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Bailey v. Bureau of Prisons

United States District Court, D. Columbia

September 28, 2015

ARI BAILEY, Plaintiff,
BUREAU OF PRISONS, et al., Defendants

          ARI BAILEY, Plaintiff, Pro se, LEWISBURG, PA.

         For FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, JOSE A. SANTANA, Chief, Designation Sentence and Computation Center, IKE C. EICHENLAUB, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, ROBERT L. FARLEY, Warden, USP Big Sandy, MICHAEL S. SMITH, Associate Warden, USP Big Sandy, KEVIN TONEY, Captain (Former), USP Big Sandy, JAMES LINK, Special Investigative Agent, USP Big Sandy, JOHN STUMBO, Special Investigative Supervisory Lieutenant, USP Big Sandy, DAVID ROOT, Special Investigative Supervisory Lieutenant, USP Big Sandy, SNYDER, Special Investigative Supervisory Lieutenant, USP Big Sandy, M. PARR, Case Manager Coordinator, USP Big Sandy, TIMOTHY FAZENBAKER, Unit Manager, USP Big Sandy, R.D. SLOAN, Case Manager, USP Big Sandy, Defendants: Claire M. Whitaker, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

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         MEMORANDUM OPINION [Dkts. #16, #20]

         RICHARD J. LEON, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Ari Bailey (" plaintiff" ) brings this action pro se against the Bureau of

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Prisons (" BOP" ) and twelve named BOP employees[1] (collectively, " defendants" ) for alleged violations of his rights under the First Amendment, the Supremacy Clause, the Privacy Act, and various civil rights statutes. See Compl. [Dkt. # 1]. Presently before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or, Alternatively, to Transfer. See Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss (" Defs.' Mot." ) [Dkt. #16]; Mem. in Support of Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss, or Alternatively, to Transfer (" Defs.' Mem." ) [Dkt. #16]. Upon consideration of the pleadings, the relevant law, and the record herein, the Court GRANTS in part defendants' Motion to Dismiss.[2]


         Because the instant case arises on a motion to dismiss, the Court's factual analysis centers upon those facts alleged in the Complaint, the documents attached thereto, and matters of which the Court may take judicial notice. See EEOC v. St. Francis Xavier Parochial Sch., 117 F.3d 621, 624-25, 326 U.S.App.D.C. 67 (D.C. Cir. 1997). As required by governing precedent, the Court will " accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint." See Swierkiewicz v. Sorema, 534 U.S. 506, 508 n.1, 122 S.Ct. 992, 152 L.Ed.2d 1 (2002). Viewed through this lens, the facts here are as follows:

         On October 20, 1994, plaintiff was sentenced to a 540-month term of imprisonment and was thereafter incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary, Big Sandy (" Big Sandy" ). In or around 2012, the BOP concluded, based on an internal investigation conducted by the BOP's Central Office Intelligence Section and the Sacramento Intelligence Unit (" SIU" ) that plaintiff should be classified as a " public security factor" (" PSF" ) based on his purported ties to the Black Guerrilla Family (" BGF" ), a prison gang that the BOP considers to be a " disruptive group." [3] See Compl. ¶ 39; Defs.' Mem. at 4. As a result of this reclassification, the BOP transferred plaintiff to a facility capable of handling high security inmates--the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. See Compl. ¶ ¶ 39-40, 64.

         Plaintiff, to say the least, was not amenable to this transfer. In 2014, plaintiff

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commenced the instant suit, claiming that his reclassification was based on " intrinsically erroneous, false, stale, outdated [and] inaccurate records information" in violation of the Privacy Act. See Compl. ¶ 19. According to plaintiff, defendants fabricated his membership in the BGF in a " willfull [sic] collaboration to oppress, threaten, or intimidate plaintiff' as retribution for the various inmate grievances he has lodged during his confinement. See Compl. ¶ 52. As evidence of this proposition, plaintiff states that he confronted one of the named defendants, Big Sandy Unit Manager Timothy Fazenbaker, about his grievances and was told by defendant Fazenbaker: " we have to do some creative writing to get your transfer approved." Compl. ¶ 50. Plaintiff alleges that his reclassification and ensuing transfer has had several adverse effects, including:

1.) Permanent disqualification from medium custody and minimum custody placement within the B.O.P., (2.) forced compliance with monthly urinanalysis [sic] test[s] irregardless [sic] of negative results . .., (3.) permanent disqualification from general population at all BOP federal transit center facilities, (4.) permanent high-heightened security placement and transfers, (5.) Permanent reclassification as " criminal street gang-disruptive group" . . . (6.) " surprise transfer" to ADX-MAX or special management unit (SMU), (7.) reclassification for max two-hour watch custody, without any [disciplinary hearing officer] finding, incident report or hearing [and] (8.) punitive confinement in segregation for 12 months . . . .

Id. ¶ 64. Invoking numerous statutory and constitutional laws, plaintiff's Complaint alleges four discrete causes of action: retaliation in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution (Count I); Violation of the Privacy Act of 1974 (Count II); Denial of his Civil Rights in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 241 and 242 (Count III); and violation of his rights under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution (Count IV). Compl. at 12-13. Plaintiff demands declaratory relief, monetary damages, and expungement of all references to his membership in a Disruptive Group from records maintained by the BOP, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the state of California. See Compl. at 13. Defendants moved, in response, to dismiss the complaint in its entirety. See Defs.' Mot. For the reasons discussed below, the Court will grant in part defendants' Motion.


         Defendants move to dismiss plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6)[4]. Rule 12(b)(1) permits a party to challenge the Court's jurisdiction, whereas Rule 12(b)(6) permits a party to challenge the sufficiency of the Complaint. " [I]n passing on a motion to dismiss, whether on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter or for failure to state a cause of action, the allegations of the complaint should be construed favorably to the pleader." Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236, 94 S.Ct. 1683, 40 L.Ed.2d 90 (1974); see Phillips v. Bureau of Prisons, 591 F.2d 966, 969, 192 U.S.App.D.C. 357 (D.C. Cir. 1979) (on a motion to dismiss, courts must " accept the truth of the well-pleaded factual allegations of the complaint" ). Although the plaintiff must be given every favorable inference that may be drawn from the factual allegations, the Court need not accept as true " a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation," or inferences that are entirely unsupported by the facts pled in the

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complaint. Trudeau v. Fed. Trade Comm'n, 456 F.3d 178, 193, 372 U.S.App.D.C. 335 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286, 106 ...

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