Proctor v. LeClaire
SUMMARY ORDER - That Proctor's Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim (2d Am. Compl. paragraphs 67-72, Dkt. No. 48) is DISMISSED. That Proctor's request for oral argument on the motion is DENIED. That this case is deemed trial ready and the court, in due course, shall issue a trial scheduling order. Signed by Senior Judge Gary L. Sharpe on 8/8/2017. (jel, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
LUCIEN J. LECLAIRE, JR. et al.,
On February 14, 2017, the Second Circuit for the United States Court
of Appeals issued a mandate vacating this court’s decision regarding
plaintiff Patrick Proctor’s substantive due process claim under the
Fourteenth Amendment. (Dkt. No. 108.) Following the mandate, the court
permitted the parties to further supplement the record and provide
additional argument regarding this claim.1 (Dkt. No. 123.) The court now
considers the parties’ arguments, (Dkt. Nos. 127, 131, 135), and again
finds that defendants are entitled to summary judgment on Proctor’s
Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim, (Dkt. No. 102 at
The original summary judgment decision notes that the parties briefed the
substantive due process claim in their submissions. (Dkt. No. 90 at 19-23; Dkt. No. 94 at 3-5.)
Indeed, defendants moved “to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint” in its entirety, (Dkt. No. 89 at 1),
and Proctor had a full opportunity to brief this issue in his response papers, (Dkt. No. 90 at 1923).
14-16). Accordingly, this claim is dismissed.
Defendants argue that Proctor fails to meet his burden to show that
they acted “arbitrary in the constitutional sense” by denying his petitions
seeking release to the general prison population during their periodic
reviews of his administrative segregation placement (hereinafter “Ad Seg”).
(Dkt. No. 127 at 6.) Proctor makes two arguments in response. First,
Proctor contends that his confinement in Ad Seg is effectively indefinite
and, therefore, violates his right to substantive due process. (Dkt. No. 131
at 10-12.) Second, Proctor argues that defendants were deliberately
indifferent to the mental health impact resulting from his long-term
confinement and, thus, defendants exhibited conscience-shocking
behavior. (Id. at 12-15.)
A cognizable Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim
requires a plaintiff to demonstrate that he was harmed by “government
action that is arbitrary, . . . conscience-shocking, . . . or oppressive in a
constitutional sense.” Lowrance v. Achtyl, 20 F.3d 529, 537 (2d Cir. 1994);
see Okin v. Vill. of Cornwall-on-Hudson Police Dep’t, 577 F.3d 415, 431
(2d Cir. 2009); Samms v. Fischer, No. 9:10-cv-349, 2011 WL 3876522, at
*5 (N.D.N.Y. Aug. 31, 2011). “[G]overnment action that is incorrect or ill2
advised” will not suffice. Lowrance, 20 F.3d at 537 (internal quotation
marks and citations omitted); see Samms, 2011 WL 3876522 at *5.
Specifically, a decision to confine an inmate in Ad Seg is not
constitutionally arbitrary or conscious-shocking if an inmate’s past
conduct — such as a history of violence at a correctional facility — would
undermine the safety and security of the prison. See Samms, 2011 WL
3876522 at *5; see also Proctor v. Kelly, No. 9:05-cv-692, 2008 WL
5243925, at *6 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 16, 2008). Certainly, prison officials are
“accorded wide-ranging deference in the adoption and execution of policies
and practices that in their judgment are needed to preserve internal order
and discipline and to maintain institutional security.” Bell v. Wolfish, 441
U.S. 520, 547 (1979); see Proctor v. LeClaire, 846 F.3d 597, 608-09 (2d
Here, Proctor’s violent history and record of escape are undisputed
and all too familiar to the court and the parties. Proctor’s misconduct is
chronicled in detail in numerous opinions by both this court and the Second
Circuit. See Proctor, 846 F.3d at 602-03; Proctor v. LeClaire, 715 F.3d
402, 405-06 (2d Cir. 2013); Proctor v. LeClaire, No. 9:09-cv-1114, 2015
WL 5971043, at *1 (N.D.N.Y. Oct. 14, 2015); Proctor v. LeClaire, No. 9:093
cv-1114, 2011 WL 2976911, at *1 nn. 2-3 (N.D.N.Y. July 21, 2011).
Because of Proctor’s lengthy history of egregious criminal conduct, which
jeopardizes the safety of prison officials and inmates, defendants’
decisions to deny his petitions for release from Ad Seg are not arbitrary in
the constitutional sense. See Lowrance, 20 F.3d at 537. Proctor
packages arguments that should be directed at procedural due process
and Eighth Amendment claims into a claim based on a violation of
substantive due process; simply stated, these assertions do not fit the
claim before the court.2 Therefore, Proctor’s Fourteenth Amendment
substantive due process claim is dismissed.
Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED that Proctor’s Fourteenth Amendment substantive due
process claim (2d Am. Compl. ¶¶ 67-72, Dkt. No. 48) is DISMISSED; and it
ORDERED that Proctor’s request for oral argument on the motion is
DENIED; and it is further
ORDERED that this case is deemed trial ready and the court, in due
The court is unpersuaded by Proctor’s reliance on out-of-circuit authority. (Dkt.
No. 131 at 10 (citing Shoatz v. Wetzel, No. 2:13-cv-0657, 2014 WL 294988 (W.D. Pa. Jan 27,
course, shall issue a trial scheduling order; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk provide a copy of this Summary Order to
IT IS SO ORDERED.
August 8, 2017
Albany, New York
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