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Second Circuit – Willey v. Kirkpatrick

By: Daily Record Staff//September 24, 2015

Second Circuit – Willey v. Kirkpatrick

By: Daily Record Staff//September 24, 2015//

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Eighth Amendment – Unsanitary Conditions

Summary Judgment – Grounds not Raised

Willey v. Kirkpatrick


Judges Katzmann, Pooler and Carney

Background: The plaintiff appealed from the grant of summary judgment to the defendants dismissing his claims brought under Section 1983. The plaintiff alleged that he was targeted for harassment at the hands of corrections officers in retaliation for his refusal to provide false information against another inmate. The harassment included depriving him of nutritious meals, and placing him in solitary confinement with a Plexiglass shield restricting the airflow to his small cell and then incapacitated his toilet, so that he was forced to breathing his own accumulating waste.

Ruling: The Second Circuit vacated and remanded. The court held that the grant of summary judgment conflicts with Rule 56(f) because the district court reached sua sponte and without notice claims not briefed in the defendants’ motion. Further, the Second Circuit found that it was in error to conclude that the plaintiff failed to state claims for unsanitary conditions and retaliation. The Second Circuit also revived his other claims for theft of legal documents and deprivation of nutrition.

Ryan A. Lema of Phillips Lytle for the plaintiff-appellant; Robert M. Goldfarb, assistant solicitor general, for the appellee


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