United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
ANDRE D. RICE, Plaintiff,
WARDEN NEIL TURNER, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER [RESOLVING ECF NO.
Y. PEARSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
se Plaintiff Andre D. Rice filed a 331-paragraph
Complaint asserting claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff names three groups of Defendants. First, He names
as Defendants the following officials at the North Central
Correctional Complex (NCCC): Warden Neil Turner, Deputy
Warden of Operations Taggered Boyd, Education Administrator
David Creader, Librarian Ms. McKinna, Case Manager James
Webb, Institutional Inspector L. Shuler, Unit Manager Shelly
Curry, Notary Ms. Donahue, Sergeant Elliott, Rules Infraction
Board Member Sergeant Rushing, Rules Infraction Board Member
Sergeant Seville, Corrections Officer Spellman, Corrections
Officer Spielman, and Security Threat Group
(“STG”) Coordinator Mr. Walton. Second, he names
as Defendants the following officials at Trumbull
Correctional Institution (“TCI”): Deputy Warden
of Operations Bowen, STG Coordinator Lieutenant Black,
Principal Mr. Liztenburger, Librarian D. Filkorn, and
Institutional Inspector Frederick. Finally, Plaintiff names
as Defendants Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and
Correction (“ODRC”) Director Gary Mohr and
Assistant Chief Inspector Kelly Reichle. In his Complaint
(ECF No. 1), Plaintiff alleges he was unfairly labeled as a
gang member, causing his security classification to be
increased. He contends Defendants did not properly supervise
the officers who engaged in these actions, or improperly
responded to his grievances. He seeks monetary relief.
filed a Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint (ECF No. 8)
on February 5, 2018. His proposed Amended Complaint is
actually a proposed supplemental pleading and pertains to an
incident completely unrelated to any of the incidents
described in the Complaint. Furthermore, it is directed
primarily at a person who is not named as a Defendant, either
in this action or in the supplemental pleading. Given that
the Complaint already contains 331 paragraphs, describing
incidents occurring over a two-year period of time, the Court
denies his request for leave to add another incident to the
pleading. Because it is unrelated to any events described in
this action, Plaintiff can file another action against the
individuals against whom he intends to bring those claims.
His Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint (ECF No. 8) is
North Central Correctional Complex
alleges that on July 28, 2015, he was in the NCCC Law library
and overheard Librarian McKinna speaking to another inmate
about printing Sovereign Citizen documents. Plaintiff
expressed interest in the documents to the other inmate and
the inmate allowed Plaintiff to review them. Plaintiff then
approached McKinna and asked if he could get a set of the
documents. McKinna indicated Plaintiff would have to pay for
printing, and he agreed to the terms.
the documents in his possession, Plaintiff went to one of the
word processors in the law library and began to complete the
documents. The library has posted a rule that word processors
are only to be used to complete document pertaining to
litigation. Plaintiff describes the Sovereign Citizen
documents as business-type documents. He indicates he
completed his rough draft of the documents by the middle of
November 2015. He also indicates McKinna watched him work on
the documents in the library. The word processors were closed
down in December 2015 for security review. When they were
available again, Plaintiff logged in and discovered his
documents had been deleted. He asked why this had occurred,
and McKinna informed him it was because they were not court
litigation documents. McKinna issued a conduct report for him
on December 23, 2015- the actual charge on the conduct report
is not stated in the pleading. Sergeant Elliott called him
into his office, read the report to him, and asked for his
plea. Plaintiff pled guilty and Elliott imposed extra duty
hours to be completed by the end of the year. Corrections
Officer Spillman signed off, acknowledging Plaintiff had
completed the additional work.
January 13, 2016, Case Manager Webb issued Plaintiff a second
conduct report pertaining to the Sovereign Citizen documents.
This report charged him with participating in or associating
with an unauthorized group. Prior to his conduct hearing,
Corrections Officer Speilman came to his cell and told him to
pack up his belongings for segregation. Plaintiff contends
this proves the result was predetermined. He also contends he
was not provided the full 48 hours notice prior to the
hearing to allow him to call witnesses. He states the
investigation into his conduct was not done correctly because
he should have gone directly to segregation during the
investigation, not after the finding of guilt. Plaintiff was
found guilty of the charges. He was given a fourteen-day
security review and moved to segregation.
segregation, STG Coordinator Walton came to his cell to do a
gang profile. Plaintiff indicates he was told he could refuse
to participate and did. He later learned that Case Manager
Webb had indicated he had done a security review at the same
time and designated Plaintiff as a passive member of an STG.
He raised Plaintiff's security classification level from
a 1A to a 3B. Unit Manager Curry approved it. Plaintiff
protested the increase, claiming he was denied due process,
but the designation was upheld.
also indicates he informed Unit Manager Curry and Case
Manager Webb of the final hearing in his divorce case. He
needed to have a notary present. The complaint does not
allege what other services Plaintiff required of the prison.
Although he reminded them several times, no one showed up for
the hearing on the date and time it occurred. Curry called
the domestic relations court and spoke to the bailiff. She
explained that Plaintiff missed his court date because he was
in segregation, which Plaintiff claims was not true. He
learned the case had been dismissed for failure to prosecute.
Plaintiff asked several times to speak to his attorney. He
claims Unit Manager Curry and Sergeant Elliott would not
facilitate this call. He contends he was denied access to the
courts and his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
states he was moved from segregation to another cell on
February 5, 2016. The heat in that cell was not functioning
properly, causing it to feel abnormally cold. He complained
to corrections officers and received extra blankets but
nothing was done to move him to a different cell or fix the
heat. Plaintiff contends the temperatures were so cold that
he could not sleep at night. He complained to a captain on
February 10, 2016 and was moved to another cell.
alleges Institutional Inspector Shuler came to the
segregation unit and demanded to know where he was. He
indicates she yelled at him for filing numerous grievances.
asserts numerous claims against the NCCC Defendants. He
contends McKinna committed libel and defamation for not
admitting that she gave him the Sovereign Citizen documents
or that she watched him prepare them. He asserts Webb
subjected him to Double Jeopardy for charging him with STG
conduct pertaining to the Sovereign Citizen documents when he
had already been sanctioned for possessing them. He asserts
he was denied access to the courts and his Sixth Amendment
right to counsel when Curry, Webb, Donahue, and Elliott did
not facilitate his call or make notary services available for
his final divorce hearing. He claims he was denied due
process and equal protection in violation of the Fourteenth
Amendment and was unreasonably seized in violation of the
Fourth Amendment when he was sanctioned for being a passive
member of an STG. He claims he was placed in a cold cell in
retaliation for grievances he filed. Finally, Plaintiff
contends he suffered cruel and unusual punishment in
violation of the Eighth Amendment.