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Beaulieu v. New Hampshire Governor

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

July 24, 2019

Christopher Beaulieu a/k/a Crystal Beaulieu[1]
v.
New Hampshire Governor, et al.

          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 have occurred during her incarceration. The remaining defendants move for summary judgment on the ground that Beaulieu failed to exhaust the remaining claims as is required under 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). Beaulieu did not file a response to the motion.[2]

         Standard of Review

         Summary judgment is appropriate when “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Thomas v. Harrington, 909 F.3d 483, 490 (1st Cir. 2019). For purposes of summary judgment, the court considers the facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs and draws all reasonable inferences in their favor. Roy v. Correct Care Solutions, LLC, 914 F.3d 52, 57 (1st Cir. 2019). “An issue is genuine if it can be resolved in favor of either party, and a fact is material if it has the potential of affecting the outcome of the case.” Leite v. Gergeron, 911 F.3d 47, 52 (1st Cir. 2018) (internal quotation marks omitted). “A genuine issue of material fact only exists if a reasonable factfinder, examining the evidence and drawing all reasonable inferences helpful to the party resisting summary judgment, could resolve the dispute in that party's favor.” Town of Westport v. Monsanto Co., 877 F.3d 58, 64-65 (1st Cir. 2017) (internal quotation marks omitted); Flood v. Bank of Am. Corp., 780 F.3d 1, 7 (1st Cir. 2015).

         Background

         Beaulieu's remaining claims arise from incidents that occurred between December of 2016 and July of 2017. She alleges, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, that officers at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men used excessive force against her and otherwise violated her First and Eighth Amendment rights. The claims that remain in the case are as follows:

9. In retaliation for Beaulieu's First Amendment activities including her filing of a complaint against CO Brownlie, accusing that officer of sexually assaulting her, as well as Beaulieu's oral and written grievances, and lawsuits filed against other DOC staff members:
d. On May 11, 2017, Sgt. Lydick inflicted unnecessary force on Beaulieu, causing her severe pain;
e. Cpl. Wright told Beaulieu to kill herself; f. CO Young told other inmates that Beaulieu is a “rat” and a “skinner”; and
g. On July 6, 2017, Beaulieu was subjected to unprovoked excessive force, tazed, kicked, and placed in a restraint chair by Sgt. Totten, CO Caruso, Lt. Carroll, Capt. Edmark, and Lydick.

         11. On December 5, 2016, Sgt. Totten, while escorting Beaulieu between areas of the prison, after Beaulieu said she refused to live on a particular tier in SHU and then stated that she was suicidal, violated Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment right not to be subjected to excessive force maliciously or sadistically applied, in that:

a. Sgt. Totten slammed Beaulieu's head against the window, and held her against the window by her arms; and
b. After Beaulieu had smashed her own head against the window, Sgt. Totten slammed Beaulieu against a doorframe and then slammed her face into the floor, while Beaulieu was not resisting Totten's attempts to restrain her.

         12. Shortly after May 11, 2017, in response to Beaulieu's accusation of sexual assault against CO Brownlie, Sgt. Lydick, Jason Caruso, Patrick Wright, and Shawn Stone violated Beaulieu's Eighth Amendment right not to be subjected to ...


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