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Gebreneguesse v. Heyns

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

April 17, 2017

DANIEL HEYNS, et al., Defendants.

          Robert H. Cleland, District Judge



         This matter is before the Court for consideration of Plaintiff Mikias Gebreneguesse's motion for leave to file a second amended complaint. (DE 45.) For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's Motion is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         For the purposes of this motion, I will accept the allegations in Plaintiff's first amended complaint as true.

         Plaintiff, who is proceeding without the assistance of counsel, filed his initial complaint on July 29, 2016 and an amended complaint on October 25, 2016. (DE 1 and 4.) In his first amended complaint, Plaintiff asserts that Defendants Daniel Heyns (Director of the State of Michigan Department of Corrections), Sonia Warchock (former parole board member), Thomas Combs (chief of parole board), Community Programs, Inc. (“CPI”), Christin McClain (clinical supervisor of CPI), and Robert McCombs (CPI counselor) violated his constitutional rights by forcing him to undergo Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (“RSAT”) during his parole. (DE 4.) On November 15, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion to supplement his complaint to add Michael Eagan (former parole board member) as a Defendant, which the Court granted on December 8, 2016. (DE 24.)

         Plaintiff pleads his case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He was a state prisoner from December 12, 2012 to July 30, 2013 and a parolee from July 30, 2013 to October 31, 2014. At the beginning of his incarceration, he underwent medical and psychological testing, resulting in a security assessment of Level 1, the lowest of the five possible levels. (DE 4 at ¶¶ 8 and 18.) He also received a recommendation to undergo substance abuse education, but not treatment. (Id. at ¶ 19.)

         Plaintiff's imprisonment in a Level 1 facility was generally acceptable to him. He was allowed off-grounds for work details, could participate in recreation fourteen hours per day, had access to the general and law libraries seven days per week, and had “uncontrolled movement” throughout the facility. (DE 4 at ¶¶ 20-21.) In January of 2013, Defendants Eagan and Warchock signed Plaintiff's parole decision. Some of the conditions of his parole required him to “complete theprogram.drc-Sober Living” and to “reside in/at upon your release to parole.drc-Sober Living.” (Id. at ¶ 25.)

         Plaintiff was processed for release on July 30, 2013 and expected to return to his community. In his processing documents, however, there was a notation that he would have to attend the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (“RSAT”), and was “required to sign a parole order” agreeing to the same. (DE 4 at ¶¶ 31-32.) After signing, he was transported by the MDOC to the Detroit Reentry Center and, according to him, treated as a high security prisoner. (Id. at ¶ 36.) Plaintiff was told that he could either sign a consent form for CPI or receive a parole violation. (Id. at ¶ 49.) Accordingly, he signed the form, with a notation that he was doing so “under protest[.]” (DE 4 at 25.)

         Plaintiff describes the RSAT program as 36 hours of weekly therapy and unpaid job duties. (DE 4 at ¶ 52.) Every day began with a morning meeting, which was a “scripted[, ] church like ceremony, ” requiring participants to clap and “scream synchronized statements.” (Id. at 54.) He was required to be out of bed every morning by 7:00 A.M. and to follow rules about cleaning, dress, and talking. (Id. at ¶ 57.) Participants were punished in a “time-out chair” and by being assigned to unpaid janitorial positions.

         Plaintiff asserts that his remand into the RSAT, instead of being released on parole, violated his constitutional rights. Specifically, he argues that Defendants' actions violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, that he was deprived of his liberty without due process of law, and that he was unlawfully detained in violation of the Fourth Amendment. He seeks a declaration that Defendants' acts violated the Constitution plus monetary damages.

         B. Procedural Background

         On November 17, 2016, CPI, McClain, and McCombs (“CPI Defendants”) filed a motion to dismiss, to which Plaintiff timely responded. (DE 41 and 42.) Defendant Heyns filed a motion for summary judgment on December 9, 2016 and the remaining Defendants, Combs, Eagen, and Warchock, filed a motion for summary judgment on January 5, 2017. (DE 25 and 37.) Plaintiff has filed responses ...

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