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.

Joel Murray v. Dr. M. Melendez

September 30, 2011

JOEL MURRAY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. M. MELENDEZ, CLINTON CORR. FACILITY, DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER

Currently before the Court, in this pro se prisoner civil rights action filed by Joel Murray ("Plaintiff") against Dr. Maria Melendez, M.D., a psychiatrist formerly employed at Clinton Correctional Facility ("Defendant"), are (1) Defendant's motion for summary judgment (Dkt. Nos. 183, 184), and (2) United States Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece's Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendant's motion be granted (Dkt. No. 190). For the reasons set forth below, Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation is accepted and adopted in its entirety; Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted; Plaintiff's claims against Defendant are dismissed.

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

A. Plaintiff's Claims

On October 17, 2003, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this action. (Dkt. No. 1.) On October 30, 2003, the Court issued an Order, inter alia, directing Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint. (Dkt. No. 5.) On November 20, 2003, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. (Dkt. No. 7.) On December 8, 2003, the Court struck Plaintiff's Amended Complaint from the docket due to Plaintiff's failure to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 and 10. (Dkt. No. 8.) On December 22, 2003, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint. (Dkt. No. 10.) On January 9, 2004, the Court accepted that Second Amended Complaint for filing. (Dkt. No. 11.)

Generally, construed with the utmost of liberality, Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint alleges, inter alia,*fn1 that, on or about April 1, 2002, while Plaintiff was incarcerated at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, Defendant violated his following constitutional rights: (1) she violated his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment by failing to remedy the inadequate conditions of confinement to which he was subjected by various correctional officers working in Clinton Correctional Facility's Mental Health Unit (which included having body waste thrown in his food, being made to eat with his hands, being denied meals, being refused the ability to shower, and being forced to lay on a dirty bug-infested floor), despite having been informed of those conditions by Plaintiff; and (2) she violated his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, and/or his right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment, by ordering corrections officers to use excessive force against Plaintiff so that he could be administered an injection by needle without his consent. (Dkt. No. 10, at ¶¶ 9, 22, 38 [Plf.'s Second Am. Compl.].)

The Court notes that Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint also raises the specter of a First Amendment free-flow-of-mail claim arising from unidentified correctional officers opening his legally privileged mail without his consent upon his discharge from the Clinton Correctional Facility's Mental Health Unit on April of 2002. (Dkt. No. 10, at ¶¶ 22, 38.) However, because Plaintiff alleges no facts plausibly suggesting that Defendant had a hand in opening that mail, or that Plaintiff even relayed this particular complaint to Defendant, the Court does not, even when it construes Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint with the utmost special liberality, construe the Second Amended Complaint as asserting a First Amendment free-flow-of-mail claim against Defendant.*fn2

B. Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment

On January 25, 2011, Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 183.) Generally, in her motion for summary judgment, Defendant asserts the following three arguments: (1) Plaintiff has failed to adduce admissible record evidence from which a rational fact finder could conclude that he exhausted his available administrative remedies with regard to his claims against Defendant, before commencing this action; (2) even if he has adduced such evidence, Plaintiff has failed to adduce admissible record evidence from which a rational fact finder could conclude that Defendant violated either (a) his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, or (b) his right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment; and (3) even if he has adduced such evidence, Defendant is protected from liability as a matter of law by the doctrine of qualified immunity, based on the current record evidence. (Dkt. Nos. 183, 184.)

On April 8, 2011, after having been granted an extension of time in which to do so, Plaintiff filed a response to Defendant's motion. (Dkt. Nos. 187, 188.) Generally, construed with the utmost of special liberality, Plaintiff's response asserts the following two arguments: (1) a genuine issue of material fact exists on Plaintiff's conditions-of-confinement claim under the Eighth Amendment, because he has adduced admissible record evidence from which a rational fact finder could find that Defendant both [a] "authorized" and "condoned" corrections officers to subject him to inadequate conditions of confinement, and [b] failed to remedy these conditions after Plaintiff complained of them "on numerous occasions"; and (2) a genuine issue of material fact exists on Plaintiff's cruel-and-unusual punishment claim under the Eighth Amendment, and his due process claim under the Fourteenth Amendment, because he has adduced admissible record evidence from which a rational fact finder could find that Defendant "ordered, directed, and supervised" corrections officers, on two occasions, to use physical force against Plaintiff through forcibly injecting him with anti-psychotic medications (when less-restrictive courses of action were available), in order to "cover up" the agitation that Plaintiff had experienced due to his inadequate conditions of confinement. (Id.)

C. Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation

On September 13, 2011, Magistrate Judge Treece issued a Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendant's motion be granted and that Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint be dismissed for failing to state a claim against Defendant Melendez. (Dkt. No. 190.) Familiarity with the grounds of Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation is assumed in this Decision and Order, which is intended primarily for the review of the parties. (Id.)

As of the date of this Decision and Order, no party has filed an objection to the Report-Recommendation and the deadline ...


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.