United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
Linton, Plaintiff, Pro se, South Walpole, MA.
James J. Saba, Superintendent of MCI Cedar Junction Walpole,
Nelson Julius, Deputy of Operation of MCI Cedar Junction
Walpole, Marc Dubois, MCI Cedar Junction Grievance
Coordinator, Elena Clodius, Director of Department
Disciplinary Unit, Carol H O'Brien, Commissioner of
Corrections, Defendants: Sheryl F. Grant, LEAD ATTORNEY,
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Correction,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. BURROUGHS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Damion Linton, an inmate at MCI -- Cedar Junction, brought
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (" §
1983" ), alleging that prison personnel have violated
his civil rights by not providing rehabilitative educational
programs that award good time credits. His complaint asserts
that the defendants' failure to provide such programs is
a violation of the Due Process Clause, Equal Protection
Clause, and Eighth Amendment. [ECF No. 1.]
the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Complaint
[ECF No. 18], which moves to dismiss the entire complaint
under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
For the foregoing reasons, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
the Complaint is GRANTED.
is currently an inmate in the custody of the Massachusetts
Department of Corrections (" DOC" ) and, at
relevant times, was housed within the Department Disciplinary
Unit (" DDU" ) of MCI -- Cedar Junction. [ECF No.
1, Exh. B.] In February 2015 Linton filed a grievance with
the DOC, stating that he was unable to participate in
educational rehabilitative programs and therefore earn good
time credits to reduce his sentence. Id. Linton
complained that the DDU orientation manual listed numerous
educational rehabilitative programs that were either not
being offered or were being offered, but without the
opportunity to earn good time credits. Id.
Linton's grievance was denied, as was his appeal. [ECF
No. 1, Exhs. B & C.] The superintendent's decision on
Linton's appeal stated that because he had been placed in
the DDU, Linton could only earn time off of his DDU sanction
and not good time off of his sentence. [ECF No. 1, Exh. C.]
On April 28, 2015, after exhausting the grievance process,
Linton initiated this action. [ECF No. 1.]
complaint, Linton states that due to the policies and
procedures of the defendants, he has been denied access to
proper rehabilitative educational programs and, as a result,
is unable to earn good time credits. Id. ¶
¶ 8, 15. Linton filed affidavits from five inmates in
the DDU, who also complain that there are not programs
through which they can earn good time credits. [ECF Nos.
4-8.] In support of his complaint, which alleges Due Process,
Equal Protection, and Eighth Amendment violations under
§ 1983, Linton attaches the DDU Manual and cites several
Massachusetts DOC Regulations. [ECF No. 1, ¶ 10 (citing
103 CMR § § 411.04, 411.09(1)(b), 411.08(2)) & Exh.
A] The DDU Manual states that " [i]nmates may
participate in such educational and/or rehabilitative
programs as can be provided within the confines of the DDU,
consistent with the safety and security needs of the
unit." Id. The Massachusetts DOC Regulations
Linton cites establish the standards for awarding good time
credits. See e.g., 103 CMR 411.09(1)(b) (" [A]n inmate
may receive deductions from sentence only for participation
in those approved programs and activities." ).
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the
Court accepts as true all well-pleaded facts in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff and draws all reasonable
inferences from those facts in favor of the plaintiff.
United States ex rel. Hutcheson v. Blackstone Med.,
Inc., 647 F.3d 377, 384 (1st Cir. 2011). Although
detailed factual allegations are not required to survive a
motion to dismiss, " more than labels and
conclusions" are required. Bell A. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d
929 (2007). Where, as here, the complaint is filed pro
se, the pleading must be " liberally
construed" and " held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d
1983 is " not itself a source of substantive rights, but
merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights
elsewhere conferred." Graha ...