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Beaulieu v. Orlando

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

January 12, 2017

Christopher Beaulieu, a/k/a Crystal Beaulieu
v.
Craig Orlando, et al. Opinion No. 2017 DNH 008

          Christopher R. Beaulieu, pro se

          Laura E.B. Lombardi, Esq.

          ORDER

          JOSEPH DICLERICO, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Christopher Beaulieu, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, is an inmate at the New Hampshire State Prison.[1] As allowed following preliminary review, Beaulieu brings claims against employees of the Department of Corrections (“DOC”) arising out of incidents that occurred on March 7, 2012, and April 18 and 30, 2014. Beaulieu moves to amend to add claims against new defendants.

         The magistrate judge issued a report on Beaulieu's motion to amend that recommends granting the motion as to Claims 5, 6, and 7, brought against the defendants in their individual capacities, and recommends denying the remaining proposed new claims, Claims 8 through 15. Beaulieu objects to the report and recommendation. The DOC defendants object to the report to the extent it recommends allowing Claims 5 and 6.

         Standard of Review

         When an objection to a report and recommendation is filed, the court “shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” Id.

         Background

         Beaulieu alleges that she was raped by another inmate in December of 2011 and that she reported the rape in January of 2012. The perpetrator was allowed to have continuing access to Beaulieu, during which he harassed Beaulieu while prison officers laughed. Because of threats from the perpetrator, Beaulieu recanted the rape charge.

         Beaulieu alleges that while she was being escorted from her cell for a disciplinary report on March 7, 2012, officers Craig Orlando and Christopher Ziemba brought her to the floor. As a result, she was injured and did not receive adequate treatment. She also alleges that she was wrongfully accused of assaulting one of the escorting officers.

         Beaulieu alleges that two years later, in February of 2014, she was raped by another inmate, Matthew Rodier. Beaulieu alleges that she was not properly protected when the rape occurred. Beaulieu also alleges that while she was housed in the Secure Psychiatric Unit of the prison, the officers failed to properly protect her. As a result, Rodier was allowed access to her on April 18, 2014, which caused Beaulieu to recant her prior rape accusation. Beaulieu further alleges that Rodier raped her again on April 30, 2014. She contends that the prison officers did not adequately investigate her allegations or protect her.

         In July of 2014, Beaulieu states that she was assigned to the Residential Treatment Unit of the prison. Another inmate in that unit asked to speak to Beaulieu, pressed Beaulieu to engage in sexual acts with him, and when Beaulieu refused he forcibly raped Beaulieu. Beaulieu did not report the rape because she did not trust the prison officers to respond appropriately and to protect her.

         Beaulieu previously has been allowed to amend her complaint on July 16, 2015, November 30, 2015, and May 12, 2016. When the current motion to amend was filed, the defendants in the case were DOC employees Craig Orlando, Christopher Ziemba, Michael Shaw, Ernest Orlando, Barbara Slayton, Kevin Stevenson, and Paul Cascio. The claims against them were the following:

1. NHSP officers Craig Orlando and Christopher Ziemba used excessive force against Beaulieu on March 7, 2012, in violation of Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment right not to be subject to cruel and unusual punishment.
2. NHSP officers Craig Orlando and Christopher Ziemba are liable to Beaulieu for the state law tort of assault and battery for the use of force they exerted against Beaulieu on March 7, 2012.
3. NHSP officers Ernest Orlando and Michael Shaw are liable to Beaulieu for the state law tort of negligent supervision, for their failure to adequately supervise defendants Craig Orlando and Christopher Ziemba on March 7, 2012, resulting in those defendants' commission of the tort of assault and battery on Beaulieu.
4. NHSP officials Barbara Slayton, Paul Casco, and Kevin Stevenson, were deliberately indifferent to a significant risk of serious harm to Beaulieu on April 18 and 30, 2014, when, knowing that Beaulieu had been sexually assaulted by another inmate, Matthew Rodier, those individuals failed to separate Beaulieu from Rodier, resulting in Rodier threatening Beaulieu, forcing Beaulieu to recant her allegation of sexual assault, and further resulting in Rodier sexually assaulting Beaulieu again.

         In her current motion to amend, as construed by the magistrate judge, Beaulieu seeks to add new defendants and the following claims:

5. NHSP Cpl. Paige Kimball acted with deliberate indifference to a significant risk of serious harm to Beaulieu, in violation of Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment rights, on April 18, 2014, when Kimball, who was the individual responsible for the direct supervision of the inmates/patients on F-Ward in SPU, failed to separate Beaulieu and Rodier, allowing Rodier sufficient access to Beaulieu to enable Rodier to threaten Beaulieu and coerce Beaulieu to recant her allegation that Rodier had sexually assaulted her.
6. Former NHSP Corrections Officer (“C.O.”) Douglas Bishop acted with deliberately indifferent to a significant risk of serious harm to Beaulieu, in violation of Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment rights, on April 30, 2014, when Bishop, who was the individual responsible for the direct supervision of the inmates/patients on F-Ward in SPU, failed to separate Beaulieu and Rodier, ...

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