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Headley v. Fisher

June 28, 2010

ROGELIO HEADLEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT BRIAN FISHER, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER SIMPSON, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER B. ELLIS, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER R. BETHEA, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER T. RIZZUTO, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER K. HARRIS, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER R. REYES, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER K. BARRETT, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Paul A. Crotty, United States District Judge

ORDER

Pro se Plaintiff, Rogelio Headley ("Headley") brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against, among others, Correction Officers Simpson ("Simpson") and Ellis ("Ellis," and, together with Simpson, "the Defendants"). Headley asserted claims for multiple violations of his constitutional and statutory civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In an Order dated May 7, 2008, the Court dismissed Headley's claims against all defendants except Simpson and Ellis. (Dkt. #39.) As to Simpson and Ellis, the Court dismissed all of Headley's claims except his: (i) First Amendment retaliation claim against both Simpson and Ellis, and (ii) a Fourteenth Amendment Due Process claim against Simpson. (Dkt. #39.)

The Court referred the case to Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox on August 29, 2006. On October 23, 2009, the Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. On April 8, 2010, Magistrate Judge Fox issued a Report and Recommendation ("R&R") recommending that the Court grant Defendants' motion as to the retaliation claim against Officer Simpson but deny Defendant's motion as to all other claims (Dkt. #81.). Both parties submitted timely objections to the R&R (Dkt. #s 85-86.) After reviewing the objections of the parties, the Court adopts Judge Fox's R&R in its entirety. It thus GRANTS the defendants' motion as to the retaliation claim against Officer Simpson but DENIES the motion as to all other claims.

FACTS*fn1

Headley is an inmate at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility ("Sing Sing") in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services ("DOCS"). On April 29, 2004, Headley exited his cell and headed for the bathhouse run, believing his gallery had been called. Simpson, however, informed Headley that his gallery had not been called and ordered Headley to return to his cell. Headley refused to return to his cell and called for a sergeant. Headley alleges that Simpson then grabbed his shirt and dragged him back to his cell, slapping him and yelling profanities. Headley further alleges that Simpson threatened to punish him if Headley filed a grievance against Simpson. Headley nevertheless filed a grievance report against Simpson for these actions. Headley's grievance report was denied.

Following this incident, Simpson filed a misbehavior report against Headley, stating that Headley had been out of place and had disobeyed a direct order to return to his cell. On the evening of April 29, 2004, as a result of the report filed by Simpson, Headley was placed in keep-lock status for 16 days, until May 15, 2004. Headley alleges that he never received Simpson's misbehavior report and that he was denied an opportunity to be heard prior to his keep-lock confinement. It is undisputed that Simpson did not have the authority to place Headley on keep-lock status.

While under keep-lock status, prisoners receive three meals a day and may go to recreation and take showers when permitted. Headley alleges that, while in keep-lock, he was not offered meals and was denied opportunities to take showers and go to recreation. Defendants dispute these assertions and point to the Sing Sing Logbook (the "Logbook"), which indicates that Headley was, in fact, offered opportunities for recreation or showers. See, Reznik Decl. Ex. F. at 320, 343, 374.

On May 22, 2004, Headley filed a second grievance report, this one against Ellis, a female officer. In this grievance report, Headley alleged that he was strip searched in front of Ellis, who made derogatory comments about his private parts and slapped him in the face. Headley alleged that Ellis used profanity and said, "that's what you get for writing up C.O. Simpson." See Headley Tr. at 103, Reznik Decl. Ex. B., at 103. Ellis denies these allegations.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review for a Report and Recommendation

A district 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). When the parties make timely objections to the recommendations of the magistrate judge, the Court must review the contested portions de novo. Pizarro v. Bartlett, 776 F. Supp. 815, 817 (S.D.N.Y. 1991). The Court, however, "may adopt those portions of the [R&R] to which no objections have been made and which are not facially erroneous." La Torres v. Walker, 216 F. Supp. 2d 157, 159 (S.D.N.Y. 2000).

II. Analysis

a. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate where "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 movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(2). In evaluating the evidence in a summary judgment motion, all "justifiable inferences" must be made in favor of the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). A summary judgment motion will not stand where the ...


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