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Beaulieu v. Belanger

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

June 10, 2015

Christopher Robert Beaulieu
v.
Aaron Belanger, Edward Kirrane, John Aulis, Dominic M. Salice, Michael Shepley

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

ANDREA K. JOHNSTONE, Magistrate Judge.

Before the court is New Hampshire State Prison ("NHSP") inmate Christopher Beaulieu's motion to amend the complaint (doc. no. 19) to add new defendants and new claims. Defendants remaining in this action, all of whom are NHSP Corrections Officers ("C.O.s"), have objected (doc. no. 26), contending that Beaulieu's failure to append a proposed complaint amendment to his motion renders this court unable to complete its preliminary review of the claims asserted therein.

Background

Beaulieu filed this action in 2014. Upon completing its preliminary review of the original complaint (doc. no. 1), the court allowed the following claims for relief to proceed under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, see Sept. 29, 2014, Order (doc. no. 10):

1. On August 16, 2013, NHSP C.O. Edward Kirrane and C.O. Aaron Belanger used excessive force against Beaulieu, in violation of Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment rights. violation of Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment rights, allowed inmate Rueben Ruiter access to Beaulieu's cell and did not prevent Ruiter's ensuing assault of Beaulieu, despite Shepley's knowledge that Ruiter had been egged on to attack Beaulieu, and that Ruiter presented a substantial risk of serious harm to Beaulieu.
3. Defendants C.O. John Aulis and C.O. Dominic Salice disclosed unspecified "security information, " including Beaulieu's sex offender status, to inmate Scott Collier, and then failed to prevent Collier from harassing and assaulting Beaulieu with a fire hose.

Through the instant motion to amend (doc. no. 19), Beaulieu seeks to add new claims and defendants to this action. Construed liberally in conjunction with the factual allegations in the original complaint (doc. no. 1), the claims asserted in Document No. 19 are the following:

4. NHSP Chief Paul Laflamme, C.O. Jason Whitney, and C.O. Kevin Washburn, who were in the Secure Housing Unit ("SHU") control room when Ruiter attacked Beaulieu on January 19, 2012, each acted with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm, in violation of Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment rights: (a) by allowing Beaulieu's cell door to be open at a time when Ruiter was on the tier and had access to Beaulieu's cell; and/or (b) by allowing Laflamme unauthorized access to the SHU control room and engaging in a social conversation with him, which caused the officers to fail to observe Beaulieu's cell while Ruiter was working on the tier.
5. Ruiter committed the intentional torts of assault and battery under New Hampshire law when he entered Beaulieu's SHU cell twice on January 19, 2012, and assaulted and injured Beaulieu on both occasions.
6. Former NHSP inmate Scott Collier committed the intentional torts of assault and battery under New Hampshire law when he assaulted Beaulieu with a fire hose.

Additionally, Beaulieu asserts that Collier slandered him, and that Sgt. Eric Barbaro refused to take photos that Beaulieu believes would substantiate his claim that Kirrane and Belanger assaulted him.

Discussion

I. Motion to Amend

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides that the court should freely grant a plaintiff leave to amend the complaint, "when justice so requires." A proposed amendment seeking to add new parties "is technically governed by [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure] 21, " but the "same standard of liberality" applies under either rule. Garcia v. Pancho ...


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