United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
H. HENNESSY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Dr. Shawn Channell has moved to dismiss pro se Plaintiff Kris
Sergentakis's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to exhaust administrative
remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(a), and for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted. (Docket #27). Sergentakis filed an
opposition thereto. (Docket #29). These matters are now ripe
for adjudication. In consideration of the foregoing
submissions and for the reasons that follow, Defendant
Channell's Motion to Dismiss (Docket #27) is GRANTED and
Sergentakis's complaint is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
initiated this action by filing a complaint on June 28, 2016,
(Docket #1), and was later granted leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Docket #5). On October 6 and November 17, 2016,
Sergentakis filed what I construed as Motions for Entry of
Default. (Docket #17 and #20). I denied both motions for
failure to show proof of service as to any named Defendant.
(Docket #24). On February 3, 2017, Defendant Channell
individually filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's
complaint. (See Docket #28 at 7). On February 27,
2017, Sergentakis filed an opposition to that motion. (Docket
instant case stems from an alleged interaction between
Sergentakis and Defendant Channell-a forensic psychologist at
the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts
(“FMC Devens”)-during a psychological evaluation
ordered by Judge Nelson Stephen Roman of the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York.
(See Docket #1); United States v.
Sergentakis, Docket No. 15-cr-00033-NSR (S.D.N.Y. Jan.
20, 2015) (S.D.N.Y. ECF No. 31). That evaluation was ordered
to determine whether Sergentakis was competent to stand trial
in connection with the criminal charges pending against
Sergentakis for witness retaliation and cyberstalking.
See United States v. Sergentakis, No. 15 Cr.
33(NSR), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77719, at *1-7 (S.D.N.Y. June
Nelson Stephen Roman first ordered Sergentakis to undergo a
competency evaluation on August 18, 2015. United States
v. Sergentakis, Docket No. 15-cr-00033-NSR (S.D.N.Y.
Jan. 20, 2015) (S.D.N.Y. ECF No. 31). In October of 2015,
that Court found Sergentakis to be suffering from delusional
disorder, and therefore committed Sergentakis to the custody
of the Attorney General of the United States for
hospitalization to determine whether he could be restored to
competency pursuant to 18 U.S.C § 4241(d). (S.D.N.Y. ECF
was eventually transferred to FMC Devens, where he met with
Defendant Channell on April 7, 2016 in the office of Lisa
Britton. (Docket #1 at 3). During that interaction,
Sergentakis contends that Dr. Channell told him the
following: “unless you plead guilty you will be civilly
committed for 10 years. Unless you plead guilty we can
forcibly medicate you with mind altering drugs. If you do not
reveal privileged information regarding how you will defend
yourself at trial I will be forced to report you
incompetent.” (Docket #1 at 3). Sergentakis filed the
instant complaint on June 28, 2016. (Docket #1). Thereafter,
Sergentakis appears to have attempted to file various
exhibits, which include various requests to staff and,
notably, a Request for Administrative Remedy, dated July 22,
2016. (See Docket #10). Sergentakis also filed two
motions for leave to admit exhibits, which I denied. (Docket
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), the Court “must assume the truth of all
well-plead[ed] facts and give the plaintiff the benefit of
all reasonable inferences therefrom.” Ruiz v. Bally
Total Fitness Holding Corp., 496 F.3d 1, 5 (1st Cir.
2007) (citing Rogan v. Menino, 175 F.3d 75, 77 (1st
Cir. 1999)). Materials attached to a complaint, or
incorporated by reference, are a part of the pleading itself,
and the Court may consider them on a motion to dismiss.
Trans-Spec Truck Serv. v. Caterpillar, 524 F.3d 315,
321 (1st Cir. 2008). To survive a motion to dismiss, the
plaintiff must state a claim that is plausible on its face.
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). That is, “[f]actual allegations must be enough
to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, . . .
on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint
are true (even if doubtful in fact).” Id. at
555 (citations omitted). “The plausibility standard is
not akin to a ‘probability requirement, ' but it
asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
Dismissal is appropriate if plaintiff's well-pleaded
facts do not “possess enough heft to show that
plaintiff is entitled to relief.” Ruiz Rivera v.
Pfizer Pharms., LLC, 521 F.3d 76, 84 (1st Cir. 2008)
(quotations and alterations omitted). “[L]egal labels
and conclusions, ” however, are to be “isolate[d]
and ignore[d].” Schatz v. Republican State
Leadership Committee, 669 F.3d 50, 55 (1st Cir. 2012);
cf. Haag v. United States, 736 F.3d 66, 69 (1st Cir.
2013) (“Although we view all well-pleaded facts in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party, ‘the
tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations
contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal
conclusions.'”) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S.
must apply “an even more liberal standard” where,
as here, the plaintiff is proceeding pro se. Gibbs v. SLM
Corp., 336 F.Supp.2d 1, 3 (D. Mass. 2004). To that end,
“[p]ro se pleadings are construed liberally, to avoid
inappropriately stringent rules and unnecessary
dismissals.” Bourne v. Arruda, No.
10-cv-393-LM, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62332, at *8 (D.N.H. June
10, 2011). This is not to suggest, however, that pro se
litigants are not held to any standard at all. See
Solomon v. Khoury, No. 16-10176, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
20670, at *9 (D. Mass. Feb. 13, 2017) (“While the
‘First Circuit holds a pro se litigant to a standard of
pleading less stringent than that for lawyers . . . this
cannot be taken to mean that pro se complaints are held to no
standard at all.'”) (quoting Green v.
Massachusetts, 108 F.R.D. 217, 218 (D. Mass. 1985)).
Channell contends that Sergentakis's complaint should be
dismissed “first, because the plaintiff did not exhaust
available administrative remedies before filing suit, as
required by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); second, because as to
Ms. Britton, the plaintiff has not alleged personal
misconduct; and third, because as to Dr. Channell,
Sergentakis has not alleged conduct giving rise to a
constitutional deprivation.” (Docket #28 at 1).
preliminary matter, I note that Defendant Channell has
individually filed the Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's
complaint. (See Docket #28 at 7) (“Sergentakis
has not yet served Ms. Britton, and the instant motion is
filed solely by Dr. Channell.”). Because this motion is
filed by Defendant Channell only, I find that he does not
have standing to contest the sufficiency of the allegations
relative to Lisa Britton, and therefore I do not consider
those arguments. Notwithstanding, I nonetheless dismiss
without prejudice any and all claims made against purported
Defendant Britton. In my Order denying Plaintiff's
Motions for Entry of Default on January 12, 2017, I gave
Sergentakis an extension of time to serve the named
Defendants and indicated that “[i]f service is not made
on or before March 13, 2017, the action will be dismissed
without prejudice as to each Defendant ...