United States District Court, N.D. New York
Mattison Plaintiff, pro se
Matthew P. Reed, Esq. Hon. Eric T. Schneiderman Attorney for
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
Brenda K. Sannes, United States District Judge
pro se Ernest Mattison brought this action against defendants
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the Defendant
corrections officers denied him access to showers in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Dkt. No. 1). On March 22,
2017, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which
Plaintiff has opposed. (Dkt. Nos. 50, 53). This matter was
assigned to United States Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles
who, on January 8, 2018, issued an Order, Report and
Recommendation recommending that Defendants' motion for
summary judgment be granted and that Plaintiff's
remaining claims be dismissed in all respects. (Dkt. No. 60).
filed a motion for reconsideration (Dkt. No. 63) which the
Court has construed as an objection to the Report and
Recommendation. (Dkt. No. 64). The deadline for objections
has passed, and no further objections have been received by
the Court. For the reasons set forth below, the Report and
Recommendation is adopted in its entirety.
Court reviews de novo those portions of the Magistrate
Judge's findings and recommendations that have been
properly preserved with a specific objection. Petersen v.
Astrue, 2 F.Supp.3d 223, 228-29 (N.D.N.Y. 2012); 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Findings and recommendations as
to which there was no properly preserved objection are
reviewed for clear error. Id.
carefully reviewing the record in this case, Magistrate Judge
Peebles recommended granting Defendants' motion because
no reasonable factfinder could determine that Plaintiff had
met either the subjective or objective requirements of his
Eighth Amendment claim. (Dkt. No. 60, at 14-15). “A
claim alleging that prison conditions violate the Eighth
Amendment must satisfy both an objective and subjective
requirement-the conditions must be ‘sufficiently
serious' from an objective point of view, meaning that
they involve denial of the minimum civilized measure of
life's necessities, and the plaintiff must demonstrate
that prison officials acted subjectively with
‘deliberate indifference.'” Gill v.
Hoadley, 261 F.Supp.2d 113, 128 (N.D.N.Y. 2003) (quoting
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994)).
Magistrate Judge Peebles noted that Plaintiff “had
regular unobstructed access to regular showers at the
facility” during the fifty-day period that he did not
have a block shower permit, Plaintiff was aware of the proper
procedure to renew his block shower permit, and there was no
evidence that Defendants acted with deliberate indifference.
(Dkt. No. 60, at 13-14). Alternatively, Magistrate Judge
Peebles recommended that the motion be granted on the basis
of qualified immunity. (Id. at 18- 19). Magistrate
Judge Peebles reasoned that, even assuming that the right to
a block shower was a clearly established right, “a
reasonable corrections officer in defendants' position
would have believed that his actions were lawful,
particularly where, as here, plaintiff had access to the
regular showers, and the officers lacked authority to allow
plaintiff to utilize the block shower without a permit, which
he did not possess.” (Id. at 18).
Court has considered Plaintiff's objections and reviewed
the applicable portions of Magistrate Judge Peebles'
recommendation de novo. Plaintiff objects to Defendants'
failure to produce “documentation” supporting
their assertion that block showers require medical permits.
(Dkt. No. 63, at 1-2). This is without merit. Magistrate
Judge Peebles correctly applied the applicable Eighth
Amendment law, and the absence of a written permit
requirement does not impact that analysis. Similarly,
Magistrate Judge Peebles correctly applied the law concerning
qualified immunity, and there is no merit to Plaintiff's
argument that Defendants lost qualified immunity by enforcing
a rule that is not documented in writing. (Id. at
4). Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity because it
was objectively reasonable for them to believe that their
actions were lawful. See Higazy v. Templeton, 505
F.3d 161, 169-70 (2d Cir. 2007).
for the foregoing reasons, it is hereby
that Magistrate Judge Peebles' Report and Recommendation
(Dkt. No. 60) is ADOPTED in all respects;
and it is further
that Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No.
50) is GRANTED and Plaintiff's remaining
claims are DISMISSED in all respects; and it
is further ORDERED that the Clerk is
directed to close this case; and it is further
that the Clerk serve this Order on the parties in accordance
with the Local Rules.