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Patrick Proctor v. Lucien J. Leclaire

July 21, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary L. Sharpe District Court Judge


I. Introduction

Pro se plaintiff Patrick Proctor, an inmate at Clinton Correctional Facility, brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his due process rights by Lucien LeClaire, Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS). (See Am. Compl., Dkt. No. 19.) LeClaire filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. (See Dkt. No. 20.) In a Report and Recommendation (R&R) filed February 17, 2011, Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles recommended that LeClaire's motion to dismiss be granted.*fn1 (Dkt. No. 26.) Pending are Proctor's objections to the R&R. (Dkt. No. 28.) For the reasons that follow, the R&R is adopted in its entirety.

II. Background*fn2

Patrick Proctor is currently confined in administrative segregation, and alleges he has received only "sham, perfunctory and meaningless periodic reviews in order to indefinitely confine him to Administrative Segregation." (Am. Compl. at 31, Dkt. No. 19.) Proctor was initially confined to administrative segregation for a term of nine years in the disciplinary special housing unit (SHU).*fn3 (See id. at ¶ 8.) Upon completion of this SHU term, Proctor received on December 9, 2003, an administrative segregation recommendation, which alleged approximately fourteen instances of misconduct and recommended that he remain in administrative segregation. (See id. at ¶ 9.) An administrative hearing was held and, on December 24, 2003, Corrections Captain Charles F. Kelly, Jr. accepted the recommendation that Proctor remain in administrative segregation. (Id. at ¶ 10.)

New York regulations require that an inmate placed in administrative segregation have his circumstances reviewed in sixty-day intervals. See 7 N.Y. COMP. CODES R. & REGS. § 301.4(d). Proctor asserts that, since the time of his confinement, his periodic reviews were not meaningfully conducted.*fn4 (See Am. Compl. at ¶¶ 13-14, Dkt. No. 19.) Accordingly, Proctor sought various avenues for complaint. Proctor submitted a supplemental administrative appeal on March 24, 2004, which was ultimately forwarded to defendant LeClaire. (See id. at ¶ 15.) In addition, Proctor wrote to LeClaire regarding his sixty-day reviews, and to the superintendent at Great Meadows Correctional Facility requesting that the letters be taken into consideration in his reviews. (See id. at ¶¶ 17, 21, 23, 25, 33, 54, 67.) On September 25, 2007, Proctor wrote to DOCS Commissioner Brian Fischer, and thereafter received a response from LeClaire, which stated that "[a]ll pertinent information, including your letter, will be included as part of the review process during the next meeting of the Ad Seg Review Committee." (Id. at ¶¶ 60-61.) In addition to writing letters to DOCS officials, Proctor filed grievances on July 27, 2007, May 20, 2009, and July 29, 2009. (See id. at¶¶ 56, 81, 84.) Proctor's first grievance was dismissed and the second and third were unsuccessfully pursued through the DOCS Central Office Review Committee. (See id.)

Proctor commenced this action on October 2, 2009, and subsequently filed an amended complaint. (See Compl., Dkt. No. 1; Am. Compl., Dkt. No. 19.) On May 18, 2010, LeClaire moved to dismiss Proctor's amended complaint pursuant to FED R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6), asserting that: (1) the complaint fails to allege LeClaire's personal involvement in the due process deprivations alleged; (2) Proctor's claims are barred by claim preclusion based upon the court's decision in the earlier proceeding regarding his periodic review claims; and (3) Proctor's claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the governing statute of limitations. (See Dkt. No. 7.)

III. Standard of Review

Before entering final judgment, this court routinely reviews all report and recommendation orders in cases it has referred to a magistrate judge. If a party has objected to specific elements of the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations, this court reviews those findings and recommendations de novo. See Almonte v. N.Y. State Div. of Parole,No. 04-cv-484, 2006 WL 149049, at *6-7 (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 18, 2006). In those cases where no party has filed an objection, or only a vague or general objection has been filed, this court reviews the findings and recommendations of a magistrate judge for clear error. See id.

IV. Discussion

A. Personal Involvement

In the R&R, Judge Peebles concluded that Proctor's "amended complaint, when liberally construed and after drawing all inferences in his favor, sufficiently alleges defendant LeClaire's participation in the violations asserted." (R&R at 14, Dkt. No. 26.) Absent any specific objections to this conclusion, the court has reviewed it for clear error and finds none. Accordingly, the court adopts Judge Peebles's recommendation that LeClaire's motion be denied as to personal involvement.

B. Statute of Limitations

Judge Peebles also concluded that Proctor's claims were not barred by the applicable statute of limitations. (See id. at 26.) LeClaire does not object to Judge Peebles's finding that the statute of limitations on Proctor's claim was tolled by the continuing violation doctrine. The court has reviewed this portion of the R&R for clear ...

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