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Griffin v. Nadeau

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

September 21, 2017

John R. Griffin, Jr.
v.
Joseph P. Nadeau and New Hampshire Department of Corrections

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Andrea K. Johnstone United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the court for preliminary review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and LR 4.3(d)(1), is plaintiff John R. Griffin, Jr.'s complaint (Doc. No. 1) asserting claims against the New Hampshire Department of Corrections (“DOC”) and Joseph P. Nadeau, a member of the New Hampshire Adult Parole Board (“APB”).

         Preliminary Review Standard

         The magistrate judge in this court conducts a preliminary review of prisoner complaints filed in forma pauperis. See LR 4.3(d)(1). The magistrate judge may recommend to the district judge that claims be dismissed if, among other things, the court lacks jurisdiction, a defendant is immune from the relief sought, or the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A(b)(1); LR 4.3(d)(1)(A). In conducting its preliminary review, the court construes pro se complaints liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). The complaint must contain “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief.'” See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted).

         Background

         In March 2016, Griffin was paroled to the community from a sentence he had been serving, imposed pursuant to an underlying state conviction. See Doc. No. 1, at 11. While on parole, in May 2016, Griffin mailed a letter (“May 2016 Letter”), addressed to a prosecutor at the Hillsborough County Attorney's Office. See Doc. No. 1, at 11. The May 2016 Letter was considered, by the recipient or her supervisor, to be threatening. See id.

         While on parole, Griffin had lived at a residence called “Helping Hands, ” until he was evicted on May 10, 2016. See Id. Griffin was arrested for parole violations on June 1, 2016. See id. On June 7, 2016, defendant Joseph P. Nadeau, a member of the New Hampshire Adult Parole Board (“APB”), issued a warrant for Griffin's arrest for those parole violations. See id.

         Griffin appeared personally and through counsel at the June 21, 2016 parole revocation hearing. See Doc. No. 1, at 12. A three-member panel of the APB, including defendant Nadeau, revoked Griffin's parole upon finding that he had failed to be “of good behavior, ” N.H. Admin. R. Par 401.02(b)(7), and that he had not obtained his parole officer's permission before changing his residence, id. at 401.20(b)(3). See Doc. No. 1, at 12.

         Claims

         Griffin asserts the following claims in this action, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983:

1. Defendant Joseph Nadeau conspired to have Griffin prosecuted for a parole violation, in retaliation for Griffin's exercise of First Amendment rights.
2. Defendant Joseph Nadeau conspired with New Hampshire Parole Officer Jennifer Walters on June 7, 2016, to issue a warrant for Griffin's June 1, 2016 arrest for a parole violation, in violation of Griffin's Fourth Amendment rights.
3. Defendant Joseph Nadeau was a member of the APB that revoked Griffin's parole on June 21, 2016, in violation of Griffin's Fourteenth Amendment right to have an impartial decision-maker in a parole revocation proceeding.
4. Defendant Joseph Nadeau misapplied state law, in the proceedings that resulted in the revocation of Griffin's parole and his recommittal to the ...

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