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Reid v. Marzano

United States District Court, N.D. New York

January 8, 2018

JOSEPH J. REID, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
V. MARZANO, Correctional Officer, M. VERNE, Correctional Officer, SGT. MATTHEW ROZANSKI, Defendants.

         APPEARANCES:

          Joseph J. Reid Sr. Plaintiff, pro se

          HON. ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN Attorney General for the State of New York Attorneys for Defendants

         OF COUNSEL:

          RYAN W. HICKEY, AAG

          DECISION AND ORDER

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

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On June 19, 2015, Plaintiff Joseph J. Reid Sr. filed the complaint in this action alleging that Defendants Corrections Officer V. Marzano, Corrections Officer M. Verne, and Sergeant Matthew Rozanski violated his Eighth Amendment rights. See Dkt. No. 1. Defendants moved for summary judgment, and Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel issued a Report-Recommendation and Order recommending that the Court grant Defendants' motion in part and deny it in part. See Dkt. Nos. 62, 73. Plaintiff did not file any objections. For the following reasons, the Report-Recommendation and Order is adopted in part and rejected in part.

         II. BACKGROUND

         In the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that on May 10, 2015, he was attacked by Officer Marzano while getting breakfast at the mess hall. See Dkt. No. 1 at 4. When Plaintiff tried to report the attack to Sergeant Rozanski, he was tackled to the ground and handcuffed by Officer Marzano. See Id. Plaintiff was then escorted to the special housing unit ("SHU"), where he was hit in the face by Officer Verne until Sergeant Rozanski opened the door and told Officer Verne to "start wrapping the fun up" because a nurse was coming. See Id. Defendants' account of that day is very different. According to Defendants, Plaintiff had an unprovoked outburst, refused to obey commands, and punched Officer Marzano in the face. See Dkt. No. 62-2 at ¶¶ 4-7. When Plaintiff was taken to SHU, he refused Officer Verne's order to comply with a strip frisk. See Id. at ¶ 15. Plaintiff then turned aggressively toward Officer Verne with his fists raised, and Officer Verne used a leg sweep to bring Plaintiff to the ground. See id. at ¶ 17.

         As a result of the events that took place on May 10, 2015, Plaintiff was subject to a Tier III disciplinary hearing and found guilty of several charges, including assault on staff, violent conduct, and creating a disturbance. See Dkt. No. 62-5 at 30-31. Additionally, Plaintiff was charged with criminal assault in Jefferson County, New York. See Dkt. No. 62-6. Plaintiff pleaded guilty to third degree assault in Jefferson County Court, and on May 13, 2016, he was sentenced to time served. See Id. at 1-3.

         On May 26, 2017, Defendants moved for summary judgment in this case arguing that Plaintiff's claims must be dismissed because a favorable judgment in this case would "necessarily imply the invalidity" of Plaintiff's underlying criminal conviction. See Dkt. No. 62-1 at 1 (citing Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994)). Magistrate Judge Hummel issued a Report-Recommendation and Order recommending that this Court grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment as to Officer Marzano but deny summary judgement as to Officer Verne and Sergeant Rozanski. See Dkt. No. 73 at 18-19.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         In reviewing a report and recommendation, a district court "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). When a party makes specific objections to a magistrate judge's report, the district court engages in de novo review of the issues raised in the objections. See id.; Farid v. Bouey, 554 F.Supp.2d 301, 307 (N.D.N.Y. 2008). When a party fails to make specific objections, the court reviews the magistrate judge's report for ...


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