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Moore v. Chapdelaine

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 31, 2018

JOE MOORE, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLE CHAPDELAINE, ET AL., Defendants.

          RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Joe Moore (“Mr. Moore” or “Plaintiff”) filed this Complaint on May 21, 2015, alleging a violation of his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because of his sex treatment need score. Mr. Moore is currently incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, and proceeds pro se. Compl., ECF No. 1. The initial Complaint named only Warden Carole Chapdelaine as a defendant. Compl. at 1.

         Following an amendment to the Complaint and other activity, including the dismissal of Chapdelaine and the addition and dismissal of other defendants, the remaining defendants have moved for summary judgment, arguing that Mr. Moore was not denied due process in connection with his classification, Defendants did not assign his sex offender classification score, Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity, and the claim is time-barred. Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 43.

         For the reasons that follow, Defendants' motion is GRANTED.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations

         In January 1996, Mr. Moore pled guilty to a charge of selling illegal drugs and a risk of injury charge, related to an incident that occurred in 1993. Pl.'s Obj. to Mot. Summ. J., Moore Aff. ¶ 6, ECF No. 46-2. He served his sentence and, in 2003, was released on probation. Id. ¶ 7. In 2007, Mr. Moore served time again: he was “briefly incarcerated on a misdemeanor drug possession charge, ” and then released on probation. Id. ¶ 8. In July 2009, while on probation, Mr. Moore faced another criminal charge, for bank robbery. Id. ¶ 9. Sentenced on December 14, 2010, Mr. Moore is currently serving a thirty-four year sentence for robbery in the first degree based for that crime. Def.'s 56(A)(1) statement ¶ 1, ECF No. 43-2 (citing http://www.ctinmateinfo.state.ct.us/detailsupv.asp?idinmtnum=10072).

         While in prison, Mr. Moore received discipline for public indecency on August 29, 1991, for masturbating during a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in the presence of fifty inmates. Id. ¶ 25. On January 1, 1992, Mr. Moore pled guilty to a sexual misconduct disciplinary charge for masturbating in the presence of a correctional officer. Id. ¶ 26. On April 18, 1992, Mr. Moore pled guilty to a disciplinary report for public indecency for holding his penis and caressing himself. Id. ¶ 27. On May 8, 1992, Mr. Moore made sexual advances toward a female staff member, who refused his advances; he persisted, and she directed him to leave the room. Id. ¶ 28. On October 20, 1994, Mr. Moore pled guilty to a disciplinary report for public indecency for staring at a correctional officer and caressing his penis which was out of his pants and erect. Id. ¶ 29.

         On December 1, 1997, Mr. Moore pled guilty to a disciplinary charge for public indecency when an officer witnesses him playing with his penis in full view. Id. ¶ 30. On October 27, 1998, Mr. Moore pled guilty to a disciplinary charge for public indecency for exposing and fondling himself in front of a correctional officer whenever the officer approached his cell door during every scheduled and unscheduled tour of the housing unit the officer made over a two-week period. Id. ¶ 31. On May 3, 1999, Mr. Moore pled guilty to a disciplinary charge for public indecency for exposing himself to a correctional officer and masturbating. Id. ¶ 32. On April 17, 2007, Mr. Moore received discipline again, having been found guilty of assault for slapping a correctional officer on the buttocks as he walked by her. Id. ¶ 33.

         Mr. Moore alleges that he participated in a “Track 1 Sex Offender Program, ” beginning on October 12, 2000, and ending on November 1, 2001, and that he has never been convicted for sexual assault. Am. Compl. ¶ 5. He also alleges that Counselor Wright required him to complete this program and told him that, if he did, he would be released on parole as a result, which he claims he was not. Id.

         On August 30, 2011, Mr. Moore received an offender accountability plan. Def.'s 56(A)(1) statement ¶ 37. Defendant Weldon did not participate in writing the plan. Id. The staff member who created the plan, indicated “S1” on it, a referral to mental health to determine whether Mr. Moore should take the sex offender track 1 program. Id. ¶ 38.

         Mr. Moore alleges that, on January 20, 2015, he met with Counselor Aubey, “the Counselor for L-pod at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution (at the time) to discuss an unrelated matter with him.” Pl.'s 56(A)(1) statement ¶ 11. During the meeting, Mr. Moore claims that he noticed on his records a classification of “S1, ” which Counselor Aubey explained was a sex offender score. Id. ¶¶ 12-13. Mr. Moore alleges that Counselor Aubey was not a member of the mental health staff, and that the information on Counselor Aubey's computer was available to many members of the Department of Corrections staff. Id. ¶¶ 14-15.

         Mr. Moore alleges that he sent “several letters to the Defendant Doctor Coleman seeking a copy of his mental health file.” Am. Compl. ¶ 1. On February 10, 2015, Counselor Rosario responded that Mr. Moore should stop writing to Dr. Coleman, and that, if he wanted to obtain his mental health file, he should submit a request for a chart review. Id. On June 18, 2015, Dr. Coleman explained to Mr. Moore that his sex offender level was not a mental health classification issue, and directed him instead to Ms. Redden, the Director of the Sex Offender Program. Id. ¶ 4.

         On June 23, 2015, Mr. Moore allegedly met with Defendants Redden and Dutkeiwicz to discuss the status of his sex treatment needs score. Pl.'s Obj. to Mot. Summ. J., Pl. Affidavit ¶ 18; Am. Compl. ¶ 2. Those Defendants allegedly explained to Mr. Moore that his “sister had been arrested on a prostitution charge, ” and that he had a “substantial number of masturbation tickets and said, ‘You have a problem.'” Pl.'s Obj. to Mot. Summ. J., Pl. Affidavit ¶¶ 20-21. Mr. Moore allegedly told Mr. Redden that he had not received a ticket for masturbation in more than fifteen years, and “she stated, ‘I don't care, I'm not changing your score.'” Id. ¶ 22. In Mr. Moore's case, he had been convicted for risk of injury to a minor, but the charges for sexual assault in the first degree and sexual assault in the fourth degree had been nolled. Def.'s 56(A)(1) statement ¶ 4. Prison officials removed the S1 designation from Mr. Moore's offender accountability plan on July 7, 2015, after verifying that Mr. Moore had completed the sex offender track 1 program. Id. ¶ 43.

         B. Sex Treatment Need Scores

         All Connecticut inmates are assigned risk scores and needs scores. Id. ¶ 5. Risk scores encompass escape, the severity or violence of the current offense, history of violence, length of sentence, existence of pending charges or a detainer, disciplinary history, and security risk group affiliation. Id. Needs scores are assigned for medical needs, mental health needs, educational needs, vocational or work skills, the need for substance abuse treatment, the need for sex treatment and the need for community resources. Id. Risk scores range from a low of “1” to a high of “5” for severity or violence of the current offense, history of violence, the presence of pending charges or detainers, and security risk group affiliation. Id. ¶ 6. All other risk scores range from a low of “1” to a high of “4.” Id. Needs scores all range from a low of “1” to a high of “5.” Id. ¶ 7. Each inmate is assigned an overall risk level that is determined by the inmate's highest risk score. Id. ¶ 8. The overall risk score determines the inmate's place of confinement. Id. ¶ 9. Needs scores, other than the sex treatment need score, do not affect the inmate's overall risk level. Id. ¶ 10. If an inmate is serving a sentence for a sex-related offense, he may not be classified below overall risk level “3” without the prior approval of the Commissioner or his designee. Id.

         Mr. Moore has the following risk scores: escape “2, ” length of confinement “4, ” severity or violence of current offense “4, ” history of violence “1, ” presence of pending charges or a detainer “1, ” disciplinary history “1, ” and security risk group affiliation “1.” Id. ¶ 11. His overall risk score therefore is “4.” Id. Mr. Moore's needs scores are: medical “3, ” mental health “3, ” education “3, ” vocational or work skills “3, ” substance abuse treatment “4, ” sex treatment “3, ” and community resources “1.” Id. ¶ 12.

         Sex treatment need scores are assigned using the Department of Correction Classification Manual. Id. ¶ 13. A score of “1” indicates no current conviction, pending charges or identified history of sexual offenses. Id. ¶ 14. A score of “5” indicates a current conviction, pending charges or known history of sexual ...


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