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Petaway v. Osden

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 26, 2019

WILLIAM PETAWAY, Plaintiff,
v.
JACLYN OSDEN, et al. Defendants.

          RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Sentenced to twelve and a half years in prison on August 19, 2005, Judgment, Def. Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. A, ECF No. 111-5 at 5, William Petaway (“Plaintiff”) obtained his release from incarceration on July of 2016, in part, because of sentence-reducing credits.[1] Compl., ECF No. 1, at 9.

         On January 3, 2017, Mr. Petaway, pro se, filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his sentence should have been reduced further and that the State of Connecticut (the “State”) wrongfully continued to confine him in violation of his constitutional rights. Compl. at 9-10.

         Defendants now move for summary judgment. Def. Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 111.[2]

         For the reasons discussed below, the Court now GRANTS Defendants' motion for summary judgment, ECF No. 111.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations

         On August 19, 2005, having been convicted of Robbery in the First Degree, in violation of Connecticut General Statute 53a-134(a)(4), Mr. Petaway received a prison term of 150 months. State v. Petaway, NNH -CR04-0028093-T (J. Gold) (Aug. 19, 2005); Conn. Gen. Stat. 53a-134(a)(4). He received credit for jail time served, resulting in a sentence scheduled to run until August of 2017. Judgment.

         Three years into his sentence, Mr. Petaway was allegedly transferred to the Rhode Island Department of Corrections under the terms of the New England Interstate Corrections Compact. Compl. at 6; see also Conn. Gen. Stat. 18-102 (“The party states . . . declare that it is the policy of each of the party states to provide such facilities and programs on a basis of cooperation with one another, thereby serving the best interests of such offenders and of society and effecting economies in capital expenditures and operational costs.”).

         While incarcerated in Rhode Island, Mr. Petaway allegedly received several disciplinary infractions, known as “bookings.” Compl. at 6-7. Allegedly, Rhode Island correctional officials did not give Mr. Petaway written copies of his bookings or the evidence relied upon by prison officials, or officials' reasons for finding Mr. Petaway in violation of their rules. Compl. at 7. Rhode Island correctional officials allegedly transmitted information about Mr. Petaway's bookings to correctional officials in Connecticut. Compl. at 8. Based upon those reports, Connecticut officials allegedly reduced Mr. Petaway's “good time” credits. Compl. 8-9. Mr. Petaway alleges that had his “‘good time' not been taken, or had it been returned, [he] would [have] been released in May 2016[.]” Compl. at 9.

         Mr. Petaway obtained his release from prison in July 2016. Compl. at 9.

         B. Procedural Background

         On January 3, 2017, Mr. Petaway sued prison officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Compl. at 9-10. On February 3, 2017, the Court granted Mr. Petaway leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Order Granting Mot. for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis, ECF No. 7.

         On July 25, 2017, Defendants answered Mr. Petaway's Complaint. Answer, ECF No. 28. On October 17, 2017, Defendants filed a corrected Answer. Corrected Answer, ECF No. 68.

         On December 14, 2018, Defendants moved for summary judgment. Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 111. In support of this motion, Defendants submitted the following: (1) “time sheets” detailing Mr. Petaway's earned and forfeited risk reduction credits and disciplinary infractions, id., Ex. B; (2) the affidavit of Correctional Counselor Supervisor Heidi Palliardi, allegedly the final Connecticut approver of two Rhode Island disciplinary reports, Affidavit of Heidi Palliardi (“Palliardi Aff.”), id., Ex. C at 1-9; (3) records of Mr. Petaway's disciplinary infractions and sanctions, Connecticut Department of Correction Disciplinary Records for William Petaway (“Petaway Disciplinary Records”), id., Ex. C at 12-81; (4) the affidavit of Correctional Counselor Supervisor Jaclyn Osden, allegedly the final Connecticut approver of two Rhode Island disciplinary reports, Affidavit of Jaclyn Osden (“Osden Aff.”), id., Ex. D; (5) Rhode Island Department of Corrections disciplinary policy documents, id., Ex. E; (6) Connecticut Department of Correction risk reduction earned credit policy documents, id., Ex. F; (7) the affidavit of Correctional Officer Andrezej Iciak, who allegedly converted cassette tapes to MP3 files for this case at the request of the Connecticut Attorney General's office, id., Ex. G, and a letter regarding the sending of those recordings to Mr. Petaway, id.; and (8) documents related to the denial of Mr. Petaway's application for restoration of risk reduction earned credit, id., Ex. H.

         On April 18, 2019, the Court held a hearing on the motion for summary judgment. Motion Hearing, Minute Entry, ECF No. 126.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         In a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must establish that no genuine issues of material fact remain in dispute and that it is “entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A fact is “material” if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law” and a factual issue is “genuine” if “a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party” based on it. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In reviewing the record, a court must “construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in its favor.” Gary Friedrich Enters., L.L.C. v. Marvel Characters, Inc., 716 F.3d 302, 312 (2d Cir.2013) (citations omitted).

         When a motion for summary judgment is supported by documentary evidence and sworn affidavits, the nonmoving party must do more than speculate or vaguely assert the existence of unspecified disputed material facts. Au New Haven, LLC v. YKK Corp., No. 1:15-cv-3411-GHW-SN, 2019 WL 1437516, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2019)(“To create a disputed fact sufficient to deny summary judgment, the non-moving party must produce evidence in the record and ‘may not rely simply on conclusory statements or on contentions that the affidavits supporting the motion are not credible . . . .' Instead, the response ‘must set forth specific facts demonstrating that there is a genuine issue for trial.'”)(quoting Wright v. Goord, 554 F.3d 255, 266 (2d Cir. 2009)(“When a motion for summary judgment is properly supported by documents or other evidentiary materials, the party opposing summary judgment may not merely rest on the ...


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