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Mandeville v. Spencer

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

July 18, 2014

R.H. MANDEVILLE, Plaintiff,
LUIS SPENCER, Defendant.


LEO T. SOROKIN, District Judge.

The pro se Plaintiff, R.H. Mandeville, is an inmate currently incarcerated at the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater, MA ("OCCC"). He brings this eight-count Complaint against Defendant, Luis Spencer, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his rights under the First, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, with respect to conditions of his confinement. He also alleges violations of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights and several state statutes and regulations, and brings state common law malpractice and defamation claims.

For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 23) is ALLOWED IN PART.


The following facts are drawn from Mandeville's Complaint (Doc. No. 1).[1]At all relevant times, Mandeville was an inmate at either the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Shirley, Massachusetts ("MCI-Shirley"), or the OCCC. Compl. ¶ 2-1. In approximately 2009 to 2010, while Mandeville was at MCI-Shirley, Compl. ¶¶ 4-6, 4-7, a "clinician" named George Clark, told Mandeville he had a mental illness. Compl. ¶ 4-1. Clark, a licensed social worker, was Mandeville's Primary Care Clinician. Compl. at 18 (Ex. A1). For a period of time, Clark, and subsequently, a Dr. Ackers, had contact with Mandeville once a month. Compl. ¶¶ 4-3 to 4-6. Eventually, Mandeville was called to appear before a "Special Classification Committee, " at which point he was informed of his reclassification to the OCCC. Compl. ¶ 4-7. Mandeville then filed a "classification statement, " dated October 16, 2010, with Correctional Programs Officer ("CPO") Martha Mabley, [2]objecting to his reclassification. Compl. ¶ 4-8; Compl. at 19-21 (Ex. A2). Mandeville also wrote a letter to the presiding Superintendent.[3]Compl. ¶ 4-8.

Mandeville was ordered to pack his personal property for the transfer to the OCCC. Compl. ¶ 4-9. He was "forced above Plaintiff's objections, to sign papers. Plaintiff was forced by intimidation of Disciplinary Reports', [ sic ] etc." Compl. ¶ 4-10. These reports are not further described or identified in Mandeville's Complaint. "Plaintiff c[ro]ssed out everything on the papers to be signed and later found information writ[t]en - in [ sic ] after the Plaintiff crossed everything out, and signed. This was found on one (1) report." Compl. ¶ 4-11. Mandeville does not identify the report to which he refers or any of its particulars.

After arriving at the OCCC, Mandeville clearly indicated he "wanted nothing to do with mental health." Compl. ¶ 4-13. After approximately two months Mandeville was sent to see an OCCC clinician, but resisted ongoing treatment. Compl. ¶ 4-14. He was "interested in Extra Sensory Preception' [ sic ] (ESP) testing and it was not apart [ sic ] of his treatment." Compl. ¶ 4-16. After an "Internal Paremeter [ sic ] Security Team" interviewed Mandeville, clinicians told him "they felt nothing was wrong" but "they said they had to check with The Captain[, ]'" who appeared to be "running the show." Id . Mandeville was sent to the Bridgewater State Hospital for evaluation and was returned to the OCCC in twenty-eight days.[4]Compl. ¶ 4-16. Subsequently, he refused to speak with clinicians. Compl. ¶ 4-17. Clinician Colin Knox, at the "Health Services Unit, " asked Mandeville to sign papers. Compl. ¶¶ 4-17, 4-18. "The Plaintiff was angry and refused, and sent to the Segregation' unit for five (5) days and sentenced to san[c]tions unrelated to signing any documents. Plaintiff was never punished for not signing documents." Compl. ¶ 4-18.

At MCI-Shirley Mandeville had a private cell. Compl. ¶ 4-32. Now, Mandeville must share a cell, which, he states, is only about seventy square feet. Compl. ¶ 4-24. The OCCC keeps all in-cell toilet doors locked in the open position, exposing use of the toilet to all those who walk by the cell. Compl. ¶ 4-22. Staff making rounds have removed curtains Mandeville has placed over the door to obstruct viewing, and "some female staff have also made rounds and viewed the Plaintiff engaged in def[e]cation, etc." Compl. ¶ 4-25. He "has taken Grievance' about allowing Plaintiff and other inmates to close their door by hand for such purposes[, ]" but his grievance was denied and his appeal "was never answered." Id . Mandeville's toilet, which he shares with a cell-mate, is set on a timer which shuts off the toilet for one hour if it is flushed twice within five minutes. Compl. ¶ 4-23. Upon request, the toilets can be reset in the Officer's Control Station, but some officers will not comply. Id.

While at MCI-Shirley, Mandeville had been gainfully employed in the Industries portion of the Department of Correction ("DOC"), "had satisfactory work reports and was earning a good wage for a prisoner, with the hopes of[] pay raises, etc." Compl. ¶ 4-33. "Since Plaintiff was at the OCCC, Plaintiff has had small jobs which do not pay well, and at times ev[e]n had to file a Grievance' against the Jobs Assignment Officer' for a job that pays far less tha[n] Industries." Compl. ¶ 4-34.

Mandeville wrote letters to the Attorney General in hopes of resolving his problems. Compl. ¶ 4-19. He also wrote letters to "Federal Agencies" including the "Postal Inspector, the U.S., [ sic ] Attorney, and may be [ sic ] the Federal Bureau of Investigation' (FBI)." Compl. ¶ 4-26. He learned of a "perjuried [ sic ] report" that was filed for the purpose of sending him to the Bridgewater State Hospital. Compl. ¶ 4-20. While at the OCCC, Mandeville met with the classification board annually. Compl. ¶ 4-21. After his 2012 hearing he gave a classification statement of appeal to the board and/or his CPO, but received no response. Id.

In total, Mandeville objects to his transfer to the OCCC because he no longer has a private cell, his cell is too small for two people, he lost the job he had at MCI-Shirley, his toilet does not work as desired, the toilet door is locked in the open position, he believes he is entitled to uncensored mail, free postage, and unmonitored phone calls, and he believes he has a right to make photocopies at a capped fee. Compl. ¶¶ 4-22, 4-23, 4-24, 4-32, 11-1, 12-1. Furthermore, he asserts that the DOC classification system has been "abolished" as to him, Compl. ¶ 6-1, and he claims defamation for having been branded "Profoundly Psychotic" and "Delusional, " Compl. ¶ 7-1 and Compl. at 29 (Ex. A7), and malpractice for having been diagnosed as paranoid and schizophrenic, Compl. ¶10-1.

Each of the eight counts in Mandeville's Complaint contains mixed allegations of violations of federal and state laws. The federal claims are constitutional violations brought under § 1983. The state claims assert violations of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, various statutes and regulations, and common law defamation and malpractice. Mandeville seeks a return to MCI-Shirley, reinstatement in his private cell, and reinstatement of his previous employment together with back wages and projected pay increases. Compl. at 16. In addition, he wants to receive "all the benefits entitled to those classified as mental[ly] ill, " though he wants his psychiatric reports purged. Id . He wants access to free postage, uncensored mail, and unmonitored phone calls. Id . Furthermore, he asks the Court to enjoin the DOC and others from harassing him in his right to petition the courts, and he seeks an award of fifty thousand dollars in damages. Id.

Spencer now moves to dismiss Mandeville's Complaint for ...

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