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Brown v. Pepe

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

September 8, 2014

MANSON BROWN
v.
JOSEPH PEPE and CURTIS CINELLI

Page 311

Manson Brown, Plaintiff, Pro se, Shirley, MA.

For Joseph Pepe, Defendant: C. Raye Poole, LEAD ATTORNEY, Department of Correction, Legal Division, Boston, MA.

For Curtis Cinelli, Defendant: Joseph G. Donnellan, LEAD ATTORNEY, Rogal & Donnellan, P.C., Norwood, MA.

Page 312

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT CINELLI'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

Richard G. Stearns, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

In this civil rights lawsuit, inmate Manson Brown alleges that defendants Department of Correction (DOC) Lieutenant Joseph Pepe and Massachusetts State Police Trooper Curtis Cinelli forced him to submit to an unconstitutional perp walk [1] while being extradited to Massachusetts from Georgia after being arrested as an escapee. Brown claims violations of his Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. This action is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § § 1983 and 1985. Trooper Cinelli now moves for judgment on the pleadings.

BACKGROUND [2]

Brown, a convicted felon, escaped from DOC custody in Massachusetts on November 27, 2009.[3] He was recaptured in Decatur,

Page 313

Georgia, on January 5, 2010. On January 12, 2010, Lt. Pepe and Trooper Cinelli arrived at the Dekalb County Jail to take custody of Brown to return him to Massachusetts. Before leaving the jail, Pepe and Cinelli placed Brown in hand and leg restraints. They then brought him to an area of the jail where several sheriff's deputies were milling about. While there, Cinelli used the camera of his cell phone to take a " selfie" with Brown, " like [Brown] was a 'prize catch.'" Am. Compl. ¶ 11.

Pepe and Cinelli then escorted Brown through the doors of the main lobby of the jail, rather than through a secluded side sally port, to an area where a gaggle of news media had assembled. Seeing the news cameras, Brown attempted to cover his head with the hood of his sweatshirt. Cinelli pulled the hood back to expose Brown's face. When Brown then tried to duck to shield himself from view, Cinelli and Pepe pulled him back up to face the cameras. Brown growled to the officers, " [Y]ou ain't gonna get your shine off me." Id. ¶ 12.

Brown alleges that he suffered " extreme humiliation, intense discomfort and emotional distress" from being publicly displayed in this fashion.[4] Pl.'s Opp'n at 2 (Dkt. # 38). He first brought suit against Pepe, Cinelli, and Sherriff Thomas Brown of Dekalb County, Georgia, in this court on September 10, 2012. See Brown v. Pepe, No. 12-cv-11687 (D. Mass. 2012) ( Brown I ). Because Sheriff Brown was not a resident of Massachusetts and the incident which formed the basis of the Complaint occurred in Georgia, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)[5], the court (Sorokin, M.J.) determined that the Northern District of Georgia was the proper venue for the lawsuit. See Brown v. Pepe, 2013 WL 3246127, at *3 (D. Mass. June 25, 2013). Brown I consequently was dismissed without prejudice, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).[6] [WL] at *3-4, Report and Recommendation adopted, 2013 WL 3786464, at *1 (D. Mass. July 17, 2013) (Tauro, J.).

On November 12, 2013, Brown filed a second complaint in the Northern District of Georgia, this time omitting Sheriff Brown as a defendant. See Brown v. Pepe, No. 13-cv-03751 (N.D.Ga. 2013) ( Brown II ). On Brown's motion, the Georgia court transferred Brown II to this district in December of 2013, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Because all of the defendants named in Brown II reside in this ...


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