Civil Case Law - Third Circuit

Counterman v. Warren County Correctional Facility, 176 F.App’x. 234 (3d Cir. 2006): Male inmate was sexually harassed by three male inmates, and was later sodomized by the same inmates.  The court found the prison officials were not liable, as the offending inmate’s bragging about the harassment did not qualify as an intolerable risk of harm.

Beers–Capitol v. Whetzel, 256 F.3d 120 (3d Cir. 2001): Female juvenile residents in a state juvenile detention facility brought § 1983 claim against employee who sexually assaulted them, and the employee’s supervisors. Offending employee was held liable, and a judgment for $200,000 was entered. Executive director and unit directors were not held liable, as only one allegation of sexual abuse was not sufficient to put them on notice of a pattern of sexual abuse. Counselor could be held liable, as she was on notice that one of the employee’s was “messing” with female residents.

Nestor v. Director of Northeast Region Bureau of Prisons , 2012 WL 6691791 (D.N.J. 2012): A male inmate was convicted of sexual offenses against a minor.  The Criminal Law Reporter published details regarding the inmate’s conviction, and the inmate expressed concern for his safety to his case manager, fearing sexual assault when other inmates read the story.  The inmate was later sexually assaulted by a fellow inmate and contracted syphilis.  The court dismissed the case manger’s motion for summary judgment, as failure to protect the male inmate after expressing concerns over sexual assault could constitute deliberate indifference.

Juaquee v. Schappert , 2012 WL 3206212 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 3, 2012):  The court found there was no Eighth Amendment claim where a male correctional officer in state facility squeezed male inmate’s buttocks and made a taunting remark.

Miller v. Coning , 2011 WL 2708649 (D. Del. Jul. 12, 2011):  Male inmate claimed he was sexually harassed by a female correctional officer. The court dismissed the inmate’s complaint, as the inmate gave no information as to when or where these events occurred, and did not “allege conditions that are sufficiently serious to satisfy the component to state an Eighth Amendment claim.”

Kiser v. Kramer , 2010 WL 4513421 (D. Del. Nov. 2, 2010):  Male inmate alleged male correctional officer pulled on his testicle during a pat-down search, causing him pain.  The court found this was an improper touching, but as it happened only once, it was not enough to state an Eighth Amendment claim.

Connors v. Northern State Prison , 2009 WL 1562240 (D.N.J. May 28, 2009): Male inmate alleged that a prison doctor performed a rectal examination with unnecessary force and without lubrication while making discriminatory remarks about his lifestyle.  The court denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss, as the doctor’s comments while performing a painful rectal examination could rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment claim.

Bennett v. Correctional Medical Services , 2008 WL 2064202 (D.N.J. May 14, 2008): Inmates alleged that he contracted Hepatitis C as a result of inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization, and attempted to bring a class action lawsuit.  The court denied the class action suit, but allowed individual plaintiffs to pursue their claims under § 1983.

Carrigan v. Davis , 70 F. Supp. 2d 448 (D. Del. 1999): Female inmate claimed a male correctional officer entered her room and forced vaginal intercourse, while the correctional officer maintained the inmate had seduced him into a non-coercive act of fellatio. The court found that any sexual act between an inmate and a correctional officer was a per se violation of the Eighth Amendment, regardless of consent.

Jones v. Culinary Manager II , 30 F. Supp. 2d 491 (E.D. Pa. 1998):  No Eighth Amendment claim where male correctional officer pushed male inmate against boxes and “grinded” on the inmate’s buttocks with his penis, threatening that he was going to have sex with the inmate at the first chance he got.

Collins v. Union County Jail , 150 N.J. 407, 696 A.2d 625 (N.J. 1997): A male inmate suffered post-traumatic stress disorder following a rape by a male correctional officer, and brought suit under the state’s Tort Claims Act. The correctional officer was convicted of official misconduct in office, and discharged from employment. The county was dismissed as a party, and the jury awarded damages from the individual officer only.  The New Jersey Supreme Court eventually remanded, allowing the liability suit to proceed against the county as well.

Banks v. Lackawanna County Com’rs , 931 F. Supp. 359 (M.D. Penn. 1996): Male pretrial detainee asserted a Fourteenth Amendment claim against a male correctional officer who grabbed the inmate’s penis and squeezed it.  The court denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, because if true, the inmate’s allegations state a viable due process claim.