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Diaz v. Drew

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

May 26, 2017

LUIS DIAZ, Plaintiff,
v.
JEREMY DREW, ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge

         This case arises from the alleged mistreatment of pro se plaintiff Luis Diaz (“Diaz” or “plaintiff”), who is currently incarcerated at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction in Walpole, Massachusetts (“MCI-Cedar Junction”). Specifically, Diaz claims that defendants, who are various employees of the Massachusetts Department of Correction (“the DOC”), inter alia, beat him, withheld food and toiletries, retaliated against him, wrongly placed him in the Departmental Disciplinary Unit, withheld supplies needed for his legal case and prevented him from getting mental health treatment, all in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983 and 1985.

         The following motions are pending before the Court:

1) Plaintiff's motion for hearing (Docket No. 27),
2) Plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel (Docket No. 57),
3) Plaintiff's emergency motion for injunctive relief (Docket No. 45),
4) Plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief to stop starvation (Docket No. 48),
5) Plaintiff's motion for hearing on his motion for injunctive relief (Docket No. 53),
6) Plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief to preserve video footage (Docket No. 64),
7) Defendants' motion for an extension of time to respond to the complaint (Docket No. 51) and
8) Defendants' motion for exemption from Local Rule 7.1(A)(2) (Docket No. 52).

         For the reasons that follow, the Court will take plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief to preserve video footage under advisement but will deny his other motions and allow defendants' motions.

         I. Background

         Diaz is incarcerated and awaiting trial on state charges at MCI-Cedar Junction. The defendants who have been served are employees of the DOC: the Director of the Departmental Disciplinary Unit (the “DDU”) Elena Clodius, Captain William Harold a/k/a Harrold Wilkes, Sergeant Michael Kasprzak and Correction Officers Jeremy Drew, Burns a/k/a William Byrnes and Matthew Sawash (collectively, “defendants”).[1]

         The parties offer different versions of the facts. Plaintiff alleges that corrections officers beat him in September, 2015. He asserts that when he decided to file a lawsuit about the beating, prison officials began to retaliate against him by issuing fake disciplinary “tickets”. He also claims that he has been denied showers and toiletries and that officers have tampered with his legal documents. He alleges officer misconduct, such as officers telling him to kill himself, making racist and homophobic comments to him, sexually harassing him and desecrating his Muslim hairstyle. He asserts that 1) defendants are starving him, 2) he has been denied due process and 3) he is being held illegally.

         According to defendants, plaintiff's version of the facts is delusional. They rely on the affidavit of Michael Rodrigues, the Superintendent of MCI-Cedar Junction, which states that plaintiff receives three meals daily and that Diaz's allegations of officer misconduct have been investigated and determined to be unfounded. Defendants also rely on the affidavit of Mitzi Peterson, the ...


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