United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge.
has filed a motion for reconsideration with respect to that
part of the Court's initial review order (Doc. #17) that
dismissed plaintiff's claim against his federal probation
officer, Robert Bouffard, in connection with Bouffard's
placement of plaintiff at the home of ChiChi Hernandez.
Because I conclude that plaintiff has not alleged any facts
or law that would justify granting reconsideration, I will
deny the motion for reconsideration.
motion relies on Jacobs v. Ramirez, 400 F.3d 105 (2d
Cir. 2005) (per curiam), a case involving the duty
of a parole or probation officer with respect to a
supervisee's residential placement. Although
Jacobs makes clear that a parole or probation
officer indeed has a duty of care to a supervisee, my prior
decision did not rely on the absence of any duty of care. To
the contrary, I concluded that plaintiff's complaint
sounded in negligence, rather than any intentional or
malicious effort by defendant Bouffard to do plaintiff harm.
Second Circuit has made clear, a plaintiff who is in the
custody of government officials and who seeks to prove a
special-relationship or state-created danger claim under the
Constitution's Due Process Clause “must show that
the officers' behavior was so egregious, so outrageous,
that it may fairly be said to shock the contemporary
conscience.” Matican v. City of New York, 524
F.3d 151, 155 (2d Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and
to the Second Circuit, “this requirement screens out
all but the most significant constitutional violations, lest
the Constitution be demoted to . . . a font of tort
law.” Ibid. (internal quotation marks and
light of the liberal standards that are accorded to a pro
se pleading, plaintiff has not alleged any facts to
suggest that Bouffard's conduct meets this
conscience-shocking constitutional standard. The facts
alleged in the complaint suggest at best that Bouffard was
negligent when he did not immediately honor plaintiff's
request for a change of residence. The complaint does not
allege that Bouffard ignored plaintiff or categorically
denied his request to move to a new residence. To the
contrary, Bouffard stated that he needed time to verify
plaintiff's new proposed residence and he “told the
plaintiff to just stick it out for a couple more days until
he checks out the new spot and approve[s] the move.”
Doc. #1-2 at 6.
not shock the conscience that a probation officer would wish
to verify a plaintiff's new proposed residence before
approving a move. Because Bouffard's conduct was not
conscience-shocking, plaintiff has failed to allege plausible
grounds for relief against him under the Due Process Clause.
In recent years, the Supreme Court has set forth a threshold
“plausibility” pleading standard for courts to
evaluate the adequacy of federal court complaints. A
complaint must allege enough facts-as distinct from legal
conclusions-that give rise to plausible grounds for relief.
See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). Notwithstanding the rule of liberal
interpretation of a pro se complaint, a pro
se complaint may not survive dismissal if its factual
allegations do not meet the basic plausibility standard.
See, e.g., Fowlkes v. Ironworkers Local 40,
790 F.3d 378, 387 (2d Cir. 2015). Plaintiff has not alleged
facts that give rise to plausible grounds for relief.
even assuming that plaintiff has alleged a plausible
prima facie claim for relief under the Due Process
Clause, he has not alleged facts that would overcome
Bouffard's entitlement to qualified immunity against a
claim for money damages. The doctrine of qualified immunity
protects government officials “from liability for civil
damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly
established statutory or constitutional rights of which a
reasonable person would have known.” Harlow v.
Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982); see also
Carroll v. Carman, 135 S.Ct. 348, 351 (2014). As the
Supreme Court has explained, “a defendant cannot be
said to have violated a clearly established right unless the
right's contours were sufficiently definite that any
reasonable official in the defendant's shoes would have
understood that he was violating it.” Plumhoff v.
Richard, 134 S.Ct. 2012, 2023 (2014); see also
McGowan v. United States, 825 F.3d 118, 124 (2d Cir.
2016) (outlining scope of qualified immunity inquiry).
in light of the complaint's acknowledgement that Bouffard
did not deny plaintiff's request for a transfer of
residence but asked only for a couple of days to verify his
new proposed residence, it is clear that Bouffard did not
violate any clearly established law. There is no clearly
established law that requires a probation officer to
immediately grant a supervisee's request for a change of
residence and without the probation officer's opportunity
to conduct a review of the suitability of the new proposed
because the complaint neither alleges a plausible claim for
relief against Bouffard nor alleges facts that would suffice
to overcome qualified immunity, the Court adheres to its
decision dismissing plaintiff's claim against Bouffard.
The Court DENIES plaintiff's motion for reconsideration.
 The Second Circuit's decision in
Jacobs v. Ramirez pre-dates the advent of the
“plausibility” standard as set forth above in the
Supreme Court's decisions in Twombly and
Iqbal. Accordingly, to the extent that the Second
Circuit in Jacobs applied a more “forgiving
standard” that required that “a complaint should
not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it
appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of
facts in support of his claim which would entitle him ...