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Gross v. Landry

United States District Court, D. Maine

May 14, 2018

BRANDON GROSS, Plaintiff
v.
SCOTT LANDRY, et al., Defendants

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON DEFENDANT LANDRY'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ORDER

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         In this action, Plaintiff Brandon Gross, an inmate in the custody of the Maine Department of Corrections, alleges he is hearing disabled and that Defendant Scott Landry, the warden of the Maine Correctional Center, violated his rights by failing to accommodate Plaintiff's hearing disability.

         The matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Order and Defendant Landry's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF Nos. 16 & 30.) Through his motion, Plaintiff seeks preliminary injunctive relief.

         Following a review of the summary judgment record, I recommend the Court grant Defendant's motion and deny Plaintiff's motion.

         I. Defendant Landry's Motion for Summary Judgment

         A. Background Facts

         On January 19, 2018, the Department of Corrections downgraded Plaintiff's security classification from medium to minimum, and transferred Plaintiff from the Maine Correctional Center, the facility for which Defendant Landry serves as warden, to the Bolduc Correctional Facility. (Defendants' Statement of Material Facts (DSMF), ECF No. 31, ¶¶ 5, 7.) The chief administrative officer of the Bolduc Correctional Facility is the director, who is responsible for supervision and control of all prisoners, employees, grounds, buildings, and equipment at the facility. (Id. ¶ 9.)

         Without citing to record evidence, Plaintiff asserted that Defendant Landry transferred Plaintiff as a retaliatory measure. (Responsive Statement ¶ 4, ECF No. 42.) Defendant Landry has denied the allegation of retaliation, and explained the process by which Plaintiff was transferred:

The Department of Corrections' classification system is overseen by the Department's Director of Classification. (Affidavit of Mary Lucia ¶¶ 3-5 and attached Policy 23.1, Classification System, page 2, Procedure A (1) (July 17, 2017).) On November 29, 2017, a unit management team conducted a regularly scheduled reclassification review for prisoner Brandon Gross. (Affidavit of Luke Monahan ¶¶ 2-4; Affidavit of Mary Lucia ¶ 3 and attached Policy 23.1, Classification System, page 5, Procedure C (1), Proedure D (1).) The unit management team recommended that prisoner Brandon Gross's custody level be reduced from Medium custody to Minimum custody and that Gross be transferred to any Minimum facility based on the fact that Gross was case management compliant, that he had completed numerous program[s] at Maine Correctional Center, that he had less than a year left on his sentence, that he needed to transition to working prior to his release, and his age, in spite of recent disciplinary reports and ongoing criminal thinking. (Affidavit of Luke Monahan ¶¶ 5-6; Affidavit of Mary Lucia ¶ 3 and attached Policy 23.1, Classification System, page 6, Procedure D (8), (12).) Brandon Gross's pending lawsuit played no role in the unit management team's recommendation. (Affidavit of Luke Monahan ¶ 7.) Defendant Landry was not involved in prisoner Gross's November 29, 2017, reclassification review and had no input in the unit management team's recommendation. (Affidavit of Luke Monahan ¶ 8.) The unit management team's recommendation was approved by the Assistant Director of Classification on December 19, 2017. (Affidavit of Luke Monahan ¶ 9; Affidavit of Mary Lucia ¶ 3 and attached Policy 23.1, Classification System, pages 6-7, Procedure D (14).)

(Reply Statement ¶ 4, ECF No. 48.) Plaintiff maintains that Defendant Landry “is responsible for overseeing policies statewide, ” evidently suggesting that Defendant Landry retains responsibility for the provision of accommodations at the Bolduc Correctional Facility. (Responsive Statement ¶ 6.)

         In his filings, Plaintiff also presented certain medical information, which includes the following progress note generated as the result of the care provided to Plaintiff by Defendant Correct Care Solutions following Plaintiff's transfer to the Bolduc Correctional Facility:

Pt presents for follow up. He notes a spinning feeling at night, decreased [h]earing and tinnitus in his right ear. We discussed that this is consistent with Meniere's disease. [description of medications] Mr. Gross was very pleased with today's visit and was very appreciative of medical's working with Security to have him on the Wake Up log. He had a good deal of anxiety with worrying about missing count.

(Progress Notes for February 15, 2018, ECF No. 42-1.) Plaintiff further asserts that he “has now been transferred to the Bolduc Correctional Facility and upon his arrival was properly seen by a doctor and diagnosed … and properly accommodated ….” (ECF No. 43.)

         Through his motion for summary judgment, Defendant Landry contends Plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief against Defendant Landry are moot because Plaintiff is not currently assigned to the facility for which Defendant Landry is responsible.

         B. Summary ...


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