United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON MOTION TO DISMISS [DKT.
Vanessa L. Bryant United States District Judge
Joseph Greene, Jr. (“Plaintiff” or
“Greene”) brings this unlawful employment
termination case against CLASP, Inc.
(“CLASP”) and Patricia Richards
“Defendants”). Plaintiff contends that CLASP as a
quasi-governmental entity and Richards acting in her official
capacity violated his Fourteenth Amendment procedural due
process rights and conspired with the Department of
Developmental Services (“DDS”) pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 in investigating, reporting, and
testifying about allegations of Plaintiff's sexual abuse
of a CLASP resident, which ultimately ended in
Plaintiff's termination. Before the Court is
Defendants' motion to dismiss. For the foregoing reasons,
the Court GRANTS the motion.
Court takes as true the allegations in the Second Amended
Complaint for the purposes of this motion, although it notes
the factual allegations are not set forth in chronological
order and fail to constitute short, plain statements as
required under Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. CLASP is a residential group home licensed and
funded by DDS. [Dkt. 29 (Second Am. Compl.) ¶ 11].
Defendant Patricia Richards was the Vice President of Quality
Assurance and Staff Training at the times relevant to this
case. Id. Greene was employed by CLASP as a
part-time Residential Instructor at the Westport, CT
facility. Id. ¶ 7. He worked for nine years on
a schedule where he started on Friday at 5:00 PM and ended on
Saturday at 12:00 PM. See Id. ¶ 17.
was alleged to have watched a CLASP resident “during
his private time” and encouraged him to engage in
sexual contact and conduct on October 3, 2014. Id.
¶¶ 13, 22. Greene denies this incident occurred.
Id. ¶ 24. Plaintiff alleges that prior to this
incident he had not been disciplined for improper or
untruthful behavior. Id. ¶ 160.
to Plaintiff, the resident “regularly engaged in random
and unjustified targeting of CLASP staff, ” which
included comments about violence targeted at staff and
statements that he would get staff fired. Id. ¶
162. The resident is purported to have a history of physical
and verbal aggression, threats of harm against others,
inappropriate sexual behavior, vulgar language, and repeating
the lyrics of sexually explicit rap songs. Id.
¶ 166. In addition, the resident previously received a
sanction for “obsessing about rap music, ”
verbalizing rap lyrics, using racial slurs, yelling and
swearing at residents and staff. Id. ¶ 169.
Residential instructors were required to prevent the resident
from taking personal time before he completed daily chores.
Id. ¶ 174.
October 10, 2014, Defendants initiated an investigation into
the purported sexual abuse. Id. ¶ 20. The
investigation entailed taking written statements from
employees and residents. Id. ¶ 21. The
Complaint alleges that “[s]ubsequently, DDS
substantiated abuse.” Id. ¶ 23. CLASP
thereafter referred Plaintiff's name to the DDS Abuse and
Neglect Registry (“Registry”). Id.
¶ 11. The Complaint alleges the police did not find
probable cause for sexual assault. Id. ¶ 192.
then received from the DDS a notice about a hearing to
determine whether his name should be placed on the DDS
Registry because of the October 3, 2014 incident.
Id. The hearing took place on September 25, 2015.
Id. ¶ 28. Defendant Richards testified that he
engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior on more than one
occasion. Id. ¶ 196. DDS concluded his name
should be placed on the Registry. Id. ¶ 30.
CLASP terminated his employment on October 29, 2016.
Id. ¶ 46.
Complaint alleges the placement of his name on the Registry
“imposed a stigma on the plaintiff that deprives the
plaintiff of any real opportunity to obtain other employment
in The Industry.” Id. ¶ 32. It also
alleges that a background check will reveal the following
information: that he “sexually abused a department
client while he was in his bedroom, by watching him during
his private time and encouraging him to engage in sexual
conduct and contact.” Id. ¶ 33. Greene
alleges that his personnel file is a public record under the
Connecticut Freedom of Information Act because he was a
“quasi-public sector employee.” Id.
alleges he was deprived his constitutionally protected
liberty interest without due process when Defendants caused
his name to be placed on the DDS Registry. Id.
¶ 1. Specifically, the Complaint alleges Greene was
entitled to either a pre-deprivation name-clearing hearing or
a post-deprivation hearing satisfying minimal due process
requirements. Id. ¶ 53. He contends he suffered
severe emotional distress and a loss of income and benefits
as a result of his placement on the Registry. Id.
¶¶ 51, 70-71. Plaintiff seeks declaratory,
injunctive, and equitable relief as well as attorney's
survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In
considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
the Court should follow a “two-pronged approach”
to evaluate the sufficiency of the complaint. Hayden v.
Paterson, 594 F.3d 150, 161 (2d Cir. 2010). “A
court ‘can choose to begin by identifying pleadings
that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not
entitled to the assumption of truth.'” Id.
(quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679). “At the
second step, a court should determine whether the
‘wellpleaded factual allegations, ' assumed to be
true, ‘plausibly give rise to an entitlement to
relief.'” Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679). “The plausibility standard is not akin to
a probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotations
general, the Court's review on a motion to dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) “is limited to the facts as
asserted within the four corners of the complaint, the
documents attached to the complaint as exhibits, and any
documents incorporated by reference.” McCarthy v.
Dun & Bradstreet Corp., 482 F.3d 184, 191 (2d Cir.
2007). The Court may also consider “matters of which
judicial notice may be taken” and “documents
either in plaintiffs' possession or of which ...