United States District Court, D. Maine
NICHOLAS A. GLADU, Plaintiff,
TROY ROSS, et al., Defendants.
ORDER ON MOTION FOR STAY AND SANCTIONS (ECF NO.
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.
action, Plaintiff Nicholas Gladu, an inmate at the Maine
Correctional Center, alleges that he was assaulted by
Defendant Christopher Gowen, a corrections officer, while
Plaintiff was assigned to the Maine State Prison.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Stay
(ECF No. 104), through which motion Plaintiff asks the Court
to stay the proceedings indefinitely and impose sanctions on
Defendants for alleged misconduct. Plaintiff's motion is
complaint, Plaintiff alleged that while he was assigned to
the Maine State Prison, a John Doe prison guard, since
identified as Defendant Christopher Gowen, repeatedly and
purposefully, with “immense force, ” slammed the
steel hatch of the tray slot on Plaintiff's cell door
into Plaintiff's hand, causing a significant injury.
(Complaint ¶¶ 26 - 27, 36; Motion to Substitute
Party, ECF No. 25 (substituting Defendant Gowen for the John
Doe defendant named in the complaint); Order Granting Motion
to Substitute, ECF No. 27.) Plaintiff also asserted a claim
against Defendant Troy Ross, then Deputy Warden of the Maine
State Prison, for the failure to train Defendant Gowen.
(Complaint ¶¶ 5, 40.)
August 10, 2016, the Court granted Defendant Ross summary
judgment on Plaintiff's failure to train claim. (ECF No.
97.) Defendant Ross, however, agreed to remain a party to the
litigation because Plaintiff expressed his intent to amend
the complaint to assert a different claim against Defendant
Ross. The Court established July 29, 2016, as the deadline by
which Plaintiff could file a motion to amend his complaint.
(July 11, 2016, Report and Recommended Decision at 3 n.1, ECF
support of his motion for stay, under penalty of perjury,
Plaintiff asserts that he prepared an amended complaint,
sealed it in an envelope addressed to this court, and
delivered it to the Maine Correctional Center Business Office
on July 29, 2016. (Motion ¶ 2.) The Court's docket
does not include the amended complaint. According to
Plaintiff, he did not retain a copy because he cannot obtain
photocopies at the Maine Correctional Center. (Id.)
requests that a stay of proceedings be entered “[u]ntil
measures are put in place to ensure proper handling of [his]
mail.” (Id. ¶ 5.) Plaintiff believes the
disappearance of his amended complaint was the product of an
intentional effort to burden him with more legal work and to
frustrate his efforts. (Id. ¶¶ 8 - 9.) In
addition to a stay of proceedings, Plaintiff requests that
the Court sanction Defendant Ross “if it is found that
intentional interference has occurred.” (Id.
Ross opposes the motion for a stay and suggests that the
Court provide Plaintiff with an additional 21 days to prepare
and file a motion to amend his complaint. Defendant
Ross's counsel, an Assistant Attorney General, reports
there is a record of an inmate money transfer authorization
dated July 29, 2016, which record demonstrates that Plaintiff
requested postage on July 29 for three mailings, including
one to the United States District Court. (Opposition at 2,
ECF No. 110.) The mail room at the Maine Correctional Center,
however, does not maintain a record or log of outgoing mail.
(Id.) The Department of Corrections, therefore, can
neither contradict nor confirm Plaintiff's assertion that
he mailed the amended complaint. (Id.)
courts possess the inherent power to stay proceedings for
prudential reasons.” Microfinancial, Inc. v.
Premier Holidays Int'l, Inc., 385 F.3d 72, 77 (1st
Cir. 2004). When evaluating a request for a stay, courts will
consider a plaintiff's interest in proceeding
expeditiously, any hardship to the defendant that would
result from a stay, the convenience of the court, and any
third party or public interest that might exist. Id.
of a stay in this matter would not serve Plaintiff's
interest in proceeding expeditiously, Defendant's
interest in resolving Plaintiff's claim, the Court's
interest in efficiently managing this case, or any public
interest. Simply stated, none of the relevant factors
supports Plaintiff's request for a stay. Given that
Plaintiff appears to have attempted to file an amended
complaint in accordance with the Court's prior order,
Plaintiff will be afforded additional time to file a motion
to amend the complaint.
Plaintiff's request that the Court sanction Defendant is
without support on the record. That is, the record lacks any
evidence to suggest that Defendant Ross or anyone associated
with the Defendants ...