United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
MATTER comes before the Court on a Motion for
Summary Judgment by Defendant John Carbone, (Doc. No. 64).
Plaintiff Brandon Michael Pickens is a North Carolina
prisoner currently incarcerated at Lanesboro Correctional
Center in Polkton, North Carolina. (Doc. No. 9 at 2).
Plaintiff filed his verified Complaint on December 2, 2015.
(Doc. No. 1 at 11). On February 1, 2016, the Court conducted
a frivolity review and determined that Plaintiff's claims
were not sufficiently pled and, therefore, ordered Plaintiff
to amend his Complaint. (Doc. No. 8). On February 18, 2016,
Plaintiff filed a verified Amended Complaint. (Doc. No. 9).
alleges in the Amended Complaint that he was transferred from
Piedmont Correctional Institution (“Piedmont”) to
Mountain View Correctional Institution (“MVCI”)
on August 13, 2012. (Doc. No. 9 at ¶ 17, p. 4).
Plaintiff alleges that, while at MVCI between August 2012 and
December 2012, he was denied dental care and that prison
medical staff at MCVI refused his requests for certain mental
health medications. (Id. at ¶¶ 20, 25, 31,
pp. 5, 6, 8). Plaintiff sent a letter dated November 7, 2012,
addressed to the Director of Prisons Robert Lewis.
(Id. at ¶ 49, p. 12). Plaintiff's letter
complained that he was unhappy that medication he had been
prescribed while incarcerated at the county jail was not
continued upon his incarceration with NCDPS at MCVI.
See (Doc. No. 9-31: Ex. EE).
alleges that Defendant Carbone was the “Director of
Mental Health Services for the” NCDPS at all times
relevant to the allegations in the Amended Complaint. (Doc.
No. 9, ¶ 5 at 2). Plaintiff's sole allegations
addressing the actions of Defendant Carbone include the
… John S. Carbone responded to a letter addressed to
Robert Lewis that was dated 11/7/2012, and addressed issues
concerning the mental health care I complained about. (See
Exhibit EE). John S. Carbone's response stated that there
is no guarantee that I would be placed back on my mental
health medications and that he was forwarding a forwarding a
copy of his letter to staff at MVCI, so that they can address
my concerns with me in person. (See Ex. EE). Copies of his
response was sent to both Robert Lewis and Ken Yearick. (See
Ex. EE). However, Ken Yearick never met with me to address
these concerns subsequent to receiving Carbone's
(Id. at ¶ 49, pp. 12-13). Plaintiff attached to
the Amended Complaint the response letter from Dr. Carbone
dated November 26, 2012. (Doc. No. 9-31 at 1). Defendant
Carbone states in the letter, in part:
prison clinicians review each inmate for ongoing need for Rx,
and having been prescribed certain agents in the past is not
a guarantee that they will be continued in the future. With
that in mind, I ask that you speak with your mental health
providers about these concerns. To that end, I am forwarding
a copy of this letter to staff at MVCI so that they can
address your thoughts with you further in person.
(Id.). Plaintiff does not allege that Defendant
Carbone was directly involved in his medical care in any
fashion before or after this correspondence or that Defendant
Carbone denied necessary medical care to Plaintiff.
See (Doc. No. 9 and attached exhibits). Nor does
Plaintiff allege that Defendant Carbone deliberately
interfered with his medical care or that Defendant Carbone
“tacitly authorized” or was
“indifferent” to constitutional violations by his
subordinates. Plaintiff's allegations relating to
Defendant Carbone involve only the single letter, dated
November 26, 2012.
Carbone filed the pending summary judgment motion on May 16,
2017, seeking summary judgment against Plaintiff based on
failure to exhaust administrative remedies. (Doc. No. 64). On
May 26, 2017, this Court entered an order in accordance with
Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975),
advising Plaintiff of the requirements for filing a response
to the summary judgment motion and of the manner in which
evidence could be submitted to the Court. (Doc. No. 72).
Plaintiff filed a response to the summary judgment motion on
June 2, 2017. (Doc. No. 74). Defendant filed a reply to
Plaintiff's response on June 22, 2017. (Doc. No. 77).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
judgment shall be granted “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). A factual dispute is genuine “if
the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is
material only if it might affect the outcome of the suit
under governing law. Id.
movant has the “initial responsibility of informing the
district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying
those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, which it believes demonstrate the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (internal citations
this initial burden is met, the burden shifts to the
nonmoving party. The nonmoving party “must set forth
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Id. at 322 n.3. The nonmoving party
may not rely upon mere allegations or denials of allegations
in his pleadings to defeat a motion for summary judgment.
Id. at 324. The nonmoving party must present
sufficient evidence from which “a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the ...