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Marino v. Watts

United States District Court, N.D. New York

May 6, 2014

VINCENT MICHAEL MARINO, Plaintiff,
v.
HARRELL WATTS, General Counsel/BOP/DOJ, DEBORAH G. SCHULT, Warden/BOP/DOJ, ROBERT HELMS, SIS Lieutenant/BOP/DOJ, JASON POIRIER, Correctional Officer/BOP/DOJ, D. RYAN, Disciplinary Hearing Officer/BOP/DOJ, MS. SEPANEK, Counselor/BOP/DOJ, MR. LUCAS, Case Manager/BOP/DOJ, JOSEPH SMITH, Correctional Officer/BOP/DOJ, JOHN and JANE DOES 1-20; Defendants.

VINCENT MICHAEL MARINO, FCI MCDOWELL, Welch, West Virginia, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

THE HON. RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN, United States Attorney of the Northern District of New York, KAREN F. LESPERANCE, Esq., Albany, New York, Attorney for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

NORMAN A. MORDUE, Senior District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, an inmate in the federal correctional system, brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Defendants move (Dkt. No. 41) to dismiss the action, on the ground of failure to state a claim and/or res judicata. Upon referral pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 72.3(c), United States Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece has prepared a Report-Recommendation and Order (Dkt. No. 47) recommending dismissal. Plaintiff has filed objections (Dkt. No. 41). Given the extensive nature of plaintiff's objections, the Court conducts a de novo review. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). As set forth below, the Report-Recommendation and Order is accepted insofar as it summarizes the facts and procedural background of this case, and otherwise rejected. The Court grants dismissal of the complaint with leave to replead certain claims.

BACKGROUND

Magistrate Judge Treece sets forth in detail the procedural history of this action. The Court briefly summarizes it here. On December 22, 1999, plaintiff was convicted in the Worcester Division of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on a Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act violation and related crimes. Plaintiff's claims in this action arise from an incident occurring on December 3, 2009, while plaintiff was incarcerated at Ray Brook Federal Correctional Institute ("Ray Brook"). During a search of plaintiff's cell, prison authorities found betting slips, $2, 729.32 worth of unused stamps, and ten gallons of homemade intoxicants. Plaintiff was charged with making, possessing, or using intoxicants, possessing gambling paraphernalia, conducting a gambling pool, and possessing unauthorized items. On December 15, 2009, after a disciplinary hearing presided over by defendant Disciplinary Hearing Officer ("DHO") D. Ryan, plaintiff was found guilty. As a result, plaintiff spent two and one-half months in the Special Housing Unit ("SHU") and lost 36 days of earned good time credits. Plaintiff's administrative appeal was denied.

Plaintiff filed a habeas corpus petition in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, seeking the restoration of the 36 days good time credits or, in the alternative, judicial review of the December 3, 2009 video tape and an evidentiary hearing. On October 20, 2011, the petition was transferred to Western District of Louisiana. On April 16, 2012, United States Magistrate Judge James D. Kirk issued a Report and Recommendation recommending that the habeas petition be denied with prejudice. Marino v. Schult, 2012 WL 2133630 (W.D. La. Apr. 16, 2012). Magistrate Judge Kirk summarized plaintiff's section 2241 claims as follows:

1. DHO Officer Ryan violated Marino's due process rights by precluding Marino from receiving core exculpatory material evidence at his DHO hearing to prove the critical 10 gallons of "unknown liquid" depicted in the BOP's first incident report (#1950877) supports the BOP's second incident report (#1951307) issued 2 full days later, which was false, misleading, inaccurate and should be expunged, since Marino was denied an opportunity to confront and refute the evidence.
2. DHO Officer Ryan violated Marino's right to due process and his liberty interest by failing to allow Marino to call witnesses CO/Joe Smith in his defense.
3. DHO Officer Ryan's preclusion to review the critical video tape of Mohawk-B Unit at FCl-Ray Brook in New York, from 8 a.m. through 2 p.m. on December 3, 2009, which data showed the second incident report (# 1951307) dated December 5, 2009 to be inaccurate and false since the 10 gallons of then "unknown liquid" could not have logically turned into intoxicant 2 days later when it did not exist and it was already deemed "unknown liquid" in the first incident report (#1950877) by BOP staff and thus was not available for further testing.
4. BOP/DOJ staff retaliated against Marino when the BOP staff intentionally manipulated Marino's security level points from 11 points (low level security institution) to 24 points (high level security institution), which adversely affects Marino, placing Marino over 500 miles away from his home, and again retaliated against Marino by placing Marino on the "BOP's Diesel Therapy Program" by putting him in transit without his legal mail and legal property from December 3, 2009 to February 12, 2010 through July 13, 2010, so Marino did not receive his legal mail and legal material until August 2010 (eight months).
5. The DHO officer's failure to dismiss the BOP's second incident report (# 1952307) due to untimely service, in violation of Policy Statement 5270.07 Chapter 2, page 3, subsection I, and CFR 541.11 is refuted by the BOP's first incident report (# 1950877), in violation of Marino's right to due process and liberty interest, since Marino lost 36 days of earned good time credit.
6. The BOP's intentional delay of over 6 months to respond to Marino's BP-l1 (#570917-Al) was excessive and required review or dismissal of the second incident report (# 19513077).

Id. at *1-*2. On June 12, 2012, United States District Judge James T. Trimble denied the petition and dismissed it with prejudice for the reasons set forth in Magistrate Judge Kirk's Report and Recommendation. Marino v. Schult, 2012 WL 2126944 (W.D. La. June 12, 2012).

On March 23, 2012 plaintiff filed the instant civil rights action.[1] As Magistrate Judge Treece observes: "Plaintiff re-alleged, nearly verbatim, the claims he raised in his federal habeas petition... and further expounded upon those claims adding additional facts and allegations, and naming several new Defendants." The causes of action in the complaint before this Court are as follows[2]:

First Cause of Action
The willful, intentional actions of Defendants: Watts, Schult, Helms, Poirier, Ryan, Sepanek, Lucas, Smith, & several John & Jane Does 1-20, all conspired together with each other & others known & unknown BOP/DOJ employees to file a false SECOND INCIDENT REPORT #1951307, used to take 36 days of earned good time jail credits from Marino, as retaliation for Marino exercising his First Amendment's Freedom of Speech & Fifth & Sixth Amendment's Due Process as described supra. Also violating the 8th Amendment's Cruel & Unusual Punishment without due process of law.
Second Cause of Action
The willful & intentional actions of Defendants: Watts, Schult, Helms, Poirier, Ryan, Sepanek, Lucas, Smith & several John & Jane Does 1-20, all conspired together with each other & others known & unknown to retaliate against Marino for leaving Marino in FCI Ray Brook's SHU without access to flush the toilet, without access to control the lights, without a shower, without clean linen & clothes without his legal work & legal mail, over 2 months over his sanctioned DHO time in violations of the First Amendment's Freedom of Speech, Fifth & Sixth Amendment's Due Process failing to allow Marino the use of the Administrative Remedy Process, and in violations of the Eighth Amendment's Cruel & Unusual Punishment of the United States Constitution leaving Marino in SHU for over 2 months for a false INCIDENT REPORT TWO #1951307.
Third Cause of Action
The willful & intentional actions of Defendants: Watts, Schult, Helms, Ryan, Sepanek, Lucas, Smith, Poirier, & several John & Jane Does 1-20, retaliated against Marino by taking Marino's Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Book on December 3, 2009, over 600 books Commissary bought United States Postage Stamps bought 3 books per week for the past 13-14 years at various prison commissaries as the commissary records so supports, taking Marino's 300 commissary bought fish, seizing Marino's legal mail & legal work preventing Marino from access to the courts, in violations ...

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