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Martinez v. Healey

United States District Court, S.D. New York

October 10, 2014

SABAS MARTINEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
PEGGY HEALEY et al., Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

NELSON S. ROMAN, District Judge.

Plaintiff, Sabas Martinez ("Plaintiff") commenced this action against Peggi Healy (misnamed as "Peggy Healey"), Erik Munro (misnamed as "Eric Monroe"), Joseph Malfatone, Collins Noel (misnamed as "Noel Collins"), Donna Lynn Mahoney, Joseph Wiggins (named as "Mr. Wiggins"), Donovan Scott (misnamed as "Scott Donovan"), "Miss Williams, " Michelle Brink (named as "Miss Brink"), Abraham David (misnamed as "David Abraham"), "Mr. Richard, " "Ms. Brite, " Joseph Segarra (named as "Mr. Segarra"), Kareem Hill (misnamed as "Corin Hill"), "Drs. John Doe, " and "Nurses John Doe" (collectively, "Defendants"), all in their individual and official capacities. Defendants are employees of the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center ("Mid-Hudson"), where Plaintiff, a prisoner at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility, was treated as a psychiatric inpatient while detained pretrial.

The New York State Office of Mental Health operates Mid-Hudson as a treatment center for individuals detained under New York State Criminal Procedure Law § 730. Mid-Hudson seeks to rehabilitate patients so they are fit to stand trial for criminal charges, and to care for patients found not responsible for criminal acts by reason of mental disease or defect and who are thought to be a danger to themselves or others. Antrobus v. Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatrick Ctr., No. 11-cv-7411, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27786, at *1-2 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 27, 2013).

Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated while a patient at Mid-Hudson. In summary, Plaintiff alleges that he was deprived of the right to: (1) telephone calls; (2) religious services; (3) the library, mail, and writing; and (4) exercise, recreation, and other amenities. Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, and for that reason, the Court accords the complaint leniency and construes it to raise the strongest claims and arguments it suggests. Pabon v. Wright, 459 F.3d 241, 248 (2d Cir. 2006).

Defendants Healy, Munro, Malfatone, Noel, Wiggins, Scott, Brink, David, Segarra, and Hill now jointly move to dismiss all claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). This Court grants the motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) and dismisses all claims against the moving defendants for the reasons stated below. Likewise, the Court dismisses sua sponte all claims against any non-moving defendants, to the extent that Plaintiff has correctly named such parties, pursuant to the Court's authority under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Accordingly, this action is dismissed in its entirety.

I. COMPLAINT

By complaint filed January 13, 2014 (dkt. no. 2 ("Compl.")), Plaintiff alleges that from September 17, 2013 through at least December 17, 2013, while a patient at Mid-Hudson, he was mistreated in several ways. First, he claims he was not permitted to make telephone calls on several occasions. He claims defendants Noel and Wiggins prevented him from using the telephone on October 28. Compl. at 7. He claims defendants Malfatone, David, Noel, Brink, and Segarra prevented him from using the telephone for two weeks, beginning November 13, "based upon unlawful acts of racial discrimination, unhuman [sic] degrading treatment, mental and psychological abuse." Id. at 7-8. He claims he was not permitted to use the telephone on December 14. Id. at 9.

Second, Plaintiff claims he was denied the opportunity to attend Catholic services on September 17, October 22, October 26, October 29, and November 19. Id. at 7-8. He claims he was denied the opportunity to attend services conducted in Spanish on October 5 by unidentified "public servants" and by the "senior in charge, " and on November 12 by unidentified "housing aids." Id. at 7. He claims he was denied the opportunity to attend a religious program either on November 26 or November 27. Id. at 8.

Third, Plaintiff makes a variety of other potential First Amendment claims. He contends he was denied access to the law library on November 12, December 10, December 14, and December 17. Id. at 7, 9. He claims defendant Malfatone denied his access to the library on December 17. Id. at 9. He claims he was deprived of a pen and paper to write to his family and the court, and that, as of November 19, he was "still not able to use pen and paper." Id. at 8. He claims that on November 26, defendant David withheld his mail for three weeks. Id.

Fourth, Plaintiff claims he was denied the opportunity to exercise from October 13 to November 8, and again on November 12. Id. at 7. He claims defendant Malfatone prevented him from exercising or filing a grievance on either November 26 or November 27. Id. at 8. He claims he was denied recreation on December 9, for ten days starting December 14, and also on December 17. Id. at 8-9. He claims that on December 14, he was threatened by staff and denied a razor for more than ten days. Id. at 9.

II. MOTION TO DISMISS STANDARD

On a motion to dismiss for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, " Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), dismissal is proper unless the complaint "contain[s] sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); accord Hayden v. Paterson, 594 F.3d 150, 160 (2d Cir. 2010). "Although for the purposes of a motion to dismiss [a court] must take all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true, [it is] not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations." Id. at 679.

When there are well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint, "a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Id. A claim is facially plausible when the factual content pleaded allows a court "to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. at 678. Ultimately, determining whether a complaint states a facially plausible claim upon which relief may be granted must be ...


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