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Zulu v. Seymour

United States District Court, N.D. New York

March 27, 2017

ARKIL LIONKING ZULU, Plaintiff,
v.
WENDY M. SEYMOUR, Correction Officer, Upstate Correctional Facility, and JOHN D. GRANT, Correction Officer, Upstate Correctional Facility, Defendants.

          ARKIL LIONKING ZULU Plaintiff pro se

          OFFICE OF THE NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL Attorneys for Defendants

          RYAN W. HICKEY, AAG

          MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

          Mae A. D'Agostino, U.S. District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ("DOCCS"), commenced this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting claims arising from when he was incarcerated at Upstate Correctional Facility ("Upstate C.F."). See Dkt. No. 11. In his amended complaint, Plaintiff asserts an Eighth Amendment claim against Defendants Seymour and Grant for allegedly tampering with his food. See id.

         On May 11, 2016, Defendants moved for summary judgment. See Dkt. No. 44. In their motion, Defendants argue that Plaintiff cannot establish their personal involvement in the alleged constitutional violation, there are no disputed issues of material fact precluding summary judgment, and they are entitled to qualified immunity. See Id. In a Report-Recommendation and Order dated March 3, 2017, Magistrate Judge Stewart recommended that the Court grant Defendants' motion. See Dkt. No. 61. Specifically, Magistrate Judge Stewart found that Plaintiff failed to put forth evidence demonstrating Defendants' personal involvement in the alleged Eighth Amendment violation and recommended granting Defendants' motion on that basis. See Id. at 6-9.[1]

         Currently before the Court is Magistrate Judge Stewart's March 3, 2017 Report-Recommendation and Order.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Since neither party objected to Magistrate Judge Stewart's recitation of the relevant background facts, and because it is consistent with the record, the Court adopts the factual background set forth in Magistrate Judge Stewart's Report-Recommendation and Order. See Dkt. No. 61 at 2-4.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard

         A court may grant a motion for summary judgment only if it determines that there is no genuine issue of material fact to be tried and that the facts as to which there is no such issue warrant judgment for the movant as a matter of law. See Chambers v. TRM Copy Ctrs. Corp., 43 F.3d 29, 36 (2d Cir. 1994) (citations omitted). When analyzing a summary judgment motion, the court "cannot try issues of fact; it can only determine whether there are issues to be tried." Id. at 36-37 (quotation and other citation omitted). Moreover, it is well-settled that a party opposing a motion for summary judgment may not simply rely on the assertions in its pleadings. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) (e)).

         In assessing the record to determine whether any such issues of material fact exist, the court is required to resolve all ambiguities and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. See Chambers, 43 F.3d at 36 (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 106 S.Ct. 2502, 2513-14, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986)) (other citations omitted). Where the non-movant either does not respond to the motion or fails to dispute the movant's statement of material facts, the court may not rely solely on the moving party's Rule 56.1 statement; rather the court must be satisfied that the citations to evidence in the record support the movant's assertions. See Giannullo v. City of N.Y., 322 F.3d 139, 143 n.5 (2d Cir. 2003) ...


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