United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE: DEFENDANTS’ MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
A. DOOLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, James Laboy (“Laboy”), commenced this
civil rights action asserting claims for violation of his
constitutional and statutory rights against the defendants,
school principal Beaulieu and school area officer Brown.
Following the Court’s, Thompson, D.J., initial review,
two claims remained: (1) a due process claim arising from his
removal from the school program; and (2) a claim that the
defendants violated his rights under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101,
et seq., and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
(“RA”), 29 U.S.C. § 794(a), by dismissing
him from the school program for medical issues relating to
his disability. The defendants filed a motion for summary
judgment to which Laboy objected. For the following reasons,
the defendants’ motion is GRANTED.
motion for summary judgment may be granted only where there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Rule 56(a),
Fed. R. Civ. P.; see also Redd v. New York Div. of
Parole, 678 F.3d 166, 173-74 (2d Cir. 2012). “When
the nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial,
the moving party can satisfy its burden at summary judgment
by ‘pointing out to the district court’ the
absence of a genuine dispute with respect to any essential
element of its opponent’s case: ‘a complete
failure of proof concerning an essential element of the
nonmoving party’s case necessarily renders all other
facts immaterial.’” Cohane v. National
Collegiate Athletic Ass’n, 612 F. App’x 41,
43 (2d Cir. 2015) (quoting Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)).
the moving party meets this burden, the nonmoving party must
set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial. Wright v. Goord, 554 F.3d 255, 266
(2d Cir. 2009). He cannot “‘rely on conclusory
allegations or unsubstantiated speculation’ but
‘must come forward with specific evidence demonstrating
the existence of a genuine dispute of material
fact.’” Robinson v. Concentra Health
Servs., 781 F.3d 42, 34 (2d Cir. 2015) (citation
omitted). He must present such evidence as would allow a jury
to find in his favor in order to defeat the motion for
summary judgment. Graham v. Long Island R.R., 230
F.3d 34, 38 (2d Cir. 2000). Although the court is required to
read a self-represented “party’s papers liberally
and interpret them to raise the strongest arguments that they
suggest,” Willey v. Kirkpatrick, 801 F.3d 51,
62 (2d Cir. 2015), “unsupported allegations do not
create a material issue of fact” and do not overcome a
properly supported motion for summary judgment. Weinstock
v. Columbia Univ., 224 F.3d 33, 41 (2d Cir. 2000).
was incarcerated at MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution (“MacDougall”) at all times relevant
to this action. Doc. No. 20-4, ¶ 1. Defendant Beaulieu
was the school principal at MacDougall and defendant Brown
worked at MacDougall as a correctional officer. Id.,
14, 2017, Laboy enrolled in the MacDougall school program to
obtain his GED. Id., ¶ 4. All inmates
participating in the school program are required to sign a
contract acknowledging the rules and regulations of the
school program, including rules pertaining to absences.
Id., ¶ 5. Laboy signed such a contract on July
5, 2017. Id., ¶ 6.
attended the morning school session which ran from 8:00 a.m.
until 11:00 a.m. Id., ¶ 7. For the first ten
days of the session, Laboy reported to the medical unit at
11:00 a.m., when the school session concluded. Id.,
¶ 8. Beginning July 26, 2017, Laboy requested permission
to leave school every day at 10:00 a.m. to go to the medical
unit. Id., ¶ 9. By leaving in the middle of the
session, Laboy missed school time and disrupted the class.
Id., ¶ 10.
Beaulieu discussed these repeated absences with Laboy.
Id., ¶ 11. She told him that the repeated
absences were disrupting the class and that, because of
repeated absences, he would be removed from the class.
Id., ¶ 12. Defendant Beaulieu offered to switch
Laboy to the afternoon session. Id., ¶ 13.
Laboy refused the offer. Id., ¶ 14.
August 3, 2017, defendant Beaulieu removed Laboy from the
school program. Id., ¶ 15. This action was
intended to enable Laboy to work with medical staff to
regulate his medical condition. Id., ¶ 16. The
removal form specifically stated that Laboy could return to
the school program once his medical condition had stabilized.
Id., ¶ 17. Defendant Beaulieu acted alone in
removing Laboy from the school program. Defendant Brown was
not involved in the decision. Id., ¶ 18.
September 21, 2017, Laboy re-enrolled in the school program
to obtain his GED, this time attending the afternoon session.
Id., ¶ 19. On March 21, 2018, ...