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Al-Bukhari v. Semple

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

February 22, 2019

JA-QURE AL-BUKHARI a/k/a JEROME RIDDICK, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER SEMPLE, ET AL., Defendants.

          RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS

          STEFAN R. UNDERHILL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Ja-Qure Al-Bukhari (“Al-Bukhari”), a/k/a Jerome Riddick, is currently confined in the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution. He initiated this action in 2015 by filing a complaint against six employees of the State of Connecticut Department of Correction regarding his confinement in administrative segregation at Garner Correctional Institution (“Garner”) from March 2014 to March 2015. See Compl., ECF No. 1.

         On August 15, 2017, Al-Bukhari filed a fourth amended complaint asserting twenty-eight counts against an assistant attorney general, the Department of Correction and thirty-nine of its employees. See Fourth Am. Compl., ECF No. 66. On May 31, 2018, Al-Bukhari moved to withdraw counts, nineteen through twenty-eight of the fourth amended complaint, which pertain to violations and the enforcement of the March 2014 Settlement Agreement and the 2015 Clarification of the terms of the Agreement. On June 5, 2018, the court granted the motion to withdraw. See Order, ECF No. 118. On August 16, 2018, the court dismissed Count Eighteen, which also pertains to violations and the enforcement of the March 2014 Settlement Agreement and the 2015 Clarification of the terms of the Agreement, to be pursued together with Counts Nineteen through Twenty-Eight, in Riddick v. Semple, et al., No. 3:16-cv-1769 (SRU). See Order of Deconsolidation and Dismissal of Claims, ECF No. 124 at 3-4. In addition, the court dismissed Counts Five through Nine, which relate to the alleged deprivations of Al-Bukhari's First Amendment right to practice his Muslim religion, to be pursued in Al-Bukhari v. Connecticut Department Correction, et al., No. 3:16-cv-1267 (SRU). See Id. at 4-5.

         On September 21, 2018, the court granted in part the defendants' motion to dismiss addressed to Counts Ten, Eleven, Fourteen, Fifteen and Seventeen of the fourth amended complaint. The court granted the motion with respect to the claim for monetary damages against the defendants in their official capacities, the Eighth Amendment claim of food tampering against Officer Punter in Count Ten, the state law claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress against Officers Punter, Bernard and McGoldrich in Count Ten, the First Amendment retaliation claim asserted against Correctional Treatment Officer Taranovich and Lieutenant Eberle in Count Fourteen, the First Amendment retaliation claim asserted against Warden Falcone in Count Fifteen and the First Amendment claim asserted on behalf of other inmates in Count Seventeen, and denied the motion in all other respects. See Ruling Mot. Dismiss, ECF No. 125, at 26.

         The following counts and claims in the fourth amended complaint remain pending: Counts One through Four; Counts Eleven through Thirteen, which pertain to Al-Bukhari's placement in Administrative Segregation at Cheshire Correctional Institution (“Cheshire”) and Garner in 2014 and 2015 and the conditions of confinement in Administrative Segregation at Cheshire, Garner and Northern Correctional Institution (“Northern”), including mental health treatment, during a period from March 2014 to August 2017; the claim in Count Fourteen that pertains to the issuance of a disciplinary report for security tampering on May 22, 2015 at Garner by Correctional Treatment Officer Taranovich, the failure of Dr. Guerrero and Social Workers Kuzebski, John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 to evaluate Al-Bukhari prior to the disciplinary hearing to determine whether his mental health issues played a part in his having engaged in misbehavior and the finding of guilt and imposition of sanctions by Lieutenant Eberle after the disciplinary hearing; and the claim in Count Seventeen that pertains to the decision made by Warden Falcone, on December 11, 2014 at Garner, to deny Al-Bukhari possession of his “Black Men” publication because the publication was sexually explicit. Those claims and counts proceed against defendants Semple, Quiros, Burns, Falcone, Erfe, Maldonado, Cournoyer, Mulligan, Faneuff, Molden, Hein, Dilworth, Robles, Mitchell, Johnson, McDaniels, Eberle, Calderon, Verrastro, Taranovich, Gerbino, Cartwright, Gagne, Frayne, Guerrero, Perelmutter, Brown, Simo-Kinzer, Doe 1, Doe 2 and Kubeski, in their individual capacities. See Id. at 17-18, 24-25, 27.

         Al-Bukhari has filed a motion for order to show cause, three motions for temporary restraining order, two motions for preliminary injunction, a motion for appointment of counsel, a motion for extension of time to file a reply, a motion for copies, a motion for default, a motion to preserve evidence and a motion for extension of time to conduct discovery. For the reasons set forth below, the motions are denied.

         I. Social Worker John Doe 1 and Social Worker John Doe 2

         As indicated above, the case proceeds with respect to the claim in Count Fourteen against Social Worker John Doe 1 and Social Worker John Doe 2. In the conclusion of the ruling on the motion to dismiss, the court informed Al-Bukhari that he must provide the court with the first and last names for Social Workers John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 in order to enable the U.S. Marshal to serve them with a copy of the Fourth Amended Complaint. See Id. at 27. The court cautioned Al-Bukhari that failure to provide the necessary service information within thirty days would result in dismissal of the action against Doe defendants pursuant to Rule 4(m), Fed. R. Civ. P.

         Over three months since the court's ruling on the motion to dismiss has elapsed and Al-Bukhari has not provided the court with the first and last names of the Social Worker John Doe 1 or Social Worker John Doe 2. Nor has he sought an extension of time to ascertain the names of the John Doe Social Workers. Accordingly, the claims against the Doe defendants are dismissed without prejudice pursuant to Rule 4(m), Fed. R. Civ. P.

         II. Emergency Motions for Order to Show Cause, Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary Injunction and for Extension of Time to File a Reply [ECF Nos. 101, 102, 112]

         On March 9, 2018, Al-Bukhari filed a motion seeking an order to show cause, a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction and on March 14, 2018, Al-Bukhari filed a motion seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. The motions are essentially identical. The court notes that Al-Bukhari filed the same motions in six other cases in this court. See Al-Bukhari v. Connecticut Department Correction, et al., No. 3:16-cv-53 (SRU); Al-Bukhari v. Maurer, et al., No. 3:16-cv-2009 (SRU); Al-Bukhari v. Connecticut Department Correction, et al., No. 3:16-cv-1267 (SRU); Al-Bukhari v. Semple, et al., No. 3:18-cv-313 (SRU); Al-Bukhari v. Semple, et al., No. 3:18-cv-408 (SRU). On March 29, 2018, the defendants filed a memorandum in opposition to the motions for an order to show cause, for a temporary restraining order and for a preliminary injunction.

         Al-Bukhari claims that in early March 2018, Captains Walsh and Salius, who are employed at Walker Correctional Institution (“Walker”), denied or interfered with his right to contact and communicate with attorneys who worked for the Inmate Legal Aid Program (“ILAP”). He contends that Captains Salius and Walsh hindered his access to telephone calls in retaliation for his filing of three federal lawsuits in February and March 2018 against Department of Correction employees and for sending written requests regarding conditions of confinement at Walker to Commissioner Semple and Director Burns. He seeks an order prohibiting prison staff at Walker from restricting his ability to communicate by telephone with attorneys, paralegals and legal assistants at ILAP and an order requiring prison official at Walker to permit him to use the “non-inmate” telephones as well as inmate telephones to call ILAP.

         In their response to the motions for injunctive relief, the defendants state that during most of December 2017 and January and February 2018 Al-Bukhari had been sanctioned to loss of telephone privileges. See Defs.' Mem. Opp'n Mots. TRO & Prelim. Inj., Ex. A., [ECF No. 107-1], Mulligan Aff. ¶ 5. Despite that fact, prison officials at Walker permitted Al-Bukhari to make thirty-six legal telephone calls to ILAP from December 2017 until the end of February 2018 and four legal calls during March 2018. See id., Ex. A, Mulligan Aff. ¶¶ 5-6, 11-13; Ex. B., ECF No. 107-2.

         As indicated above, the remaining claims in the fourth amended complaint pertain to Al-Bukhari's placement in Administrative Segregation at Cheshire and Garner in 2014 and 2015 and the conditions of confinement in Administrative Segregation at Cheshire, Garner and Northern, including mental health treatment, during a period from March 2014 to August 2017. The defendants who remain in the action are employed at Garner, Cheshire and Northern. Neither Captain Walsh, nor Captain Salius are defendants in this action and there are no allegations in the fourth amended ...


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