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Gelardos v. Campbell

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

May 17, 2017

MARINOS N. GELARDOS, Plaintiff,
v.
CHARLES CAMPBELL, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION (GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT)

          HENRY E. HUDSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Marinos N. Gelardos, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and in for ma pauperis, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action.[1] The Court construes Gelardos's Complaint to assert the following claims:

         Claim One: Defendant Campbell violated Gelardos's Eighth Amendment[2] rights when he:

(a) discontinued Gelardos's medications for nerve disorder, pain, and gastroesophageal reflux disease ("GERD") (Compl. ¶¶ 10-15, ECF No. 1);
(b) failed to administer injections for soft tissue damage in Gelardos's knees (id. ¶ 21(b)); and,
(c) failed to refer Gelardos to specialists for his medical issues (id. ¶ 36.)
Claim Two: Defendant Allen violated Gelardos's rights under the Eighth Amendment by failing to refer him to specialists for his medical issues. (Id.)
Claim Three: Defendant Allen violated Gelardos's right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment[3] by failing to adequately respond to his requests for medical services. (Id. ¶ 23.)
Claim Four: Defendants Ray and Schilling violated Gelardos's right to due process by "fail[ing] to investigate [Gelardos's] health problems during the exhaustive remedy process." (Id. ¶¶ 43-44.)
Claim Five: Defendants Ray and Schilling violated Gelardos's rights under the Eighth Amendment by "overlooking the seriousness of [his] claims in the exhaustive remedies." (Id. ¶ 38.)

         Gelardos seeks damages, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief. (Id. at 5-6.)

         By Memorandum Opinion and Order entered on July 15, 2016, the Court granted the Motion for Summary Judgment previously filed by Defendants Ray and Schilling with respect to Claim Four, but denied it without prejudice with respect to Claim Five.

         Gelardos v. Campbell, No. 3:15CV183-HEH, 2016 WL 3876434, at *4 (E.D. Va. July 15, 2016). The Court directed Defendants Ray and Schilling to resubmit a Motion for Summary Judgment addressing Claim Five within thirty days. Id. By Memorandum Opinion and Order entered on November 10, 2016, the Court granted Defendants Ray and Schilling's renewed Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to Claim Five. Gelardos v. Campbell, No. 3:15CV183-HEH, 2016 WL 6662691, at *6 (E.D. Va. Nov. 10, 2016).

         Defendants Campbell and Allen (collectively, "Defendants") filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on December 6, 2016. (ECF No. 50.) By Memorandum Order entered on February 13, 2017, the Court denied their Motion without prejudice, noting that "[a]lthough Defendants Campbell and Allen seek dismissal of all of Gelardos's claims against them with prejudice, they have inexplicably failed to address Claims Two and Three, and this Court declines to do so in the first instance." (ECF No. 55, at 2-3.) The Court directed Defendants to resubmit their Motion for Summary Judgment within thirty days.

         This matter is now before the Court on the Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants on March 2, 2017. (ECF No. 57.) Gelardos has filed a Response. (ECF No. 60.) For the reasons stated below, the Court will grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

         I. STANDARD FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

         Summary judgment must be rendered "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). It is the responsibility of the party seeking summary judgment to inform the court of the basis for the motion and to identify the parts of the record which demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "[W]here the nonmoving part)' will bear the burden of proof at trial on a dispositive issue, a summary judgment motion may properly be made in reliance solely on the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file." Id. at 324 (internal quotation marks omitted). When the motion is properly supported, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and, by citing affidavits or '"depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, ' designate 'specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Id. (quoting former Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) and 56(e) (1986)). In reviewing a summary judgment motion, the Court "must draw all justifiable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party." United States v. Carolina Transformer Co., 978 F.2d 832, 835 (4th Cir. 1992) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986)). However, a mere '"scintilla of evidence"' will not preclude summary judgment. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251 (quoting Improvement Co. v. Munson, 81 U.S. (14 Wall.) 442, 448 (1872)).

         In support of their Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendants rely upon the evidence they submitted in support of their previous Motion for Summary Judgment. That evidence includes: (1) a declaration from Defendant Campbell (Mem. Supp. Renewed Mot. Summ. J. Attach. 1 ("Campbell Decl."), ECF No. 51-1); and, (2) copies of Gelardos's medical records (id. Ex. 1-A ("Medical Records"), ECF No. 51-2).

         At this stage, the Court is tasked with assessing whether Gelardos "has proffered sufficient proof, in the form of admissible evidence, that could carry the burden of proof of his claim at trial." Mitchell v. Data Gen. Corp., 12 F.3d 1310, 1316 (4th Cir. 1993) (emphasis added). Gelardos did not attach any supporting evidence to his response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. With respect to Gelardos's Complaint, a notary public's seal appears on the sixth page; however, the Complaint is not admissible for purposes of summary judgment because Gelardos has not sworn to its contents under penalty of perjury, and there is no indication that the notary public administered an oath to Gelardos. See McCoy v. Robinson, No. 3:08CV555, 2010 WL 3735128, at *2 (E.D. Va. Sept. 22, 2010) (alterations in original) ("[M]erely notarizing [a] signature does not transform a document into [an] affidavit that may be used for summary judgment purposes." (quoting Nissho-Iwai Am. Corp. v. Kline, 845 F.2d 1300, 1306-07 (5th Cir. 1998))).

         Gelardos's complete failure to present any admissible evidence to counter Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment permits the Court to rely solely on Defendants' evidence in deciding the Motion for Summary Judgment. See Forsyth v. Ban; 19 F.3d 1527, 1537 (5th Cir. 1994) ("'Rule 56 does not impose upon the district court a duty to sift through the record in search of evidence to support a party's opposition to summary judgment.'" (quoting Skotak v. Tenneco Resins, Inc., 953 F.2d 909, 915 & n.7 (5th Cir. 1992))). Accordingly, the following facts are established for the Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court draws all permissible inferences in favor of Gelardos.

         II. UNDISPUTED FACTS

         Gelardos arrived at St. Brides Correctional Center ("SBCC") on April 7, 2014. (Campbell Decl. ¶ 5(b) (citing Medical Records at 238).) Dr. Campbell saw Gelardos on April 8, 2014. (Campbell Decl. ¶ 5(b) (citing Medical Records at 235).) At that time, Dr. Campbell continued Gelardos on the following medications: Gabapentin (Neurontin), Metformin, Meloxicam, Cyclobenzaprine, ...


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