United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge
case arises from an alleged incident of excessive force
against a restrained, pre-trial detainee. Plaintiff William
Saintcome (“Saintcome” or
“plaintiff”) asserts that two defendant
correctional officers, Officer Jason Tully
(“Tully”) and Officer C. Perrin
(“Perrin”), deprived him of his civil rights.
Saintcome alleges that while he was awaiting release from the
segregation unit of the Billerica House of Corrections
(“BHOC”) in Billerica, Massachusetts, the
defendant officers used improper, excessive force against him
in violation of his constitutional rights under the Fourth,
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States
Constitution. He also alleges state tort claims of assault
and battery against both defendants.
before the Court are defendants' motion to dismiss and
plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel. For the reasons
that follow, plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel will
be denied and defendants' motion to dismiss will also be
is a prisoner at Massachusetts Correctional Institution -
Concord appearing pro se. Prior to his incarceration in that
facility, he was imprisoned awaiting trial at the BHOC.
alleges that on November 12, 2014, he was scheduled to be
released from the BHOC's segregation unit. Defendant
Perrin and a third corrections officer, Officer Corindina
(“Corindina”), had placed Saintcome in restraints
before his daily recreation time. When time came to remove
the restraints, defendant Tully appeared. Saintcome requested
that Corindina, rather than Tully, remove the restraints. He
did so because of a prior verbal confrontation with Tully,
when the officer allegedly denied him a meal that satisfied
his religious dietary restrictions and Tully made derogatory
remarks about plaintiff's Islamic faith.
to the complaint, when Saintcome requested that Corindina
remove his restraints, Tully slammed his head into the cell
wall and pushed him onto the bunk where his head hit the
metal frame. Perrin then allegedly entered the cell and
elbowed Saintcome four times in the face before Corindina
intervened and commanded Tully to leave, at which time Tully
allegedly engaged in another tirade of racial and religious
October 14, 2016, plaintiff filed a complaint alleging
violations of his civil rights against Officers Tully and
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a defendant may move to dismiss a
complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. Rule 12(b)(6) requires that a complaint contain
“sufficient factual matter” to state a claim for
relief that is actionable as a matter of law and
“plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 667 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570(2007)). A claim is
facially plausible if, after accepting as true all
non-conclusory factual allegations, the court can draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged. Ocasio-Hernandez v.
Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011).
claims that the complaint should be dismissed because 1)
defendants' alleged use of force did not rise to the
level of a deprivation of a constitutional right, 2)
defendants are shielded by qualified immunity, 3)
plaintiff's cause of action is not properly pled and 4)
plaintiff's state law claims cannot be sustained.
Plaintiff has claimed a deprivation of a civil right and
seeks money damages. In order to sue an official acting under
color of law for money damages for deprivation of a
constitutional right, the sole remedy available under federal
law is found in 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
succeed on a § 1983 claim for excessive force against a
pretrial detainee, the plaintiff must show that the defendant
purposely or knowingly used objectively unreasonable force
against him. Miranda-Rivera v. Toledo-Davila, 813
F.3d 64, 70 (1st Cir. 2016).
The reasonableness ...