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London v. Evans

United States District Court, D. Delaware

November 5, 2019

OFFICER BRETT EVANS, et al., Defendants.

          Kamilla Denise London, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.


          Noreika, U.S. District Judge.


         Plaintiff Kamilla Denise London (“Plaintiff), an inmate at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (“VCC”) in Smyrna, Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1](D.I. 2). She appears pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 5, D.I. 7). The Court screened the original complaint and dismissed several defendants. (D.I. 13, D.I. 14). Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., as well as supplemental state claims. (D.I. 18). The Court proceeds to review and screen the Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b) and § 1915A(a).


         On June 27, 2019, the Court screened the original complaint and dismissed Defendants Lt. Justin Atherhold (“Atherhold”), Warden Dana Metzger (“Metzger”), Shane Troxler (“Troxler”), and Commissioner Perry Phelps (“Phelps”). (D.I. 13, D.I. 14). The Court determined that the original Complaint stated what appeared to be a cognizable retaliation claim against Defendant Office Brett Evans (“Evans”) and a Service Order issued. (D.I. 14). On July 8, 2019, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint that was not dated or signed and, the next day, Plaintiff was advised of the deficiency. (D.I. 15, D.I. 16).

         Plaintiff resubmitted a signed, dated Amended Complaint on July 16, 2019. (D.I. 18). The Amended Complaint contains many of the same claims, attempts to reinstate Atherhold, Metzger, Troxler, and Phelps, and adds Defendants William Howard (“Howard”), Matthew Stevenson (“Stevenson”) and John Doe (“Doe”). (D.I. 18). The Amended Complaint states that it incorporates the original Complaint.[2] (D.I. 18 ¶ 108). On September 25, 2019, Evans filed his waiver of service of summons executed. (D.I. 20).

         Plaintiff alleges violations of the ADA because she is a transgender person diagnosed with gender dysphoria and other serious mental health conditions that are recognized by the ADA. (D.I. 18 ¶ 2). The Amended Complaint also appears to add new retaliation claims but, because the allegations either do not name the individual(s) engaged in retaliatory conduct, do not provide dates when the retaliation occurred, or refer to claims previously settled by Plaintiff, it simply is not clear. (D.I. 18 ¶¶ 52-57).

         The Amended Complaint alleges that in November 2018, Howard refused to use the female pronoun when directly referring to Plaintiff and, when Plaintiff asked Howard to follow policy on how to address her, he “became incensed” and filed a false incident report against Plaintiff. (Id. ¶¶ 58-61 and pp. 22-23). A hearing officer dismissed the charges and found Plaintiff “not guilty.” (Id. ¶¶ 64-65 and p. 23). Plaintiff filed a grievance and asked that Howard be disciplined for filing a false report and retaliation and was told the matter would be investigated. (Id. ¶¶ 63, 66-67). Plaintiff wrote “all the way up to the Commissioner of DOC grieving” Howard's misconduct, and alleges “no responses were received.” (Id. ¶ 67).

         The Amended Complaint also adds more detail to the retaliation claim against Evans. (Id. ¶¶ 70-80). The Amended Complaint adds Doe based upon statements made by Sergeant Nye (“Nye”) on March 22, 2019, that someone called and told him that Evans needed to add sexual misconduct to the March 18, 2019 write-up he gave to Plaintiff. (Id. ¶¶ 79-82 and pp. 24-26). Plaintiff alleges that Doe's actions make him complicit in Evans' retaliation against Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 83).

         On April 9, 2019, Plaintiff appeared at a disciplinary hearing before hearing officer Stevenson to answer the charges filed by Evans. (Id. ¶ 88). Plaintiff alleges that the hearing was not held in a timely manner and that Stevenson was “extremely biased, refused to produce evidence, and did not allow Plaintiff to have her mental health advocate present at the hearing.” (Id. ¶¶ 90-91). Plaintiff alleges that Stevenson stated, “No matter what you say, I'm finding you guilty.” (Id. ¶ 91). Plaintiff was found guilty and sanctioned to five days LOAP (i.e., loss of all privileges). (Id. at 25). Plaintiff appealed the conviction, her appeal was granted, and the hearing officer's decision was reversed. (Id. ¶¶ 93-95 and p. 26).

         On April 28, 2019, Plaintiff was again charged with sexual misconduct. (Id. ¶¶ 96-97). Plaintiff alleges the charge is a continuation of retaliatory conduct. (Id. ¶ 98). The Amended Complaint does not provide the name of the person who gave Plaintiff the incident report, but describes witnesses to the sexual misconduct as a group of officers who are close “buddies” with Evans and interact with him during daily shift changes. (Id. ¶ 104). Plaintiff was transferred to administrative segregation and Stevenson found Plaintiff guilty of the offense. (Id. ¶ 99). The Amended Complaint does not indicate what, if any, sanction Plaintiff received or whether Plaintiff remains housed in administrative segregation. Plaintiff appealed. (Id. ¶ 100). The Amended Complaint does not provide the outcome of the appeal.

         Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and compensatory damages. (Id. at 9).

         III. LE ...

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