United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER AMENDING INITIAL REVIEW ORDER [DOC.
Charles S. Haight, Jr. Senior United States District Judge.
Court, by its Initial Review Order ("IRO") [Doc.
12], completed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915a, allowed
certain of the constitutional civil rights claims made by
pro se Plaintiff Jesse Campbell III in his Complaint
[Doc. 1] to move forward against all Defendants, in their
individual and official capacities. On April 19, 2018, the
Court entered, sua sponte, an Order [Doc. 23]
directing the Parties to respond as to the impact of
Plaintiff's resentencing on this matter. Familiarity with
the IRO and the April 19 Order is assumed.
and Defendants have filed responses regarding the impact of the
resentencing, and I will now evaluate the effect of
Plaintiff's resentencing on his claims in this Court.
See Pl. Resp., Doc. 26; Defs.' Am. Resp., Doc.
represents that his resentencing has mooted two aspects of
his claims: 1) his Fourteenth Amendment due process claim as
to the continued application of the out-of-cell
restraint policy on his person, because, following
resentencing, that policy is not longer applied to him; and
2) his Fourteenth Amendment equal protection claim as to the
imposition of the out-of-cell restraint policy on the class
of death row prisoners who have yet to be resentenced,
because, following his resentencing, he is no longer a member
of that class. See Pl.'s Resp. at 4, 6.
agree with Plaintiff that his Fourteenth Amendment equal
protection claim as to the imposition of the out-of-cell
restraint policy on the class of death row prisoners who have
yet to be resentenced is moot." Defs.' Am. Resp. at 2.
Additionally, Defendants assert that:
Plaintiff's resentencing also has the effect of rendering
moot his claim for prospective relief arising from his equal
protection claim related to employment. Since plaintiff is no
longer a member of the class of death row inmates, no equal
protection claim based on membership in that class can form
the basis of prospective relief.
Id. at 3. Defendants represent that
"Plaintiff's resentencing does not otherwise
directly impact the remaining claims." Id. at
Amended Response mis-characterizes Plaintiff's equal
protection claim as to access to prison employment.
Prior to Plaintiff's resentencing, this Court
As to access to prison employment, Campbell does not
state a plausible claim for a class-based equal protection
violation against the purported class of death row prisoners
who have yet to be resentenced. . . . Where both resentenced
former death row inmates (Peeler, Cobb, and Reynolds) and an
inmate still awaiting resentencing (Rizzo) have been afforded
the employment Plaintiff claims to have been denied, there is
no plausible claim that the alleged denial is based on
Plaintiff's membership in the class of death row inmates
Doc. 12, at 10-11 (emphasis added). However, Plaintiff
did state an equal protection claim as to denial of
prison employment, on a class-of-one theory. Id. at
class-of-one theory, a plaintiff must allege that "she
[or he] has been intentionally treated differently from
others similarly situated and that there is no rational basis
for the difference in treatment." Vill. of
Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S. 562, 564 (2000). The
plaintiff must allege an "extremely high degree of
similarity" with the person to whom he is comparing
himself. Clubside, Inc. v. Valentin, 468
F.3d 144, 159 (2d Cir. 2006) (citation omitted).
"Generally, whether parties are similarly situated is a
fact-intensive inquiry." Id. (citing Harlen
Assocs. v. Inc. Vill. of Mineola, 273 F.3d 494, 499 n. 2
(2d Cir. 2001).
Court's IRO concluded that Plaintiff had adequately
stated an equal protection claim on a class-of-one theory,
based, in part, on a comparison to death row inmate Todd
Joseph Rizzo, who, like Plaintiff (at that time), had yet to
be resentenced. IRO at 10-13.
post-resentencing Response argues that:
The Plaintiff's resentencing has not affected his
Fourteenth Amendment equal protection claim [as to lack of
employment] because the Plaintiff has been sentenced, and
placed on life with special circumstances where former death
row prisoners Richard Reynolds and Daniel Webb have jobs
(Richard Reynolds is the barber and Daniel Webb is the
librarian)[.] Plaintiff doesn't have a job even though