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Stile v. Somerset County

United States District Court, D. Maine

February 11, 2019

JAMES STILE, Plaintiff,
v.
SOMERSET COUNTY, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT DAVID ALLEN'S, RICHARD GARLING'S AND KEITH PLOURD'S SUPPLEMENTAL MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The Court grants the supplemental motions for summary judgment filed by a jail administrator and two corrections officers in response to an inmate's § 1983 claim that his constitutional rights were violated when the corrections officers imposed monetary fines against him in his absence. Based on the summary judgment record, the Court finds that, contrary to the allegations in the complaint, the inmate-then a pretrial detainee-was in fact present at some of the hearings, and for those hearings, the factual underpinning of the inmate's claim is not substantiated. For the hearings at which the inmate was absent, the inmate failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, which is a prerequisite under the Prison Litigation Reform Act before filing a § 1983 action.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 1, 2013, James Stile filed a § 1983 suit alleging various constitutional violations and state tort claims against numerous defendants. Compl. (ECF No. 1). On August 14, 2014, Mr. Stile filed a self-titled Final Complaint with authorization of this Court. Am. Compl. Final (ECF No. 92) (Final Compl.); Order (ECF No. 86). In Mr. Stile's original and final complaints, he named as Defendants among others, Somerset County Jail Administrator David Allen, and Somerset County Corrections Officers Richard Garling and Keith Plourd. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 4-6. In his Final Complaint, he alleged that he was deprived of due process when a disciplinary board of the Somerset County Jail held hearings in his absence and imposed disciplinary segregation and monetary fines in excess of $500.00, which the Jail deducted from his inmate account without due process. Id. ¶ 33. Mr. Stile exhausted the available administrative process regarding three of disciplinary hearings conducted by Mr. Garling and Mr. Plourd. Order on Defs.' Mots. for Summ. J. and Pl.'s Related Mots., at 21-22 (ECF No. 601) (Order).[1]

         On September 28, 2018, the Court issued an extensive order on multiple motions for summary judgment and certain motions that Mr. Stile had filed. Order. Addressing Mr. Stile's claim that he had been punished by the imposition of a fine without due process, the Court concluded that the record was too uncertain to allow for a definitive ruling. Id. at 44-45. The Court allowed Mr. Garling, Mr. Plourd, and Mr. Allen to file supplemental motions within thirty days to clarify the underlying facts. Id. at 56. All three Defendants filed supplemental motions for summary judgment on the disciplinary hearing issue.

         II. THE SUPPLEMENTAL MOTIONS

         A. Richard Garling's Supplemental Motion

         On October 23, 2018, Richard Garling filed a supplemental motion for summary judgment and a statement of material facts. Def. Garling's Supp. Mot. for Summ. J. (ECF No. 614) (Garling Supp. Mot.); Statement of Material Facts in Support of Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. (ECF No. 615 (Garling SMF). Mr. Stile has not responded to Corrections Officer Garling's supplemental motion for summary judgment.

         B. Keith Plourd's Supplemental Motion

         On October 25, 2018, Keith Plourd filed a supplemental motion for summary judgment and a statement of material facts. Def. Keith Plourd's Supp. Mot. for Summ. J. (ECF No. 616) (Plourd Supp. Mot.); Def. Keith Plourd's Statement of Material Facts (ECF No. 617) (Plourd SMF). Mr. Stile has not responded to Corrections Officer Plourd's supplemental motion for summary judgment.

         C. David Allen's Supplemental Motion

         On October 27, 2018, David Allen filed a supplemental motion for summary judgment and a statement of material facts. Def. David Allen's Supp. Mot. for Summ. J. (ECF No. 619) (Allen Supp. Mot.); Statement of Material Facts in Support of Def. David Allen's Supp. Mot. for Summ. J. (ECF No. 620) (Allen SMF). Mr. Stile has not responded to Mr. Allen's supplemental motion.

         D. James Stile's Failure to Respond

         After the Defendants filed these three supplemental motions for summary judgment, the Court tugged hard on them, deliberately waiting an extended period for Mr. Stile to file a response. He has not. His response was due November 13, 2018 to Mr. Garling's motion, November 15, 2018 for Mr. Plourd's motion, and November 19, 2018 for Mr. Allen's motion. An experienced and relentless pro se litigator, Mr. Stile has made twelve filings (not counting duplicates) with this Court since November 19, 2018 in this and other cases. Stile v. Somerset County (Mot. for Recons. (Nov. 1, 2018) (ECF No. 626); Omnibus Mot. of Pl. (Jan. 14, 2019) (ECF No. 631); Mot. for Disqualification of Defense Counsel Wheeler & Arey, P.A., Peter T. Marchesi and Cassandra Shaffer (Jan. 15, 2019) (ECF No. 632); Mot. to Extend Deadlines by Fourteen Days (Jan. 18, 2019) (ECF No. 633); Mot. for Enforcement of Protective Orders & Confidentiality Orders (Jan. 22, 2019) (ECF No. 635)); United States v. Stile, 1:11-cr-00185-JAW, (Reply to Resp. to Mot. for Order for Gov't to Produce Victims Affs. (Nov. 29, 2018) (ECF No. 705); Mot. for Appointment of Counsel and Mot. for Hr'g as to Supervised Release Conditions in Excess of J. (Dec. 18, 2018) (ECF No. 707); Mot. to Seal Order (Dec. 26, 2018) (ECF No. 708); Mot. for Court to Order Gov't/Probation Office to Dispense with Sworn Aff. Submitted by Hanover Ins.(Dec. 26, 2018) (ECF No. 709); Mot. for Writ of Audita Querela Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1651 to Vacate and Correct Restitution Portion of this Court's J. (Jan. 14, 2019) (ECF No. 713); Reply to Resp. to Mot. to Appoint Counsel (Jan. 18, 2019) (ECF No. 714); Mot. for Modification of Conditions of Supervised Release and J. (Jan. 18, 2019) (ECF No. 715); Mot. to Extend Deadline for Fourteen Days (Jan. 18, 2019) (ECF No. 716)); Stile v. Cumberland County, 2:14-cv-00406-JAW, (Omnibus Mot. of Pl. (Jan. 14, 2019) (ECF No. 271); Mot. for Disqualification of Defense Counsel Wheeler & Arey, P.A., Peter T. Marchesi and Cassandra Shaffer (Jan. 15, 2019) (ECF No. 272); Mot. to Extend Deadlines by Fourteen Days (Jan. 18, 2019) (ECF No. 273); Mot. for Enforcement of Protective Orders & Confidentiality Orders (Jan. 22, 2019) (ECF No. 275)). As Mr. Stile has had the obvious ability, had he chosen to do so, to file responses to these motions, the Court proceeds ahead with them. Despite Mr. Stile's failure to respond, the Court must still assure itself that these Defendants are entitled, as they claim, to summary judgment in their favor. See NEPSK, Inc. v. Town of Houlton, 283 F.3d 1, 8 (1st Cir. 2012).

         III. STATEMENTS OF FACTS

         A. Richard Garling's ...


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