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Asselin v. Chick

United States District Court, D. Maine

November 19, 2014

SHAWN ASSELIN, Plaintiff
v.
MATHEW CHICK, et als., Defendants

For SHAWN ASSELIN, Plaintiff, pro se, WINDHAM, ME.

For TRAVYS FECTEAU, JEFF CHUTE, JOHN LEBEL, Individually and in his official capacity as Captain for the Androscoggin County Jail, JOSIAH CHICK, NICHOLAS STONE, JOSEPH MCCARTHY, DANIEL LEVESQUE, LANE FELDMAN, REGINALD LITTLEFIELD, JOHN CLEVENGER, Defendants: JOHN J. WALL, III, LEAD ATTORNEY, MONAGHAN LEAHY, LLP, PORTLAND, ME.

RECOMMENDED DECISION

John C. Nivison, United States Magistrate Judge.

In this action, Plaintiff Shawn Asselin alleges that Defendants violated his constitutional rights in connection with his incarceration at the Androscoggin County Jail and the Maine State Prison. The matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 66).[1]

In his response to the motion, Plaintiff represented that he wanted to dismiss his claims against Defendants Travys Fecteau, John Lebel, Joseph McCarthy, Daniel Levesque, Reginald Littlefield, and John Clevenger. He also asserted that he wanted to dismiss his First Amendment retaliation claim. This recommended decision will include the recommendation that the Court dismiss the claims.

As to the remaining claims, as explained below, following a review of the pleadings, and after consideration of the parties' arguments, the recommendation is that the Court grant in part and deny in part the Motion for Summary Judgment.

Factual Background[2]

Plaintiff's claims arise out of his incarceration, as a pretrial detainee, at the Androscoggin County Jail (ACJ) in 2013. During a portion of Plaintiff's incarceration -- from May 7, 2013, to May 28, 2013 -- Plaintiff was housed at the Maine State Prison. (Defendants' Statement of Material Facts ¶ ¶ 1-3, ECF No. 67.)[3]

Plaintiff specifically asserts the following claims: (1) an excessive force claim against Josiah Chick, based on events occurring on April 21, 2013; (2) an excessive force claim against Nicholas Stone, based on events occurring on July 4, 2013; (3) a procedural due process claim against Lane Feldman related to alleged transfers to administrative segregation; and (4) a procedural due process claim against Jeff Chute related to alleged transfers to administrative segregation.

The Defendants

Josiah Chick and Nicholas Stone are corrections officers who are currently and were in 2013 employed at the Androscoggin County Jail. (Id. ¶ ¶ 129, 172.) Jeff Chute is a Lieutenant at the Jail and serves as assistant jail administrator. He was so employed in 2013. (Id. ¶ 92.) Lane Feldman is presently, and was in 2013, a Sergeant and the Classification Specialist for the Androscoggin County Jail (ACJ). (Id. ¶ 184.)

March 21 through April 20, 2013

Beginning on March 21, 2013, because of his failure to comply with jail rules, and his aggressive and disruptive behavior, Plaintiff was housed in the special management unit or in high maximum security within the ACJ. (Id. ¶ 188.) When Plaintiff refused to be housed in A-block on March 22, he was taken to an observation cell.

On April 1, Plaintiff objected to the removal of contraband from his cell; made obscene comments to corrections officers; threatened to " knock" an officer " out; " covered the window of his cell door with toilet paper and notebook paper; caused water to escape from under the door of his cell into the day space; and told officers that he had defecated on the paper plate used to serve him lunch. (Id. ¶ ¶ 4-9.) As the result of his conduct, on April 1, Plaintiff was placed in lockdown for 48 hours. (Defendants' Statement ¶ ¶ 10, 134.)

On April 15, Plaintiff pounded on his cell door; told an officer that he would break the window to force the jail to take him to the holding area; asserted that he wanted to go to the holding area in order to threaten the life of a woman whom he suspected was an informant against him; informed officers that he had arranged to have a confidential informant killed and would do it again to stay out of jail; pounded on his door repeatedly and yelled " you're a dead bitch, do you hear me"; said that he would have " his boys" snatch the supposed informant and burn her body; and disobeyed several orders given to him by a corrections officer. ( Id. . ¶ ¶ 13-17.) As the result of this conduct, Plaintiff lost his television privileges for 24 hours. (Id. ¶ 18.)

On April 19, Plaintiff repeatedly goaded another inmate to yell, bang his door, and smear feces throughout his cell; encouraged the other inmate to disregard orders from an officer; and yelled insults at corrections officers. (Id. ¶ ¶ 19-21.) As the result of this conduct, at the direction of Officer Chick, Plaintiff was locked down for 24 hours. (Id. ¶ ¶ 22, 134.) Plaintiff continued his disrespectful behavior and derogatory comments toward corrections officers on April 20. (Id. ¶ 23.) As a result of this conduct, at the direction of Officer Chick, Plaintiff was locked down for 24 hours. (Id. ¶ ¶ 24, 136.)

The April 21, 2013, Incident

Plaintiff's claim of excessive force against Officer Chick is based on an incident that occurred on April 21.[4] On April 21, Plaintiff wrote on his cell wall an obscenity regarding Officers Chick and Fecteau, extended his arms out of his cell through the tray slot, and made a movement to spill milk on a corrections officer. (Id. ¶ ¶ 25-27.) While on his knees in front of the tray slot, Plaintiff asked Corporal Fecteau " [w]ho was kicking my [expletive deleted] door last night?" When he took the cup from CO Chick, Plaintiff made a motion to pour the milk on CO Chick. CO Chick reacted by pushing the cup away. Some milk spilled on the floor, and some on Plaintiff. Although Plaintiff claims that his thumb was hurt in this incident, he did not request nor receive medical attention. (Id. ¶ ¶ 137-142.) After being placed in lockdown by Officer Chick for this conduct, [5] Plaintiff kicked his door and yelled a warning that he would keep the corrections officers busy all night and used vulgar language in reference to the officers. (Id. ¶ ¶ 28-29.)[6]

April 22 through May 6, 2013

On April 22, Plaintiff sent an inmate request form to the mental health department with an obscene message. (Id. ¶ 31.) On April 28, Plaintiff threatened to throw a cup of urine and feces on another inmate if he was not moved from C-block; poured the cup with urine and feces under another inmate's cell door; and refused to be locked down in his cell. (Id. ...


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