United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
C. NIVISON U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action, Plaintiff claims Defendants violated his
constitutional right to protection against a serious threat
posed by another prisoner while he was confined at the Maine
Correctional Center. The matter is before the Court on
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 52.)
Plaintiff did not file a response to the motion.
a review of the record and after consideration of
Defendants' arguments, I recommend the Court grant the
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “After the moving party has
presented evidence in support of its motion for summary
judgment, ‘the burden shifts to the nonmoving party,
with respect to each issue on which he has the burden of
proof, to demonstrate that a trier of fact reasonably could
find in his favor.'” Woodward v. Emulex
Corp., 714 F.3d 632, 637 (1st Cir. 2013) (quoting
Hodgens v. Gen. Dynamics Corp., 144 F.3d 151, 158
(1st Cir. 1998)).
reviews the factual record in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party, resolving evidentiary conflicts and drawing
reasonable inferences in the non-movant's favor.
Perry v. Roy, 782 F.3d 73, 77 (1st Cir. 2015). If a
court's review of the record reveals evidence sufficient
to support findings in favor of the non-moving party on one
or more of the plaintiff's claims, a trial-worthy
controversy exists, and summary judgment must be denied as to
any supported claim. Id. (“The district
court's role is limited to assessing whether there exists
evidence such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict
for the nonmoving party.” (internal quotation marks
omitted)). Unsupported claims are properly dismissed.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24
presented with a summary judgment motion, a court ordinarily
considers only the facts included in the parties'
statements of material facts, which statements must be
supported by citations to evidence of record. Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56(c) and District of Maine Local Rule 56(b)
- (d) require the specific citation to record evidence. In
addition, Local Rule 56 establishes the manner by which
parties must present their factual statements and the
evidence on which the statements depend. A party's pro se
status does not relieve the party of the obligation to comply
with the court's procedural rules. Ruiz Rivera
v. Riley, 209 F.3d 24, 27 - 28 & n. 2 (1st Cir.
2000); Marcello v. Maine, 489 F.Supp.2d 70, 77 (D.
rule, a party seeking summary judgment must file, in addition
to its summary judgment motion, a supporting statement of
material facts setting forth each fact in a separately
numbered paragraph, with each factual statement followed by a
citation to evidence of record that supports the factual
statement. D. Me. Loc. R. 56(b). A party opposing a motion
for summary judgment must file an opposing statement in which
it admits, denies, or qualifies the moving party's
statements by reference to each numbered paragraph, with
citations to supporting evidence, and in which it may set
forth additional facts, in separately numbered paragraphs,
with citation to supporting evidence. D. Me. Loc. R. 56(c).
If an additional statement is introduced by the non-moving
party, the moving party must file a reply statement in which
it admits, denies, or qualifies the non-moving party's
additional statements by reference to each numbered
paragraph, with citations to supporting evidence. D. Me. Loc.
contained in a supporting or opposing statement of material
facts, if supported by record citations as required by this
rule, shall be deemed admitted unless properly
controverted.” D. Me. Loc. R. 56(f). Additionally,
“[t]he court may disregard any statement of fact not
supported by a specific citation to record material properly
considered on summary judgment.” Id. Finally,
“[t]he court shall have no independent duty to search
or consider any part of the record not specifically
referenced in the parties' separate statement of
the factual assertions contained in the verified pleadings
and affidavits filed by a pro se litigant generally will be
considered in the review of a summary judgment motion. That
is, where a pro se litigant has failed to comply strictly
with the summary judgment rules, this Court has considered
the sworn assertions of record. See Clarke v. Blais,
473 F.Supp.2d 124, 128 - 30 (D. Me. 2007) (“The First
Circuit has not addressed this notice debate directly, but
has said, in the summary judgment context, that unrepresented
plaintiffs' opposing affidavits and opposition papers are
to be read ‘liberally.'” (citing Posadas
de Puerto Rico, Inc. v. Radin, 856 F.2d 399,
401 (1st Cir. 1988), and Mas Marques v. Digital Equip.
Corp., 637 F.2d 24, 27 (1st Cir. 1980)); Demmons v.
Tritch, 484 F.Supp.2d 177, 182 - 83 (D. Me. 2007).
Plaintiff filed a verified complaint in this matter.
(Complaint, ECF No. 1.)
and Procedural Background
Arrival and Dormitory Six
March 11, 2014, Plaintiff began serving a two-year sentence
at the Maine Correctional Center (MCC). (Complaint § IV
¶ 1, ECF No. 1; Defendant's second Statement of
Material Fact ¶ 1, ECF No. 53, hereinafter DSSMF.) For
intake and classification purposes, Plaintiff was assigned to
the Multi-Purpose Unit (MPU). (Id. ¶ 4.) At the
end of March 2014, Plaintiff was moved to Dormitory Six.
(Id. ¶ 5.) Because this incarceration was not
the first time Plaintiff had been incarcerated at MCC, he was
well-known within the prison population. (Complaint § IV
¶ 2.) Plaintiff had a reputation within the prisoner
population as an “informant.” (Id.
¶ 3.) At MCC, other prisoners insulted Plaintiff and
Plaintiff considered some of the comments to be threats of
bodily harm because of his reputation of being an informant.
Correctional Recovery Academy in Unit One
5, 2014, Plaintiff was moved from Dormitory Six to Unit One.
(Id. ¶ 6; DSSMF ¶ 4.) Unit One contains
several general population living areas, including the
structured living unit (SLU) and the Correctional Recovery
Academy (CRA), which is a substance abuse treatment unit.
(DSSMF ¶ 3.) Plaintiff participated in the CRA program,
which is a nine-month program. (Complaint § IV ¶
had some difficulties in the CRA program and was briefly
suspended from the program for throwing a milk crate filled
with cleaning supplies. (DSSMF ¶ 5.) Plaintiff was later
indefinitely suspended and moved to the segregation unit
because he failed to follow staff directives as he was out of
place on three occasions and he refused a staff order to lock
up. (Id. ¶ 6.)
Bailey, the Unit Manager for Unit One at MCC, received
reports that Plaintiff might have threatened other prisoners
in the CRA. (Id. ¶ 7.) Defendant Bailey met
with Plaintiff to discuss the issues that had arisen in the
CRA. (Id. ¶ 8.) Plaintiff admitted to making
statements such as “I'm gonna stick you” to
the other prisoners. (Id.) Defendant Bailey and the
Unit Team decided to let Plaintiff stay in the program.
after starting the CRA program, other prisoners insulted and
threatened Plaintiff, called him a “rat” and
other names, and said, “you will get [expletive] up if
you start ratting!” (Complaint § IV ¶ 7.)
Plaintiff reported this treatment, which he characterized as
harassment and as threats, to correctional sergeants and
Defendant Bailey. (Id. ¶ 8.) Plaintiff asked to
leave the CRA program because of the alleged harassment, but
Defendant Bailey advised Plaintiff that he should ignore the
prisoners who made ...