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Malachi v. Sosa

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

March 18, 2014

WILLIAM H. MALACHI, Plaintiff,
v.
DANIEL SOSA, STEPHEN J. BRUCKNER, RAPHAEL WILLIAMS, PERRY PHELPS, MARK EMIG, JASON McCREARY, DAVID WILLIAMS, HOWARD R. YOUNG CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, STATE OF DELAWARE, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, STATE OF DELAWARE Defendants.

Submitted: January 21, 2014

On Individual State Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. GRANTED.

Beverly L. Bove, Esq., Vincent J. X. Hendrix, II, Esq., Attorneys for Plaintiff.

Ralph K. Durstein, Esq., Attorney for Individual State Defendants.

ORDER

CALVIN L. SCOTT, JR. J.

Introduction

Before the Court is the Individual State Defendants', Raphael Williams, Perry Phelps, Mark Emig, Jason McCreary, and David Williams ("Defendants"), motion for summary judgment brought pursuant to Super. Ct. Civ. R. 56. The Court has reviewed the parties' submissions. For the following reasons, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

Background

The following facts are undisputed. On or about February 21, 2007, Defendants Sosa and Bruckner were guards assigned to Plaintiff William H. Malachi's ("Plaintiff") dorm at Howard R. Young Correctional Institution ("HRYCI"). During Code Red, Plaintiff asked Defendant Bruckner ("Bruckner") to use the bathroom. Plaintiff also asked Defendant Sosa ("Sosa") to use the bathroom. Sosa laughed and Plaintiff returned to his bunk until Code Green was called and he went to the bathroom. After using the bathroom, Sosa called Plaintiff to walk toward him and Plaintiff complied. Sosa told Plaintiff to raise his hands and Plaintiff refused. A heated confrontation took place between Sosa and Plaintiff and Sosa struck Plaintiff in his jaw. About thirty minutes later, Defendant Bruckner called "Code 1."[1]

Sosa and Bruckner wrote reports on the incident. Sosa wrote a report that did not accurately describe the incident. In his report, Bruckner cut and pasted the text of Sosa's report. Bruckner was subsequently terminated based on the misconduct involving the incident report.

Plaintiff filed a seven-count complaint containing various allegations against the defendants in this case.[2] The claims remaining against Defendants are all claims arising out of the Federal Constitution in Counts III and IV of Plaintiff's complaint.[3] In Count III, Plaintiff alleged that various acts and omissions of the Defendants created a danger to Plaintiff which resulted in the deprivation of rights secured by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. In Count IV, Plaintiff alleged that the actions of the Defendants amounted to excessive force and an unreasonable seizure in violation of rights secured by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.[4]

Defendants move for summary judgment in their favor, arguing that any surviving federal constitutional claims are barred as a matter of law by the dismissal of all Title 42 claims because Section 1983 displaces implied causes of action grounded directly in the Constitution; and in the alternative, that even if existing independently, Plaintiff's federal constitutional claims must still be dismissed because they are based on the same factual claims that Plaintiff asserted in his state constitutional claims, which were dismissed by this Court due to a lack of factual support.

In response, Plaintiff requests that Defendants' motion for summary judgment be denied as a matter of law because Defendants fail to cite any direct cases to support their arguments and issues of ...


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