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Adams v. Landry

United States District Court, D. Maine

September 6, 2018

JON R. ADAMS, Plaintiff
v.
SCOTT LANDRY et al., Defendants

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         In this action, Plaintiff contends that while he was confined at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, Defendants violated his constitutional right to protection against a serious threat posed by another prisoner.

         The matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 27.) Plaintiff did not file a response to the motion.

         Following a review of the record, and after consideration of Defendants' arguments, I recommend the Court grant the motion.

         Background

         On July 17, 2015, Plaintiff commenced a prior action in which he asserted the same claims he asserts in this action. Adams v. Landry, No. 2:15-cv-00282-JAW (Am. Compl., ECF No. 25) (the prior action). In the prior action, on September 28, 2015, Plaintiff informed the Court that he was no longer in state custody, and provided the Court with a new address. (Prior Action, ECF No. 31.) On November 27, 2015, Plaintiff advised the Court that he was confined at the Cumberland County Jail, and he requested information regarding the “status of [his] pending suits in this Court.”[1] (Prior Action, ECF No. 36.) On December 7, 2015, Plaintiff informed the Court that he was soon to be released to a rehabilitation center in Auburn, Maine, and he provided the address of the center. (Prior Action, ECF No. 37.)

         In January, 2016, the U.S. Postal Service returned to the Court articles of mail the Court sent to Plaintiff. The Postal Service stamped the envelopes “not deliverable as addressed, unable to forward, ” and the writing on both envelopes suggested that Plaintiff had moved from the rehabilitation center. (Prior Action, ECF Nos. 40, 41.) Plaintiff did not inform the Court of any further change of address or otherwise make filings or communicate with the Court for more than six months. The Court subsequently granted Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the prior action based on Plaintiff's failure to prosecute, and entered judgment dismissing the action without prejudice. (Prior Action, ECF Nos. 48, 49.)

         In June 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion to “refile” or “reopen” the prior action. (Prior Action, ECF No. 51.) At the time, Plaintiff again was confined at the Maine Correctional Center. The Court denied Plaintiff's request to reopen the case, but noted that Plaintiff could refile the action. (Prior Action, ECF No. 56.)

         Plaintiff filed the complaint in this action on September 14, 2017. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff was released from custody, and he provided the Court with notice of a new address, which notice the Court docketed on January 2, 2018. (ECF No. 18.) On May 1, 2018, upon a review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 and 1915A, the Court dismissed four individuals named as defendants in the complaint, leaving as defendants Penny Bailey, Glean Brown, and Scott McCaffery. (Order Affirming Recommended Decision and Addressing Other Motions, ECF No. 19.) When the Court sent Plaintiff copies of its May 2018 decision and related orders, the U.S. Postal Service returned the mail with the notation “return to sender, not deliverable as addressed, unable to forward.” (ECF Nos. 24, 25.)

         On July 9, 2018, Defendants filed the pending Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 27.) In the motion, Defendants report that after his release from the Maine Correctional Center, Plaintiff violated the terms of his probation, was arrested on or about June 25, 2018, and at the time of the filing of the motion, was confined at the Cumberland County Jail. (Id. at 6.) Defendants sent a copy of the motion to Plaintiff, addressed to the Cumberland County Jail.[2] (Id. at 12.)

         Summary Judgment Facts

         This action arises from the March 31, 2015, assault against Plaintiff while Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Maine Correctional Center, in Windham Maine. (Defendants' Statement of Material Facts, ¶¶ 1, 2, 3.) In both the prior action and in this action, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his safety, and failed to protect him from the assault. (Id. ¶¶ 6, 7, 13.) In this action, Plaintiff also asserted a claim for negligent supervision. (Id. ¶ 15.)

         At all times relevant to this action, Defendants Penny Bailey, Glean Brown, and Scott McCaffery were employees of the Maine Department of Corrections. (Id. ¶ 18.) The Maine Department of Corrections is a cabinet-level department and State agency established by the Maine Legislature. (Id. ¶ 19, citing 34-A M.R.S.A. §§ 1201-1202.)

         Plaintiff asserts his claims against Defendants Penny Bailey, Glean Brown, and Scott McCaffery in both their individual and official capacities as employees of the Maine Department of Corrections. (Id. ΒΆ 20, ...


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