granted and Plaintiff's cross-motion be denied. (Dkt. No. 56.) Generally, Magistrate Judge DiBianco offered four grounds for his recommendation:
(1) Plaintiff's skin conditions did not constitute a serious medical need that required emergency treatment; (2) Plaintiff's conspiracy claim cannot survive summary judgment when the underlying Eighth Amendment claim does not survive summary judgment; (3) transferring Plaintiff to a double cell at Five Points Correctional Facility did not amount to adverse action for purposes of a retaliation claim, and, in any event, Defendant Lucas was not involved in the transfer; and (4) Plaintiff's motion for sanctions is moot in light of the recommendation to grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Id.) Familiarity with the grounds of the Report-Recommendation is assumed in this Decision and Order.
On April 2, 2009, Plaintiff filed his Objections to the Report-Recommendation. (Dkt. No. 58.)
II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS
A. Standard of Review on Objection from 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).*fn1
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).*fn2 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 ...