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Beaulieu v. New Hampshire Governor

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

November 7, 2018

Christopher Beaulieu a/k/a Crystal Beaulieu
v.
New Hampshire Governor, et al.

          Christopher Beaulieu, pro se

          Lawrence Edelman, Esq., Anthony Galdieri, Esq., Laura E. B. Lombardi, Esq.

          ORDER

          Joseph A. DiClerico, Jr. United States District Judge.

         Crystal Beaulieu, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brings claims against officers at the New Hampshire Prison for Men, arising from incidents that occurred during her incarceration.[1] The defendants move for judgment on the pleadings. Beaulieu did not file a response to the motion.

         Standard of Review

         A motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) is addressed under the standard for a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Shay v. Walters, 702 F.3d 76, 82 (1st Cir. 2012). The court takes the plaintiff's factual allegations as true and draws reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Buntin v. City of Boston, 813 F.3d 401, 404 (1st Cir. 2015). Taken in that light, the complaint must provide facts to support a claim that “is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         Background

         As explained in the court's order on the defendants' motion to dismiss and motions for injunction relief, Beaulieu is a transsexual inmate who has been incarcerated at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men since January 6, 2011. Although born a male, she identifies as female, which is reflected in her clothing, makeup, and hair style. She began hormone treatment in October of 2015.

         Because of her transsexual status, Beaulieu alleges that she is particularly at risk in the prison environment. She also alleges that she has mental health issues and that the prison staff is aware of those issues. Beaulieu's allegations reflect her tumultuous history at the prison, including allegations of sexual assaults and disciplinary measures imposed on multiple occasions.

         On preliminary review, the magistrate judge ordered service of thirteen claims. Report and Recommendation, Doc. No. 16 (Nov. 30, 2017), approved, Order, Doc. no. 21 (Jan. 2, 2018). The defendants moved to dismiss most of the claims, and Beaulieu objected. The court granted the motion in part. Doc. no. 54. The court denied Beaulieu's thirteen motions pertaining to injunctive relief and other relief and denied the defendants' motion for reconsideration of the order on the motion to dismiss in a single order. Doc. no. 77. The court granted Beaulieu's motion to amend to the extent she identified previously unidentified defendants, and granted the defendants' motion to correct two of the defendants' names. Doc. no. 89.

         The claims that are now remaining in the case are the following:

2. SHU Sgt. Matthew Stefanczak and Corrections Officer (“CO”) Eric Turner committed the state law tort of negligence by housing Beaulieu with inmate Shawn Cook in March 2015, knowing that Beaulieu was at particular risk of sexual victimization and that Cook had a history of sexual assault.
3. Defendants Capt. Michael Edmark and Lt. Scott Marshall, knowing that Beaulieu suffers from mental health problems, violated Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment rights, and committed the state law tort of negligence by housing Beaulieu in a cell below inmate Cook on May 20, 2015, while the investigation of Beaulieu's sexual assault claim against Cook was ongoing, and knowingly allowing Cook to harass and threaten Beaulieu, thus creating a substantial risk to Beaulieu's mental health.
4. An unnamed NHSP corrections officer, identified in the R&R as John Doe #1, on May 27, 2016, violated Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment rights, and committed the state law tort of negligence, by putting Beaulieu in a cell with an inmate who the officer knew or should have known was a member of a gang with which Beaulieu had prior difficulties, thus placing Beaulieu at a substantial risk of serious harm.
5(a). CO Christopher Brownlie committed the state law tort of negligence by placing Beaulieu at a substantial risk of serious harm from other inmates when he told another inmate that Beaulieu was a “rat”; 5(b). CO Young violated Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment rights and committed the state law tort of negligence, by placing Beaulieu at a substantial risk of serious harm from other inmates, when CO Young told inmates that Beaulieu was a “rat” and a “skinner”; and 5(c). CO Dominic Salce violated Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment rights and committed the state law tort of negligence, by placing Beaulieu at a substantial risk of serious harm from other inmates when he yelled, where all of the inmates on Beaulieu's tier could hear him, that Beaulieu had requested statement forms, which Salce knew would cause other inmates to think Beaulieu is a “rat.”
6. Warden Zenk, Maj. Jon Fouts, Capt. Boynton, Lt. Paul Carroll, Sgt. Gary Lydick, Sgt. Jeremiah Totten, Cpl. Stone, and Cpl. Pat Wright, knowing that Beaulieu suffers from mental health problems, committed the state law tort of negligence, by allowing Brownlie to work in proximity to, and interact with, Beaulieu during the investigation of Beaulieu's sexual assault accusation against Brownlie, and allowing Brownlie to harass Beaulieu, thus creating a substantial risk of serious harm to Beaulieu's mental health.
7. Sgt. Lydick, Lt. Carroll, and Capt. Edmark committed the state law tort of negligence, in that, knowing that CO David Dionne had previously used excessive force on Beaulieu and harassed Beaulieu, and knowing that Beaulieu suffers from mental health problems, those defendants allowed Dionne after July 28, 2016, to continue to work in proximity to Beaulieu, thus creating a substantial risk of serious harm to Beaulieu's mental health.
8. On July 6, 2017, Sgt. Totten, CO Jason Caruso and Lt. Marshall committed the state law tort of negligence, by denying Beaulieu's request to see a mental health worker when Beaulieu told the officers she was actively suicidal and instead told Beaulieu to “just kill [her]self, ” and by laughing at and provoking Beaulieu, ...

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