Boccio v. Arnone et al
ORDER denying 11 Motion for Reconsideration. Please see full text of attached order. Signed by Judge Robert N. Chatigny on 11/26/2013. (Bialek, T.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
LEO C. ARNONE, et al.,
Case No. 3:13-cv-1390(RNC)
RULING AND ORDER
On September 23, 2013, plaintiff Nicholas Boccio - a
Connecticut prisoner then incarcerated in Massachusetts under the
New England Interstate Corrections Compact, Conn. Gen. Stat. §
18-102 - petitioned this court for a writ of habeas corpus under
28 U.S.C. § 2241 and declaratory and injunctive relief under 28
U.S.C. §§ 2201, 2202 (ECF No. 1) and for a temporary restraining
order (ECF No. 4).
Defendant Arnone's response noted that
plaintiff had been transferred to Garner Correctional Institution
("Garner"), a Connecticut facility.1
In light of plaintiff's
transfer, the Court denied his motion for a temporary restraining
order and dismissed the complaint without prejudice to refiling
if circumstances in the Connecticut Department of Correction
formed the basis for an action (ECF No. 7).
The Court independently confirmed plaintiff's transfer
through the Connecticut Department of Correction Inmate
Information Search. The Court is permitted to take judicial
notice of plaintiff's transfer. See Fed. R. Evid. 201(b)(2); cf.
Gilbeau v. Pallito, No. 1:11-CV-232, 2012 WL 2416719, at *7 (D.
Vt. May 22, 2012) ("A printout of an inmate's movement history
has been held to qualify as a public document that is eligible
for judicial notice.") (citing cases).
motion asks the Court to reconsider this decision and provide
relief under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b).
reasons that follow, plaintiff's motion is denied.2
I. Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (ECF No. 1)
Plaintiff initiated this action as a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the conditions
of his confinement and seeking injunctive relief.3
He named as
defendants former Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of
Correction ("CTDOC") Leo Arnone and Commissioner of the
Massachusetts Department of Correction ("MADOC") Luis Spencer.
"In the context of prisoner complaints, courts have
dismissed as moot motions or claims seeking injunctive or
declaratory relief against officials at a prison where the
plaintiff is no longer incarcerated."
Malik v. Tanner, 87 CIV.
5740 (SWK), 1988 WL 25239 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 29, 1988) (citing
Because all of plaintiff's claims depended on his status
as a Connecticut prisoner in Massachusetts or sought relief from
To the extent the motion for reconsideration seeks to
bring new claims alleging that conditions in Connecticut form the
basis for an action, those claims are construed as a motion for
leave to amend and are analyzed accordingly in the accompanying
As described in the accompanying ruling on plaintiff's
motion for leave to amend, § 2241 is not the proper vehicle for a
state prisoner's challenge to conditions of confinement, which
must instead be brought under 18 U.S.C. § 1983.
MADOC and Massachusetts prison staff, his transfer to Connecticut
mooted his claims.
See Young v. Coughlin, 866 F.2d 567, 668 n.1
(2d Cir. 1989) (explaining that transfer mooted petitioner's
claim for declaratory and injunctive relief under § 1983);
Razzoli v. Strada, 2013 WL 837277 at *2 (E.D.N.Y Mar. 6, 2013)("A
§ 2241 challenge to conditions of confinement will be considered
moot where the petitioner has been transferred to a different
The only claim for relief in plaintiff's initial complaint
that implicated the CTDOC was his request that he be released in
Massachusetts, a decision that, pursuant to the New England
Interstate Corrections Compact, must be agreed upon jointly
between the inmate and the sending (Connecticut) and receiving
See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 18-102 art. IV(g)
(explaining that inmates confined pursuant to the Compact are to
be released within the territory of the sending state unless the
inmate, sending, and receiving states agree otherwise).
plaintiff is no longer housed in Massachusetts pursuant to the
Compact, however, this claim, too, is mooted by his transfer.
Because plaintiff fails to demonstrate a basis for relieving
him from the Court's order dismissing his case, he is not
entitled to relief under Rule 60(b).
II. Temporary Restraining Order (ECF No. 4)
Plaintiff requested an emergency temporary restraining order
without notice to defendants.
Specifically, he requested an ex
parte temporary restraining order requiring Massachusetts prison
staff to release him in Massachusetts instead of Connecticut,
provide him with reentry services, maintain him in a single cell
while incarcerated, and store his personal property - including
legal papers - upon his release.
In explaining the urgency of
his request, plaintiff noted that he would be released around
September 18, 2013, and that he would be irreparably harmed if
not granted the requested relief in advance of his release.4
Again, because plaintiff sought injunctive relief against
Massachusetts prison officials relating to his status as a
prisoner in Massachusetts, his transfer to a Connecticut facility
mooted his claims.5
The Connecticut Department of Correction Inmate
Information Search, http://www.ctinmateinfo.state.ct.us/, shows
that plaintiff's maximum release date is currently listed as May
Plaintiff's contention that his claim against the
Massachusetts Department of Correction is not moot because his
documents remain in MADOC custody is unavailing. In his prior
motion, plaintiff asked the Court to order Massachusetts prison
staff to store his property upon his release; otherwise, he
explained, anything that he could not carry would be destroyed.
Pl's Emergency Ex Parte Motion at 5-6 (ECF No. 4). In the
present motion, plaintiff alleges that Massachusetts prison staff
improperly kept his documents in long-term storage after his
transfer to Garner and have failed to return legal documents that
he sent to the law library for photocopying prior to his
transfer. These claims are distinct from those that formed the
In addition, plaintiff argues that the Court erred in
notifying defendants about his ex parte motion.
However, a party
is not entitled to a temporary restraining order without notice
to the adverse party unless "specific facts in an affidavit or
verified complaint . . . clearly show that immediate and
irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant
before the adverse party can be heard in opposition."
Powell, 11-CV-4645 KAM JO, 2011 WL 4460461, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Sept.
26, 2011) (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(1)).
submission did not make the required showing.
Thus, the Court's
decision to notify the defendants about plaintiff's request for a
temporary restraining order was not improper.6
Accordingly, the plaintiff is not entitled to relief from
the Court's denial of his ex parte motion for injunctive relief
(ECF No. 4) under Rule 60(b).
basis for his prior request for relief and will be construed as
part of plaintiff's renewed request for injunctive relief and
analyzed accordingly. See the accompanying Initial Review Order.
Plaintiff's additional allegations of procedural error are
without merit. To the extent plaintiff complains that the Court
improperly ruled on his claims on a Sunday, he is informed that
the Court is not restricted to ruling on motions only when the
courthouse is open to the public. Plaintiff further asserts that
the Court should have given him a chance to reply to defendants'
response to his complaint before dismissing the case. As
described above, however, the Court took judicial notice of
plaintiff's transfer, which mooted his claims.
Accordingly, plaintiff's motion for reconsideration [ECF No.
11] is hereby denied.
So ordered this 26th day of November, 2013.
Robert N. Chatigny
United Stated District Judge
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