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Patrick J. Morrison v. C.O. Parmele

September 25, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: David G. Larimer United States District Judge



Plaintiff Patrick J. Morrison ("Plaintiff'), who is proceeding pro se, commenced this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Groveland Correctional Facility ("Groveland"), in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ("DOCCS"). At the time of the relevant events, Defendants Officer Parmele, Sergeant Stefaniak, Officer Ryan, Sergeant Jerrold, Correction Officer Markle, Correction Officer Armbruster, and Correction Officer Kasperski (collectively, "the Defendants"), were DOCCS employees.


Plaintiff was incarcerated at Groveland from July 27, 2007 to August 3, 2007. In his amended complaint, Plaintiff asserts that on August 3, he was assaulted by the Defendants in retaliation for his complaints that he was being sexually assaulted by another inmate. He also contends that Sergeant Jerrold filed a false misbehavior report against him. See Am. Compl. (Dkt. #25-2) at 5-7; Second Am. Compl. (Dkt. #25) at 5.

Plaintiff filed a formal Inmate Grievance Complaint on August 10, 2007 at Collins Correctional Facility alleging the assault by the Groveland officers and the false misbehavior report. He received a determination from the Inmate Grievance Review Committee ("IGRC") recommending that Plaintiff's grievance be forwarded to the Superintendent for further review. See Def. Ex. 1 (Dkt. #79-2). Plaintiff did not appeal that determination. See id.

Defendants now move for summary judgment on the ground that Plaintiff has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies (Dkt. #79). Plaintiff has submitted over 200 pages of documentation in opposition to the Defendants' motion (Dkt. #82, #84). For the reasons that follow, the Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted and the complaint is dismissed.


I. Summary Judgment Standard

Pursuant to Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is appropriate where the moving papers and affidavits submitted by the parties "show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986).

To survive a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must produce evidence in admissible form "sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to the party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). All evidence will be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and the court must draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. See, e.g., American Casualty Company of Reading, P.A. v. Nordic Leasing, Inc., 42 F.3d 725, 728 (2d Cir. 1994).

Where, as here, the party opposing summary judgment is proceeding pro se, the Court must "read the pleadings ... liberally and interpret them to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest." Corcoran v. New York Power Auth., 202 F.3d 530, 536 (2d Cir. 1999). Nevertheless, "proceeding pro se does not otherwise relieve [an opposing party] from the usual requirements of summary judgment." Fitzpatrick v. N.Y. Cornell Hosp., No. 00-Civ.-8594, 2003 WL 102853 at *5 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 9, 2003). In responding to a properly-supported motion for summary judgment, the plaintiffs may not reply upon conclusory allegations or denials, but instead must produce evidence in admissible form, setting forth "concrete particulars" showing that a trial is needed. R.G. Group, Inc. v. Horn & Hardart Co., 751 F.2d 69, 77 (2d Cir. 1984).

II. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

The Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") states: "No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted." 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). To satisfy the PLRA's exhaustion requirement, an inmate in New York is generally required to follow the prescribed DOCCS grievance procedure, which is set forth at 7 N.Y.C.R.R. § 701.5. That procedure entails the submission of a grievance, within twenty-one days of the relevant occurrence, to the Inmate Grievance Program ...

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