Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Machiavelli v. Abbott

United States District Court, D. Maine

September 13, 2016

ANTHONY MACHIAVELLI, Plaintiff
v.
HAROLD ABBOTT, JR., et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO SUPPLEMENT PLEADINGS

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         In this action, Plaintiff Anthony Machiavelli claims Defendants deprived him of certain constitutional rights in connection with prison discipline proceedings. The matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Supplement the Pleadings.[1] (ECF No. 41.)

         Following a review of the proposed supplemental complaint, and after consideration of the parties' arguments, I grant in part Plaintiff's motion to amend.

         Procedural Background

         On August 20, 2015, Plaintiff filed a complaint in which he alleged Defendants violated several prison disciplinary policies and procedures in connection with the investigation, prosecution, and review of a prison disciplinary charge asserted against him and for which he was disciplined. According to Plaintiff, when Defendant Ross upheld the discipline, approximately 71 days after the underlying incident, Defendant Mendez terminated Plaintiff from a paying prison job.

         On Plaintiff's further appeal from the decision, which appeal included state court litigation, the Department of Corrections reversed the disciplinary decision and expunged the disciplinary record. Plaintiff, however, was not permitted to return to his prison job. Plaintiff also asserted in this action that after he showed Defendants Abbot, Mendez, and Ross a copy of his civil rights complaint, he was moved from his single cell to a shared cell, despite a prior determination that he should have the single cell based on a medical condition.

         On September 16, 2015, after a review in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 & 1915A, I recommended the Court dismiss Plaintiff's due process claim, but that the Court permit Plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis against Defendants Abbot, Mendez, and Ross on a claim of retaliation for the exercise of the right to petition this Court for relief. (Amended Recommended Decision at 6 - 7, ECF No. 9.) I thus recommended the dismissal of all named defendants except Defendants Abbot, Mendez, and Ross.

         On October 26, 2015, Plaintiff filed an objection to the Recommended Decision. (ECF No. 14.) In support of his objection, Plaintiff argued that even if the discipline was later expunged from his record, he should not have had to suffer any loss because the disciplinary finding was based on “no evidence.” (Id. at 2.) Plaintiff asserted that his good time was suspended, [2] that he lost the ability to accrue additional good time by virtue of losing prison employment, and that he had served disciplinary sanctions and lost wages. (Id.) Plaintiff, however, did not allege the revocation of earned good time credits and did not otherwise describe atypical and significant penalties. On December 11, 2015, the Court adopted the Recommended Decision over Plaintiff's objection. (ECF No. 15.)

         On December 30, 2015, Plaintiff requested leave to amend, which was granted as a matter of course. (ECF Nos. 20/21.) On January 28, 2015, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (ECF No. 25.) Defendants answered the amended complaint on February 9, 2015. (ECF No. 26.)

         On February 29, 2015, after reviewing the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 & 1915A, I explained:

In his amended complaint (ECF No. 25), Plaintiff asserts that Defendants violated several prison disciplinary policies and procedures in connection with the investigation, prosecution, and review of a prison disciplinary charge asserted against him, and he complains of the loss of a paying job in the prison. According to Plaintiff, the alleged violations of policy and procedure support his claim that Defendants violated the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the United States Constitution. Additionally, Plaintiff asserts that the alleged violations, and a pattern of similar violations experienced by other prisoners, give rise to a claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), violate the Hobbs Act, and amount to a conspiracy to deprive prisoners of their civil rights. Plaintiff also asserts supplemental state law claims. Plaintiff “urges” that a civil action be commenced under 42 U.S.C. § 1997, as well. (Id. ¶ 82.)

(Recommended Decision at 3, ECF No. 28.) I also noted that Plaintiff alleged loss of good time and a monetary fine of $75, but that the good time and fine had been restored to Plaintiff as the result of the Department of Corrections' reversal of the disciplinary decision. (Id. at 4.) Consistent with the prior Recommended Decision, I recommended that Plaintiff's retaliation claim is his only actionable claim and that the amended allegations expanded on the retaliation claim to assert an additional incident of retaliation. (Id. at 7.) I also recommended that Plaintiff's request to join Warden Liberty as a defendant be granted because Plaintiff requested injunctive relief in the form of reinstatement to his prison job. (Id. at 7, 9.)

         On March 11, 2016, Plaintiff objected to the Recommended Decision. (ECF No. 29.) Plaintiff again emphasized that he had received discipline based on “no evidence” and argued that Sandin v. Connor therefore did not apply. (Id. at 1 - 2.) The Court rejected Plaintiff's arguments and adopted the Recommended Decision. (ECF No. 33.) Defendant Liberty filed his answer on April 11, 2016. (ECF No. 36.)

         Plaintiff subsequently filed the pending Motion to Request Permission to Modify the Pleadings, with Statement of Claims. (Motion, ECF No. 41; Statements of Claims, ECF No. 41-2 - 41-5.)

         Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff's proposed pleading is offered as a supplemental pleading. Plaintiff requests leave to supplement his claims without rewriting his entire complaint. (Motion at 1, ECF No. 41.) In his proposed supplemental pleading, Plaintiff describes the involvement of Defendants Abbott, Mendez, Payson, and Ross in the underlying disciplinary proceedings. He asserts that Defendant Payson falsely changed the disciplinary charge; that Defendant Mendez wrote and investigated the charge; that Defendant Abbott conducted the disciplinary hearing; and that Defendant Ross upheld the discipline in the context of administrative review. (ECF No. 41-1 at 1.)

         In the proposed supplemental complaint, Plaintiff does not assert many new facts. His principal claim against Defendant Payson, as it was in his original complaint, is that Defendant Payson improperly changed the disciplinary charge from Class A disturbance to Class B interference. He also asserts that the other defendants are complicit in the due process violation because they either investigated the charge or presided over hearings based on the modified charge. Plaintiff further alleges various procedural irregularities in the conduct of the disciplinary proceedings.

         Regarding his alleged loss, Plaintiff reiterates that as the result of Defendants' unlawful conduct, he received a 10-day disciplinary sanction, lost good time credit, was terminated from a job in the prison, and was assessed a $75 fine. In his supplement, Plaintiff alleges that he was subject to “hard labor, ” and that he “lost $75, ” evidently referencing the $75 fine. (ECF No. 41-3, ¶ 9.)

         Motion to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.