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 filed by Sidney E. Purdie ("Plaintiff") against nine employees of the New York State Department of Correctional Services ("Defendants"), are the following: (1) Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claims in his Second Amended Complaint against Defendants McCarthy, Graham, Ramsey, Blaisdell, Quinn, and Bellamy for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (Dkt. Nos. 32, 48), and (2) United States Magistrate Judge Andrew T. Baxter's Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendants' motion be granted and Defendants McCarthy, Graham, Ramsey, Blaisdell, Quinn, and Bellamy be dismissed from this action (Dkt. No. 51). For the reasons set forth below, the Report-Recommendation is accepted and adopted in its entirety; Defendant's motion is granted; and Defendants McCarthy, Graham, Ramsey, Blaisdell, Quinn, and Bellamy are dismissed from this action.
Plaintiff filed his initial Complaint on August 27, 2009. (Dkt. No. 1.) On November 18, 2009, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (Dkt. No. 6), which was stricken by the Court pursuant to its Decision and Order of July 20, 2010. (Dkt. No. 19.) In that same Decision and Order, the Court accepted for filing Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint, except for certain of the claims therein, which were futile due to their failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. (Id.) More specifically, the Court dismissed without prejudice, as Defendants to this action, the following individuals and entity: Lt. Quinn, Sgt. E. Graf, M. Sullivan, Stichland, Nancy Doe, John F. Zebrowski, Richard Roy, J. Festa, an unnamed Disciplinary Hearing Officer, and the Auburn Correctional Facility Medical Department. (Id.)
Generally, construed with the utmost of liberality, Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint alleges that, while Plaintiff was incarcerated at Auburn Correctional Facility ("Auburn C.F."), he filed "complaints" against Defendant Vosberg claiming that Vosberg was harassing him, which resulted in Defendants Vosberg and Conners retaliating against him by, among other things, denying him food and recreation. (Dkt. No. 20 at 2.) Plaintiff alleges that he filed his "complaints" with Defendant Bellamy, the Head Grievance Director, and appealed the decisions to Defendant Superintendent Graham. (Id. at 2-3.) Plaintiff alleges that, because he filed grievances against Defendant Vosberg, Vosberg told Plaintiff that he was going to get even with Plaintiff. (Id. at 3-4.)
Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Vosberg "paid inmates cigarettes to stab [Plaintiff] in retaliation for written reports upon C.O. Vosberg and C.O. Conners." (Id. at 5.) Plaintiff alleges that, as a result, on August 4, 2009, Defendant Guzewicz opened Plaintiff's cell doors and permitted an inmate to assault him, in retaliation for Plaintiff filing complaints against Defendant Vosberg. (Dkt. No. 20.) Plaintiff alleges that, after the assault, he was deprived of medical treatment and denied the process he was due at his Tier III disciplinary, which took place as a result of Defendant Ramsey finding a weapon in his cell during a search subsequent to the assault, and resulted in his confinement in a special housing unit. (Id.)
Based on these factual allegations, Plaintiff's Complaint--when construed with the utmost of special leniency--alleges that Defendants violated his constitutional rights in the following manner: (1) Defendants Vosberg and Conners retaliated against him by denying him recreational and meal privileges because he filed "complaints" against Defendant Vosberg, in violation of his First Amendment rights; (2) Defendant Guzewicz retaliated against him for filing grievances against Defendant Vosberg by opening his cell door and permitting an inmate to assault him, in violation of his First Amendment rights; (3) Defendant Guzewicz failed to protect him from an assault by an inmate, in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights; (4) Defendant Quinn acted with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs by refusing to treat his wounds or grant his request for a hospital transfer, in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights; (5) Defendant McCarthy denied him the process he was due at his disciplinary hearing by not permitting him to present witnesses, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment; (6) Defendant Bellamy, as the "Head Grievance Director," was aware of Plaintiff's complaints regarding Defendant Vosberg, yet failed to prevent Vosberg's subsequently ordered assault of Plaintiff; and (7) Defendant Graham, as the Supervisor of Auburn C.F., is liable for the unconstitutional acts of his subordinates. (Id.)*fn1
For a more detailed recitation of the factual allegations giving rise to the above-described claims, the Court refers the reader to Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint in its entirety, and to Magistrate Judge Baxter's Report-Recommendation. (Dkt. Nos. 20, 51.)
On September 10, 2010, Defendants filed their motion to dismiss. (Dkt. No. 32.) In their motion, Defendants argue that, because Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint fails to state a claim against Defendants McCarthy, Graham, Ramsey, Blaisdell or Quinn, each of these individuals should be dismissed as Defendants from the action. (Dkt. No. 32.) For a more detailed recitation of Defendants' argument, the Court refers the reader to the motion to dismiss in its entirety, as well as Magistrate Judge Baxter's thorough Report-Recommendation. (Id.)
On September 16, 2010, Plaintiff submitted a response in opposition to Defendants' motion. (Dkt. No. 36.) In his response, Plaintiff argues as follows: (1) his due process claim against Defendant McCarthy should not be dismissed because, by not allowing Plaintiff to present witnesses at the disciplinary hearing, Defendant McCarthy violated his right to present a proper defense; (2) his claims against Defendant Graham should not be dismissed because (a) as Supervisor of Auburn C.F., Defendant Graham received notice of Defendant Vosberg's threats against Plaintiff, yet failed to remedy the situation, and (b) Defendant Graham assigned Defendant McCarthy to conduct his Tier III hearing, and Defendant McCarthy violated his constitutional rights; (3) Defendants Ramsey and Blaisdell should not be dismissed because, although "none of the allegations [in the Second Amended Complaint] allege any conduct on the part of . . . Ramsey or Blaisdell that violates any constitutional right of the Plaintiff[,]" these Defendants "should be permitted to testify at trial upon what took place on August 4, 200 . . . ."; and (4) his medical indifference and retaliation claims against Defendant Quinn should not be dismissed because Plaintiff has alleged facts plausibly suggesting that she denied him proper medical treatment and placed him in the care of Mental Health instead of a hospital. (Dkt. No.36.)
On December 27, 2010, Defendant Bellamy submitted a letter motion requesting to join in Defendants' motion to dismiss, which was subsequently granted by the Court. (Dkt. No. 48.)
On January 7, 2011, Plaintiff submitted a second response, in opposition to Defendant Bellamy's letter-motion. (Dkt. No. 50.) In his response, Plaintiff argues that his claim against Defendant Bellamy should not be dismissed because she failed to process his grievance filings, and therefore his "complaints" were ...