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Brown v. Chappius

United States District Court, W.D. New York

May 6, 2014

CARL BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
PAUL CHAPPIUS, JR., CRAIG DIEGO, STEPHEN WENDERLICH, PAUL YOUMANS, JAMEY TAYLOR, DANIEL STAIGHT, and KIRBY BUNNELL Defendants.

CARL BROWN, 01-A-0717 Malone, NY, Pro Se.

ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, Attorney General, State of New York, KATHLEEN M. KACZOR, Assistant New York Attorney General, of Counsel Buffalo, NY, Attorney for Defendants.

DECISION AND ORDER

LESLIE G. FOSCHIO, Magistrate Judge.

JURISDICTION

This case was referred to the undersigned on February 5, 2013, by Honorable Richard J. Arcara, for all pretrial proceedings. The matter is presently before the court on Plaintiff's Motions for Joinder (Doc. No. 36), filed December 2, 2013; to Compel (Doc. No. 37), filed December 5, 2013; to Amend and to Compel (Doc. No. 38), filed December 5, 2013; to Compel (Doc. No. 39), filed December 5, 2013; to Compel Discovery (Doc. No. 40), filed December 5, 2013; to Compel (Doc. No. 41), filed December 5, 2013; for Discovery (Doc. No. 47), filed January 10, 2014; to Appoint Counsel (Doc. No. 48), filed January 10, 2014; and Plaintiff's Letter Motion for Discovery (Doc. No. 50), filed January 14, 2014.

BACKGROUND and FACTS[1]

Plaintiff Carl Brown ("Plaintiff"), currently incarcerated at Upstate Correctional Facility, and proceeding pro se, commenced this ยง 1983 action on February 5, 2013, alleging violations of his federal civil rights based on events that occurred while Plaintiff was incarcerated at Elmira Correctional Facility ("Elmira"), and Southport Correctional Facility ("Southport"). Defendants are all current or former employees of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ("DOCCS"). On July 25, 2013, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint (Doc. No. 34) ("Amended Complaint"), asserting claims for relief challenging conditions of his confinement including, failure to protect, denial of medical treatment, deprivation of food, deprivation of property, and retaliation for exercising his civil rights.

Plaintiff alleges that after being denied a shower by Corrections Officer ("C.O.") Morris ("Morris"), he filed a grievance. Amended Complaint at 10. In response to the grievance Morris told inmates and other C.O.s about Plaintiff's case, which Plaintiff maintains was the equivalent of an extortion threat. Id. Plaintiff wrote Defendant Superintendent of Elmira, Paul Chappius, Jr. ("Chappius"), a letter, indicating that a number of inmates was threatening to extort him.[2] Id. at 5. Plaintiff believed that the inmates' threats stemmed from Plaintiff being incarcerated on a rape conviction and because his father is Barry Gordy, Jr., an alleged important figure in the rhythm and blues music business. Id. Plaintiff claims that Chappius violated his Eighth Amendment rights by allowing Morris to tell others about his case. Id. Plaintiff claims that it was this violation that resulted in him being stabbed by several inmates. Id.

In a second cause of action, Plaintiff alleges that although he notified Defendant Elmira Deputy Superintendent, Wenderlich ("Wenderlich") of the threats by other inmates in April and June of 2012, Wenderlich took no action in response to the threats against Plaintiff. Amended Complaint at 9. When Plaintiff was moved to the G-Block in Elmira he informed Defendant Sergeant Youmans ("Youmans") of the threats, but Youmans advised Plaintiff that he was too busy to assist Plaintiff with regard to the threats. Id. Two weeks later, Plaintiff told Defendant Sergeant Powers ("Powers") of the threats, but Powers did nothing in response to the threats. Id. Plaintiff notified Wenderlich of the threats two more times, but Wenderlich never responded to Plaintiff's notifications. Id. Plaintiff was stabbed eight times by inmates ("the stabbing incident")[3], while Defendants C.O. Bunnell ("Bunnell"), C.O. Taylor ("Taylor"), and C.O. John Doe ("Doe") observed. Id. Morris allegedly provided the inmates with the weapons used to stab Plaintiff. Id. at 12. After the stabbing, Plaintiff claims he was denied medical attention by Bunnell. Id. at 9. Plaintiff states that after two hours another inmate, Troy Harris ("Harris"), who gave a statement about the stabbing incident, [4] summoned Taylor for medical attention. Id. Plaintiff was brought to an outside hospital, where he stayed for six days.[5] Id. at 12.

Upon his return to Elmira, Plaintiff was placed in disciplinary housing by Defendant C.O. Staight ("Staight"), in response to Plaintiff's accusation that Morris provided inmates with the weapons used to attack Plaintiff. Amended Complaint at 9. While in disciplinary housing Plaintiff was denied food, showers, and legal mail. Id. Plaintiff informed Chappius, Wenderlich, Defendant C.O. Diego ("Diego"), and Youmans about the deprivation, but no action was taken to remedy the deprivation. Amended Complaint at 11. Plaintiff was then transferred to Southport, where Defendant C.O. Miller ("Miller") brought him legal mail and delivered Plaintiff's property, but trial transcripts, a television, and Plaintiff's copy of the Quran were missing, for which Plaintiff filed grievances. Id.

Plaintiff alleges that he was continuously held in disciplinary housing in retaliation for filing grievances. Amended Complaint at 13. Further, inmates continuously cut, stabbed, and threw feces at Plaintiff, which Plaintiff attributes to Defendants informing other inmates about the nature of Plaintiff's criminal conviction. Id. Plaintiff also claims he suffered other civil rights violations while housed at DOCCS's at Attica (2003), Clinton (2007), Wende (2010), Chemung (2011), and Auburn[6] facilities. Id.

Plaintiff claims Defendants Chappius, Wendelich, Diego, and Youmans violated his Eighth Amendment rights by refusing to provide Plaintiff protection and failing to respond to notices of threats, Defendants Morris, Bunnel, Taylor, and Staight violated Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights by placing him in disciplinary housing for filing grievances and depriving him of his legal work, and Defendants Morris, Taylor, and Staight violated Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights by providing weapons to inmates, used to attack Plaintiff. Amended Complaint at 13.

Plaintiff filed a Motion for Joinder (Doc. No. 36) on December 2, 2013, to which Defendants submitted a Memorandum in Opposition (Doc. No. 44) on January 3, 2014. Plaintiff filed four Motions to Compel dated December 5, 2013 (Doc. Nos. 37, 39, 40, and 41), in response to which Defendants filed the Memorandum in Opposition of [sic] Plaintiff's Motions to Compel (Doc. No. 46) on January 6, 2013. Plaintiff filed a response to Defendants Memorandum on January 22, 2014. Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend and Compel (Doc. No. 38) on December 5, 2013, to which Defendants filed a Memorandum in Opposition (Doc. No. 45) on January 3, 2013. Plaintiff also filed Motions for Discovery (Doc. No. 47) on January 10, 2014, to Appoint Counsel (Doc. No. 48) on January 10, 2014, and a Letter Motion for Discovery (Doc. No. 50) on February 14, 2014, to which Defendants have not filed responses.

Based on the following, Plaintiff's Motion for Joinder (Doc. No. 36) is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part; Plaintiff's Motions to Compel (Doc. Nos. 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 47, and 50) are DENIED; Plaintiff's Motion to Amend (Doc. No. 38) is DENIED; ...


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