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Paquette v. CPC Rule Program Admin

United States District Court, D. Maine

November 13, 2019

CPC RULE PROGRAM ADMIN, et al., Defendants


          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff, an inmate of the Maine Department of Corrections and assigned to the Mountain View Correctional Facility (the facility), alleges that Defendants, who are either employees of the Department of Corrections or provide services to inmates at the facility, violated his constitutional rights in connection with the classification process, a disciplinary hearing, and a treatment program. (Complaint, ECF No. 1.)

         Plaintiff filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 6), which application the Court granted. (ECF No. 7.) In accordance with the in forma pauperis statute, a preliminary review of Plaintiff's complaint is appropriate. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Additionally, Plaintiff's complaint is subject to screening “before docketing, if feasible or … as soon as practicable after docketing, ” because he is “a prisoner seek[ing] redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).

         Following a review of Plaintiff's complaint, I recommend the Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims, except for the claim based on Plaintiff's contention that the sex offender program at the facility violates his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

         Factual Background [1]

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Monaco and App operate a treatment program that compels inmates “to self-incriminate.” (Complaint at 4.) He also asserts that Defendant Fitzpatrick developed a policy that punishes sex offenders. (Id.) Plaintiff further contends that Defendant Bailey did not afford him a fair disciplinary hearing and that Defendant Egan did not provide a fair classification process. (Id.)

         More than a month after the filing of the complaint, Plaintiff filed several additional documents, including a document entitled “Discrimination Synopsis.” (ECF No. 8-2.) The document appears to be a petition that Plaintiff intended other “CPC of probationer/parolee participants” to sign. (Synopsis at 4.) Plaintiff is the only individual to sign the form filed with the court. Through the document, Plaintiff raises certain concerns about the sex offender treatment program that is evidently provided through the Maine Department of Corrections.

         Plaintiff asks the Court for various forms of relief, which includes a request for an “expert team” to evaluate the disability accommodations of the Maine Department of Corrections, the abolishment of the Maine Sex Offender Registry Notification Act, the elimination of the use of a polygraph as part of the sex offender treatment program, and the reduction in his state sentence. (Attachment to Complaint, ECF No. 1-1.)

         Standard of Review

         The federal in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, is designed to ensure meaningful access to the federal courts for those persons unable to pay the costs of bringing an action. When a party is proceeding in forma pauperis, however, “the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines, ” inter alia, that the action is “frivolous or malicious” or “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted” or “seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). “Dismissals [under § 1915] are often made sua sponte prior to the issuance of process, so as to spare prospective defendants the inconvenience and expense of answering such complaints.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989).

         In addition to the review contemplated by § 1915, Plaintiff's complaint is subject to screening under the Prison Litigation Reform Act because Plaintiff currently is incarcerated and seeks redress from governmental entities and officers. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), (c). The § 1915A screening requires courts to “identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint (1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim ….” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         When considering whether a complaint states a claim for which relief may be granted, courts must assume the truth of all well-plead facts and give the plaintiff the benefit of all reasonable inferences therefrom. Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).

         Although a pro se plaintiff's complaint is subject to “less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, ” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), this is “not to say that pro se plaintiffs are not required to plead basic facts sufficient to state a claim, ” Ferranti v. Moran, 618 F.2d 888, 890 (1st Cir. 1980). To allege a civil action in federal court, it is not enough for a plaintiff merely to allege that a defendant acted unlawfully; a plaintiff must affirmatively allege facts that ...

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