Matthews v. Villella et al
MEMORANDUM (eo, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CHAKA A. MATTHEWS,
SERGEANT VILLELLA, et al.,
Hon. John E. Jones III
Hon. Thomas M. Blewitt
June 9, 2011
THE BACKGROUND OF THIS MEMORANDUM IS AS FOLLOWS:
This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) of Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt (Doc. 175), filed on May 18,
2010, which recommends that the Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. 136) be granted and that this case be closed.1 No objections to the R&R
have been filed by any party.2 For the reasons set forth below, the Court will adopt
Magistrate Judge Blewitt also recommends that Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 137) be denied.
Objections were due by June 6, 2011.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
When, as here, no objections are made to a magistrate judge’s report and
recommendation, the district court is not statutorily required to review the report
before accepting it. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985). According to the
Third Circuit, however, “the better practice is to afford some level of review to
dispositive legal issues raised by the report.” Henderson v. Carlson, 812 F.2d 874,
878 (3d Cir. 1987). “[T]he court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error
on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation.” Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(b), advisory committee notes; see also Henderson, 812 F.2d at 878-79 (stating
“the failure of a party to object to a magistrate's legal conclusions may result in the
loss of the right to de novo review in the district court”); Tice v. Wilson, 425 F.
Supp. 2d 676, 680 (W.D. Pa. 2006); Cruz v. Chater, 990 F. Supp. 375-78 (M.D. Pa.
1998); Oldrati v. Apfel, 33 F. Supp. 2d 397, 399 (E.D. Pa. 1998). The Court’s
examination of this case confirms the Magistrate Judge’s determinations.
The full procedural background of this matter was recounted in detail by
Magistrate Judge Blewitt within the R&R. Inasmuch as we are writing for the
benefit of the parties, and are attaching a copy of the R&R to this Memorandum, we
shall not endeavor to recite the same herein.
Plaintiff’s sole remaining claim in this action is a Fourth Amendment
excessive force claim against Defendant Sergeant Villella (“Sgt. Villella”) arising
out of an incident that took place while Plaintiff was incarcerated in the Restricted
Housing (“RHU”) at the State Correctional Institution at Waymart (“SCIWaymart”). Specifically, Plaintiff claims that Sgt. Villella assaulted his hands with
a billy club while he was handcuffed and had his hands placed through the wicket
of his cell door. Plaintiff claims that his pointer finger was “smashed” by the
incident, which flared up a prior injury to his finger.
In his prayer for relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary (compensatory and punitive),
declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as criminal charges to be filed against Sgt.
Villella. He also seeks a declaration that the Sgt. Villella violated his Eighth
Amendment rights and an injunction terminating Sgt. Villella’s employment.
Magistrate Judge Blewitt recommends that the Defendant’s Motion for
Summary Judgment be granted, and that judgment be granted in favor of the
Defendant, because Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with
respect to his Eighth Amendment claim. In drawing this conclusion, Magistrate
Judge Blewitt notes that the undisputed evidence shows that Plaintiff did not timely
file his final appeal in the administrative scheme regarding his excessive force claim
against Sgt. Villella. We agree with Magistrate Judge Blewitt’s review of the
record. It is well established that Plaintiff was required to exhaust his
administrative remedies before he filed the instant action, and that he did not do so.
See Walker v. Health Services, Lewisburg Penitentiary, 2007 WL 1395361, *3
(M.D. Pa.). Accordingly summary judgment shall be awarded in favor in
As we have already mentioned, neither Defendants nor the Plaintiff have
filed objections to this R&R. Because we agree with the sound reasoning that led
the Magistrate Judge to the conclusions in the R&R, we will adopt the R&R in its
entirety. With a mind towards conserving judicial resources, we will not rehash the
reasoning of the Magistrate Judge; rather, we will attach a copy of the R&R to this
document, as it accurately reflects our consideration and resolution of the case sub
judice. An appropriate Order shall issue.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?