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Negron v. Turco

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

September 7, 2017

JOSE L. NEGRON, Plaintiff,
v.
THOMAS TURCO, III, ABBE NELLIGAN, COLETTE GOGUEN, LUIS MELENDEZ, and LORI CRESEY Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint (ECF No. 74), Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint and Substitute Party (ECF No. 75), and Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (ECF No. 76). Remaining defendants[1] Thomas Turco, III, Abbe Nelligan, Collette Goguen, and Luis Melendez have opposed the motions, along with proposed defendant Lori Cresey. For the reasons stated below, plaintiff's motions to amend are allowed in part and denied in part, the Second Amended Complaint is dismissed except as to Counts III and Count IV, and the motion for a preliminary injunction is denied.

         Background

         On October 17, 2016, pro se prisoner plaintiff Jose Negron filed a voluminous complaint against defendants Thomas Turco, III, Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, Thomas Dickhaut, Deputy Commissioner Department of Corrections, Kelly Ryan, Superintendent of MCI Shirley, Lois Russo, Superintendent of MCI Concord, Colette Goguen, Superintendent of MCI Gardner, Abbe Nelligan, Deputy of Classification, and Luis Mendez, Internal Perimeter Commander. Along with his complaint, plaintiff filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis, a motion for preliminary injunction, and a motion for appointment of counsel.

         On November 4, 2016, plaintiff filed a motion to amend his complaint. On November 16, 2016, the Court allowed the motion to proceed in forma pauperis, assessed an initial filing fee, denied the motion for appointment of counsel without prejudice, and allowed the motion to amend the complaint.

         On February 8, 2017, defendants Turco, Nelligan, Goguen, and Melendez filed a joint motion to dismiss the complaint. On February 21, 2017, plaintiff opposed the motion to dismiss.

         On April 14, 2017, with leave of court, defendants Turco, Nelligan, Goguen, and Melendez responded to the motion for preliminary injunction. On April 28, 2017, plaintiff filed a “stipulation of dismissal” of defendants Thomas Dickhaut, Kelly Ryan, and Lois Russo, substantially narrowing the scope of this action. All claims against these defendants will be dismissed without prejudice.

         On May 11, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file a supplemental amended complaint and for joinder. The remaining defendants opposed the motions.

         On May 26, 2017, the court issued a Memorandum and Order providing the plaintiff with a final opportunity to amend and supplement his complaint to conform to the basic rules of civil procedure. Plaintiff filed two motions to amend the complaint, a Notice of Clarification concerning the exhibits to the complaint, and a motion for a preliminary injunction. All of these motions are timely opposed.

         The following allegations are taken from the Second Amended Complaint, and documents referred to therein, and are accepted as true only for purposes of the Court's screening of the Second Amended Complaint.

         Plaintiff's Reclassification from SBCC to MCI - Concord

         Plaintiff is currently an inmate at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, a maximum security prison in Shirley, Massachusetts. Second Amended Compl. ¶ 3. In February 2015, plaintiff sought a reclassification from SBCC. During this process, plaintiff alleges that he renewed his safety and security concerns about his disassociation and bad standing with Security Threat Group (“STG”) Latin Kings (the “STG Concerns”). Second Amended Compl. ¶10.

         On April 15, 2015, plaintiff wrote a letter to prison administrators expressing his STG Concerns relating to his proposed new placement. Second Amended Compl. ¶ 11. The letter is not attached to the complaint.

         On April 22, 2015, plaintiff was notified by prison administration that his STG Concerns would be forwarded to defendant Lori Cresey, Director of Central Classification. Second Amended Compl. ¶ 12.

         On May 5, 2015, defendant Abbe E. Nelligan, Deputy Classification Director, reviewed the appeal and modified the placement. Second Amended Compl. ¶13. Nelligan sustained the re-classification to medium security but modified the location to MCI-Concord. Second Amended Compl. ¶13. Plaintiff alleges that Nelligan knew of, and disregarded, plaintiff's STG Concerns.

         Second Amended Compl. ¶¶ 9-11.

         Plaintiff Allegedly Given the Option of Protective Segregation or General Population at MCI - Concord

         On May 12, 2015, plaintiff was transferred to MCI - Concord. Second Amended Compl. ¶14. Plaintiff was met by non-defendant, Inner Perimeter Security (“IPS”) Officer Juan Ayala, a “subordinate” of defendant Luis Melendez who “reconfronted about old wounds.” Second Amended Compl. ¶15. MCI-Concord personnel were apparently aware of the plaintiff's STG Concerns because at some point in May, plaintiff was “confronted” by non-defendant, IPS Sergeant Kahn and was provided two options: “spend the summer in the hole” or sign a waiver to be released to general population. Second Amended Complaint, ¶ 16. According to the plaintiff, he chose to sign the waiver under “duress/coerced” and was released to general population. Second Amended Compl. ¶16.

         Plaintiff Allegedly Assaulted at MCI - Concord Because of His Disassociation Hearing and Activities At MCI - Concord

         On August 18, 2015, plaintiff filed a “request and complaint” to Inner Perimeter Security claiming that he was no longer affiliated with the Latin Kings and that his STG status should be changed. Second Amended Compl. ¶17, Exhibit C(1). On August 27, 2015, plaintiff attended an STG Renouncement interview. Second Amended Compl. ¶ 18. Plaintiff claims that in September 2015 he was confronted by an STG member about the IPS meeting and renouncement. Second Amended Compl. ¶19. Plaintiff claims the renouncement process was allegedly exposed to STG members at MCI - Concord by unnamed prison personnel. Second Amended Compl. ¶20. Plaintiff confronted IPS Officer Ayala about the purported leak of information. Second Amended Compl. ¶ 21. According to plaintiff, IPS Officer Ayala is a family member of defendant Melendez. Second Amended Compl. ¶23. IPS Officer Ayala warned plaintiff and told him to mind his own business. Second Amended Compl. ¶22-23.

         On September 16, 2015, plaintiff was assaulted by STG members. Second Amended Compl. ¶24. While at the MCI - Concord Health Service Unit, plaintiff was informed by Officer Ayala that due to safety concerns he would not be being released from segregation. Second Amended Compl. ¶25. Plaintiff claims he was placed in segregation for non-disciplinary reasons due to conflict and was not provided an emergency re-classification hearing. Second Amend. Compl. ¶26.

         On September 29, 2015, plaintiff alleges that a “subordinate” frivolously filed a disciplinary report ...


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