United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Talwani, United States District Judge
Thi Doan was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(“ICE”) and held at the Bristol County House of
Correction, under the stewardship of the Bristol County
Sheriff's Office. Her First Amended Complaint
[#77] alleges that the mental health care she received while
detained was constitutionally inadequate, and that the
defendants involuntarily medicated Doan and failed to protect
her from involuntary medication and inadequate
defendants have all moved to dismiss the complaint. For the
reasons set forth herein, Thomas M. Hodgson's and
Judith Borges' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First
Amended Complaint [#79] is ALLOWED IN PART and DENIED IN
PART, Bristol County's Motion to Dismiss or in the
Alternative for Judgment on the Pleadings [#120] is
ALLOWED, and Sean Gallagher's Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint [#132] motion is
ALLOWED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
Facts as Alleged in the Amended Complaint a.
was born in Vietnam in 1971. First Am. Compl. ¶ 24. She
came to the United States as a lawful permanent resident on
September 5, 1995. Id. ¶ 25. In 1998, she was
charged in Connecticut with murder. Id., Ex. A at 1.
After a number of medical evaluations, Doan was found to
“‘suffer from various mental disorders' and
[to have] committed the offense while suffering from
resultant ‘extreme emotional distress.'”
Id., Ex. A at 2. Connecticut downgraded the charge
from murder to first degree manslaughter, and in 2001 she was
found competent to enter a plea of nolo contendere
to this charge. Id., Ex. A at 2. Doan was sentenced
to seventeen years in prison. Id. ¶ 42; Ex. A
ICE's Notice to Appear and Subsequent Detention of
January 31, 2013, ICE served Doan with a Notice to Appear,
which charged her with removability based on her conviction
for an aggravated felony, crime of violence, and crime of
moral turpitude for which the term of imprisonment was at
least one year. Id., Ex. A at 2.
January 8, 2014, when Doan completed her criminal sentence in
Connecticut, she was transferred to ICE custody. Id.
¶ 44. Doan remained in ICE custody for approximately 22
months, first with the Bristol County House of Correction
until October 20, 2015 and then with the Strafford County
Department of Corrections in New Hampshire. Notice Transfer
The Arrangement for Detention and Medical Services for
September of 2007, ICE entered into an Intergovernmental
Service Agreement with the Bristol County Sheriff's
Office, whereby the Bristol County Sheriff's Office
agreed to provide detention and on-site medical services for
immigration detainees held by ICE. See First Am.
Compl. ¶ 132; Ex. F.
December 6, 2009, Bristol County, with signatories from both
the Bristol County Sheriff's Office and the Bristol
County Commissioners, entered into a contract with
Correctional Psychiatric Services (“CPS”) for CPS
to provide medical services to inmates and detainees held by
the Bristol County Sheriff's Office. Id.
¶¶ 15, 141; Ex. H. The agreement, in its preamble,
stated that the Sheriff's office had “an obligation
to provide necessary comprehensive medical services to . . .
detentioners . . . of the County of Bristol's
correctional institutions.” Id., Ex. H. at 1.
agreement authorized the Bristol County Sheriff's Office
to conduct performance audits of CPS, monitor CPS employee
licensure, and generally set “rules and
regulations” governing CPS's conduct. Id.,
Ex. H. at 3, 6. The original contract was for a term expiring
in 2012. Id., Ex. H. The contract authorized the
Bristol County Sheriff's Office to extend the agreement
for one-year terms, id., and both parties agree that
the contract has been extended each year.
Doan's Medical Care
alleges that she still suffers from severe mental illness and
disabling intellectual deficits, see, e.g., First
Am. Compl. ¶¶ 164-170, and that while in ICE
custody at the Bristol County House of Correction, she
received constitutionally inadequate psychiatric care at the
hands of CPS. Id. ¶ 207. Specifically, Doan
alleges that CPS administered to Doan two psychiatric
medications, Haldol and Cogentin, even though Doan was
incapable of providing informed consent to receive
psychiatric medications and no court has authorized the
administration of medications to Doan involuntarily.
Id. ¶¶ 171, 173-74, 177-78, 181. Doan
further alleges that CPS failed to independently assess
whether Haldol and Cogentin were appropriate for Doan's
specific condition and failed to provide any other treatment
to Doan, such as individual and group therapy. Id.
¶¶ 175, 188.
as Sheriff for Bristol County, was responsible for the
operation of the Bristol County House of Correction. First
Am. Compl. ¶¶ 11. Doan alleges that Hodgson was
aware of Doan's severe mental illness and cognitive
impairments. Id. ¶ 206. Further, Doan alleges
that Hodgson acted with “deliberate indifference”
to the conditions of Doan's confinement and “failed
to take steps to protect her from the serious harm for which
she [was] at risk.” Id. ¶¶ 213, 214,
as the Director of Medical Services for the Bristol County
Sheriff's Office, was responsible for the Bristol County
House of Correction's medical and psychiatric care.
Id. ¶ 14. She had the “ultimate
decision-making authority with regard to [Doan's] medical
treatment” while Doan was detained. Id. Doan
alleges that Borges was aware of Doan's severe mental
illness and cognitive impairments and that Borges acted with
“deliberate indifference” to the conditions of
Doan's confinement and “failed to take steps to
protect her from the serious harm for which she [was] at
risk.” Id. ¶ 230. Doan also alleges that
Borges affirmatively denied requests for additional care.
Specifically, in January 2015, Borges responded to a request
from an attorney at Prisoners' Legal Services for a
psychiatric examination. Id. ¶¶ 122-24;
Ex. D, E. Borges did not permit this psychiatric examination,
explaining that a request for a psychiatric examination must
be submitted to and approved by ICE. Id., Ex. E. In
the response, Borges further stated that the “onsite
mental health department” at the Bristol County House
of Correction was “solely responsible for treatment,
care, and all clinical decisions regarding those in our
custody.” Id. ¶ 125; Ex. E.
Gallagher is the Director of the Field Office for ICE's
Boston Area. Doan alleges that Gallagher was “aware of
the conditions of [Doan's] confinement, her lack of
adequate medical care, and the administration of
antipsychotic medication without her informed consent or a
court order.” First. Am. Compl. ¶ 189. Gallagher
allegedly had the authority to reconsider the conditions of
Doan's custody by releasing Doan to a psychiatric
facility to ensure that she received adequate care, but he
refused to do so despite being aware of Doan's inadequate
treatment. Id. ¶¶ 82, 190.
Motion to Dismiss Standard
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain sufficient facts “to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). In resolving such a
motion, the court must accept all factual allegations in the
complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor
of the plaintiff. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678-79 (2009). The court, however, need not accept the
plaintiff's legal conclusions as true. Id.
“Threadbare recitals of elements of a cause of action,
supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Id. at 678.
brings a claim under 42 U.S.C. §1983 for failure to
train and supervise, and inadequate screening against Bristol
County. First Am. Compl. Count VI. Bristol County moves to
dismiss Count VI on various grounds. One is persuasive-that
the obligations of the Bristol County Sheriff's Office
and those of Bristol County related to ...